Posts Tagged ‘perfectionism’

Asking For What

April 4, 2017

I need.

Not always.

But a lot more.

Even when it is uncomfortable.

Like it was today.

My employer left me a check for the work I did over the weekend and it was not correct.

It was much less than I had anticipated and I knew, knew without a doubt, that I would need to address it.

There were years and years when this sort of thing would have thrown me for a loop.

All the things I’m not allowed to say, to ask for, to accept.

That I am enough, that my time is worth my payment, correct payment, that I am allowed to correct a mistake, that I can have conflict.

And resolution.

I knew that there was no malice on my employer’s part and that it was simply a mistake.

But.

For a few minutes, about the first fifteen at work, I was a bit upset.

Then.

I reasoned with my own self, with my stupid, silly, unwarranted fears, and I got the fuck over myself.

So when my employer came home today and handed me the check, I handed it back and said, “I don’t feel this is correct, would you please double-check the math.”

She did, I was correct, and she re-wrote the check and then added, that it had been an accident, which I had known, but still felt good to hear, and then she apologized.

My goodness.

It was a nice moment.

It was uncomfortable, but I did it and I didn’t make a big deal out of it either.

I just acted as if.

Fabulous.

Of course.

I blew my load on that one and when presented with an opportunity to do more of that same negotiating for myself, I couldn’t quite do it.

I was going to kill another fantasy and ask a guy out on an official date, we did that “we should hang out dance” last week when I bumped into him in the neighborhood where I work and I saw him tonight after work, but I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.

I suspect I wasn’t ready to kill the fantasy quite yet.

I will.

To move on would be nice.

Maybe that will be one of my goals in therapy.

I have my second session tomorrow and my therapist, I sort of like saying that, suggested that I think about what some of my therapeutic goals are.

We already agreed that her supporting me through the school program was a big draw for me, especially as she went through the same program.

She also suggested that we look at ways that I could manage my anxiety.

I figure I’d love to work on dating.

Which means I will probably be addressing a lot of family of origin issues.

I will need to address the abuse, trauma, neglect, incest, and emotional violence I grew up with.

No biggie.

REALLY.

Heh.

I can clearly see a number of patterns in my dating life–emotional love affairs with unavailable men, being in love with unavailable or uninterested men, not being in relationships for years, crushing on guys but not saying anything, obsessing, blah, blah, blah.

Not knowing how to date.

All of it, really, goes back to instinct and ways of being that don’t serve me.

I can fucking see it clear as day.

But.

I haven’t a great road map for moving forward.

And really.

I am my own worse navigator.

I had sent out that message a few days ago to a man I have always had a crush on and getting a pretty decent response for yes, let’s do a coffee in the next few weeks.

I sent back my availability and haven’t gotten a response

So of course, last night, as I’m about to drop off to sleep, my diseased brain attacks.

“Psst, you should have paused longer before responding to his message, you came off too eager.”

Fuck you brain.

This was followed up by a brief, thank God, obsessive thought of what should I have messaged instead to get the result I want….

Ooh.

Aha!

There.

That.

What should I have said to get the message I wanted.

Well, duh, lady, that’s manipulation.

And if it’s not meant to be I can’t manipulate it into happening.

And if it’s meant to be, I can’t fuck it up.

Whew.

Also.

I am human.

If I made a “mistake” in my communication that led to this man not responding in the time I wanted, then I made a mistake and I’m allowed to make mistakes.

I can fuck things up.

I don’t like to fuck things up, I want to be perfect.

But I suspect that need for perfection is what really stands in the way of me killing the fantasy with the other guy I saw tonight.

I want to get it perfect so I can control the results.

Again.

That’s manipulation.

So.

I vow here.

Just to get it off my chest, next time I see dude, I’ll just cut to the chase and pin down a time to “hang out.”

I would rather fall flat on my face than try more to figure it out.

I can see that the figuring it out is never going to serve me and it will just drive me nuts over time.

I’m already crazy enough.

Hello.

I’m in therapy.

Hahahahaha.

Sorry.

Not sorry.

I had to.

Anyway.

Seems there’s plenty of fodder for my therapeutic goals.

Ahem.

I’ll be back in school this upcoming weekend, so that will also land on the table, or the couch, as the case may be, plenty of stuff to look at there.  Although I feel quite prepared for the weekend of classes.

I’m actually almost completely finished with my reading for not just this weekend, but the final weekend, for my Couples Therapy class.  We have a fairly big final project/paper that I wanted to have as much reading done for as possible, get all the lectures under my belt and be ready to tackle it right away after the weekend of classes.

I just want to finish so I can go to Paris.

That’s really where my brain is at.

The one fantasy I am not willing to kill.

Paris, my dream, my reward, my carrot to get me through the next two weekends of classwork.

It’s all happening.

And I’m allowed to stand up for it and take it in and accept it.

This life.

Lovely, luscious, and all mine.

I don’t want to waste it on fantasy and unrequited love.

I want to be present for the gift it is.

One moment at a time.

All the things.

They are happening.

Yes.

Yes.

They.

Are.

On Track

August 25, 2016

I’m super stoked right now.

I just finished reading the last bit of my assigned reading for one of my classes.

It’s so nice to have it done, to have understood and digested a lot of it too.

Oh.

I’m sure I will have “forgotten” most of it by the time class rolls around, but there is a lot more going on in my brain than my mind wants me to acknowledge.

Also.

Fuck.

I am so lucky.

How I made it to where I am considering the trauma I underwent from pre-birth on, it’s a fucking miracle.  Just reading about it in my texts books sometimes overwhelms me, but I feel lucky, graced, blessed.

