Posts Tagged ‘Pacifica’

Get It While

January 22, 2019

The getting is good.

I don’t have much time left.

Just a few days before my next semester of course work begins for my PhD program.

Which means, many, many, many books, articles, discussion posts and who knows how many projects, tears, yelps of frustration, and ranting there will be.

I am assuming there will be much.

There will be moments, I already know this, where I will question, what the exact fuck am I doing getting a PhD?

And there will be moments when I know beyond a doubt that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Showing up will, as always, be the most important thing.

I have been showing up first and foremost by doing the reading already.

I am nearly finished with my third book of the semester.

I haven’t really taken a look at any of the syllabi, well, one, a tiny bit, but there wasn’t a sequence of reading listed (I sense it will get revealed at the intensive our first day of class), so I figured, just read as much as I can while I can.

That really helped me last semester, I stayed on top of the reading by having read a couple of the books before the semester had gotten underway.

My suggestion, always start in on the reading as soon as possible.

Always carry some reading material with you as well.

I don’t know when the kids are going to be in school, out of school, sick, napping, not napping, or whether I will be doing pick up or drop off.

My schedule at work is fairly consistent but surprises always happen and the times when I thought, surely, not today will there be any time to read, there’s been time.

And, of course, the converse has happened.

I have really needed/wanted to work on something and I show up to find a home sick from school monkey.

Today was all about the monkey.

I had all three of my charges today as it was a school holiday.

The dad was home and that was nice, he took one of them and I had two of them and we sort of swapped back and forth the whole day.

I did baths, he cooked, I ran two of them up and down the hill to the playground, he did Lego models and took another out to lunch.

It worked well and it was a nice day, especially to be outside after all the rain over the past week and this weekend.

I didn’t get any reading done at work, but I did have a nickel of time in between work and my evening commitment.

I ran to the grocery store and did some shopping and then hit up Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset for a quick half hour of reading and studying.

I feel like this is going to be a better semester from the stand point of having made it through the first one I know I can do the second.

I got all “A”s and I’m still a little overwhelmed by that and sincerely grateful to have earned them.

I do feel like I really did show up for the classes and did what was necessary and then some.

I figured when I got home that I would do some food prep and write a blog to settle myself down.

I feel like I want to do 18 different things before now and bed time but there really isn’t a lot to do.

I have to get through the next few days of work and I get to see clients tomorrow night and Wednesday.

Thursday morning I have group supervision bright and early, 8:15 a.m. so I’ll be up at 6 a.m. to get ready and be there on time, but after that, I don’t have to do anything but get my butt to the intensive and check in at 3p.m.

I’m out of supervision by 10:15a.m. and my nail salon opens at 10a.m., I’m going to go and get a mani/pedi and then treat myself to some Marnee Thai for lunch–I’ll be staying at a hotel in Burlingame which means hotel food, for the intensive, I figure one nice meal before I jet is needed.

I’m thinking I’ll be packing day of the intensive.

Burlingame is super close and won’t take me that long to get to, maybe 40 minutes depending on traffic.

It is far enough away that I will pretty much be staying there to make an effort to connect and hang out with my cohort and be present for the experience.

Although I did consider what it would be like to just stay at home the entire time and commute back and forth, I figure, I’m paying for the intensive as part of my tuition and it’s required that I attend all the classes, it will be a lot easier to just stay there the whole time.

I mean, Pacifica was where the last one was and that too isn’t too far from me in San Francisco, I could have stayed at home, but I know I would have missed out on a part of the bonding that I think is necessary to doing the classwork.

Plus, it’s good to put names to faces and I’m already thinking about a few of my classmates that I am excited to reconnect with.

Funny enough, there are a few people who at the first intensive I wasn’t much enamored of, but after witnessing how they showed up for the classes I want to touch base and let them know how much I appreciated them being in class.

And you know, it will be good to commiserate with others about the work and life and there’s not a lot of folks out in the world working on a PhD, so it’s community that I will want as I continue to do the work.

It can be a little isolating.

I do, also notice that I miss some of my cohort from my Master’s program.

So.

Yeah.

Two more days in town and then I’m out.

I’ll likely do some blogging while I’m there, but I am not committing to anything.

Last semester was a doozy, I expect that this one will be too.

Good too.

I predict it will be good too.

God lord.

I am really getting a PhD.

Crazy!

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Whoa

September 2, 2018

Well.

I am fucking in it.

The work is on.

I sat through some really long classes today.

I did a lot, I mean, a lot of reading.

I just wrapped up my third academic paper of the evening and I am about done.

I was supposed to go dancing with a group of girls across the street from the hotel at some place called Nick’s but when I showed up, in my red lipstick, there was no one there.

And frankly.

