Posts Tagged ‘one step at a time’

Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu

Space Cadet

January 27, 2017

I’m a little zoned out.

It was suggested to me that I stop beating myself up for not doing enough, let me see, yoga, homework, work, doing the deal, dating, not dating, cooking, cleaning, laundry, blogging, writing, photography, dancing, hanging out with girlfriends, looking for a boyfriend, getting interview clothes for practicum, figuring out where to apply to practicum, writing my resume, re-writing my resume, re-writing my re-write of my resume, updating my LinkedIn profile (which haven’t used in literally years and may still have my old yahoo e-mail address linked to it), doing my taxes, figuring it out.

Yeah.

I sort of fell into that hole again.

But it was a shallow hole and I climbed out pretty fast.

It was suggested that I take it easy this weekend and go to a movie theater, like the Balboa and maybe hang out at the coffee-house across the way and have Chinese food for dinner at that one place that has the best fucking Miso Shrimp ever.

I could stand that.

I don’t know that I’m going to.

I really do like taking suggestions and I find that they are super important to me.

They are given to me with kindness and perspective and to save my ass, because I get so spun trying to get it all in that I forget to slow down and enjoy my life.

But.

I have homework I said and I have to do my taxes.

Girl.

He was not having it.

I got my marching orders.

I’ll see if I can squeeze it in.

No guarantees.

It was a conversation that was set off when I teared up explaining that I have only been able to manage getting to yoga on the weekends since starting the new job and trying to navigate the school and work balance.

It was pointed out that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that I certainly was doing more than enough.

I was basically told to knock it off.

I knocked it off.

I am slowly letting myself do and be as much as I can and trying to spend time outside of my regular routine any time that I can so that I am getting some socializing in and also not just doing school and work and recovery.

Which is all good but I need fun in my life too.

I do.

I have a date for diner and dessert on Saturday.

That will be nice.

I shared that with my person and that was met with approval,  a little fun and canoodle is much-needed.

We were going to try to meet tonight but his coming into the city plans changed up.

Which, in hindsight, brief hindsight, is probably good.

I want to end out the week with the family and not be sleep deprived.

Work has been busier this week than I have experienced, the little lady was home sick again today and I suspect that tomorrow will be much like today.

But in between the bouts of dealing with a fussy, sick, temper tantrums, I did get some sweet snuggle and stories in.

The parents were both around much of the day and when you are four you want mom and dad, not the new nanny.

So there was much telling me I was “stupid” and “go away.”

I’m used to it and wasn’t much fazed.

“You are not my friend and I don’t love you and you don’t have any friends,” she told me a couple of times today.

“No friends?” I asked, “none at all?”

“No. No friends, not, ___________ or _____________ or___________.”

“Ok,” I said, “I feel sad, but maybe one day we will be friends.”

“NEVER.”

And five minutes later she was playing peek-a-boo with me and then curling up in my arms, “will you rub my back again,” she whispered into my shoulder.

Sweet little pumpkin.

Probably a good thing I didn’t have my date tonight, although I was much looking forward to it.

I loved his message, “want to stay up past your bedtime?”

Heh.

Always.

It’s nice to have a lover peep you out of the blue.

I could stand for more of that.

I’m not actively doing any dating at the moment though.

It feels hard enough to commit to making it to friend events.

I have a birthday dinner invite tomorrow that I am trying to figure out how to work so I can do the deal and do the dinner.

Next weekend I have a double anniversary dinner to go to.

And I’m speaking in Oakland again.

It’s a busy couple of weeks.

Fuck.

When isn’t it busy?

So, to be pursuing dating seems frivolous and distracting and not where I need to be putting my energy.

Although I did have a gentleman ask for my number last night.

I wonder if he will call.

I have no expectations around it at all, but it would be nice.

I’m going to continue to let the pursuing happen rather than try to do any pursuing.

I don’t have time to chase.

There is enough time though, to do all the things, and as long as I do a little every day, all the things will get done.

I did a little homework today before work.

I did a little reading at lunch today.

I’m doing my own personal writing every day in the morning, my morning pages, four today.

I am keeping up with my blog and managing to get to all the places I need to go.

So grateful that I have had my scooter for the last couple of days and not been reliant on the trains or cars.

Super huge time save.

And tomorrow is Friday.

It feels like a long week.

And that’s ok.

I haven’t been sick, I have gotten more and more comfortable with my new job and I really am happy with how school is going even when it feels overwhelming, it is such a great thing for me to be doing and I’m find myself extraordinarily pleased by it.

I have done a lot of work and grown a tremendous amount.

I guess what I’m saying is life is good.

I’m taken care of.

And I will try to take my person’s suggestion.

They always serve.

I wonder what’s playing at the Balboa Theater.

Anyone want to go see a movie?

Seriously.

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.

I Made It!

April 11, 2015

At one point, as I looked out over the bay, Alcatraz sitting like a rough hewn jewel in the blue waters of the bay, I thought, how am I going to get through this day?

So much stuff.

It was jam-packed.

