Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Beach’

No Charge

September 25, 2017

When you, I mean, I.

Let me use “I” statements, I am in graduate school for a psychology degree after all, I need to remember to only speak for myself.

When I have no charge.

Nothing.

No feeling of regret.

No longing.

No nothing.

When nothing comes up.

Well.

God damn.

That’s when I know I made the right choice for me.

I saw an ex today.

I, in fact, had a feeling I was going to run into an ex, but I ran into a different one that I had suspected I’d run into.

A few years ago, three, I think I was dating a man, and it was brief, who was very, very, very, VERY, much into the kink and fetish scene in San Francisco.

Folsom Street Fair was today.

A kink and leather and sex and fringe San Francisco festival and street fair.

And I went.

I wasn’t planning on going and I definitely looked like a tourist–I was wearing a bright yellow sundress and my hair in braids.  I looked like I should have been traispsing through a meadow.

I haven’t gone there “dressed” in attire in about a decade.

I think the last time I wnet I wore high heels, platforms and a corset I had gotten from Dark Garden over in Hayes Valley.

It was a beautiful piece and I needed a lot of help getting into it.

I had a friend who had talked me into the piece, which I tried to return a few days later to only be told flat-out that I couldn’t.

I was pretty devastated as I spent a lot more money on it than I should have considering that my rent was around the corner.

And.

That I only wore it once.

Granted.

I looked lovely.

But.

I soon thereafter lost a lot of weight and it was too big.

I gifted it to a woman at the Burning Man offices who was an intern there at the time.

She’s now a major player there and I remember fondly how excited she was when I gave her the corset.

Anyway, Folsom Street Fair.

My friend had talked me into it and a mutual friend of ours picked me up on his Vespa, in tennis whites, I will never forget that, the audacity of wearing tennis whites to Folsom, right down to the wrist bands and the visor.

We all met at Glide, a church in the Tenderloin, went to services there, then, yes, we did.

We went to The Armani Exchange store and had lunch at the counter.

The server fawned all over us.

It was super fun.

Then off to Folsom.

And that was ten years ago.

How the time flies.

I wouldn’t have gone today.

In fact, I had very definitive ideas about what I was doing, I was going to class, then go hit a spot up in the Mission and do the deal and then errands and a mani/pedi, and groceries, and cooking.

And.

And.

And.

All the things.

l was going to do all the things.

But.

Well.

School happened.

I had a big moment in class, I handled some conflict within class and it was a very powerful moment for me.

A woman in class later reflected to me that I was the embodiment of “fierce grace.”

I don’t remember what I said, only the flavor of it, and I know I was a channel for what was being spoken.

I didn’t feel possessed, so to speak, but when I am in that place, I open my mouth and out comes something, I am a channel, a conduit, a mouthpiece for the Divine.

Or God if you will.

I will.

But you don’t have to.

Sometimes when I talk about God I think folks get a particular idea and feel like folks don’t quite get it.  I am a bit of a spiritual rebel and a bit of throwback all at the same time.

I love me some Lord’s Prayer.

Most folks can’t stand it.

I love the prayer of St. Francis.

I say that one every day.

Every day.

I say a lot of other prayers too, suffice to say, I have a deep and effective spiritual life that I am very grounded in and supremely grateful for.

I spoke to that a bit, but really, I don’t recall what I said.

But I will say this.

I was powerful.

I felt powerful.

I spoke with great articulation, emotion, and care.

I know that much, I know how it felt and I had a lot of power flowing through me.

I felt like I was on fire.

I teared up.

I know that tears drifted down my face at one moment, but I couldn’t tell you the words that evoked them.

I know that it was a kind of spiritual honesty that just rolled out of me.

After I had finished and the class processed what I had said, and my professor, and I remember very well the look on his face, he knew what I was talking about and resonated with it, he looked lit up as he listened to me, I realized that I could not leave right after class.

I owed it to the people in my class that I had spoken up for to connect with me and I with them and I knew that I had to be present and stay with what was brought up.

So.

I did.

I talked with a lot of the folks in my class and one of my classmates said she’d never been to Folsom Street Fair and wanted to go see it.

She flies in from Miami and has offered me her guest room so often that I know it’s not just a polite offer, but a “please use the room whenever you want it” sort of offer.

She even told me I didn’t need to ask, book a ticket and just let her and her husband know and I’ll have access.

That’s always nice to hear.

Anyway.

I decided to not run off, I stayed and connected, I blew off all my “obligations” my “plans and designs” and let the day decide for me what I was going to experience instead of imposing my will on it.

We walked around Folsom.

There was much to see, but not much that excited or intrigued me, I have eyes for other things.

And chatting with my friend in front of someone doing suspended rope bondage I had a sudden feeling that I would run into my ex.

Whom I haven’t seen in years, but, well, Folsom is his bailiwick for sure.

But nope.

In fact.

I didn’t run into anyone but a few other friends from school–campus is three blocks away–in all the hundreds of scantily dressed folks I saw.

Then we came out to my place, I showed her where I live and we went and caught a late lunch at Sea Breeze Cafe in my neighborhood and talked and talked and talked.

She left around 4 p.m. and I took a nice long walk on the beach in my sundress.

Yes.