Hanging out in a bar is not my scene.

Especially not alone.

I turned tail and headed back to my room.

I have a banana to nibble on after I finish my blog tonight and then maybe a little bit of a video to watch.

I’m going to do my best to get some sleep and get up early, take a shower before breakfast and get right back into another long day of classes.

I’m not quite through the midpoint of the intensive and it is for sure living up to the name.

I am, also, quietly proud of myself for showing up, for participating, for actually getting on top of a chair at one point to make a point, it was experiential, I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, and doing the deal.

It’s going to be a lot of work.

A lot.

But I am up for the challenge.

And I will do it in the two-year.

There is a three-year track, but honestly I don’t think it makes it any easier for the student, it just seems to prolong the inevitable work that must be done.

I will do the work.

It will be challenging, it looks to be a lot of reading for each course, tons really, but I feel like I have given myself a good jump on some of it by reading before the intensive, finishing two of the thirteen books that I will have to read and knocking out four articles thus far, plus an hour-long video.

I will keep up.

And I have an idea about what to write about for my first paper.

The first class that I have sat through seems to be well laid out and reasonable.

It will be challenging, but I can see clearly that the last three years and how I worked through the Master’s program will actually be a benefit to me.

I am fairly self-directed and do readings all the time, I write on my own all the time, the practice keeping my pen fresh and alive for me so that when I need to write the papers I can do so without a lot of effort.

I will have to get better acquainted with the universities library system at some point though, I can see that already.

I haven’t much used it, typically going to the books assigned in my classes to write my papers, but at a certain point I will be doing independent research and I will need to have a good working knowledge of the library system.

I have also to sign up for a session with a writing fellow at school.

Not necessarily because I have grammar or even style issues, but one of my classes makes it an assignment to get connected with a fellow and develop a collaborative relationship with said fellow in an effort to get a different perspective on my writing.

I am down with that.

I just need to double back on my syllabus and find out what day I can do that.

I will be juggling a lot of things as I move forward and I can see that I need to be clear in my intent and keep my head down for a while.

I will continue to the best of my ability to show up here at my blog, to show up at my notebook in the morning, to maintain my practices, even when I am tired.

I do know that I will be more flexible with myself than I was in the beginning of my Masters degree when I had to absolutely write every day no matter what, even when it meant getting less sleep.

I’m not so much open to that sacrifice any longer.

Although my sleep here has been a bit rougher than I would like.

I have dreamed the last two nights of my ex.

The first night was a nightmare of getting separated from him and lost and I woke up so shaken from the dream.

Last night was not a nightmare per se, but it was an insightful dream and my fears definitely crept in.

I did a little Jungian dream analysis of it when I a woke and then wrote down the dream later.

I found it helpful.

I have trepidations of sleep now though.

Although, yes, it does appear to be true, I have no roommate!

No one has shown up.

Every time I walk into the room to take a break between lectures or classes I half expect some strange woman to be unpacking and taking over the second bed, but here it is the third night of the intensive and no one is here but me.

It really has been a huge gift.

I can walk to the bathroom naked.

I don’t have to worry about someone else’s schedule.

I can listen to music, read, write, do what I need to do.

Gack out on Craigslist.

It’s not the best idea in the world, but I have been regularly checking the site.

I have e-mailed a few more places, but gotten no response, which may be indicative of the holiday weekend, or that the places have already been rented.

It’s September.

Holy shit.

Two months.

I have about 60 days to find a place.

I’m not worried yet, but I do find myself going on Craigslist more and more.

I made myself get off it earlier and turned my attention to reading through another paper instead.

Like I said, I am pretty good at being self-directed.

To which end I shall now direct myself to wrap this up and wind it down.

I have a full day tomorrow.

Nighty night.

Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.

Exhausted

August 28, 2018

Although, I’m sure, as it so frequently happens, that once I am done writing I will feel not so tired at all, but today, was sure as shit, one hell of a tiring day.

The foggy grey morning was hard to get up to.

Feeling blue.

But up I did and out I went and oh snap.

Forgot the field trip adventure that the mom had planned for today.

The Ice Cream Museum.

Fuck.

Sugar overload.

So much sugar.

And so many photo opportunities for Instagram.

It was not a fun experience.

Well, the kids had fun.

I was rather appalled.

For the cost of the ticket and what was actually gotten it was a tourist trap for sure.

The kids had Pop Rocks, miniature ice cream cones, cotton candy, and mint chocolate chip mochi, and Ghiradelli chocolate squares.

It was a lot of crap for them.

And really when I thought about it we could have gone to the corner store-bought the same amount of candy and ice cream and saved about $75.

But, it wasn’t my money, and the kids were over the moon.

High as kites too.

