Posts Tagged ‘one day at a time’

Smoky Voice

October 18, 2017

Sultry yes.

But sore and dry throat is tired.

It was smoky again today.

I was disheartened to say the least when I went outside to get on my scooter and head in to my therapy session in Noe Valley.

I was looking forward to seeing my therapist as we had to cancel last week.

She was affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

I have been affected too, but in lesser ways and in ways that I have felt loath to gripe about as my hierarchy of needs have been basically met.

Yet.

There has been suffering and there has been a constant feeling of sickness and showing up for work has been hard, keeping the kids inside all day long for over a week and they all, ALL, of them now have the croup.

It is heart breaking listening to them cough.

The mom has it too.

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it and I know that the ugly feeling in my lungs is not from a cold.

It’s from the smoke and whatever nasty particles I have been inhaling.

My lungs feel tender and my throat super sore and raw and my head has been hurting all day.

I also have gotten spacey and a little dizzy a few times.

The EPA had the air quality showing unhealthy for most of the day.

And that’s pretty much how I have felt, unhealthy.

Granted.

I am able to work and able to get myself going, I’ve just not been my best and I’m such a healthy person in general, that I feel a bit depleted.

It was hard to hold space for my clients tonight at my internship and I felt pretty out of it.

I had thought for a moment about cancelling clients tonight, but I figured I would just muscle through.

I did it, but it was tough and I’m really grateful to be home.

I am also grateful that the unhealthy air is projected to be moderate tomorrow, not good yet, but better than today and fingers crossed it will continue to get better.

There are still fires burning, it’s not over yet.

I can’t quite wrap my head around that, fires still burning, fires not contained yet, the fires have been going on now for ten days.

TEN.

It’s hard to fathom.

The losses, the wreckage, the ravaging of the land.

I was praying last night before bed and I was thanking God that the family I used to work for wasn’t in Glen Ellen when the fires broke out.

They have a vacation home there and they’d been there just the weekend before.

I literally started crying when I realized how close they were to the fires, I don’t know if the property made it out, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the family, the boys, the dog, hadn’t been there, I would have lost my mind if they had.

Lost it.

So it’s hard for me to fathom those that did lose it all and sad for it, heartbroken.

And also aware that I have to keep my spirits up, that people need me, that I need to take care of myself.

My therapist and I discussed that a lot today, how being a caregiver, being in the helping field, being a nurturer, that I had to focus on doing for myself, because getting sucked into the drama of it or the trauma news cycle via social media, I would not be helping any one at all.

Grateful for her perspective and all the other things that I get to work out with her.

I am super grateful to be back in therapy and I just realized I forgot to add the hour to my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) tracking.

Excuse me a moment, that has to happen right now.

There, that’s better.

Under current BBS requirements I can count my own personal therapy towards the 3,000 hours I need to accrue.

Which is awesome.

And.

The best part.

They count as three hours.

I book one hour and it gets counted as three.

Granted.

I am only allowed to accrue 300 hours of personal therapy towards my license, but I will take any extra hours any where that I can.

I also talked about the stress of getting hours or wondering how I was going to get them all before the licence requirements change.

As of January 2021 the BBS will be changing a number of things.

One of them will be that personal psychotherapy will no longer count.

The other is that Couples Therapy will not count double as it currently does.

So I want to make sure that I can get all my hours done by December 2020.

That’s not that far away.

I have had not anxiety, per se, but a little concern, now that I am in the actively doing therapy process, about how the fuck I’m going to get all the hours.

I am working full-time to support living in San Francisco.

How will I squeeze more hours into my schedule?

I want to vomit thinking about it.

I have so much going on and I want to have a life, a teeny, tiny bit of a life, I need my human connection, I need my recovery,

Ugh.

I can’t speculate on how it will happen, I will just keep practicing faith and I will pick up extra hours here and there whenever and wherever I can.

It will happen.

And thankfully, my last semester of the Master’s degree is only two classes plus practicum (which is for all intents and purposes my internship), so I won’t be running with the same full class load that I am now.

And who knows what will happen.

I could come into money, I could win the lottery, I could get a paid internship, I don’t know, and I don’t have to.

I just know that I will keep trying and keep doing the best I can and I know that I am doing that.

I am holding my own.

Not always with the most grace, but with strength and integrity and valor.

I am doing the work.

And in the end.

Every time I go back to it.

I am so worth the effort.

Therefore I will be ok.

Because.

Well.

I already am.

Just for today.

I am exactly where I am need to be.

Seriously.

 

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Feeling Better

October 15, 2017

And almost through the weekend of classes.

The air quality improved substantially today.

So much better.

I have still had a low-grade cough, raw throat and tight and sore sinuses, but the air is better and tonight when I rode my scooter home I could take deep breaths and it felt so, so good.

There are still fires burning, but today felt like hope, that maybe there was an end in sight and that as the day passed things felt better and better.

I don’t know, I can’t predict a thing, but it was something to breathe better today.

The small things that I can take for granted, fresh air, good water, my home, it was with great gratitude that I drew those clean breaths of air, such goodness, just a big simple drawing in of air.

Ah.

I can feel my head ache easing and I know that the air quality has substantially improved.

This morning when I got up it was registering at unhealthy and there was ash again all over my scooter and a distinct smell of wood burning in the air, it was hazy and smudgy and smokey and my first class of the day was boxed up in a hot airless room.