I mean.

I have always secretly believed I was something special, shh, don’t tell, that there was just something intrinsically different in me, yeah, yeah, terminal uniqueness is also a quality that can separate me out and make me unhappy, but I’m talking about more than that, something different.

If life were fair I would be dead.

Hell.

I wouldn’t have been born, I shouldn’t have considering how sick my mom was, how traumatic things were for her when I was born and then the innumerable things that happened as I grew up and I mean, can you just say resilient?

I am so resilient.

So even though I can get through the big things, sometimes the little things, job conflict, will throw me for such a loop I can’t get the hell out of the way to gain any kind of perspective on it.

I mean.

I did have fear and it was not a fun time yesterday after I set my boundary with my boss, but I had to set the boundary and though the response was not what I would have preferred, it wasn’t as bad as all that in the scheme of things I have undergone and gone through.

But my brain blows shit up.

I also am acutely aware of my part.

I people please, I am a perfectionist, I can be over accommodating of the needs of the people for whom I work.

Boundaries were crossed early on in my job and I didn’t address them when they happened.

The past, can’t change it, but I can move forward and not keep doing the same things.

I have been well aware of that too, that I can’t go back and beat myself up for not doing it better, no should’s please, I did what I could in the each situation and have been given time to assess how it works or doesn’t work for me.

I adopted a here and now sort of attitude towards the whole thing.

What can I do right now, right here, to take care of myself?

Pretty fucking basic.

And so, I got a break today, appropriately timed and well delineated and fuck, I got school reading done and I got to rest, not really as I was digesting really big psychology theory, but I got to be out of the way in my space in the house, quiet with a cup of tea and a book.

I returned happy to work and there were no other altercations, issues, or weirdness.

Ok.

That’s not true, I still felt a little on pins and needles, but that again, is my feeling and asserting a need, even though it be a small need, for me, is a very big deal.

I remember well a father of one of my charges told me years ago, seriously, six, years ago, “Carmen, your problem is you can’t ask for what you need, you have to speak up.”

He wasn’t saying it to be mean, he was saying it because he wanted me to ask for what I needed, that he knew that I was not capable of doing it and that it was ok and not just ok, but allowed.

Encouraged even.

It blew me away then, and I don’t think it actually sank in for some time, I was allowed to ask for what I need.

What a gift he gave me, you are allowed to ask for what you need!

Now the difference is, with time and perspective, also knowing that though I ask and it may not be met and in that doing I get to make sure I don’t harbor resentment.

I fail to ask many times because I anticipate not getting the need met, so why bother, and then the resentments flourish and I’m stuck in the bathroom sitting on the toilet “peeing.”

I’m really praying and asking for help and clarity and what is the next action to take.

Lucky for me I have faith and I don’t have to explain that either.

And friends.

Fuck me.

I am so lucky to have the friends I have.

The amount of support I have gotten from my friends is unbelievable to this person who for so very long felt rather alone and not able to cope or ask for help.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help.

I don’t know when that got hammered into my head, but man, it was from a very young age.

Now I’m like, help, help, help, all the time.

Well.

Perhaps not quite like that, although there are times when I am incapable of asking for help, they have gotten fewer and farther between.

And as I feel this softening in me, this loosening up, this growing, I am more and more and more grateful for these experiences I have.

I can help so many people just be showing up and saying, hey, I went through that too and here’s how you survive, here’s how you are not a victim, here’s how you in fact, are allowed to prosper, to thrive.

Thrive.

That’s what I want.

Therein lies the striving and the living and the having fun and oh!  The fun countdown is on.

Two more days of work, then I am out, out, out.

Out to the dusty dust and the art and the big, wide open skies, and floating across the playa on my bicycle and smiling from ear to ear and wearing big pouffy crinolines and ridiculous amounts of flash and bang in my hair.

Out where my heart sings 24 hours a day and my friends are all around and though there is a lot of work, it really is so much fun.

“Funishment” a friend coined it last year.

Yup.

And god damn, I am ready for it.

So ready.

I really am.

Bring it on!

Bring on the funishment!

This lady needs some.

Yes.

And.

Yes, please.

And School Starts

August 7, 2016

Now.

Go!

Fuck.

I can’t believe I am heading off to my eight day school retreat for my second year of my grad program tomorrow.

Holy shit.

I’m a second year student.

How the hell did that happen so fast?

I’m packed and ready for it.

Although not quite as prepared as I would like to be.

One of my texts still hasn’t shown up.

There is really nothing I can do about it, surrender to the imperfect start and let myself off the hook.  At least the book is on order.  A classmate of mine admitted that she hadn’t ordered it yet, another classmate of mine said, yup, I got it, but I haven’t cracked it yet.

So I’m not alone.

Not that I ever am, but I can pull myself down pretty quick if I think I’m not doing it right or perfect, whatever the fuck that looks like, and ruin a day with my grievous mind.

I broke down a lot today.

It was not a perfect looking day.

But I got through it despite stupid thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and lots of tears.

I mean loads.

I have no idea why.

General anxiety.

Trying to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan and is certainly not a solution.

My best ideas usually end up in trouble, to tell you the truth.

To tell myself the truth.

Once in a while I do have some good judgement, a little modicum of calm, a notion to do something, to go opposite my critical head and reach for some solution, some outside myself answer.

I got up and went to yoga.

I did not want to.

I mean.

Really not want to, my least favorite teacher was subbing for my favorite teacher and he’s a tough cookie, he does some really hard core yoga, I have only taken his class one other time and it left me flustered, in tears, and frustrated.

Which is exactly where I got today.