We took them to the park that’s down town by the Children’s Creativity Museum afterward and let them run it out for a while.

But I have to say, by the time we got them back on BART and back to Glen Park, they were frazzled and peaked.

Fortunately for me.

Both of my clients cancelled.

Both!

That is super rare.

I do get a lot of cancellations, sliding scale sessions for $10 are easy to cancel on, the repercussion for not showing up is not really that bad.

Which is what happened today.

I took the opportunity to get myself to a church basement and get grounded and then do some needed grocery shopping before coming home and making myself a hot meal.

I will also say that the continued sadness around my break up and holding myself to the no contact boundary with my ex is emotionally exhausting.

When we were at the park something I saw deeply reminded me of him and I suddenly found myself crying.

No one saw it, but I was upset for losing it at work.

I just got off a phone call with my person and had it reiterated to me that I’m doing the hard work right now and that the sadness will pass and at some point there will be a stopping point.

It was also pointed out that the crying goes faster.

Meaning, I’m not losing it for as long as I was.

I noticed that last night when we met at Firewood and I was doing my check in.

I cried, I was sad, but it wasn’t head on the table sobbing like it was last week or the inability to stop crying at all the week before.

There is a lessening of it.

I miss him like crazy, I still am in it, but the horrifying sadness is leveling out a little bit.

I also had it pointed out that I will be soon leaving for my PhD intensive and that will distract me too.

Yes, yes it will, I am sure.

I have had some moments of anxiety about having taken on the further study, but over all I do have a very firm belief in myself that I will get through the program and before you know it I will have a doctoral degree.

There will be a lot of work.

But I am not incapable of doing it.

I also have more things to do to get ready for my upcoming transition to the private practice internship, but I am leaving that just slightly on the back burner.

I just need to focus on getting through these next days at work and since there probably will not be another outing, ever, to the Ice Cream Museum, it shouldn’t be as manic as it was today.

I’ll be in Pacifica before you know it and immersed in my program, getting to know my professors and the rest of the cohort.

Or any of the cohort, I haven’t met anyone yet.

I’m sure it will be a good distraction to from my feelings as I will have a room-mate at the intensive.

Fingers crossed she doesn’t snore.

Plus, it will be good to be out of the house for a little while.

The passive aggressiveness of the landlady is wearing.

I’m still very actively looking at places, but I’m not freaking out about not having found anything yet.

I even turned down a room-mate situation that ended up being a hilarious small world sort of joke.

I got word from a friend that someone she knew was looking for a long-term sublet for his room and it turns out that the person is the room-mate to a guy I dated briefly years ago.

Yeah.

Not going to live there.

But it was funny and gave me another opportunity to say no to a situation that would not work, despite the rent being really cheap.

Still holding firm that the perfect place is out there, that I can afford.

With parking, utilities included, hard wood floors, 1/4 of my monthly income, laundry on site, high ceilings, lots of light and windows, a full size kitchen, a bathtub.

It will happen.

It will.

 

Trolling Craigslist

July 31, 2018

It has begun in earnest.

Me looking for a new place to live, that is.

I dropped off the signed paperwork to the law office today that my landlady is employing to navigate the buyout.

I have officially been bought out.

I turned over the paperwork and in return I got 1/2 of the payment we agreed upon.

I will receive the other half when I turn in my keys.

I will have until October 31st to find a new place to live.

I actually looked at a place last night, but it wasn’t a good fit.

It was also a room-mate situation and although the price was great and on paper it really looked good, I realized that I was going to have to be really conscientious about what I am able to accept or not accept in a room mate.

I mean.

I have lived alone for the last five years.

I am really used to going to the bathroom naked.

For starters.

And two.

I am clean.

I am not a neat freak or obsessive, in fact, I could stand to sweep the floor a little more often, but I am tidy, my place is nice and I keep my things well.

I make my bed every morning, I wash my dishes after every meal, I like things a certain way.

I realized well I was looking at the place that while I liked the master tenant I noticed that the standards were different and for me to be comfortable I would end up cleaning a lot more and also that I suspected I would spend a lot of time in my room.

So.

I passed.

In the past that would have freaked me out a little bit.

A perfectly decent place, less rent than I pay now, good size room, laundry on site, parking.

On paper, it looks fabulous.

Not so much in person.

And I don’t want to denigrate the place I saw, it just wasn’t a good fit.

I do suspect I will end up with being on my own wherever I move to next.

I’m just so used to it and well, I have a PhD program starting soon, I am going to want and need quiet.

So I have been searching craigslist.

I don’t have to be super on top of it right yet, I do have time.

Part of the buy out was to get myself a little more time to move out, originally I was asked to move out by September 1st, which would have been over the five-day intensive in Pacifica that I have to attend to start my PhD.