I said sundress!

It was summer in San Francisco today.

It was so nice I didn’t even wear leggings.

I had a good check in phone call with my person as I walked the beach and then just after I got off the phone, literally seconds later, I look up to my right for no particular reason.

And there he is.

An ex, not the one who I thought I would run into a Folsom, but another more recent relationship (not that recent either, now that I think about it, two years ago now) and a woman.

They were holding hands.

I didn’t stare, but at first I couldn’t understand, consciously, what had caught my eye.

I didn’t understand what I was seeing or why I was even looking.

A nice couple walking on the beach holding hands.

Then I realized it was an ex.

I think I waved?

Not sure.

I remember thinking, “oh, that’s nice, he’s seeing someone,” and that was it.

That was it!

Nothing.

No charge.

No heat.

No energy.

My energy, my love, my attention is so elsewhere, is so taken and captured.

I had absolutely nothing.

Except that little bit of “how nice for him” moment.

He said my name, “Hi _______________,” dropped the hand of the woman, “you look great!”

I was startled that he said anything at all to me and a  “thanks,” popped out of my mouth and then I just walked away.

I didn’t turn back.

There’s nothing there.

I just walked the beach.

Happy and content in my skin.

In my pretty yellow sundress, fluttering in the wind.

I went home and I cooked and I read some homework.

I took a good hot shower.

I ate my dinner.

And then I started my blog.

That’s it.

My day.

It was good.

I’m loved.

I’m happy.

I got sunshine on my face.

It was a damn fine day.

Wonderful in fact.

 

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Flip A Bitch

July 23, 2017

I found myself doing a surprising and sudden u-turn on Folsom Street today.

Oh please.

Don’t worry.

My person arched his eyebrow at me when I said that to him tonight over some sumptuous red beans and rice with spicy Andouille sausage at Brenda’s.

“I was careful!” I exclaimed, “I looked both ways and there was no traffic anywhere, and there was a really good reason why I did it.”

And there was.

Tub Tim Siam Massage.

Oh yes.

I got a fucking massage.

I am so proud of myself.

It’s been on my mind for weeks if not months.

I have had on again off again pain in my left arm for a long time, its soft tissue pain and sometimes I get wheedle it out with a Lacrosse ball, those small hard rubber balls massage therapists and rehab therapists use for working through muscle knots.

But most of the time it comes back and harasses the shit out of me at some point and it was really bothering me yesterday.

I don’t know if it was the yoga class I took yesterday or what, I mean, I carry most of my stress in my shoulders anyway, so could be just a big build up, but it has been pretty discomforting now for, well, months.

It’s not so bad that I can’t deal and I do.

I carry the baby at work, I do my blogging and my writing and I show up for yoga.

But I could really feel it yesterday, I could feel it flaring up when I was riding my scooter, I could feel it when I went to bed, it was up and down my arm and into my neck and at one point I swear I felt it in the left side of my face.

I have been to a massage therapist years ago who specialized in pain management through massage and I have thought about going and seeing her, but she was expensive and I had been given a gift certificate from my employers, otherwise I would have never seen her at all.

Anyway.

I had been to Tub Tim one other time when it first opened and that was back in December.

And I hadn’t a massage prior to that in years.

So when I zipped by on my scooter heading out to grab a late lunch after going to my group supervision at my internship, I flipped a bitch and decided it was time to get that massage.

I grabbed a light lunch at Rainbow and went to Tub Tim Siam.

It’s a small spot and I wasn’t sure if they would have time for a walk in, but I was going to check and if they didn’t at least make myself an appointment to be seen and seen soon.

But.

Yes!

They had an opening.

I got a ten minute hot sauna to warm up my muscles and then I got an hour-long traditional Thai massage.

Which means that they manipulate you muscles using hands, feet, elbows, and knees.

It was amazing.

It also hurt like a bitch at times.

Inside my head the conversation went like this: “ow, ow, ow, Oh My God, OW! Oooh, oh that feels so nice, OW, ow ow, ow, ouch, shit, fuck what is that, OMG that feels so good don’t stop, ouch, ow, ow, OWOWWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW, i”m going to die.”

And then I would remind myself to breathe into the pain and to relax and to let it go.

She found spots that I knew where really bothering me, I had circled them on the sheet they asked me to fill out, and then some that I was expecting that were excruciating when they were being worked on, but after, amazing how much better I felt.

I mean, I felt lighter walking out of the shop.

I need to do that more often.

It’s not something I can do weekly, it’s a little too pricey for me, but maybe once a month, alternate between doing a Thai massage and then going and hitting the Imperial Day Spa, the Korean women’s only bath house on Geary.

The spa is only $25 a session.

I think that’s the kind of self-care I really need to let myself have as I continue moving forward with taking on clients and doing the psychotherapy work.

I’ll be back to school soon too.

Eek.

In about a month.

Shit will get really real.

But.

I’m not there yet and I’m not going  to live in the future.

Just today.

All I have to do is today.

I can get lost in the “there won’t be enough time” bullshit story my brain likes to spin me out with.

But the fact is, there is enough time, and all the things I need to do get done and I’m going to be ok.

Because I already am.

I had a beautiful day today.

I did some great self-care.