And yeah, of course I remembered we were going swimming today and did I have my swimsuit.

Oh fuck.

I actually thought that swimming was going to be earlier this week, open family swim at La Petite Bailene in the Presidio.

No.

Swimming was for today.

Ack.

I mean, yay!

Let’s go!

Of course it was the day I was wearing kohl eyeliner.

I never wear kohl eyeliner.

Ok.

I obviously did today, but 28 out of 30 days in the month, I’m not wearing kohl.

Yes.

I do wear eyeliner, I can hear some of my close girl friends ahem’ing as they read this, I wear the make up folks, that is part of the Auntie Bubba package.

There’s going to be make up.

There’s going to be glitter.

There’s going to be tattoos and funky hair.

I’m going into my colorist in two weeks.

Can you say excited?

I am.

Last time I went in and got colored up it was shades of violet and purple with some deep indigo and hot pink.

Not that this time.

Although, to tell the truth I have been flirting with a number of different ideas.

I’ll probably get some blonde highlights.

I know, how pedestrian of me.

I’m loving the wild, long, curly, California beachy hair mess I have going on.

Most of the time.

I knew it was going to be a pain in the ass today when in attempting to secure all the things to go to the pool–bag of snacks/lunch (sunflower butter sandwiches with marmalade, strawberries, bananas, string cheese, apricots, Joe’s O’s, mandarin’s), bag of towels, swim diaper, swim trunks, epi pens (peanut allergies for one of the boys means always have epi pens, Croc’s, extra pants (potty training is happening), socks, diaper pad in case potty training is epic fail, sunblock (because before we get to the pool we’re going to run around on the beach at Crissy Field), hats, sweat shirts (because it’s San Francisco and you never know), I realized I didn’t have a hair tie for my hair.

Great.

Kohl eyeliner and no hair elastic.

I am screwed.

But at least I have my swim suit.

I borrowed a hair tie from the mom and peeled out of my leggings.

“You’re wearing Meow Meow pants!” The little guy said this morning and took his stuffed cat and kissed me with it (I wore my leopard print leggings into work).

I do love this bug, he is just the bomb.

Except when he is tired or hungry, then watch out.

Things will fly.

Stuffed cats being the least likely to cause injury.

I’m not entirely sure what he did to me today in the pool, but I got walloped at one point and I have a tender pinky finger, it’s got a bruise from some sort of little boy rambunctiousness.

Before I have even been at work twenty minutes I have secured the swim package and the snacks and threw a cup of reheated coffee down my gullet and I’m gearing up to get in the pool and smudge the make up and yeah, let’s do family swim.

And play at the beach.

Shit.

Wasn’t expecting that one, but ok, I can roll with it.

And oh, there’s a play date at three p.m. in Dolores Park too.

Ack.

I got uptight in my body and I could feel myself slipping out of the moment, the serene blue of the water, the sky, the sun, the tops of the trees feathering out like umbrella pines in Italy cascading through the hills winding down the road in the Presidio.

I breathed.

I’ll get through it one moment at a time.

It was a lot.

It was too much.

Mom agreed.

We got through it.

And decided no more play dates on days where there is swimming.

There’s a lot of activities happening right now.

Spring Break.

Not for me.

That’s for sure.

I just rubbed my face and smelled chlorine.

Ah.

I love the smell of chlorine.

Swimming saved my life when I was in high school and I always have such a fondness for being in a pool.

There will be plenty of opportunity for me to be in the pool next week, family swim is planned for at least two of the days and there’s talk of exploring the Mission Bay UCSF Campus.  The family may get a membership there.

Please oh please.

I love that pool.

The outdoor pool can be a little chilly sometimes, but the facility is great, and they have an indoor pool too.

I miss swimming laps.

The mom mentioned being happy she skipped the gym today, she decided last-minute that there was too much happening.

I nodded in agreement.

“You probably don’t approve of the gym, do you, you aren’t really a gym person are you?” She asked as we crested over the hills and toward the Marina.

“Uh, no, I would go to the gym,” I said, without much thought behind it, “it’s just not a luxury I can afford,” I finished.

I wasn’t thinking much and continued, “I mean, rent is two paychecks out of the month, I can’t really spare a membership at a gym, I’d go in a heart beat, though, take a yoga class, go…”

I stopped.

“San Francisco is so expensive to live in,” the mom glossed over the awkward pause and we continued forward.

I wasn’t telling my employer I don’t make enough, but I think it came out sounding that way.

And in some ways, I do make less than I was making before, I was working all under the table though and not declaring anything.

I didn’t have insurance, I was working for three different families, and though they were all generous in different ways, I didn’t have benefits.

I do at this job.

“I know today was a lot,” the mom said as we sat watching the boys on their play date in Dolores Park, “I just want you to know how much I appreciate all the things you did today and dinner is being delivered to the house, Tacolicious, we got you a Marina Girl salad with chicken.”

Thanks mom.

I am taken care of and I do have exactly what I need.

And I made it through the day.

One chlorine scented moment at a time.

And now it’s the weekend.

Yes.


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