Now I have until October 31st.

Which is nice and thus not too much pressure to begin the hunt, but it is there.

I know that there will be a time when I see the place and I am going to want to make a big move on it.

Grateful that I have the first half of the buyout payment to put down a deposit and first months.

And I decided to leave it in my checking account rather than put all the money in my savings.

If I need to I will be able to plop the money down immediately if something comes up.

I am also hoping, really so much so, that I will find my new place by word of mouth or referral from a friend, from my network, which is usually how I have found places.

I haven’t had a ton of luck with craigslist in the past, although I have found a couple of places.

My first being the two month sublet I had in the Mission at 22nd and York when I first moved to San Francisco nearly 16 years ago.

$650 a month for a big room in a big four bedroom house with a back yard and laundry and three levels and a big kitchen and lots of bathrooms.

Even then, I remember being told I was getting a great price for a room.

Rents in SF have never really been low, not after I lived in Madison, Wisconsin (though truth be told rents in Madison are always higher than elsewhere because of the high student population attending the UW), god I remember this one house I lived in, a house, the bottom of it at least, and how much space there was.

Oh.

God.

So much space.

Big bedroom with a walk in closet that had a window.

The closet had a window, in SF that closet would have been someone’s bedroom.

The bedroom had six windows.

Six!

I don’t have one where I live now.

Then the dining room with three big windows, the living room with a huge bay window and a screened in front porch that I alternatively rented or let friends crash on after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I needed help covering rent.

And the kitchen, which was huge, the bathroom was good-sized and yes, had a window.

There was a full basement I didn’t ever really use, except to wash laundry.

A back yard.

And a garage.

A fucking garage.

I paid $750 for this palace and that included utilities.

And I thought that was expensive.

I can’t find a studio in-law in the city right now for under $1600.

And the ones that are that price are shady, nasty, basement dwelling things.

I know that I need light and air and space after living in my little studio for the last five years.

I want a bathtub.

My god it would be nice to have a bathtub again.

I want laundry on site, wood floors, high ceilings, light, lots and lots and lots of light, windows, and yes, I know I’m crazy, a place to park.

I don’t necessarily need a garage or a driveway, I just need to live somewhere that it is relatively safe to park my car and I can park it close to where I live.

Which means.

The Tenderloin is out and that is where most of the “affordable” studios are, $1700-$2000 a month, and I am not, repeat, am not, living in the Tenderloin.

My car would get broke into every other day.

I would be dealing with rampant drug use and homelessness and crazy.

I like being out in the Outer Sunset at this point because it is quiet and though there are homeless folk, there’s not rampant drug use.

I need serenity where I live.

So yeah, not Tenderloin for me.

And before you ask.

No East Bay either or Pacifica or Sausalito.

I need to stay in the city proper.

My schedule is just too tight to navigate anything further out.

So.

The search has begun.

If you hear of anything.

Let me know.

Seriously.

Tumbled

December 30, 2013

I was in the washing machine.

And I stayed in it, I again, could not get out past the break.

I did not go to Sloat, too big, too sloppy, too scary, the waves were incredible this morning, slightly smaller this later afternoon when I went back out to the beach to sit and enjoy the sun.

When the temperature on your phone says it’s 72 degrees you get the fuck outside.

Because who knows how long that will last.

I also had laid down on my bed thinking I might actually take a nap after the morning surfing excursion, but when the sun flashed in through my back door I thought, I know better, I can take a nap on the beach.

Napping on the beach did not happen.

Such is my story.

Get up early, plan on napping, then never do it.

I was up at 6:30 a.m. and ready to go by 7 a.m. on the nose.

However, my ride slept beyond his alarm and I had some spare time.

Enough spare time that I considered throwing in the towel and skipping the entire endeavor completley.

Next time.

But my friend said, come on, let me get some coffee and I will be right over to get you.

So, after a later start than I was anticipating, but one which allowed me to write my morning pages and meditate before heading out, and with an extra cup of coffee under my belt, I loaded my borrowed board into my friends truck and climbed in the cab.

We headed down the highway to Pacifica.

The waves at Sloat did not terrify my companion, “those don’t look so bad,” he said, followed by, “look, there’s people surfing.”

Look I did and it looked too big for me.

He agreed to keep driving and we headed to Lindemar Beach, or Taco Bell Beach, as my friend called it.

There really is the fanciest looking fast food restaurant on the beach that I do believe I have ever seen.  It’s a Taco Bell, but it looks like a beach chalet.

The beach was packed, in fact for a moment we despaired of finding parking, but parking was found and we clambered into our wetsuits.

I pulled on my new booties and was quite happy to have them.