But by the afternoon it started to shift and I left campus to grab lunch with a friend at The Market, the chi chi high-end grocery store in the Twitter building, they have a poke bar that I like to eat at if I’m going to blow a wad of money on lunch rather than eat the food that I brought with me.

I was happy to get out of the school building, the air felt fresher and it just continued to improve throughout the day.

So grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

And I’m also grateful that I only have one more class to get through tomorrow and that will put my squarely at the half way point of the semester.

I will have two more weekends of classes and then the winter break.

I’m doing pretty good, I’ve participated,  caught up on all my reading for this weekend, and I turned in the paper that was due for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I have a mid-term paper due on the 24th of the month for my Transpersonal class that I figure I will write the paper next weekend.

Then two more weekends of classes and I will enter the final semester of my Masters in Counseling Psychology.

Fuck.

I am doing this, I’m doing this, it’s really happening.

It’s been so much work and sacrifice.

I don’t always talk about that, the things that I have had to let go of to participate in the program while still working full-time.

I have given up going to birthday parties, out dancing, movies, fellowship, dates, dinner with friends, people and places and stuff that I used to do on a much regular basis.

It’s been hard.

I have felt sad when I have not been able to connect.

And yet.

I have spent so much time figuring out how to connect with people, with grace, with God, with service, with learning what I need to learn to better serve my community.

And.

Yes.

To have a fucking career where in I can make some money.

Oh.

I know, I’m not going to make a grand amount, but I am going to make so much more than what I make as a nanny, unless I get some super cush job, but the fact is, I’m ready to not be a nanny anymore.

I’ve a few more years and I’m fine with that, I still have miles and miles to go, but sure and steady, slow, one day at a time I am doing the work to get to the place.

And when I get there, well, there will be other places to go.

But.

For right now I am just really happy to be in my last year of the Masters program and to let myself be proud of what I have accomplished.

Showing up every weekend.

Turning in every assignment on time.

Straight A’s.

It’s awful nice to have a 4.0 average in grad school, just let me acknowledge that, I have a 4.0.

That’s something.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself.

I have made dear friends.

I have a cohort, a group of peers, a community where I wasn’t expecting to have one, I have people who see me and regard me as an equal and who I get great feedback and validation from.

And I’m doing something that I don’t think anyone in my family has done.

I’m getting a Master’s Degree.

I could be wrong about that, I may have a cousin somewhere with one, but I can’t think of any off-hand, I don’t believe most of the people in my family have a college degree, let a lone a Master’s degree.

I feel pretty lucky that I have achieved what I have achieved and that I have put in the work.

Sometimes the sacrifices have seemed really hard, I have been lonely, I have missed experiences, but I also know that I am making myself into a woman with great potential to help and heal and that I will be of service for so many years.

I think I’ll have much more longevity as a therapist than a nanny, I’ll be able to practice as a therapist many, many, many years past the time when I would want to be a nanny anymore.

Hell, I’m pretty done with it as it stands.

Oh, not that I hate my job, I love the family  work for and I am so happy to get to do the work with them.

No, what I meant, is that my body is about done with it, my back is sore from carrying the baby in a carrier, my knees hurt, I have spent so many years being on my feet, from all the years, decades really, working in the service industry–started at 12 ended at 32, so that’s twenty years, and now the past eleven years or so as a nanny.

I could use a sit down job, thank you very much.

I once was having some real problems with my knees and I was young, in my mid twenties, and the doctor told me at that time that I needed to get out of the service industry, that I needed a sit down job, “your knees are that bad,” he told me showing me x-rays and explaining what the problems were.

I didn’t really heed that advice.

And I have managed to get by, sometimes a bit painfully slow, and I have seen things that have slipped past me that I wish I could still do.

No more running.

Not that I was a great runner, but I thought once or twice that I would at least do one marathon in my life

And dancing.

Oh.

Man.

I can tell how bad my knees are when I go out dancing, they are just not what they used to be, not that they used to be great anyway, but fuck.

Anyway.

I will go on standing for a little while yet.

I’m not there yet.

But.

Damn.

I am one more step closer.

I’ll take it.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

One little baby step at a time.

I will get there.

You may be assured.

All Systems Go

August 22, 2017

Fuck.

It was a busy, full, going on all four cylinders from the moment I got up, day, from early morning until.

Well.

Until.

Right about now.

I just got off an email back and forth with director of my internship, did a bunch of e-mails with some clients, booked some sessions, logged my hours for today in Track My Hours, and whew.

It’s like um, 10p.m.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s a full day.

I got some writing in today though, I hadn’t gotten as much morning page writing in the last week or so and it was really good to just let go on the page and scrawl away.

I also showered yesterday so I skipped it this morning, giving me a little more time to process all the junk in my head.

I don’t even know what I wrote, only that it felt good to write.

And.

I did a written gratitude list and sent another out to a friend via text.

I’m on a list he sends it to and I like getting it.

Not just because it reminds me to be grateful, it definitely does that, but to see what other people are grateful for.

I am grateful for everything.

My life is beyond my wildest dreams.

Sometimes it is strange and I wonder, how did I get here, but I know there are no mistakes in God’s world and I am being taken care of and having all the experiences I am supposed to be having.

Like being of service to the woman I am traveling with to Burning Man.

I am still having some trepidations about going with someone who is 74 years old, but I also am happy that I get to be of service to her.

It’s a nice to be of service to others, it gets me out of my head, and if you’ve never been to Burning Man it is super hard to imagine and of course, if you’re 74 there’s a different approach you’re going to make than if you are 24 or my age, 44.