I went to yoga in the morning, had a super hot shower, washed my hair, I had a yummy breakfast and a big latte, I did laundry, I wrote a bunch, I did some e-mails for my internship and I took care of little household stuff that needed attending.

I dressed becomingly.

I wore a pretty dress and shoes.

I took my time on my scooter and didn’t get crazy trying to speed to my internship.

I had a great group supervision meeting and I got a massage.

Then I went and did the deal and it was fantastic.

Afterwards me and my person went to Brenda’s and had a good catch up.

It was perfect.

The scooter ride home was even perfect.

Not too cold, there was still a kiss of warmth left in the night and I could smell a bonfire down at Ocean Beach.

Note to self time to get in a fire at the beach, that too has been too long.

And now.

I’m home.

Cozy and relaxed.

I even signed up for a yoga class in the morning.

I am held and cared for and I deserve to have these nice things.

Yoga.

Massage.

My scooter.

My home.

I work so damn hard.

It’s nice to take a moment and appreciate my efforts once in a while.

So, yes, I may have made an illegal U-turn in the middle of Folsom Street today.

But it was for a really good reason.

I promise.

 

Just Keep Writing

June 19, 2017

Very, very, very few hits on the blog yesterday and today.

Of course.

It is Father’s Day.

Folks have things to do, people to see, loved ones to celebrate.

I sent my dad warm thoughts, it’s how I can show up today, loving from a distance.

I did try last week on his birthday to call the cell phone number I have for him, but the call did not go through and I took that as the time is not now.

I may never have the time for my dad.

I have acceptance for that, some sorrow, but mostly acceptance and a kind of peace around it.

There are times that I have wished for more from my father, but I have always known, despite not having much contact with him through the years, that I was loved by him.

Who am I to say that how he expressed his love was not the right thing for me?

I cannot choose how people express their love.

I have a certain idea how it should look, but my ideas are often wrong.

So often wrong.

It’s rather ridiculous.

But hey, I’m trying.

I may fall, but at least I know that I am trying.

And I love.

So, so, so hard.

My God, I love hard.

And it may not be what someone wants either.

I have tried being softer and kinder and easier with my love, for myself, for others, to not squeeze too hard, to be gentle, to be flexible and have deeper perspective and appreciation for all forms of love.

I’m not sure where I am going with this ramble, just that I am glad for my father and I hope he is well and I love him.

I do.

So many kinds of love, so much vastness of feeling.

So many memories.

Some easier to recall than others.

Grateful for them all.

Grateful for today.

It was a good day.

I woke up earlier than I was planning, but then again, I hadn’t planned on staying up late last night, but the cup of coffee I gleefully, rebelliously drank with my friend at the anniversary party last night had its way with me.

I was going to let myself have eight hours of sleep.

But the light in my room woke me up and I knew I would feel better if I got up and got myself going.

So I hopped up, put on the yoga clothes and went to the studio down the block.

It was a great class and I was very happy with the teacher.

Then a nice mellow, slow morning.

Met with a lady, did the deal, did some laundry, did some shopping, did some cooking.

And.

Holy cats.

I read some fiction.

I read a book.

In the sun.

On the back porch.

It was sunny in San Francisco and the beach was packed and the parks were packed and it was Father’s Day all over the place.

I did go down to the beach for a little bit, but when it’s nice out, and it was, it was over 80 degrees, the beach gets really bombarded and add a national celebrate a parent holiday and the traffic and people were off the hook.

I sat in a dune for a while and enjoyed the sea and the sun, but after maybe twenty minutes I just decided to go back home and read on the back porch.

I knew it would be quiet.

And it was lovely.

I definitely got a few freckles today and I got warm in my bones.

It felt nice to put up my feet and relax a little.

The next week is a busy one.

Aren’t they all?

But.

It does make the time go faster and I’m excited to be seeing clients now at the internship.

I also peeped the weather for the next week and it looks gorgeous and sunny and the June gloom that is so often the weather in the city for the summer seems to have abated and I am grateful.

There is so much in my life to be grateful for.

So much learning.

As I navigate through my days I see where I have stumbled and where I have been selfish and when I am not being of good service to a situation.

I can make things about myself really fast.

I catch it more often than I have in the past, but I am always a bit chagrined when I do it.

I get to recall the feeling in my body when I hurt someone or make something about me when it really has nothing to do with me, out of fear, that’s usually where I am acting from, fear.

Fear that I won’t get what I want or I will lose what I have.

And the fear is baseless.

Groundless.

Silly.

I have been given so much and I have so much, that to live in any kind of fear is a kind of waste, a superfluous worry of time, when I could be enjoying the sunshine, the daydream, the revery of sitting still in the back yard and feeling the warmth on my skin where I am caught and held in perfection.

I am human, but that is an excuse.

I have to also change when I see things in myself that I don’t care for, I can’t wish them away.

I can, however, pray about it and hope to be of better service in the future.

Remembering how it feels when I have done something that doesn’t serve another because I am in fear of not getting what I want.

Ah growth.

Painful growth.

I heard it said once or twice, though, that pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I definitely grew a little today.

And the pain is not as tender as it has been in the past, but it is there so I chose now, in this moment, to remember what I felt and what I was feeling and to not let those fears get in the way of enjoying my day.