Later, as I walked the beach toward sunset and the water caught at my toes in the surf as I was shooting photographs, I thought it was a damn good thing I had gotten the booties.

The water was far colder than the last time I had gotten in.

Maybe not far colder, but it was definitely noticeable and I believe I would not have stayed in as long as I did at Pacifica if I had not had the booties on.

It was hard to stay in period.

Grateful I did not have anything else to think about.

I was smashed around in the water, but I rode in a few times on the white water, the sets were coming in so fast that I barely had time to catch them, the much more experienced riders paddled out past the break and I got to see a lot of great riding.

When I wasn’t busy getting tossed head over heels.

Yup.

I got slammed by a few waves.

One in which I actually ended up doing a complete somersault under the water, I got hit so hard.

As disconcerting as I would have thought it to be, I have to say, it was actually fun.

I just let my body tumble through the wash cycle.

I relaxed into it.

Control issues.

Ha.

I had no control today.

Not over my body, over the water, over my friends arrival, or his leaving of me in the water.

He just scooted out and surfed and I stayed back and floundered.

But I learned.

I learned to see when the wave sets were coming in and managed to paddle through a couple of them and actually turn my board around and ride a couple in.

No, I did not get up on the board.

But, hey, it was my third time out, with someone who has been out only about 20 times.  I had no expectations, I was just happy to get myself in the water.

I also felt the undertow for the first time, a really strong undertow, and it was unnerving.

I get it now.

I think I always had a conception of what that means, but until you actually feel it, there’s no comparison.

And if the undertow was strong in Pacifica I cannot imagine what it would have been like at Ocean Beach.

There were still surfers out when I was down at Ocean Beach this afternoon and I saw something that literally made me say, out loud, “Oh my god, did that just happen?”

It was a big wave and there was a surfer riding the top of the wave and he was riding it straight across, not coming down the face, but moving over the top and as the top began to smoke and smash and curl over, almost crumbling into itself, he lifted off the top of the wave and did a complete 360 in the air.

I gasped.

That was some amazing surfing.

I mean, I am sure I can YouTube something like what I saw and be impressed, but to actually see that from the shore as I was walking in the late afternoon sunshine was astounding.

I don’t foresee much surfing for me at Ocean Beach during the winter months, and most folks have said pretty much the same thing to me, go to Pacifica or Santa Cruz and leave OB for the experienced.

I will probably have another day out with my friend next Sunday, we’re definitely going to go again, especially since he just got his first surf board from Aqua Surf Shop yesterday.

Between his new board and my new booties, we are ready.

And I knew when I was done and I did not force myself to keep going.

I just got out.

My friend was out for at least another half hour, but when I was yelling in my head, “paddle, paddle, paddle” as a wave came up on me, and my arms just weren’t listening, I realized I was done.

I had run out of gas.

Sitting on the beach, watching the waves roll in their sets, the children in wetsuits zipping around on boogie boards, the dogs chasing balls, and the surfers lifting up and over the face of the waves to glide with elegant ease into the next wave it was hard to even imagine how difficult it is from just a few feet away from sure.

It looks so easy.

But it’s not, at least not for me, and though I thought, man maybe I should just boogie board, I knew (though I will do the boogie board thing too) that I was not about to toss in the towel on the whole experience.

Just on the morning.

No regrets.

I got in.

I suited up.

I showed up.

I even managed to get out of my wetsuit without pulling off any of my limbs with it.

 

 

 

Punked Out

December 29, 2013

But still going.

I had an emotionally draining day.

One I knew might be, but was not exactly what I expected.

I knew I would cry and I wore no eye liner.

And waterproof mascara.

Cry I did.

I also did not finish with my endeavor, which was unexpected, it took longer than I thought to go through the things that needed to be said and I was busy writing down things that I did not even realize I was doing.

Control.

God do I want it.

Control and victimhood.

Get thee gone, motherfucker.

Ack.

Nope after an hour and a half at Tart to Tart my time was up and I parted ways with the work, but was still being worked over, internally re-arranged, you might say.

I felt out of it and drained and tired, and it took me a bit once I got back to get into any sort of routine, to get any momentum underneath me.

But I did.

I had a late lunch, went grocery shopping, and managed to get over to Wise Surfboards to buy a pair of booties for surfing.

I just confirmed that I will be getting picked up, me, my wetsuit, the new booties, and a borrowed long board, to go surfing tomorrow morning at 7a.m.

Sigh.

It’s 11:33 p.m. at the moment and I won’t, even my speediest typing, won’t get to bed before one a.m.  I will finish my blog by midnight, but I had a little caffeine later in the day to pick me up from bailing on the rest of the day, and though my body feels tired, my brain is a little busy.