In tears on the mat, trying to do what seem to be super easy poses, but just wrecked trying to get into them or hold them or move gracefully.

Everything felt old and cranky and crunchy.

Seriously.

The noises my knees make are sometimes ghastly.

I was miserable and when I have a hard time, I try harder, I cry more, I shout in my head, I fall over, I say fuck.

“Oh no, someone said fuck in the yoga studio,” my instructor laughed, “fuck that”

The class chuckled.

I’m glad to be here for comic relief.

After ward he chatted with me and I told him the truth.

“I hate your class,” I said, point blank, “it is by far the hardest class and I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel everything so much harder, it’s just impossible.”

“You hate my class,” he said, “really?”

“I just hate that I can’t seem to do any of it, it’s the hardest class of all the classes I have had and I just feel wrecked and always in pain and always on the verge of falling over.”

Fuck.

I’m in tears reliving it.

I was so whacked out.

But I realized in the doing that I hadn’t had a thought for pretty much the entire 75 minutes that was anxious or living in the future or dwelling anywhere than in the specific pose I was trying so hard to hit.

Nada.

Quiet head.

I know enough to be grateful for that.

A beautiful respite from me, my own worse enemy, I mean really, I wouldn’t even call myself a “frenemy” at this point, I am just plain mean to myself.

It’s all perfectionism and it’s about getting greater humility and letting go of the idea that what you think of me is important, or for that matter, any of my fucking business.

I mean.

I hope you like me, tilts head, smiles coyly.

NOPE.

Not my business how you feel about me, think about me, or on the other hand, it’s not even my business how I think about myself either.

It’s a lie.

I am good enough, sweet enough, kind enough, I am smart enough, I show up, I try.

“I have that voice too,” my teacher told me today, looking right in my eyes, “I am a perfectionist too and you have no idea how far you have come in such a short time and how much further you’re going to be able to take this.”

“You’re beating yourself up, you try harder than anyone we’ve seen at the studio in recent time, you’re doing great, you really are.”

He told me some stories and shared some experiences and I was humbled.

That’s some perspective.

And a good change for me to hear and take in and also almost, but not quite, sign up for his class tomorrow.

Except.

I have to go to school.

“You get to go to school,” my person reminded me as I was crying over my utter lack of control over my life, total and completely powerless.

“You get to go to school, you get to be of service, you get to go to grad school, this is amazing!” She said, bright and shiny and full of humor about my tears and how good it was to see me letting go of perfectionism and just showing up and being vulnerable.

This is amazing.

I am in graduate school.

I am getting my Masters in Psychology.

I get to be a student.

I get to get out of the city for a little while too.

The fog and the cold have been pretty overwhelming and the the grey and the no sun a little wearing.

I’ll be in Petaluma tomorrow by 3p.m. and that’s not in the fog belt at all.

I packed summer clothes in my suitcase.

I get to see some wonderful friends from my cohort and I get to eat really nice food and be outside in the sun.

And.

I packed my yoga mat and my yoga clothes and I’m going to keep practicing.

I’ll be showing up to the mat if not the studio.

I have come to realize that this practice is important for me to cultivate.

Being in my body is important.

I am too much in my head.

It’s a dangerous neighborhood and I go there to frequently.

Ready to head out of that dark alley and into the sunlight of the spirit.

Or.

At least of Petaluma.

Ha.

I’ll be out of town for eight days, but not out of touch.

Call.

Text.

Send me a smoke signal.

I’ll respond in kind.

In between classes.

And reading.

And homework.

Oh.

And yoga.

Because.

Yoga.

 

 

Grace Over Drama

July 19, 2016

New favorite acronym.

Just saying.

I realized today as I was scootering to work and practicing what I was going to say to my boss that my fear was that I was going to fuck it up and not say it perfect and that was the reason why I had been waiting, consciously or not, to say my piece.

I had to get it perfect.

Ugh.

Girlfriend.

Haven’t you learned yet?

I don’t have to be perfect.

I am not that powerful, I can’t fuck anything or anyone up.

I’m not God.

I can only show up, do the best I can, speak, and let go of the results.

All of my people were behind me and I did the simplest little thing, the tiniest little change of my behavior and the next thing I know I was able to have a conversation because I had taken my break.

I didn’t ask.

I just took it.

I timed it and made myself sit down the entire time.

Well, except for when I got up to make a cup of tea.

I put everything on the back burner, literally, I was cooking, the boys were either napping or in quiet time, dad wasn’t working from home and mom was busy doing mom stuff.

I just sat.

I realized that knowing what I knew, that I am valuable, and needed and I’m good at my job and that I can ask to be of service to my job, to put into it rather than to take from it, but I can’t be of service without taking care of me.

So.

I asked the mom to help me.

I said I was happy to be flexible week to week during the summer time as long as I was getting the meal break I needed, especially since the boys are out of school, not in summer camp, and I’m working extra hours this week.

I told her that I felt the responsibility was on me to take the break and that I didn’t last week and that by the end of the week I really wasn’t my best self.

That I love my job and my charges and want to be the best I can.

Which means making sure I get a break.

The mom was super chill and easy and it was no big deal.

I was like.

Did I just make a shit load of drama and crash out my weekend for that?

Fuck.

Fear is so over rated.

Grateful beyond belief that I walked through it.

And I found that the family wants me to work for them into the fall and we’ll review again in January.

So.

Work is set.

Now the focus is back on Burning Man.

Like it’s ever really left.

I met with a girlfriend after work and had a nice meal over at Chow and got caught up and we tried to figure out the whole tent deal and the stuff and things.

And.

I don’t know.

It feels complicated and I’m not sure it’s the right answer, but we shall see.