The sun.

The soft warmth.

The dreamy.

I do like the dreamy.

Please God.

Don’t let me fuck up the dreamy.

 

Two Down

April 30, 2017

One to go.

I finished my Trauma paper today.

It was a big deal.

I am super happy and grateful it’s done and I’m also glad to let the material rest, it was challenging material, traumatic stuff you might say, and I am happy to let it be for a while.

I will still have to go back and dip back into the material as I will give a presentation of my paper in the class next weekend.

I can handle that, oh, I’m sure I will cry, it was a day for tears.

But also a day for laughter and much joy.

I just got back from a big dinner get together and fellowshipping and I am so awful glad I went, it was just the perfect break from homework and I got to be connected to people and see people and talk to people.

Like.

Real live people, not just social media interactions.

I also got asked out on a date!

I was not expecting that.

And yes.

I have a date for tomorrow.

That will definitely give me incentive to write my last paper.

I am also speaking at a spot at 6p.m.

I will have my paper done by 5:30 p.m.

That was the promise I made to myself.

So when I was asked I was actually able to say that I could go to dinner tomorrow night after my service commitment, because I already knew that I would have my last paper written by the time I went to cover the commitment at 6p.m.

And now I damn well better.

I don’t want to have a paper dangling over my head.

It’s interesting.

I could tell immediately that he was attracted to me and I was intrigued, and also a tiny bit cautious.

I don’t date guys in early recovery, sort of rule of thumb and sometimes when I meet a guy whom I haven’t seen around before I get cautious.

Turns out he’s from out-of-town.

But not so far from out-of-town that he’s untenable to date.

San Rafael.

That’s not too bad and actually it’s an easier bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, for someone to navigate from to me as I’m so far in the Outer Sunset.

Just blocks from the beach.

The beach that I didn’t think I was going to get to go to and was feeling a little sad about that today when I walked out the door to yoga this morning.

It was glorious today.

When it’s warm in the Outer Sunset at 8:45 a.m. it’s going to be a nice day at the beach.

I was happy to get to yoga, so I had no thoughts about also trying to squeeze in beach time, I had the paper to write and I also had to meet a couple of ladies at Tart to Tart from noon until 2p.m.

I was glad to be out in the sun but had no beach expectations.

I got back to the house at 2:30 made some lunch, sat outside on the back patio and soaked up some rays and then sat down and cranked out my paper.

I was done by five p.m.

I started the writing at 3p.m.

Thank God for the time that I had this week at work, I had all the material ready and it was just a matter of following the guidelines for the paper and writing it.

I wrote an eight page, 2,300 word paper.

I was done by 5p.m.

It was still sunny and I didn’t have to be to the spot until 7p.m.

I decided to walk down to the beach and get some sand under my toes.

I threw on my flip-flops, grabbed a bottle of water and had a glorious 45 minutes of chill time, then walked up to Trouble Coffee and grabbed a treat cafe au lait.

I sat outside in the parklet and enjoyed the feeling of being done with my paper and knowing I was going to go see some friends tonight and hang out and go out to dinner.

I got the paper done, I got to go to the beach, and I got asked on a date.

Fucking not bad for a Saturday.

“Have fun, be flexible,” she admonished me.

This happens a lot recently when I meet with my person and she’s right, I can get buried in the doing and the going and the moving and the shaking and I can and do get isolated.

It felt so good to be with my people tonight.

And.

Yes.

Flirting with someone certainly did not hurt.

He actually asked for my number before going out to fellowship, so that made fellowship even more titillating.

I felt very alive.

I still do.

I am grateful that I get to do the work that is going to help me be a good therapist, but also have a full, well-rounded, happy life, is also a huge part of being a good therapist.

I get to model a good life, a life that I would advocate for my clients, I get to lead my own happy life, and being connected to others is a huge deal for me.

Grateful to get to balance it all out and rather awed that it worked out so well today.

Oh sure.

I had some anxiety.

I had some push back on sitting down and doing the work.

But.

I have my routine.

I said my prayers.

I did it anyway.

And two hours and eight pages later I was gleefully printing off my final paper for Trauma class.

It was an accomplishment.

I also couldn’t have done the work that fast if I hadn’t already done so much of the background work on the paper.

The same kind of work that I did for the paper that I will write tomorrow.

I have hella incentive now.

I’m up to yoga in the morning, back here, shower, breakfast, morning pages, then I’ll plunge in.

I hope to have four to five pages done by lunch time.

I’ll take a lunch break and then kick the rest of it out by 5p.m.

Just like today.

And I’ll celebrate by doing some service.

Going out to dinner.

And.

Making out after.

I can’t eat sugar, but that doesn’t mean a girl doesn’t like something sweet once in a while.

Heh.

I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Swim Suits

April 3, 2017

And sun hats.

I pretty much lived in those two things all day.

And my sundress.

And some flip-flops.

Pretty nice weather.

Beach weather.

Building sand castle weather.

Wading in the waves with bright yellow plastic buckets to scoop cold salty water for building more sand castles.

I worked today and it did feel a little strange, but I rolled with it, to have my family come out to me.

The mom wanted a day at the beach and was super kind to suggest that we just meet in my neighborhood instead of having me commute in and then we could all head to Ocean Beach together.