I do have some tea cooling off and a small snack to nibble and maybe I will finish Before Midnight, which I have down loaded and been watching bits of over the last few nights.

I will unwind, but it won’t leave me with the usual number of hours I like to sleep, especially on a day off.  Then again, a day off could me a nap, which would not happen if say I was up late before I was to work a shift.

So, the balance being I will get up early, surf, and probably take a nap in the late morning or very early afternoon, right about the time when I used to get up and ponder this thing that some call brunch, which is really just a vehicle to cater to those hung over from Saturday’s revelry and nurse a bloody mary or mimosa while coating the stomach with greasy eggs Benedict.

Or, that is my experience anyway.

“You’re going out surfing tomorrow?” My friend said to me as we were parting ways, “good for you!  Where at?”

“Sloat,” I said.  Although when I went to buy my booties at Wise Surfboards I did remember how wild the water looked, how big the waves looked and whether or not I would actually be getting into the water at that time seemed farfetched.

“No, you can’t do Sloat, the waves are going to be way too big, who are you going with?” He asked.

I told him.

No, that’s too dangerous, you guys don’t have enough experience to do Sloat, go down to Rockway or Pacifica or Santa Cruz if you’re going to go out, Sloat scares me right now, the waves are huge, its way too dangerous,” he repeated with emphasis, his eyebrows going up and down of their own volition.

That’s what I thought too, then his friend showed me the wave report for tomorrow and I got goosebumps looking, yeah, not surfing Sloat.

I have been told this numerous times now, the winter is here and the waves are big.

Too big for me, that’s for sure.

I sent my friend a text while I waited for the train, hoping to hear back from him, and wondering whether I would pussy out of going if he suggested we head to Pacifica.

The lure of a warm bed calling to me to stay in it is no small thing.

He texted me just as I was sitting down to write and said, “Pacifica, and if the waves are too big we’ll go out to breakfast.”

Sigh.

Ok.

I texted back.

I know I will be happy when I am in the water and my new booties are keeping my toes warm and even if I don’t get up on the board, I will have the satisfaction of knowing I got out into the water.

Half the battle, more really, is just showing up.

I know I will get up, begrudgingly perhaps, but I will get up.

I will suit up and show up.

I have been trained well.

Turn toward compassion and humility.

That was what I got today and that is what might be the hardest thing about surfing, as I go out for the third time, being so amateur at something, so lost, I have to surrender to what is happening and though frightening, the lack of control is also freeing.

Control.

That was pointed out to me again and again and again.

How I want to control others, their reactions, the way they live, what they do, as though by doing so I will avoid being hurt, I will protect myself from pain.

But life is pain.

And joy and love and all sorts of other things, but yes pain.

Pain is where I grow and learn and through going through the pain I learn.

I learn that I can let go of the control and what I think should happen and on what timeline.

It’s always been out of my hands.

Now, more so than ever.

Just like the waves, too big for me to control or swim past.

Surrender to the nature of my humanity and stop struggling for something that I never had in the first place.

No wonder I got so tired today.

It takes a lot to keep up that facade.

It blocks what I need though, that old sunlight of the spirit, so here’s to letting it go and seeing what takes its place.

Surfing for one.

Apparently.

Who knows what else.

Naps too perhaps.

Sprinkled with acceptance, forgiveness, and most of all.

“Compassion,” she said, “show yourself some compassion.”

Ok.

I acquiesce.

I give up.

Compassion sounds a lot better than control anyhow.

Night & Day

November 30, 2013

I was down at the beach not once today, but twice.

Both times a surprise.

Both times smitten with the air, the waves, the sky, the sun, or the last streaks of it heading into the night.

During the day I went down with my housemate and her boyfriend after a quick trip to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club for an Americano.

They went running on the beach.

I stayed behind with my hula hoop.

Hoop

Hoop

I hooped.

I watched the waves.

Grand beasts they were.

Few surfers out, but there were some very experienced riders making it out past the break point.

I saw amazing technique and not a few times a surfer go flying over a trough of water, the board flipping up into the air with the force of the wave moving through.

Despite the sun and the lack of fog, it is winter weather and the waves are already so big I don’t foresee doing much more surfing at Ocean Beach.

Fingers crossed I will get in another few sessions, but I think I will be heading to Pacifica or possibly Santa Cruz for a better break point.

It looked like a gigantic washing machine of froth.

I would have been overwhelmed in minutes.

But it made for great watching as I set myself up on the beach.

The hooping was lovely, worked off the turkey pretty quick, not that I over indulged, but you know, and when the hooping had gotten my body warmed up I did some stance work–kung fu–mainly horse stance and some basic front position.

Ah, kung fu, it was nice to meet with you again.