Of course, I then got home and tooled around on the interwebs trying to figure it out.

Ah.

Obsessive thinking, so nice to see you again.

I remind myself that it’s got to be easy, simple is always the answer, simply find a ride, a shelter, a ride back, an early arrival pass, a, oh, fuck, stop it.

It will all come together.

I got the ticket.

Even though I don’t have the ticket yet.

Which I am beginning to wonder about.

There was a charge of $20 for two day secured mail and it’s been a week, plus the weekend, and I’m wondering, where’s my ticket, yo?

Or give me back my $20 cuz I got supplies to buy.

Of which I have managed to buy and set aside a couple of food staples, a parasol, and some baby wipes.

I got a tutu already, chill.

And boots, which I bought way back in February when I thought I was going to be working as a nanny at Star Star Camp.

And a shoulder harness.

Those things, my goggles, my plethora of bandanas, and my tutus, yeah, I have more than one, and I’m pretty set, in fact, costumes, hair stuff, flowers, ribbons, make up, I got that shit covered in spades.

You know.

It’s just the big stuff.

Ride.

Shelter.

Ride back.

Figure out how to get the bicycle there.

Fuck!

I just realized I need to text my OG playa family, the dad was going to drop my bike on Wednesday and I got pulled into working a late day for the family.

Note to self, text in morning.

That being said I do have feelings that things are going to work out in some crazy, sweet, magical way.

Burning Man.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the dusty ways.

The McFishlickers.

Action Girl, Thumper, Junior.

The “commiscary.”

Bacon.

Sunset over the Calico Mountains.

Curley.

The Trash Fence.

Rabbi.

Uncle Boy and the Gerlach Stage Coach.

Hand massage.

Poetry in the twilight.

Star Fuckers.

Anonymous Village.

Camp Stella.

STELLA!

Run Free.

Solar lights on bicycles.

In the inner circle for Man Burn.

Man Crew.

The art placement crew.

All the art.

ALL THE FUCKING ART.

The Hug Deli.

Dream Land.

The Monkeys.

The Temple.

Shadrach’s ashes.

Flying a kite on playa.

Mary Fucking Poppins.

Juno.

Lady Town.

The Nurse.

The Wilsons.

The Love.

The freaking Slug.

Gooey.

Hash marks on the trailer.

Ice cold coconut water left on my step.

Hearing my name shouted out from a passing art car.

All my crazy hair styles.

Tan lines.

Santa Claus at the burn barrel, 6 o’clock keyhole.

The sacred and the profane.

The hot springs pre-event.

Being a fluffer.

Explaining to the over heated gentleman on the Esplanade what a fluffer was.

I think I dashed his hopes.

Ha.

The Elco.

Gigsville.

Media Mecca.

First Camp.

The Poop Deck.

All the characters, all the dust, all the pretty, pretty, pretty people.

Sparkle ponies.

Fire.

Fire.

Fire.

I got my ticket to the circus.

I just need to find my train there.

I’ll be waiting at the station with my small stack of colorful clear bins stuffed with striped socks, goggles, crinolines, makeup, flowers, and joy.

Lots.

And lots.

And lots.

Of.

Joy.

Can’t wait!

Seriously.

Ready.

Not really.

But totally.

Ready.

Set.

Go!

Smacks!

March 11, 2016

$0.99

That is cheap!

I mis read the sign as the car turned onto Laguna Honda.

It reads “snacks” but I thought smacks was pretty appropriate for San Francisco.

I sort of want to smack my own head.

I realize I am going to have to ask for some help with my paper formatting.

I have a dear friend in my cohort, so dear, she’s coming to pick me up in the morning so I don’t have to take a car into class–damn it rain, ease it up–who has some software that I can use to format my papers in APA style, but I haven’t figured out how to get it onto my computer.

So.

Help.

It must be had.

I suspect, no, I know, I know, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn, one of the courses is a pass/fail class and yes, I know it’s graduate school, but without having to have an assigned grade I’m sort of like, I don’t give a fuck that it’s not entirely properly formatted.

It’s well fucking written.

It gots a title and stuff.

Bah.

I knew this was going to come up and I just haven’t dealt with it.

I have less urgency this semester, but I also have good habits and I’m pretty much done with all my reading and the two papers I wrote are well written, insightful, and dare I say, informed.

They are just not entirely formatted in the proper manner.

I think between the two of them, there half of what needs to be done, and I have to say I just don’t care.

This may actually be a breakthrough for me.

I made the executive decision to print them off and I’m going to turn them in and I will let both my professors know that I will be getting my APA ass together and the rest of the papers will be properly formatted.

I mean for the perfectionist in me this is a big deal.

There is a grand part of me that is horrified that I have done them exactly right and another part of me that’s totally like, fuck it man.

I wrote them.

Hand them in and move on.

Of course I may change my mind after writing my blog.

The evil nagging voice in me that says, oh, ho, you got time to blog and you went to yoga class today and you were on Tinder, you better get your fucking ducks in a row and write those papers correctly.

Fuck.

Yeah.

Knowing me that’s pretty much what is going to happen.

I don’t like turning something in when I know better.

Ignorance is not really bliss, but knowing that you’re purposely not doing something because you don’t want to deal, well, um, that’s just being childish.

The work is work and I want to show that I am willing to play ball with the big kids.

I mean, my biggest annoyance in class is when a fellow student is being distracting talking or watching something on their lap top that has nothing to do with class.

If I expect others to approach this with seriousness, I suppose I should too.

And I do.

I have done the work, it’s just not up to 100%.

Not that everything is ever going to be perfect.