Again my start today was later than the noon start we had talked about.

And that was fine.

I got some more homework done.

I couldn’t go to yoga.

I tried.

I signed up online.

I set my alarm.

But.

When it went off there was just no way, I was exhausted.

Exhausted.

I gave myself another hour of sleep on my alarm and rolled back over, I was out, there was no brain activity, no rumbling early morning ruminating, I was dead to the world.

Even an hour later I could have slept more.

I figured I was just tired from the long week, even though my days weren’t full days this weekend, it’s still work on the weekend and not much rest for the wicked.

Not that I’ve been wicked.

Maybe a tiny bit naughty.

In my thoughts, people, not in my actions.

I wouldn’t mind being a little naughty in my actions it just wasn’t on the menu today.

Fortunately I had enough time this morning to wake up slow, to enjoy my breakfast, to have a big creamy unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and take some time to write my morning pages and sort out my day.

I did some homework, some grocery shopping, and a little food organization and prep before the family got to me.

We met at my house and I suggested where they could park, down on La Playa and Judah, and I walked down to Java Beach Cafe to meet with them and help them carry all the goodies to the beach.

It was very sweet to be with them.

We had a picnic in the dunes.

We dug holes, collected shells and sticks, and dashed in and out of the water.

I was super grateful for the straw fedora I had grabbed at Other Avenues when I had grabbed some groceries earlier in the day.

And the sunblock.

It was a sunblock kind of day at the beach.

It isn’t often that the weather at the beach cooperates.

There was a moment when a bit of fog and mist rolled in, but it didn’t stick and it was really a nice day for being at the beach, sunny, but not too hot.

I was with the family until about 5 p.m.

Then I came back here, roasted a chicken, made some soup, and decided I needed to get right with God.

Hopped on my scooter and took a ride up to Quintara and 20th and got some recovery on.

Back home, hot tea, my fedora hung up in the closet, grateful for the day and the service and yes, grateful that tomorrow is Monday, I made it through the work weekend.

My schedule will go back to its regular hours tomorrow and I’m good with that, I want to get back into my routine before school gets going next weekend.

Four days of work, three days of school.

Then two days off.

I’m going to hang out with a friend on Monday and I have a therapy session on Tuesday, but other than that, nothing.

I’ll get to yoga, make up for this weekend.

I just couldn’t do it, my body was really sore from yesterday’s class and I have a stress injury in my left shoulder that flared up, I’m going to not beat myself up for not getting in today, the fact that I went and did the deal is enough.

Fuck.

The fact that I worked is enough.

I did enough today.

The days are a bit of a blur, I will admit that, they keep rolling along into each other.

The sunrise.

The sunset.

The routine of my days measured out in cups of tea, words scrawled into notebooks with black ink pens, the shift of my heart as I hear the birds sing in the morning and the spill of golden sunlight through the back door of my studio.

I felt like I was moving through honey soften time this afternoon when I got back.

Just to sit outside, shaded up under my fedora, the sun freckling through the straw brim when I tilted my head back, still in sun warmed air, ravens perched on chimney tops, silhouetted against the bluer than blue California sky, my feet up on the wrought iron chair, to be still, I got my break, I got my refresh and though I worked today I was able to have a measure of quiet in my own skin time too.

I need these breaks.

I need to sit still and watch the sky.

To feel the big heavy imprint of azure press itself into my heart, to be glossed in sun, it is glorious beyond my reckoning.

I’ll change out of my swim suit and sundress soon.

My fedora has been hung up for another day.

But.

I may give myself a few more moments in my garb to appreciate the beautiful place that I live, Outer Sunset, Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California.

My home sweet home.

Luckiest girl in the world.

So.

Damn.

Lucky.

Good Day

April 2, 2017

Long day.

Glad it’s done day.

Wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow day.

But.

Oh well.

That being said at least I had some time before and after work for myself.

I got up and went to yoga and had a really good class.

I cried.

It was good and sometimes when it’s really good, something lifts and moves and I get emotional relief not just a nice quiet relief from my thoughts but a shifting inside and something gets worked out.

I had some stuff get worked out that I wasn’t expecting and I floated back to the house after.

A hot shower and a text from the mom saying I wasn’t needed until 1p.m.

I had been scheduled to come in at noon.

So I had some extra time to do some writing, check in with a friend and do some homework as well as get my spending plan done for the month of April.

I was right, not that I’m keeping track, but by eliminating my clothing allowance and my savings allowance I’ll be able to afford doing the weekly therapy.

I may change that at some point and as I applied to get financial aid for my summer session of practicum, which is considered a class, I will probably use some of that money towards tuition, of course, and also towards the therapy.

It’s required by the school for my degree, might as well use student loan money to pay for it.

When that happens, depending on how much I get over the tuition bill, sometimes it’s only been a few hundred dollars, I’ll use that towards my therapy and allow myself money back into my clothes or savings allowance.

Suffice to say.

I have enough for April to get by without freaking out, taking money from my travel savings account, or having to sell my plasma.

I jest.

I haven’t sold my plasma in years.

Not that I could anyhow, I’ve had a recent tattoo and you cannot donate blood or plasma for a year after you’ve gotten a tattoo.