I was really happy to go over my blocking sequence, it actually happened from holding my arms up in front position while I was hooping as my arms started to get tired from how I was holding them.

I naturally just fell into it, the muscle memory coming to me unbidden and strong.

Eight hard block, eight soft blocks, and the corresponding throws and elbows.

Then I added in some kicks–front ball kick, back kick, side thrust kick–left and right sides alternating with a few combinations worked in.

I was happy to see that my form with some of the strikes was still really on.

And as would be obvious, I was quite rusty as well.

But once I warmed up I was doing some nice side thrust kicks, getting myself in stance and really going through the blocks and the strikes until I moved an elbow just a little too aggressively and oh, yeah, take it easy lady.

You are not 29 anymore.

The age when I got my black belt.

You are 40.

41 next month.

Which reminds me I am supposed to make plans to do something.

I tossed about a few things with my friend as we walked upon the shore this early evening as the last bits of the sunset were melting into the ocean.

Repeating almost exactly the routine I had this morning.

Go to Trouble.

Get Americano.

Go down to the beach.

However, I did not do any kung fu or hula hooping.

Just some walking and talking.

And some photographs.

Sunset

Sunset

Dusk

Dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was nice to go out for a stroll under the stars and chat about this and that and holidays and birthdays and my friend suggested I definitely make plans and he book marked my birthday and that was sweet.

I don’t always care for making birthday plans.

My birthday is so close to Christmas that it feels an imposition to do so, everyone has their holiday plans tied up so quickly.

However, I know that I will want to do something and I thought about what I really want to do.

I want to go horseback riding on the beach and I want to do a bonfire.

Now, I realize the horseback riding is a little on the pricey side, it runs $40 to go out to the stables that are by Fort Funston.

So it may not be the event to invite a bunch of my friends too, but I will probably put it out there that it’s what I am thinking about doing.

I am not 100% sure, but I like the idea of doing it and then a little dinner close to home or thereabouts.

The bonfire would be awesome, except, well, I just realized after getting excited about it that I will be house sitting that night in the Mission and do I want to haul between the two places.

Something to think about.

I may just see about getting a table at Samovar and having friends drop by for evening tea and do something simple and easy.

Things to ponder.

Not going to worry too much about it right now.

My thoughts drift toward the conversation that occurred after the walk.

“I am really attracted to you as a person,” he started.

“But not romantically, and I want you to know that so you can be free to pursue other options,” he finished.

And then there was that.

Small pang.

But not bad.

Thank God we are friends, and honest, and it was sweetly said.

I was startled to feel a little welling up of tears, but breathed turned my face and it drifted off.  No need to cry here, there was not a relationship happening, just some recent history being cleared up and a deepening understanding of our friendship veering solidly into friendship land and out of romance land.

Good to know.

Thanks.

Free to whore about the city.

Haha.

Just kidding.

What I am grateful for is that stuff like this comes up and goes away so fast.

Clarity is lovely.

Oh, there is a little sadness there, I think it could have been fun, but you know, that’s my fantasy.

Reality stepped in and said, nope, just friends, but thanks for playing.

Heading into the holidays with no solid plans, birthday, romance, travel, or otherwise.

No anxiety either.

What I have discovered with this time off is that the things that need to happen, happen, the insights occur, the work coalesces, and I see where further work has to be delved into.

I see that I am capable of further intimacy and I was given some great information tonight.

I choose to take it, be grateful for it, accept it, forgive myself for being single, take care of myself in the meantime and when the morning comes I will be still with me.

In my cozy studio by the sea.

Building big castles way on high.

Or at least hula hooping in the sand.

At the edge of the ocean where everything is possible and I am complete.

 

 

 

God Save Me From Unstructured

November 18, 2013

Time.

Egad.

I am so bad with not having my day chock a block full that inadvertently, though I have been trying to hold certain days free, I blocked out a seven-day work week next week.

Damn Gina.

What are you trying to do to yourself?

Of course it was pointed out to me by my dear friend who was asking after possible surfing dates.

“Next Sunday?” He asked, eyes twinkling.

“Yes! Wait, uh, no, fuck, I said I would help some one out at the SF Craftsman Fair.”

He smiled and shook his head at me, “I thought you were holding Sundays free?”

I was.

I was!

However, I shan’t be cancelling on my friend, I want to help her out and I realized that despite wanting very much to go surfing with my other friend, that I do need to have some income to cover that six days off around Thanksgiving.

And, I have six days off.

So far I have only put down a lunch date with a girlfriend, who being a doctor, actually has a crazier schedule than I do, that Tuesday.

Otherwise, yes, so help me God, I am holding space.

I am holding space for you, I promise.

Even when it is so challenging.