How did I get to be 44?

Fuck.

Time flies.

I suppose I will look back in 30 years and wonder how it is that I got to be 74.

I’m going to be old.

I know it.

I also hope to be of service all the way to the end of my life.

I believe that’s the only way that I am going to be happy, by having a useful life, by helping others, it gives me happiness, it gets me out of my own head and I got to do a lot of it today.

I had a few phone check ins, one lady who I just recently met, and got to share some experience, strength and hope with her and although we are vastly different, we are the same person and it was good to hear how relieved she was to know that she’s not alone in her journey.

I got to talk with one of the other women I work with in recovery and I also got to see clients tonight.

And.

I worked with my supervisor.

I also got to go over my review with him, which was really enlightening and I got a better idea of how he thinks of me and what I am doing and that he also, although he didn’t exactly say it, likes me.

We had a great session and I learned a ton from him today.

I often feel as though I am taking a solo masters class in psychoanalytic theory when I am working with him.

I write a ton of notes and I can hear him in my head sometimes when I am with a client.

It’s exciting to work with him, he pushes me, he’s extraordinarily smart and intelligent, and I feel smart when I am working with him.

I like feeling smart.

I have always understood that I was intelligent, but the smart part of that eludes me, I have been mystified most of my life as to what people meant when they say, “you are so smart.”

I haven’t always felt that way.

Smart.

In fact.

I have often felt rather stupid, stupid in love, stupid in my life choices, idiotic some of the decisions I have made, or so I tell myself, but oh, the learning, the learning is so much.

I have such a wealth of experiences.

Mostly because I try to say yes to doing things.

Sometimes to my detriment, I’ll get too busy, I will get to wrapped up with my schedule and I won’t have the time to appreciate what is happening.

I try to find balance.

I don’t often succeed, but I try.

And I’m ok with failing.

Ah.

Who the fuck am I kidding.

I am never ok with failing, but I recognize that I am going to fail and that I will try again and again until it works its way out, whatever it is.

I guess what I am saying is that I live.

I am not sitting on the bleachers, I am in the game.

I am hustling.

Sometimes perhaps a little too much, but I know that it’s what it is right now.

And that all the things I did, mistakes, which were not mistakes, life experiences, travels, moving to Paris, moving back from Paris, trying things out, has led me here.

Right where I am supposed to be.

With the people in my life with whom I am supposed to be with.

Such gifts.

Such grace.

I didn’t expect it to look like this.

But.

I have to say.

It is a beautiful thing.

My life.

So beautiful.

My heart aches with it.

Grateful beyond words.

And now.

One more gratitude list before I retire.

Because.

Truly.

There is that much to be grateful for.

Every day.

Grateful.

Every damn day.

Calendar This

August 6, 2017

Bitches.

I updated my Google calendar today.

Just my personal one, not the one for my internship which feels like I am on it looking at it, figuring it out, all the time.

My personal one not so much.

But.

As days are getting filled I realized that it would be a smart idea to plug-in all my dates and look at my school weekends and get those all listed.

My last year of my Masters program.

Hard to fucking fathom it.

But.

It is.

I started my reading today for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I had a full day, it felt, just working on my calendar, I might have put in an hour on it.

I mean.

I really did do it up, putting in dates all the way up until the Aids LifeCycle ride in June of next year, June 3rd-9th.

I don’t know when graduation will be for school, that will be in May, I know that, but not necessarily when.

I won’t have to do summer school or summer practicum, since I did it this summer, so I’ll be able to walk free and clear and at the rate I’m collecting hours I will have more than double, perhaps triple the hours I need to graduate my program.

They will be just a drop in the bucket of what I have to accomplish overall, but I’ll be able to graduate with no sweat at the rate I am going.

I got to have my first experience with a couple today.

Which is awesome.

And.

Terrifying.

And amazing.

And.

A lot to hold.

I mean, it’s two people and I’m just one, staying in tune with everything that is in the room and it’s not to one person or the other that I need to attend, although I feel like I did a pretty decent job being balanced in my session.

Ultimately, though, the client is the relationship.

That means doing therapy in a different manner and it didn’t feel like there was enough time to get to everything that was happening, but then again, it was an initial consult and I may not be assigned this particular couple.

It was, however, a great learning experience, and as it was a couple the hour counts as two hours for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) who require at least 500 hours of Couples, Children, or Family Therapy.

It doesn’t matter if I want to be a therapist who works one on one with clients, the BBS requires me to do some hours of work with a family unit.

A couple is a great way to get those kinds of hours.

From what I can tell at my internship there are not a lot of Family hours available.

Nor child hours, but they do both and I have been assigned a child client, same client I did an intake with a few weeks ago, so there is that opportunity to pick up hours there.

Still.

500 hours.

That’s a lot.

Fuck.

3,000 hours ultimately is what I must have.

I’ve got 107.50 currently.

A drop in the bucket.

I know, though, I know it so well, that these things add up.

I just need to keep trudging the road and I’ll get there.

And there is plenty to keep me busy in the mean time.

It looks pretty damn good that I will not be going back to 35 hours a week at my nanny gig when school starts.

The mom and I had a very brief discussion about that, that the family wants me to stay at my current iteration of hours.

Which is 42 hours a week.

Sigh.

I can do it.

I know I can.

I can squeeze in the homework.

The baby will nap and I will read.

There may be times when that doesn’t happen, but I will get used to carrying my textbooks and reader with me and I will adjust to it.