So.

Like.

I’ve not donated blood in the past decade pretty much.

Ha.

Money enough is coming in, is what I’m saying and I was able to figure that all out before I went into work.

It was a chill day and I had a nice time with the kids.

I was a little tired, not physically so much, but mentally.

It’s a long stretch to be with the kids that many days in a row.

I made it through though, and got off early enough to run and get a few groceries from the store and then over to 1100 Divisadero to do the deal and meet up with friends.

After which, dinner at Souvla, a Greek restaurant in the NOPA.

I had an amazing dinner and mostly on account of the company, but the food is really good too.

I am really grateful for this group of fellows and so happy that have committed to continue seeing them every week, it’s really been helping me stay balanced with my school and work stuff.

And although I am working tomorrow, it will be an interesting adventure.

The family is actually coming out to me.

The weather tomorrow is looking warm and sunny and the mom wants to bring all the kids to the beach.

She said that they will be coming out to Ocean Beach and will send me a little text when they get close and we’ll all go have a beach day.

I can handle that!

I’m going to get up and do a yoga class again and be ready by noon, although it may be more like 1 p.m. by the time they get out here.

I’m happy to be staying in my neighborhood and I won’t have to do any cooking or cleaning or laundry, I’m grateful for that and for not having to do a commute in either.

The traffic today was crazy.

Everybody was out and headed to the park or the beach and that’s basically where I live and it was a longer commute time that it is during the week.

I am very happy to stay put in the hood tomorrow and just hang out with the kiddos at the beach and build sand castles and walk the tide line and look for shells and be out in the sunshine all day.

I am down with that.

And get paid.

Yes.

Thank you.

I haven’t yet been down to the beach on the nice weather day in a while.

I’m looking forward to it.

I also did not get the sense that I would be working all the way until 6 p.m.

The mom assured me though, that I would be compensated for the hours we had discussed.

I find that really fair and reasonable, and I’m grateful that I didn’t have to say anything about it, she just said, you’ll be paid the full amount we discussed.

Thank you!

Not much else to report this news cycle.

At least not anything that I’m willing to write about.

I fear that my blogs have not been so scintillating that they will start losing readership, then I remember, I don’t write for an audience, I write for myself and I would be writing even if only ten people were reading.

Or if no one were reading.

It is my space.

I claim it.

I own it.

It helps me and the really juicy stuff, well, involves other people and their stories are theirs, not mine, to tell.

So I bid you adieu.

A good night.

And.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Dreams.

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

Letting go of the things that don’t serve me.

Letting go of ways and means of being that I have been.

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

I had to have a little hand holding tonight as I took some suggestions regarding my personal life and relationships.

“No body treats you like that,” he said to me, “and I will not stand here and let you be treated like that, now unfriend.”

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

It has taken years to get to this point and to let go, of this old idea that I somehow need to give you more than me, that I am not enough, that I have to buy your love, respect, or that I need to give you something for you to be my friend, lover, partner.

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

Not by myself, though, I had to have some hand holding.

I had gotten the suggestion this evening and it matched up with how I was feeling, even though I was afraid to take the action required, I knew, deep within me, that it was the thing to do.

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

“Wait, can I just do this now, with you here, I don’t know if I can do it when I get home,” I said.  I mean.  I knew I would, but I knew it would be easier for me to do it with my person there sitting across the table, warm, supporting, holding me through the process of letting go and moving on.

There is no there there.

“I expect to get blow back from this,” I said as I sent out the message and then took the next suggestion and cleaned some house.

“Doesn’t matter, you did your part, you cleaned your side of the street, how the other person responds doesn’t matter,” he said.

He took my hands and held them as I shed a few tears, took a deep breath and did the next action in front of me.

The relief of standing up for myself, asking for what I want, and really I do not have any expectations that the want will be met at all, none, nada, in fact, and that somehow made it easier and harder at the same time.

But let go I did.

And I realized I just made a huge amount of room for what will work in my life, for friendships, relationships, jobs, school, for letting in the love and going where the love is and being happier in my person and with myself.

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

With unconditional regard for others and what they need to do to grow and be.

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

What works best, how will I grow, how may I serve, what does that look like.

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

I have grown so much since working with him and I have such respect for the work.

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

I am so excited for what this year is going to bring.

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

I am working full-time and going to school full time and I will be interning.

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

I am thinking that I may camp somewhere new this year, my dear friend from my first camp that split off and started his own invited me to camp with them this year.

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

Just maybe go this year and don’t work, oh, I know, I’ll help out, wherever I am camped, that is what I do, but on my terms and not tied to anyone, not tied to a scheduled, not leashed to a job.

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

My year is already so littered with love and goodness, travel, art, school, friends, getting to be in San Francisco, getting my practicum placement, getting to be an intern, getting to start helping clients and accruing the hours toward my license.

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

This thirteenth year of being in recovery is going to blow the top off.

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

I am so grateful I keep showing up, suiting up, doing the damn deal, living by spiritual principles.

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

But that too is a gift and an opportunity to grow more.

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

It was melting surrender, a washing away, a saying goodbye, a letting go, with the rain sluicing down the gutters and the fog prowling on soft cat feet, as I listened to Bon Entendeur streaming from my headphones as the N-Judah barreled its way down towards Ocean Beach, I looked at my reflection across the way in the mirrored window of the train.