I can’t aim for perfection, it’s too much responsibility.

However.

I can aim for doing my best and these two papers, with a little tweeking will be better.

Sigh.

Yeah.

I know.

I’ll be doing some more homework after I finish this blog.

But hey.

At least, like I said, I’m getting a ride into school tomorrow.

That’s really nice.

Plus it will be nice to have extra time with my friend.

She’s not in the city, she’s one of the students that come in from out of town.

That still amazes me that so many of the people in my cohort commute in from other cities and states and countries.

My cohort has a man that flies up from Mexico, another from Miami, Fl.

These people are putting in the effort.

I can too.

And despite a longing to go to bed at a proper hour to get the right amount of sleep, I never do fall right off the night before my first day back into a weekend of classes.

I just don’t.

I have laundry in the dryer I’ll deal with.

My lunch and dinner is packed though, coffee ready, tea, all the little things that are nice to have when the day is long and the classes stretch out before me.

Grateful that I get to be in graduate school.

It is a gift.

I’ll get the papers done right and let myself off the hook.

No one is more of a critic than I, but I do suspect one of my professors will have a bit to say if I don’t format the papers correctly according to the standards she’s outlined in the syllabus and her class is not pass/fail, but is in fact given a letter grade.

I do participate a great deal in the class, as I do in all my classes, but half my grade will ride on papers, so I do want to be turning in well heeled papers.

It’s midterm.

I can hardly believe that.

I am half way through, or on the eve of being so, my second semester of my first year.

This is happening.

“You are aware that you have to fulfill a lot of hours after your program, aren’t you,” my date last night mentioned as he shifted in his chair, pushing his glasses far up his nose.

Are you aware that you are two inches shorter than your profile?

Oops.

Ha.

Um.

“Yes, I am, but you know, I’m only going to get older and I’m ok with the amount of work that I need to do, anything worthy having is worth working for,” I replied and smiled.

Because I am a worker.

I do the job.

I get’er done you know.

I am grateful for the work ethic.

It does sometimes mask a need to keep me busy so that I can’t possibly have time to feel my feelings, but for the most part, it is a defect that still serves.

I suppose at some point it won’t.

But.

For today, for graduate school, I’ll keep it for a tiny bit longer.

That being said.

I’ve made my 1,000 words for my blog–my unspoken goal for all my blogs–and I am going to edit this and proof it quickly and publish.

Leave myself a little time to go back over those two papers and put them together with some proper care.

Once more into the breach my friends.

Once more into the breach.

It’s Already

December 1, 2015

That time.

I register for second semester classes tomorrow!

What the hell?

How did that happen so quick?

I will say one thing about this whole going to school and working (nearly) full time, the time, it goes fast.

I don’t have to register tomorrow, I have until the 3rd of January; however, I am one of those folks who just likes to get it done now.

In other words.

A perfectionist.

I’m a perfectionist and I am aware of it and I am aware that it is a defense mechanism that I employ to feel safe.

It rarely works.

That’s ok too.

I can see it, which is the biggest thing.

Awareness.

Acceptance.

Action.

Like I am very aware that I don’t have to write the 5th paper for my Human Development class; however, I have been outlining the reading as I go along in case I change my mind and decide to really get a solid A in the class.

At the moment of the four papers I have turned in, we only need to write 4, the fifth is an optional paper that we can drop, I have a B, an A, and an A+ I figure the fourth paper will probably be an A as well and combine that with my participation in class and what I am assuming will be an A for my final project, I should get an A for the class.

And yet.

Here I am making notes like I might just write that fifth paper.

Just in case.

Just in case what, I have no idea.

Just to give my head a little something to worry about?

I like to keep busy, but I don’t need to make unnecessary work for myself.

So.

In a very small voice.

With the option to change my mind.

I am declaring that I will not be writing the 5th Human Development paper.

Sigh.

Let go Carmen.

I have plenty of other places I need to focus on anyhow.

I will finish the reading for all my classes in the next day or two and then I will start the final project for Human Development.

I am not going to worry.

I am not going to stress.

I say this without totally believing myself, but I say it in the spirit of being ok with myself if I do.

The thing about accepting my perfectionism and accepting myself when I fall into it.

It really has so much to do with fear.

Fear I’m not enough, you won’t love me, I’m unlikable, unlovable, you’ll abandon me, if I can make things perfect you’ll stay, so let me fix things the way you want them so I can protect myself and not get hurt.

And you wonder how it is that I chose being a therapist as a career path.

Ha.

Knowing this doesn’t necessarily change the defect.

Doing the work around it does and I have done a lot, I mean A LOT, of work on this.

Of course, I suspect there will be more.

And I am ok with that too.

It was helpful today that I also got to talk with two of my best friends in the world and re-connect and then run into another friend this evening after work who wants to go out to dinner one of these nights, I have no idea when, but maybe, and it just was good.

Good.

To hear my friends voices and to be heard back and to tell them how much I loved and missed them.

One of my friends I may get to see this week and that makes me a very happy lady.

I realize too that it’s the last day of November.

Christmas season is upon us and the month will pass quickly.

I am already booking up and it’s not even begun.

I was also trying to figure out if I want to do something for my birthday, which falls on the 18th of December, one week before Christmas, two days before I fly out to Paris.

I will be working that day.

I worked it last year as well.

I went out to a dinner with my ex-boyfriend.

I didn’t like the restaurant and my ex hadn’t wrapped my gift and it was not something I wanted or that fit, it was horrifyingly too big, and I think.

I would like to not have that experience again.

I would like to do something, but it is notoriously difficult to gather folks the week before Christmas to do something.

Every one has plans.