School will be what school is.

Technically it should be easier than the first two years since part of my schedule is practicum, and well, I’m in it.

In fact.

I need to remember to pull my file on Monday when I go in and see my client.

I have a review and grade report from my supervisor waiting for me in the office.

I have to turn it into the school, which is basically turning in what ever grade my supervisor has given me and acknowledging that I am doing the work necessary for the school to pass me.

I don’t know if I get a letter grade for this or not.

I do know that it was more than just a page, more like three or possibly four pages of questions that the school needed my supervisor to weigh in on.

I currently have a 4.0.

I sure as shit hope I got an “A” if there is an assigned letter grade.

I can’t imagine that I would get less than that.

Which is not to be cocky, it’s just that I do show up, I do the work, I participate in my group supervision, I have clients who have rebooked with me.  I have clients that have requested to work with me after doing an initial consult.  I even received a very sweet thank you from one of my clients for the work we have been doing.

Unexpected and lovely that.

Anyway.

There are lots of things to juggle.

But I can do it.

And I am sure that I will still have time to do the pleasurable things that I need to do in my life and fingers crossed I’ll still be able to keep my blog practice happening.

I say that every semester and every semester I have managed to keep putting my paws on my keyboard and click clacking away.

It’s also one day at a time.

All I have to do today is what is in front of me.

I have to live in 24 hour increments or I will lose my mind.

And well.

That might suck for my burgeoning career as a psychotherapist.

Ha.

I can do it one little day at a time.

There is time for it all.

There really is.

And knowing that.

Well.

That’s a power I can’t quite fathom.

But I know without a single doubt.

I am being taken care of.

Completely.

Every single day.

With great love and compassion.

Which is more than I ever hoped for.

Life is full.

And.

Amazing.

Beyond my wildest dreams.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

One Foot in Front

July 2, 2017

Of the other.

And moving forward and go.

Go.

Go.

It was quite a packed day, but a lovely day, a day of many smiles and laughs and appreciation for my life.

I got up and did a yoga class.

It was mediocre.

The teacher is just not a good teacher.

But I went anyway.

I always have a moment, or fifteen, when I want to email the studio and just be like, get a new instructor!  This guy sucks!

He doesn’t suck, he’s just young and not a good teacher.

He’s a great yogi.

I am I have seen him do amazing things with his body, he obviously has an incredible practice, but it doesn’t translate to being a good teacher.

So I sort of muddle through and just pat myself on the back for showing up and taking what I like and leaving the rest.

My previous teacher, God I miss him, was amazing, so I feel like there’s some disparity there, and I acknowledge that I was gifted with an extraordinary teacher for a while and thank God for that, if I had the teacher that I have now when I started I would have quit.

When his classes have been on other days I have just avoided them.

But.

My schedule is not really too flexible now in regards to when I can get into the studio, 9 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday are the two classes I know I can make and have been really rigorous about making.

So.

I’ll put up with the mediocre for now.

It will change, either he will no longer teach that time slot, other people’s schedules change, not just mine, or when I can I will take another class and opt out of the ones he teaches.

Until then, I literally suck it up and just go.

Better a mediocre yoga class then no yoga class.

Tomorrow, however, is a great teacher, and her class kicks my ass, but I get a lot more out of it and though I still have a preference for my very first teacher, he really was astounding, I like this teacher and she’s good.

And this week I’ll get to go to a morning yoga class on Tuesday.

Yes.

I will be doing yoga to celebrate the 4th of July.

I have the day off and when I have a day off I want to go to yoga.

And a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while is going to come to class with me and then we’re going to go to Trouble Coffee and get caffeinated and catch the fuck up.

Super happy I get to see him.

He just got back from doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and he was my mentor when I rode it in 2010.

I still aspire to ride again, just now is not a good time to do it.

Perhaps after I graduate or I get my intern number and can start charging for my sessions.

Anyway, it was good to see him tonight and get in some good hugs and also to let him know I’ll have some weeks off in July and can do lunch.

I’ll probably head down to his job place and hang out with him on his lunch break.

I have that plan with another friend of mine who is also super busy in her life and we connected this past week and I told her the same thing, I will come to you, I will meet you for lunch, let’s hang out.

Whenever and wherever I can I will be seeking out social contact.

I put in 8 hours at the internship today, two of them today and the rest was seeing my supervisor on Monday and then seeing 5 clients.

Ultimately I will be seeing 8 clients.

I could possibly do 10 but I think that would be too much.

I will, however, pick up consultation hours when I have that time off from work with my family.

I will suck up as many of those as I can.

But I will also try to not work too much.

Catch up with friends, hang out, go to coffee, see my dear French friend and her little brood before they head back to France at the end of July.

There is a lot for me to do and see and be allowing myself to be seen.

Happy that is all happening.

Happy I also took care of a bunch of errands today, picking up packages at the post office and dropping off a package to return at UPS.

And I got a big grocery shopping trip in.

And I did the deal.

Which was great and picked up a commitment for Saturdays to keep me connected and not drift off into my internship land too far.

I’m trying to keep it all balanced out.

Sometimes I do better than others.

But I am getting decent sleep.

Eating really well.

In fact.

Yesterday, woo hoo, was my four-year anniversary marking my abstinence from sugar and flour.

That was nice to note.

Getting in the yoga when I can.

Doing a good job at work.

Doing a good job, I feel, at my internship.