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

A giant leap forward in my life and in my recovery.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

Cozy Little Christmas

December 26, 2016

I was talking to the moms earlier and she expressed how sad she was that I was alone at Christmas.

I assuaged her.

I almost laughed, I haven’t felt lonely, despite, yes, spending the majority of the day alone.

I never felt lonely.

Sleepy occasionally.

I actually napped.

A lot.

I don’t nap often and it always feels rather epic when I do.

I blame the malingering cold.

Not enough to knock me completely flat, but definitely, defiantly still there, sitting on my chest with a nasty proprietorship that I am about done with.

Ha.

I foil you cold.

I signed up for a yoga class tomorrow, get out of my body.

I figure one more big night of sleep and some warming up and stretching will make me feel a lot better.

I didn’t get to the studio at all this past week, the weird hours at work, the onset of the cold, the holiday stuff, I got behind and nothing quite worked with my schedule.

Speaking of schedule.

I have been in contact with the new family I will be starting with on January 2nd and since I’m in town this week I’ll be meeting with them to go over the stuff and things and sign my new contract.

It’s for reals.

I am grateful for the week off.

Even with the stupid cold.

I will go to the MOMA.

I may go the DeYoung and the Legion of Honor too,  haven’t been to either in a while.

Maybe one day a ride over to Sausalito too on the ferry, it’s been a while since I have done that as well.

And as I let myself listen to a last few Christmas carols I really am reflectively happy.

Yes, I had other plans.

And I’m ok with the change of them.

I’m not upset that I spent Christmas by myself.

I’m good company.

Really good company.

I got myself a new dress for Christmas.

Oh god damn it’s cute.

From Hell Bunny.

Thank you Christmas bonus.

I don’t think it will get here in time for New Year’s but it might, not that I don’t have a dress, I did let myself get a dress from Ambiance the other day.

Two dresses at Christmas, so nice to do for myself.

I had a nice morning writing and drinking cafe au lait.

I opened cards and gifts from family and I talked to my mom on the phone and chatted and messaged with other friends and dear hearts.

I made turmeric spiced garlic brown rice and I roasted a pork roast.

Oh my god.

The roast.

I very infrequently buy pork or steak, it’s just spendy for me and if I get meat, I typically get a chicken, I can stretch a chicken into a weeks plus worth of meals, but you know, Christmas.

So I picked up a pork roast at the SafeWay the last time I shopped.

And what with the Adobo my darling friend gave me from Puerto Rico and the persimmons Santa sent me, fuck me, I made an amazing pork roast.

I seasoned it with sea salt, black pepper, the aforementioned Adobo, Spike, a tiny bit of tarragon and then slow cooked it for an hour and a half.

While it rested I made the rice.

Then I sliced up some persimmon, layered them over the top of the roast, added a tiny bit more salt, and yes, raw organic cocoa.

While the rice was cooking and the roast was resting I went for a walk down to the beach.

The waves were heavy and crumbling and loud.

There were a few folks out with their pups and one surfer trying to paddle out past the break.

I walked for a while.

Then perched in the dunes above the beach.

I was not sad.

I am not sad now.

I reflected, rather, that I have done a lot for myself, with the help of a lot of friends, over this past year.

I dis-entangled myself from a love relationship that was woefully not working.

I went to New York in May and saw all the art and things and friends.

I went to New Orleans and saw all the art and the things and made new friends.

I went to Burning Man, briefly, yes, but I went and saw all the art and the things and made new friends and saw old friends.

I rode my scooter all over the city.

I mean all over.

I successfully got through the first semester of my second year in a three year graduate school program.

I saw Mike Doughty and Paul Simon live.

I started doing yoga.

I finished a two year plus job with grace and love and got referred kindly to my next position with rave references.

I comported myself pretty damn well.

I told lots of people I love them.

I do, you know.

I sat up in those dunes happy with myself, alone, but not lonely and it struck me so resolutely how lonely I felt last year at Christmas with the man I was in love with and then the year prior with an old boyfriend, alone on Christmas as he chose to spend it with another.

I was not in pity for myself, I remember walking that same stretch of beach tears running down my face, in a white dress, my hair in braids, the wind so cold, the sun bright, brilliant, but cutting.  I took a picture of myself in the dunes that year and all the responses were the same, my god how beautiful and all I could think was my God, I’m in a relationship and alone on Christmas, my God how lonely I am.

Alone.

But not lonely this year at Christmas.

I came home from my happy gambol along the beach and lovingly put the roast in the over to sear at a high temp for a half hour and carmelized the persimmons and my goodness, my house may have never smelled better.

I read for a while then pulled out the roast and dug in.

It was beyond description.

So good.

And I had saved a Rau Raw Chocolate drink to have with it.

Best Christmas dinner ever.

Seriously.

I had a sliced persimmon after dredged in sea salt and raw chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a big mug of Bengal Spice tea with cashew milk.

I was full and happy and warm and cozy.

I read for a little while longer, so many wonderful new pleasure reading things to get through, then.

I had a thought.

My how nice a nap might be.

So.

I did.