Every one.

I’m remembering my birthdays in SF and the one in Paris.

There was my 30th birthday party, a surprise party for me, at Casanova on Valencia Street.  My room mates, who I had only known for a few months, threw me a surprise party and invited 30 people to the party.  How I even knew thirty people after only being here a couple of months still blows my  mind.

The next year I was working at Hawthorne Lane and we went to Delfina for dinner.  Lots of wine.  Lots of fancy food.  Big bouquet of surprise flowers from friends back in Wisconsin on the table, then over to Blondies and more drinks and then someone pulls out some blow and then we’re off to the End Up.

Ahem.

Next birthday was horrendous.

Awful.

Back in Wisconsin heading into the nadir of my dark night of the soul.

My friends try to pull an intervention on me.

It doesn’t work.

I come home and my room mates have thrown me a surprise party and despite not wanting to drink I am lifting a beer and heading down to Pop’s on York and 24th to meet with my dealer.

Happy Birthday!

I got sober three and half weeks later.

I don’t remember all my birthdays from that time, the last ten years, there have been good and not so good and a few awful and really bad, but none of them were like that last birthday I had before I got sober.

Even the worst was a 1,000 times better.

So.

I don’t do anything for December 18th I’ll be ok.

Heck.

I’m fucking flying to Paris with one of my best friends two days later.

Not like I don’t have something to look forward to!

My life.

It’s not picture perfect.

Despite my attempts at perfectionism.

But.

Man.

It is really fucking good.

REALLY.

Ready, Set,

November 5, 2015

Paris!

I found my passport!

I booked the studio and paid for it.

“Wow!” My friend sent me a message after receiving my e-mail regarding my trip to Wells Fargo and the deposit made to her account.  “That happened so fast, I’m almost in shock.”

Me too.

But the good kind.

The pinch me, I’m dreaming kind.

I also requested and was granted two paid days off for vacation.

I am covered.

I have asked off, my passport showed up, and within twelve hours of having gotten the ticket I’ve got a place to stay in the 7th arrondisement.

I will be at 18 Rue Juge.

Metro stop: La Motte Piquet.

It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs de Mars, the Trocadero.

I know that area fairly well having meandered there every morning, or there about, Felix Faure was typically the stop I got off at, on Sundays around 11 a.m for six months.

I know that there is a great farmers market there on Sundays.

Unfortunately I will be traveling all day Sunday and leaving early Sunday morning for Charles de Gaulle.

I’m flying out 11a.m. on the 20th and arriving around 11 a.m. on the 21st.

There is the time change, but it will feel like traveling for a day.

I don’t really care.

I’m going to Paris.

It’s such an awesome thing.

Such an unexpected surprise.

Such a gift.

Truly.

My life, the things I get to do, how lucky I am.

I am graced.

Sitting here in my cozy in-law, astounded at how much my life has changed since I moved back from Paris.

It was three years ago on November 1st that I moved there.

How far I have come since coming back.

Getting in touch with my friend in East Oakland reminded me of that.

He responded this morning that he’d looked around the room I had stayed in and no passport.

Which was no problem.

As I found it last night.

That was crazy.

It was amazing actually.

And such a surprise to find it where I did.

I was sitting here finishing up my blog last night thinking about how I may have to go to the embassy and what that would look like and when I was going to do it, what the timing was going to have to be, etc, and I kept looking at a stack of books on my bedside table.

I wonder if it’s in my ……

Big blue book with the broken binder, the old one that is well-loved and used, and made “real” like the Velveteen Rabbit, the one I don’t use anymore as the binder is broke and I have another newer version and a little pocket guy, and I thought, “did I stick it in there?”

i kept staring at it.

I finished my blog.

Made a cup of tea, cut up and apple and some persimmon for a snack.

I carried my snack and my mug of tea to my bedside table, set them down, and unearthed the old book from my stack.

I flipped it open.

Nothing there.

Damn it man.

I got my computer and I set it down.

I looked at my book shelf.

The book shelf that has a lot of my notebooks on it and some of my books and I could see that I had made some space yesterday after digging through everything, every notebook I wrote in Paris, every scrap of paper, every envelope, and I didn’t like the way it looked.

Too much unbalanced space.

I looked down at the books next to the chaise lounge that were starting to stack up and I thought, “hmm, maybe I’ll move them on to the book shelf, there’s some space there now.”

So I picked up four and set them on the shelf.

The fit.

I went to sit down and the two that I left on the floor toppled over.

Annoyed I righted one.

It fell over again.

I righted it once more and was about to settle into my spot and have my snack and my tea and sure as shit, the damn book fell again.

I looked at the shelf.

Hmm.

There might be space if I rearrange it just a tiny bit more and put those notebooks there and stack those books there.

I have them stacked horizontally, not vertically, since there’s so many notebooks on the shelves.

I like to write a little you see.

I picked up the two remaining books and settled on the top shelf and the other just squeezed into the last bit of space on the second shelf.

But.

Ugh.

I have to say this, sometimes it is a defect of character and sometimes, well, is it odd or is it God?

Or was it my God box?

Who can tell.

But I have to say.

It was fucking magic.

Magic I say.

The defect, if you will, is perfectionism.

I recall recently getting a message from my person that said, “perfectionism is not an option.”

Well.

Fuck.

I still fall into it often.

And.

Last night I did.

But it also felt like I was being quietly guided.

Just nudged here and there.

So.

I put the book in the space on the shelf, but it was larger, longer than the book underneath it and I didn’t like the way that looked, so I unshelved it, set it on the floor and pulled out the stack of books so I could reshelve the bigger book on the bottom of the stack, thus aligning everything and making my obsessive compulsive sprite inside my brain happy.