Tomorrow I will do yoga in the am, have a nice breakfast and a latte, do some writing and then zip over to Cheap Petes and grab my prints.

I’ll be meeting with a lady at 1pm to do some work and reading and connecting.

Then a quick-lunch here.

And.

Yes.

Some pampering.

I’m getting my mani/pedi/waxing the fuck on.

So looking forward to that.

And.

After that.

A zip downtown to do some clothes shopping.

And like that.

The weekend.

Loving my life so very much.

Busiest girl in the world?

Maybe, but probably not.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Absofuckinglutely.

Getting Laughed At

January 20, 2017

Carried my umbrella all day long.

Did it rain?

No.

Is it going to rain gangbusters the next few days.

Yes.

Was it supposed to today?

No, and I prepared to ride my scooter out into the great big blue sky that was finally peeking through the grey clouds.

I emptied out my bag, transferred gear to the appropriate spots and got my riding jacket out, I took the cover off my scooter and came in to sit down to do some writing and have another cup of coffee before heading out into the day.

Then.

What the fuck?

Down pour.

Deluge.

The sky got dark, it happened super fast, and the rain just flooded down.

Um.

Ha.

I guess I’m not going to ride my scooter in this mess.

I went back outside and put the cover back on my scooter, getting a bit wet in the sudden onslaught of weather, secured the cover, came back in, transferred all my gear into different bags, hung my scooter jacket up.

I finished my coffee.

Finished my writing.

I got out my phone and saw that I wouldn’t have time to catch the train, so I sent for a car, grabbed my umbrella and stepped out into the bright sunlight.

Hmm.

Well, fuck, it stopped.

But the forecast was saying it was going to start back up early evening and did I want to be on the scooter in the dark and the rain?

I patted my scooter cover and waited for the car to pick me up.

No rain.

All day long.

Oh, it’ll be back, but it made me laugh, plans, I make them, God laughs at them, here, a change of plans.

Hey, here a change of careers.

Oh, wait, no, try this, go here, do that.

Oh hey, dating?

How do you like them apples?

Fuck I suck at all this living, all these things.

Plans, plans, plans.

Plans don’t save me.

Managing my life so that I am safe and secure doesn’t work.

I can’t control the outcome.

The MUNI.

The weather.

None of it.

But I can show up to it without expectation, anger, resentments.

And that is something really lovely.

Like.

I don’t know what the weekend has planned and I’m actually trying to not plan anything.

Tea and conversation with a lady this Sunday.

A tattoo after that.

Yes.

I will be adding star number 12.

I have it narrowed down to one of two places.

But that’s it.

My person is out-of-town this weekend, so we won’t be meeting and all the rain, rain, rain, well, I have no idea.

And I tire of plans.

Fuck the plans.

Fuck my expectations and desires and wants.

My needs are amply, and then more, met.

I have everything I need.

And.

More.

I have a lot more.

Grateful for all the gifts.

All of them.

Perspective.

Better than a plan any day.

Bravery.

Sounds like courage and walking through fear when my plans don’t go my way.

Faith.

Belief that something has a better plan than I do.

Love.

That I am loved even when my plans are stupid and short-sighted.

Joy.

I am allowed to have fun, despite my best laid plans.

Hope.

That someone else has a better idea than I do how I should live my life.

Happiness.

That none of my plans matter anyway, I can be happy no matter what, no matter where, no matter how.

You catch my drift.

I want to let in some time to be spontaneous, to say yes, to say ok, I’ll show up to that.

I don’t know yet what “that” is, but I’m saying yes.

Because so often I want to say no.

Nope.

Don’t do that, don’t give me that, I don’t deserve it.

Don’t love me, I’m not enough.

No, really, I am fine on my own, I’m good.

I got this.

Hahahahahaha.

Oh.

Yeah.

I got this.

Heh.

So funny.

But in that knowing, maybe there is something, a small inkling of relief, sotte voce of the stars, the music of the spheres and the poetry of language pushing out of my heart, blowing the top of my head off with hot-house flowers of desire and bespoke romance.

I’m doing pretty damn good.

Just hanging on the corner laughing at the inside jokes I tell myself.

Insight, roses in the tall Mason jar on my table, cuddled up close to a lighted globe of incandescent love and desire, traveling all over, a map of longitudinal lust and lush tales from the wide Sargasso Sea.

I swim in this blue-green firmament.

I am home.

I am in my heart.

My arms await me.

Don’t forget to water the orchids tomorrow, I whisper in my ear, and then laugh.

Always so practical minded.

Yet.

They bring me a sense of constant renewal.

An acknowledgement that extraordinary beauty opens slowly, takes time, that the unfurling is just as exquisite as the full bloom.

That stunning flowers can come from bare and barren sticks.

The green leaves signs of plenty of life.

Water them, let them go, don’t have plans, give it to God.

And when you’re least expecting.

Flowers, buds, burgeoning growth where there was none before.

Don’t force the flowering.

Leave it be.

Let it grow.

Have dreams, aspirations, hopes.

Have faith.

But fuck your plans.

They are so limiting.

At least, let me speak for myself, because ultimately that is the only person I speak to and speak for, my plans are so limiting.

There is so much more.

Allow yourself to have it.

I stand where the light is pure.

The moon is on fire.

My hand upon the door.

I’m burning like a white wire.

It’s an inside job.

But.

It’s a job I’m grateful to show up for.

Day after day after day.

One fucking day at a time.

Doing the God

Damn.

Deal.