Merry fucking Christmas.

I curled up underneath my grandma’s afghan and watched the Christmas tree.

I drifted off, warm, safe, held.

Wrapped up in love.

Alone?

Yes.

Lonely, no.

Loved and taken care of.

Loving to myself and to others.

The best Christmas miracles are always the little ones.

Seriously.

So, mama, don’t be sad that your baby was alone on Christmas.

I had a beautiful day and when I reflect on all the people who love me.

Well.

I am surely blessed.

So very much so.

Wishing you and yours the same.

Always.

And.

Forever.

 

 

Last Christmas I gave you my heart.

But the very next day you gave it away.

This year I’ll give it to someone special.

And Then Some

October 2, 2016

Today was exactly how I thought it would be and also.

Easier.

Lighter.

Less fraught with anxiety than some Saturdays can be as I recognized early the need to make all the things happen.

RIGHT NOW!

I text a friend.

First day off in two weeks and must make it all happen.

This is my best thinking.

And I know, deeply, that it is skewed thinking.

Flawed thinking.

Thinking with nothing more to it than make miserable happen when there is no need to be miserable.

I slept in.

Not long.

But just a little.

Just enough.

I skipped yoga.

Yeah that.

I also got honest with my person about skipping yoga in a phone call check in this afternoon.

I won’t be skipping tomorrow, especially now that I have made myself accountable to someone else, someone who sees me with a much greater kind of perspective than I see myself.

I made myself a nice breakfast.

Thank you Jesus for persimmons, my sweet little fall indulgence, how I do love thee.

Homemade oatmeal with apple and persimmon, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, unsweetened vanilla almond milk; a hard boiled organic egg with salt and pepper, two big mugs of coffee–Four Barrel pour over.

And.

I am ready for the day.

Plus a little quiet time.

A lot of writing.

I wrote five pages this morning with out batting an eye.

I didn’t realize I had all that much to say, but there it was, it just came tumbling out.

All the words.

The words that spell out anxiety and I’m not enough and there is definitely not enough time.

But.

There is.

There was time to go grocery shopping.

I was shocked actually at how not busy the SafeWay by Ocean Beach was.

I had suspected it would be a mob scene with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

But it was not.

I got in and out and I have to say, I felt really happy with myself when I was standing in line and putting the food on the conveyor belt.

Man.

I take damn good care of myself, my food looks awesome.

I continued that trend by coming home and trussing a chicken and then doing a salt and pepper rub and roasting it in the oven while I did a run up to Other Avenues.

My preferred place to shop, but quite pricey so mostly the little organic things I can’t get at Safeway and the bulk food stuff and some hippy candles I really like.

Then back to the house, brown rice in a pot, groceries put away and onto the spending plan tally for September and doing my plan for October.

October is going to be a chill month.

No buying tickets to Paris.

No more scooter issues please.

I spent two grand more than I normally do this past month.

I don’t have a whole hell of a lot in savings.

Upside.

I do have something in savings.

And I have employment and I’m ok.

Just nothing extravagant for October.

Meeting my basics and sticking some cash in savings.

By two p.m. I was sitting on my back porch eating salt and pepper roast chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice with a brussels sprouts, white corn, and brown mushroom hash.

The sun was warm.

The breeze was cool.

Banjo rifts and guitar licks drifted to me from the park and I relaxed enough to know I had done pretty much everything that I needed to do and now it was time to do the deal and sit down and get square with my text books.

I did hours of reading.

I’m not done.

There are hours and hours to go.

“You are going to get through this,” my friend who I hadn’t seen in months said to me last night outside Our Lady of Safeway as the recovery house boys smoked their cigarettes and crumpled their court cards into their pockets.

I leaned into his warm hug.

“And you are going to be good, and you are going to help so many people, you will get through this, it is not for always, one foot in front of the other kiddo,” he finished, gave me a warm hug and shambled off with one of his guys toward the Lower Haight.

Sometimes the dread of the day lays heavy on me.

The responsibility to get it all done and be good and be on the up and up and get it done and go, go, go, well, it can be tremendous.

Overwhelming.

And.

Self-defeating.

I stopped making judgements around 45 minutes into my reading.

I started to feel good for picking up the books and just making the effort to read.

I don’t have to comprehend it all right now.

But I do have to start somewhere.

And.

I need to get caught up on all my reading.

Not necessarily to fulfill paper requirements or to please anyone, but because this is what I’m doing, I’m getting my Masters in Psychology and this is part of the work.

I have to do it to get the degree and I need the degree to facilitate moving into the next phase of my development.

Development that takes time, slow time, golden time, drowsy with afternoon light and the hours that breach between two and four p.m. when the promise of the day begins to wane towards dusk.

I read.

I read a lot.

Is it enough?

No, my head whispers.

Yes.

My heart confirms.

Today you did enough.

You are enough.

It was enough.

And tomorrow.

Well.

That’s not here yet.

Let’s just stay here.

You and I.

Or.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky

As long as it is with your hand in mine and the colors that bleed are not bleeding from my heart, but from the underpinnings of love that color the clouds and light my way forward.

This moment.

This now.

This everlasting love.

Yes.

That.

Always that.

Love.

Let us go there.

Together.


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