And what the fuck do you know?

There it was!

Standing straight up.

On the second shelf of my bookshelf.

(underneath my God box)

Under the shelf below my hot pink magenta bunny rabbit bank that I bought in the Marais of Paris.

A gift I had given myself when a friend sent me 50 Euro and said spend it on something nice.

I wanted that damn rabbit bad.

I carried it through the Louvre later that day and took pictures of it next to works of art.

I know.

I am a weirdo.

But whatever.

I digress.

Underneath the shelf, standing up, looking all sassy and proper and navy blue.

My passport!

Oh my fucking God.

I yelped and grabbed it and laughed.

There it was!

I flipped it open.

Wow.

My hair has grown out so long.

That was my first thought.

Then I looked at my stamps.

Entering and exiting Paris.

The EuroStar train stamp from going to London and back.

Then the last stamp from the airport in Frankfurt where I exchanged my last Euro for a measly $10 American and headed on my last leg back to the United States.

So much there.

So many memories.

Just in seeing those small stamps.

I am so excited to get to add another series of stamps to the book.

I’m over the moon, I keep saying it, but it’s true.

Christmas in Paris.

I am so.

So.

So.

Ready for you.

Take A Spa Day*

October 11, 2015

Excuse me what?

Take a what?

Oh man.

Do I have to?

It was suggested to me that I actually take the day off today.

Not from doing the deal, that’s not an option, did that, met my person, carried the message, not the mess, a little later on today, got my get right with God, but yeah, it was suggested, that I take the day off.

I was relaying how I felt guilty about going on a date this evening.

A sexy as fuck date.

A date that pulled up in a 1972 Mach 1 grass-green Mustang.

A date over an amazing meal at Range—now one of my favorite restaurants, I will be going back (grilled Bay shrimp over marinated cabbage with pickled peppers for an appetizer and coffee rubbed pork shoulder over hominy with braised collard greens for my entrée—the pork fell apart with the softest pressure from the fork and I made my very happy, happy face).

There was even some kissing on said date.

I am home a little earlier than anticipated, but I was grateful to be going out for an evening on the town and completely understood my dates needing to get home at a decent hour since he’ll be up and out the door of his house at 7a.m.

Me?

Not so much.

Although I will get up and do my thing here at the house.

I have two ladies back-to-back coming over.

Meal prep to do for the week.

And.

Yes.

Finally.

Writing my Human Development paper.

Which really won’t take as much time as my anxiety would like to think it would.

I just don’t want to do it because I don’t like the class and it seems like superfluous grunt work, but I figure that there will be this kind of work once in a while.

Granted.

I was hoping that it would not so remind me of undergraduate work I have already done, but be that as it may, it’s a necessary evil.

One that I was admonished to set aside and to let myself enjoy a day off.

A day of rest.

A spa day, if you will.

So.

I did what ladies do.

I did lunch.

I went shopping.

I got my nails did.

And my eyebrows waxed.

I got suckered into buying the most expensive pair of jeans I have ever bought.

$180.

Eek a fucking mouse.

That’s basically my clothing allowance for the month.

I had already dropped fifty bucks for a pretty new sweater and wasn’t even in the next store looking for jeans, but as I pulled out a few tops to try on I saw some jeans and thought, yeah, I could use a new pair, these are cute.

And they were.

But.

They didn’t fit and I wasn’t about to hop out and grab another pair.

I wasn’t thinking that the freaking sales girl, doing her job and doing a damn fine one, would come back with another pair of jeans, slightly different cut, and say, here, try these on, I think they’ll fit.

Oh fuck me.

Man.

They fit like a glove.

Like blue jean sateen skin.

Like I felt like Blue Jean from the David Bowie song.

Like I have to have these pants.

I looked at the price tag and winced.

I looked at my ass and said, I can’t leave without these pants.

So.

I have a pair of jeans that I will now never.

NEVER.

Wear on my bicycle.

That are actually recommended to be dry-cleaned.

Who dry-cleans jeans?

Me I guess.

I just took them off before sitting down to write my blog and hung them on a hanger; I will be taking care of these pants.

And.

I am proud to say.

I did take care of myself.

I did go to the nail salon and do the digits and get the waxing and I let myself take a really long, hot, luxurious shower when I got home, deep conditioned that hair.

If I’m going on a date, I don’t care if my hair is up, which is how I did it for this evening’s date, I want my hair to be soft to the touch.

I want my date to want to plunge his hands into it.

Mission accomplished.

Not that my date did do such a thing, but I felt pretty sexy.

In my $180 pair of jeans and my black Helmut Lang sweater.

Which if I had bought it off the rack would have been more than the jeans, but I found it at a re-sale shop and got the steal of the century for $50.

I will also admit I was feeling anxiety about the date.

Not so much about my date.

He’s a dreamboat.

But.

About myself.

I was having a bout of “not enough.”

I don’t have the right look.

The right clothes.

The right shoes.

I am not enough.

I do not like being in that head space and it’s about fear and it’s silly and my date thinks I’m sexy.

So why the worry?

Anything to sabotage me being in the present and having a nice time.

“Go have fun!” She said to me as we sat at the back table at Tart to Tart, in the little nook where we like to sit and read.

“I totally concur with Honey, take a spa day!”

All right.

When I get the suggestion from not one, but two of my people, and really, should I consult the third, she would have said the same thing, and I have to take the suggestion.

I would rather take the suggestion than face up to the ramifications of not.

My own ideas suck.

Always have.

Always will.

The God idea; however, does not.