Get it.

Got it.

Good.

To Dance

September 15, 2016

Or.

To not dance.

I got a very sweet e-mail message from a friend today regarding all things Burning Man and when the hell were we going to go out dancing?  And we need to wrangle our third mutual friend and do that damn deal.

Don’t I know it.

September is a tough month for me in regards to that.

It’s the only month in the semester that I have two full weekends of classes.

Next weekend.

Which means this weekend is going to be writing papers, doing as much reading as I can cram into my head and burrowing into a hole.

Unless I get asked on a date.

Heh.

Fuck me.

I’m pretty transparent as it goes.

I’m all about the books, unless there’s make out on the table, then I’m like, um, I can get up early next week and do that paper.

Ha.

Oh.

I do so love how my brain works.

I did, however, give myself an hour of reading today before work and I cranked out a lot of one of my classes.

I am however, loathe, seriously so, to even crack the syllabus for my Psychopathology class.

I got my DSM 5 in the mail yesterday.

Nothing says sexy like a $158 text-book.

This thing is a serious piece of work, I don’t know how much it weighs, but I’m going to say the 5 in the title refers to pounds.

Even though I know it means fifth edition.

This sucker is heavy.

I have the desk reference for taking to class and the gigantic one for working out of.

I have two whopper papers that are going to be a part of the class and the professor said we’ll basically be reading the entire DSM 5 by the end of the semester.

Yeah.

Right.

The full title in case you were wondering: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

Say that ten times fast.

The book is 947 pages long.

Now.

I have read books longer than this.

For pleasure, with eagerness and joy.

Not with dread and trepidation.

Also, said longer books were fiction, I wasn’t writing any papers on them and I won’t be going back to them for referencing the rest of my career.

Though to be up front I am hoping that I won’t be using the book all that much.

There is a substantial amount of controversy over the use of the book and how the medical model for psycho therapy has gotten its’ panties in a twist with insurance billings.

You have to have a diagnosis to get your health insurance to reimburse you.

Nobody wants a permanent diagnosis on their record.

I mean.

I joke about mine.

Acute clinical depression.

Acute clinical anxiety.

Severe PTSD.

Classic Adult Child of an Alcoholic.

So.

Let’s see, I’m a drug addict (in recovery, thank you very much), an alcoholic, and yes, I also have an eating disorder.

Anything else here to stare at?

Ha.

The thing is that I don’t really give a fuck what diagnosis I have, either on record or off.

The only thing that I don’t have is a criminal record, although not for lack of trying.

Ahem.

I sought professional help for the anxiety and depression and for three years I was on antidepressants.

I didn’t like being medicated and I was on the lowest dose possible.

I will also add that it saved my life.

I hadn’t had suicidal ideation until I got into recovery.

Which freaked me out.

I discovered later that I was self-medicating, first through food than alcohol and drugs.

And cigarettes.

God, did I love me some smokes.

I’m absurdly grateful for the help I got, help I didn’t even know existed and I didn’t know how to address all the things that were going on.

I couldn’t make sense of the trauma and abuse.

I didn’t know that the neglect and the upbringing I had were not not normal.

It was what it was and I was always surprised when I was told that what I experienced was not healthy, in fact, the very counter-indication of health and normalcy.

Yeah.

What’s normal though?

I suppose a body can get used to anything and my mind and body did what they did to get me through and I had no clue that those things which had helped me deal would eventually stop working.

And when they did.

Well.

It wasn’t very pretty.

But.

Thank God for the help I received.

I am beyond grateful.

I am graced.

Loved.

Taken care of.

“You are going to be of such service to so many people,” he said to me as we were driving back into the city from Sausalito.  “I mean, I just know it, you are going to help so many people.”

I hope so.

Actually.

I pretty much know so.

That sounds like ego, I know that, but I am in a special and unique position.

First that I have gone through the wringer, that I have gone through that puppy more than once, I have a great deal of experience with getting through.

And.

Not only getting through.

But.

Getting better.

Stronger.

More flexible.

More kind.

More loving.

To myself and to others.

But mostly to myself so that I could be more loving to others.

Second, I am extraordinarily resilient, which is just an offshoot of the first.

How I have not drown in all the muck and morass and the sadness and grief, I do not know.

I have hope.

Nay.

I have faith.

Faith like the sunrise rising no matter what, the disco ball spinning in the club, the music beating in my heart, the waves rocking the boat in the night, a cradle of love, God’s hand holding me a loft and strong.

I am taken care of.

So that I can take care of others.

I don’t take antidepressants any longer.

I manage my stress.

I haven’t had a panic attack in years.

Yes.

I get anxious, but I know what to do.

I have a meditation practice, a prayer practice, I am of service, I help out in my community.

Fuck.

People.

I go to yoga.

Spiritual giant, yo.

Mostly though.

I just do the work.

Take the suggestions.

Put one foot in front of the other.

And love.

Lots of love.

Lots of joy.

Lots of happy.

And free.

Yes.

To question the abundance and prosperity I have in my left would be to spit on the hand of God that has helped me through this all, made me stronger, more gracious, more bent with love.

A burden, no.

A gift, yes.

A perspective I am graced to have.

A life beyond anything I could have imagined.

One day at a fucking time.

It’s pretty awesome.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And Like That

September 4, 2016

I got a date.

Now that was fucking fast.

I don’t know that he is necessarily the man I have been hoping to manifest.

But.

Then again.

I have no idea.

Funny this.