The sun was out, I had just meditated and for the second time this morning I found myself in tears.

I had absolutely no idea where they came from, what they signified, or what caused them, although I have a theory to be explored short with, they just were there.

Sliding down my face, wet, salty.

Unlike the water I thought might be falling down my face this Sunday–I had tentatively made plans to go surfing with some girls down in Pacifica, but what ended up happening, classic miscommunication, is they assumed I had a car.

Nope.

This lady only gets round by bicycle, the occasional MUNI ride, the once in a while motorcycle lift, and the ultra decadent cab ride.

Which being out in the Outer Sunset is a decidedly wicked treat.

One which I doubt I will be pulling out again.

The girls left for Pacifica, told me where they would be and see you soon.

Oops.

No.

Sigh.

The possible swimming did not happen, but the solidification of a lunch date with the aforementioned doctor shall.

Then.

Then.

Then.

Oh hell, I have nothing to do today.

Not true, I was meeting my dearest Joan in the Mission and we had a late dinner planned at SunFlower on Valencia and 16th.

Which was fabulous.

Hot and Sour Soup with veggies.

Pot of tea.

Divine company.

Rather.

I had nothing to do during the early afternoon and that left me  wide open to the emotions of the week, the month, the year, fuck, who knows, my entire god damn life.

I wrote my morning pages, cried.

I did some laundry.

Cried.

I paced around the studio, the sunlight shafting in through the open door, the seductive shush of the sea just underpinning all my spinning about the studio, the Adirondack chair beckoned.

Ok.

I give up.

I will sit in the sun and meditate.

Calm.

Warm.

Nip of breeze every once in a while biting at my fingers with a delicious sharp chill breaking the warm sun that fell on my face and chest and legs, reminding me to stay anchored in my body.

My mind rambled about for a bit.

I breathed and pushed further back into the wood slats of the chair, muscles relaxing and then, again, tears.

Sigh.

It seems that when I give myself enough time I am going to have feelings, whether or not I want them.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I want feelings, I just have a preponderance toward the good ones.

Yet, I know, intrinsically that the sad has to come out and that it eases.

I just want the relief.

Well.

NOW.

Damn.

I know what to do when this happens and I picked up my phone that was on the chair arm and started making phone calls.

I got what I needed.

Perspective and suggestions.

Suggestions I promptly engaged in and within a few minutes my mood had shifted and I asked myself what I wanted to do.

Kale salad!

Beach!

Hula hoop!

Hoop time

Sunday Afternoon

Ok.

Camera!

Walk in the ocean with my pants rolled up around my knees.

The fact is, that despite wanting to very much get into the water, oh the longing watching the surfers from the shore, it was likely for the best that I did not go swimming today or go surfing in Pacifica.

I have to go see the doctor tomorrow about my shoulder and I can imagine that it would have been some physical strain to exert myself in and out of the water.

I was reassured by that small, intuitive voice in myself that the ocean was not going anywhere and that for today, at least, the best I could do was work it out with the hoop.

I picked a spot on the beach, breathed in the air, sucked it down really, and felt the sadness pool around me, but not engulf me.

I am just having some feelings.

I don’t have to know why.

I forget that quickly.

The thing about sadness, too, is that it is ephemeral and passes through me when I let it, quite quickly.

Though there was a certain melancholic tinge to the afternoon, it was more from the gray skies then from any grey interior feelings.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

The beach was lovely, the tide low, the sun shimmering beneath the clouds, the blue skies breaching behind me over Twin Peaks, the kites in the sky.

I hooped for a while then sat on the sand and ate my salad and the most glorious pear from Frog Hollow Orchard, courtesy of the BiRite, and my heart just opened and expanded and beat.

Not hard or painfully.

Just fully.

Solid.

Cha-thunk.

You are alive.

I felt vibrant.

Satiated.

And yes, still sweetly sad, but it was just the echoes of the earlier emotion and the salt of the tears that had fallen blended with the salt in the air and I felt washed out and clean and ready to move forward.

A train ride into the Castro.

A visit with my dear friend.

A conversation about surfing, schedules, and life, with another friend and my day bloomed open.

Funny that.

Hold those doors open, make that space, and love settles in.

Not pain.

Not self-pity.

The sadness washes clean the space for the love to settle in.

I walked back from the bowl of soup, called my other friend and let him know it was good to see him, and knew that I was blessed with my life.

I bought groceries and gratefully boarded the N-Judah back to the beach.

My house with its fresh made bed greeted me, my hula hoop–I even hooped a few more minutes while I waited for the kettle to boil–some music on the stereo, some candles lit perfuming the air, and just now, the words, the solace of my day, and the muffled roar of the ocean beaching onto the sand again and again.

Time for more unstructured time.

 


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