When people I love, respect, admire, and want what they have, give me suggestions; it is very much like listening to the God of my understanding.

A far more compassionate, loving, and gentle God than the one I came to know previous to this incarnation.

I am lucky.

I have had a spiritual awakening.

And when I sit back and acknowledge that.

When I look at my life.

The badass date I just went on.

Being in graduate school.

$180 jeans.

Please.

Who am I trying to kid?

My life rocks.

I’m a fucking rock star.

I really am.

Granted I could use some more humility.

But then I wasn’t claiming to be perfect.

Just sexy as fuck.

I mean.

Have you seen my new pants?

*This blog was written last night; however, my internet was down.  There will be another blog post this evening.  Happy Sunday!

Feelings

April 30, 2015

They are just not facts, man.

But when I am in them, they will encompass my entire world view and said world view gets exceptionally small, ego-centric, and uncomfortable.

I saw it happening today at work and I stepped outside myself, took a minute, went to the bathroom, peed–it’s important to do that, take time to pee–sometimes I forget how my body functions as I will get caught up in my job.

“You make yourself indispensable,” she said, “but you have to set boundaries, because they are going to take until you have nothing left to give.”

My friend’s suggestions and thoughts and compassion as I was on the phone with her after work.

Frantic.

Over tired.

Exhausted.

And dwelling, not in the moment, oh no, that would be where there are no problems, that’s just too easy.

“You could take a sick day,” she suggested.

A mental health day.

I have not done that in years.

And I do have a legitimate mental health issue, in fact, more than one, but I am loath to do that.

However, she does have a point.

I do need to take some self-care.

I love my job.

But I can get exhausted.

And I reached that point today.

Not exactly because I was exhausted in the moment that the issue came up, but in dwelling on what the following day would look like and how I was going to manage it.

I can barely manage right now.

Let alone tomorrow.

I had to see that and I did and I let go, peed and prayed, you could say, and kept right on going with the day, which was a good day, a sunny day, a nice day, busy yes, work always is, but a sweet one with the boys.

Then it came back as I was leaving the mom mentioned tomorrow’s schedule and I got caught back up in the worrying about the tomorrow.

I am never good in tomorrow.

I awful in yesterday.

All I have is today.

I acknowledged to my friend that I had to set a boundary and I hate that, it means I am not super nanny and I have my limits and oh no.

“I remember, quite distinctly,” my friend said, not admonishing me, but showing me my own patterns, “this happening at Burning Man last year with your employer, you do too much, get exhausted, and break.”

Yup.

“Didn’t the mom tell you how important you are to the family and how they don’t want to burn you out?”  She injured further.

Yup.

The mom, did indeed say that.

So.

I have to come back with my piece and just let her know that I may not be at my highest performance at the end of the day for some of the schedule that she outlined with me.

In fact, it was so much to take in when it was brought up this morning I didn’t even register what she wanted.

I wasn’t able to process it.

It sort of went over my head and into the great blue yonder.

When she explained herself again I got it and I freaked out.

That’s so close to the end of my day and that’s a lot of extra work to add at the end of the day and oh, yeah, I leave early on Thursdays.

I come in early, not by a lot, it’s not the full extra hour of early I do on Monday’s, but a little early, so I may make a commitment at Church and Market by 6:30 p.m.

A commitment where I need to be and I can’t have food there.

The schedule the mom wants is to be out and about doing this and that during the time I am normally tucking the boys into their dinner.

And mine as well.

Despite having just eaten and being full, I was suddenly thrust into tomorrow where there’s not enough and I will have to wait until 8:30 p.m. to have dinner.

That’s not a big deal to some.

But I get angry when I miss a meal by that much time.

I have an eating disorder and though I allude to it here once in a while I haven’t really spoken about it to the parents.

It’s weird enough that they know I’m sober.

That’s been some interesting conversation.

They do know that I don’t eat sugar or flour for health reasons.

But I have not explained to them what those are.

I have left it in loose terms.

I have an allergy to sugar and flour and I get sick when I ingest them.

I don’t tell her that if I have some sugar I’m going to break out into a dozen donuts and two pints of ice-cream.

It’s not an allergy that a lot of people have.

I’m not special.

I just know what I have.

And what I have is a distinct desire to not be in the open family swim at UCSF Koret Center at 5:30 p.m. when I am typically eating dinner with the boys.

I am scared what I may say or do.

I am scared that I will be hungry and angry.

I know that I won’t be at my best.

And I don’t want to lose my job because I snap and have to shove food in my mouth.

I tried to work it out in my head, what can I make, bring to work, go grocery shopping for, do for myself that will allow me to deal.

And I just couldn’t figure it out.

Which exhausted me further.

So.

I came home.

Made some phone calls.

Cried.

Wrote an inventory.

Shared it.

Breathed.

Prayed.

And made a cup of tea.

A cuppa will fix me just about every time.

I sat and read a book.

I got quiet and stopped living in tomorrow.

I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow.

But I can tell my employer that I am nervous about not performing at my best abilities at the end of the day.

That’s all.

I don’t have to explain.

I don’t have to rationalize.

I don’t have to manipulate through withholding my honest response.

I just have to communicate my needs.

Easy.

Hahahahaha.

Well.

Easier now than it used to be for me.

I have had some practice.

And with a little help from my friends.

I can do this too.

Thank God I am not alone.

No matter what my brain tells me.

I have a solution and I got to use it tonight.

And the feelings?

Well.

They too shall pass.

Especially after I get a good night sleep.

Sleep is such a cure-all.

And.

One more cup of tea before I retire.

I’ll worry about tomorrow.

Well.

Tomorrow.


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