He asked me out over a year ago and then I ran into another guy who I thought was him and I asked that guy out thinking it was the first dude who had asked me out.

Oops.

Not the same dude.

But they both do look a bit alike.

That being said, this is pretty much a blind date.

He was someone who friended me on social media after reading one of my blogs.

I think a mutual friend must have shared it, because I am uncertain how we connected, just that I remember he asked me on a date, but we never did connect.

Then a couple of weeks ago, right before Burning Man, while I was still working in Glen Ellen, he messaged me on Instagram.

I think he liked one of my photos or I liked on of his, who knows, but he reached out and asked me out to dinner.

We chatted a bit and I said probably after I get back from Burning Man, but yeah, I also got that school thing happening, so, it might be a minute.

And then.

I forgot about it.

Except there it was on my phone tonight, a little message in the in-box on my Instagram account.

And like that.

I have a date tomorrow.

I’m not certain exactly what we are doing, but we’ll hang out after I get done with school.

Sunday’s I have a half day, done by 4p.m. and I also have Monday off, so if it goes well and I’m out a little late I’ll be cool with it.

I’ll be happy to celebrate getting through my first weekend of the second year program.

I ordered more books today, well, one more book, a big gun, the DSM 5 and I also got my advisor situation worked out.

My advisor is on sabbatical this semester.

Which is cool by me, we didn’t really click and I never met with him.

My new advisor is actually the head of the program department, and though I know he’s really busy, I also had him for one of my classes last year and I really connected with him and how he communicates is right up my alley.

I got the paperwork sorted and I’ll be having him sign off on it tomorrow.

I had a tiny moment of panic today when I thought about things, all the reading, all the paper writing, all the paying attention and learning and doing, there is so much of it.

But.

Then I remembered.

I only have to do today.

I only have to show up, to the best of my ability, on time and alert and to participate.

Sometimes that participation is just to make sure I take a moment, sit down and eat my lunch.

The next things will fall into place, the next actions will happen, and the next thing you know I will have my masters in psychology and I will be heading into the doctoral program at the school.

I get a head of myself.

Just a note to self.

One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

And.

I don’t have to figure it out.

It will happen how it is supposed to happen.

But damn Gina.

Am I ever so glad that I have a writing practice, that I sit down here every night and write.

That I sit at this same table every morning and I write.

Write, write, write.

It’s a good habit, it’s a life line, it’s the thing that makes my blood surge and my heart beat and I decompress and unwind and let the day do it’s thing on the page.

Sometimes it’s really good.

And.

Sometimes.

Well.

It’s ass.

But.

I do it anyway and I keep doing it and one day, millions of words later, and I do mean millions, the blog I published last night was number 1,900.

I average 1,000 to 1,500 words per blog.

Which means I have written over two million words on this site.

Not bad man.

I don’t know what that breaks down into hours, they, the infamous “they,” say that it takes 50,000 hours at something to be considered a master.

Want to be a master cellist?

50,000 hours.

I wouldn’t say my blogs take me an hour to write, they typically take about a half hour to 45 minutes depending on what I have to say or what kind of mood I am in.

And the longer I have done them, the faster I have gotten.

My typing skills are pretty sharp, lots of practice, yo.

So.

Let me just think about that if I’ve got 1,900 published, which is less than I have written, I have a few dozen drafts that have never seen light of day and about another 50-100 that I scrubbed out after wanting to be careful about what I am writing and making sure that I am keeping the focus on me and my experiences and not judging others for whatever their experiences are (but I’m not perfect, it still sneaks in once in a while), so let’s just say, 2,000 blogs.

2,000 blogs at 45 minutes=90,000 minutes/60 minutes to the hour=1,500 hours.

Nowhere near a master.

But.

That being said.

I’ve spent thousands of hours writing.

And I don’t see it easing up any time soon.

For which, I am grateful.

One of my cohort and I were discussing options in regards to the program as we move forward and she was curious about the come to Jesus moment I had at the intensive week.

I shared my experience and basically outlined some thoughts about wanting to do a dissertation and get my PhD in East/West Psychology and what that might look like.

I really, fyi, have no fucking clue what that would look like except that I would be Dr. Carmen and also that I could do more with the PhD than I can with just a regular MFT license.

Which is not to say that I won’t sit for the MFT boards.

I will.

I want to be able to get my hours and also intern and make money as a therapist while working toward my PhD.

And if I keep with my writing practice.

Well.

“Oh my god, you’ll be great, you’re already a writer, you should totally go for the PhD,” she said with much assurance.

Thanks lady.

That’s nice to hear and I’m so grateful to get to do the work by getting to do this work, this little exercise that has carried me so far, let me work on so many issues, writing things out, letting things go.

Growing all the damn time.

I am so grateful I am a writer.

Even if my audience is small.

Motherfucker!

I have an audience.

How fucking cool is that?

Pretty cool.

Seriously.

Way.

Fucking.

Cool.

 

PS.  I promise my dissertation won’t use profanity.

I think.

Heh.

Replace A Permit

April 28, 2016

But let me start the blog by saying.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.

Good lord.

I had this odd feeling to read that little bit in my favorite book, not a book that I talk about much, well, here, but I do talk about it a lot, I read it daily, I have a sort of morning routine and it was suggested to me last time I met with my person that I read it.

“Ugh,” I said, “I just read that, I mean, literally, I just read that.”

“Read it again,” she said and continued on making the suggestions.

Of course I totally didn’t read it, I already have my morning routine, I don’t need another thing in it, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know how fucking busy I am?

Don’t you.

Um.

Heh.

Shut the fuck up, Martines, and take the suggestion.

And I remember to do so this morning, it was just the oddest little reminder, hey you, remember that thing that was suggested to you?

Yeah, that, read it.

It will come in handy today.

I did my regular readings and then I flipped open the book to that part and I read it again, for the who knows, 100th time, at least, and of course.

I got something from it.

“There are absolutely no mistakes in God’s world.”

Oh yeah.

Thank you.

Yes.

Exactly!

I promptly forgot that, but it came back to me as I prepared to launch out into my day.

Already feeling like I had had quite a day.

Morning routine, little kneel down, say the good words, get the acceptance on, ask for some guidance, ask to be of service, help me get to work safely and home safely on my scooter, be patient, kind, tolerant and loving, you know, the basics.

Breakfast.

Coffee.

More coffee.

God damn I love coffee.

Thank you God for coffee.

I digress.

Writing.

Face Time with Saturday’s date.

Slightly awkward, bad connection, he caught a screen shot of me with my mouth wide open in what looks like a classic horror movie still.

Or.

A really bad blow job face.

Ugh.

Erase that now, I asked.

I don’t think he erased it.

We chatted, it was a bad connection, so phone check in re all the things.

Then off to scooter to the optometrist to pick up my fancy schmancy new prescription sunglasses.

My first ever pair of prescriptions and I spent a pretty penny on them, most expensive pair of glasses I have ever bought, but the frames are gorgeous (I actually rued not getting them as a straight up pair of frames with my regular prescription, I think they may look better as just plain glasses, but oh well, I got them now) and I was absolutely astounded by how good everything looked.

Like.

Man.

I should have done this sooner.

They are fantastic.

I could see everything clear and crisp and there’s not glare on the road and whoa.

Plus, it’s nice to have sunglasses, I haven’t really worn a pair of them, outside of that thing in the desert, since I started wearing glasses again right before my 40th birthday.

Yes.

So lovely to see.

Even though.

Sometimes.

I see things I don’t want to see.

Or I see things that are missing.

LITERALLY.

Fuck me.

My child care parking permit was not on my scooter this morning.

Really?

REALLY?!

Where the fuck is it?

I’m not going to be able to park on the block at work without the permit, I’m going to get tickets, I’m going to have to ride my bike again, I’m so used to the scooter, I don’t want to.

I.

Shhh.

Acceptance.

Ah.

Big old sigh.

It’s not like I got hurt or lost something that can’t be replaced.

Even though when I told my employers, the mom acted like I wasn’t going to be able to get another until the permit expired in November.

Well.

I guess I’m getting back on the bicycle and bike commuting again.

Grrr.

I have to meet my person in the Castro tomorrow night at 18th and Diamond.

I hate that hill on a one speed.

Frogs.

Except.

Hmmm.

I bet I can still ride my scooter in.

I did today and the parking meter dude zipped right past me without bothering to stop and he did not chalk my tire.

“I bet they’re used to seeing your scooter and they know that it’s got a permit,” the mom said.

“You could park it in front of the garage if you think you’ll feel better about it there,” the dad said.

“I think it’s ok and I’ll figure out what I can do to replace it, if I can replace it, and if I can’t, I’ll be riding my bicycle back to work again,” I said, thanking them and getting on with the work that needed to be done.

Run to the market, get fixings, run to Lucca Ravioli, get tortellini and pesto for dinner, make a vat of broccoli soup, cook up some rice, make snacks for the boys, God, they were adorable today.

“I’m going to marry Carmen when I grow up,” the youngest said today.

Now that’s a first, it’s always been the six year old who has said I was his betrothed.

Then.

“No, you can’t, she’s too old for you,” his brother said.

Ouch.

I mean, yes, of course.

“Besides, I’m marrying Carmen, you can marry somebody else,” he finished.

Oh my God.

The cuteness.

He tugged on my hand later as we were walking to the park.

“Yes pie,” I asked looking at him, “what do you need?  Do you need a snack?”

“Nothing,” he replied, “I just need to kiss you.”

Oh.

Heart melting into puddle on sidewalk.

Then he kissed my hand.

Love my job.

Sometimes it just astounds me that I get to do this job, that I am entrusted with these two children, that I have gotten to have a little hand in raising them, loving them, being there for them.

And I have loved all the children I have nannied.

They have all left a little impression of themselves on my heart.

Some bigger than others.

Fingerprints smudged with childish laughter, the first I love you’s, the first smiles, the first hugs, the moments when they fall asleep on my shoulder, soft and heavy and luscious with the smell of sleep.

Luckiest girl in the world.

My little love bunnies.

My heart is full.

Deep and satiated with happy.

And it turns out the I can get a replacement permit from the SFMTA for the small fee of $18.

Although I will have to show up at their office, to do so, it has to be done in person.

Fine.

I can spend a morning doing that.

I think that’s called “adulting” or something like that.

I can accept that.

I was primed to do so this morning.

May I always be so flexible.

It really is the easier, softer way.

Something like this would have wrecked me for weeks, now, today.

Not so much.

I have other things to think about.

Dream about.

Plan for.

Papers to write.

Articles to read.

Ships to sail, tattoos to get, check books to balance, kissing to be had, dancing to be done, bills to be paid, life to be lived.

One beautiful.

Infatuating.

Glorious.

Day at a time.

 


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