Posts Tagged ‘playa’

Little Boxes

February 22, 2017

In the hallway.

I got my first little small packages of joyful celebration in the mail today.

Yeah.

When I discovered that I had gotten the time off request for Burning Man from work I made some celebratory purchases on-line.

I couldn’t help myself.

I got some hair flowers.

Heh.

Yes.

And some glitter barrettes.

Because.

Hello.

Sparkle pony.

I had a host of hair flowers.

Like.

A lot.

Really.

From all over, from places I have traveled too, a hair flower from a wig shop in Brooklyn, to a hair piece from Magazine Street in New Orleans, to barrettes I have gotten in Paris.

But.

After the lice apocalypse over Thanksgiving.

I got rid of them all.

I know.

I know.

I could have quarantined them or something.

But I was in a frenzy.

When they comb through your hair and it takes four people, FOUR, three hours to get through all of it and they can’t and won’t guarantee that they got them all, in fact, they did not, and I had two more treatments, when you go home and firebomb your house and put everything and anything that is fabric in the wash, thereby blowing the fuse to the washing machine because you’ve overloaded it, and you throw away your brush, all my hair accessories went the fuck out to the trash.

It was such a horrendous and horrific experience.

I just couldn’t fathom ever putting that stuff in my hair again, even if it meant starting over completely from square one with some basic hair elastics and bobby pins.

Part of me thought.

Well.

Hell.

Maybe that part of my life is over.

You know.

The one where I play the part of the girl with the flower in her hair.

Maybe she needs to grow up.

Yeah.

That lasted all of a few seconds the minute I found out I could go to the event.

I was online buying hair shit like nobody’s business.

I will say this year I won’t be dying my hair any funky colors.

Been there.

Done that.

I’m good with just going with my natural shade of brown and quite happy to augment my hair with accessories versus hair dye.

So.

Yes.

Some fabric roses.

A yellow satin one and a dark red velvet one.

Some daisy hair clips.

Pink and white.

Little, like tiny miniature daisies that you see growing in the outfield of baseball diamonds.

And.

Yes.

Glitter barrettes in pink, teal, and silver.

Because.

Glitter.

See aforementioned sparkle pony.

I may have some other things arriving too.

Ahem.

Yes.

I did.

I went ahead and ordered a jackalope headpiece.

Yes.

It was expensive.

Yes.

I don’t care.

Yes.

I got a tax return.

I am fucking going to embrace it.

A friend at the event last year had a pair of horns with flowers that really were sweet and she loaned them to me for a night and a day and I wore the fuck out of them.

I have been ogling a pair of jackalope bunny ears and horns on Etsy for three years now.

I got the news about getting the time off and I went to the site and I bought them.

In fact.

I totally splurged and bought a bigger set then I had originally been looking at.

It can’t be called an impulse buy if I’ve been thinking about buying them for three years.

Or so I rationalized the purchase.

Check them out.

Here.

God.

I am such a dork.

And.

Nope.

I don’t give a flying fuck what you think.

I am happy.

And they are fabulous.

The artist is going to make the ears in candy floss pink and use cream flowers for the headband.

I also asked that she incorporate some daisies into the piece.

Since.

Favorite flowers, yo.

I’m stupid psyched to see them.

I should get them sometime in March.

Plenty of time to co-ordinate outfits before the Burn.

Heh.

I also reached out to a camp today about camping with them.

I really liked where I camped last year.

But.

I want to try something new.

Not too new.

I know plenty of folks where I asked to camp and the head of the camp is a dear friend of mine and someone with whom I experienced my first burn with when he and I were both affiliated with another camp.

Then he split off from that camp and started his own and I was always working and camping with whomever I was working for.

But.

NOT WORKING.

No.

Not working this year.

I have vowed to myself that I am going to Burning Man.

I am going to participate and help out wherever I camp.

But.

I am not working the event.

No nannying.

No fluffing.

No nothing.

Just me and a spiritual experience out in deep playa.

Aka.

Make out session.

Hahahahaha.

Sleeping in whenever I want.

(If I can manage a shad structure over my tent this year, it gets hot early and there was little sleeping past 7 a.m. in my tent last year)

Staying up late.

Not being tied to anyone else’s scheduled.

Free to play.

Free to wear flowers in my hair.

And jackalope horns.

Because why the fuck not.

I’m an artist.

I get to express and dress as I want.

Not to impress anyone.

No.

But because it makes me happy to do so.

I love playing dress up.

Putting up my hair.

Putting on make up.

I’m just going to go and play playa princess all fucking week-long.

So help me God.

I deserve to put myself first for a turn.

And.

Like that.

I just got word back from the head of the camp, that I am indeed invited and welcome to camp with them.

I’ll be at Camp Run Free this year kids.

Seems quite apropos.

Does it not?

 

 

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Yes! This Works

February 17, 2017

Best e-mail response ever.

I spoke with my boss yesterday about taking time off to go to Burning Man this year.

Yes.

I am aware that Burning Man isn’t until the last week of August.

I am one of those people who plan pretty far out in advance and it came down to needing to ask sooner rather than later as the family I nanny for is going to be in Europe for three weeks.

Without me.

In July.

So.

To take off a week of time in August was actually a great big request and I was shy to ask for it

I mean.

It’s Burning Man.

Folks have an idea of what that means.

Especially if they have never been.

And most folks might not be inclined to let go of their full time nanny so she could go romp around in the desert for a week when the kids are gearing up for their school semester and they have a baby and full-time work and um, yeah.

But.

She told me, the mom, that it could probably work, to e-mail her the dates and she would get back to me.

I did so last night.

And I actually sort of forgot that I had e-mailed her and then.

This morning.

Yes!

I got the best answer.

I got the “Yes! This works!” Response.

I just about fell out of my chair.

I haven’t gotten my ticket, I won’t know for eight weeks whether I have gotten the low-income ticket, but really, the biggest hurdles have been cleared.

First.

That I don’t have any school conflict with going to the event.

Second.

That my job is willing to let me go.

Huge hurdles.

The ticket will come.

I know too many people and should I get denied the low-income ticket, I do feel like I will be able to negotiate getting one at the full price.

Fingers crossed that won’t happen, I could use the cash for other things, but I will if I have to.

Have to is should be re-phrased, get to, if I need to I can.

The gift of the time off is the big deal.

“You need to have fun,” my employer said, “it can’t just be work and school, we want you to be able to go and play.”

My god.

What a gift this job is.

I am so grateful to have it.

Today was super chill.

Almost too chill.

I could have fallen asleep.

In fact, had my charge dropped off, I would have.

She never quite did though.

I had one little monkey home sick from school today and the mom and the baby and the grandma, who is visiting, were out and about.

I stayed back.

Tidied up the kitchen.

Drew pictures and colored with my charge.

Lots and lots and lots of music, reading stories, and snuggling.

“Carmen, scratch my back more please,” she said and collapsed over a big throw pillow on the couch.

Happy to oblige, I sat and rubbed her back and snuggled with her.

We had picnic on the floor, played foxes, rescue fire fighters, cops and robbers, and veterinarian.

We ran away from scary robots and ghosts.

My little girl charge is a fierce lady and it’s really quite fun to be with her high-spirited energy, even when she’s sick, we had just a sweet day, no getting out to the park, no riding the train to grab my other charge, my first shift there since I started where I didn’t go outside at all.

I did feel a little sleepy from the lack of outside stimulation, but I got through it and it was really just nice to have a day playing with my charge.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh.

Glorious weekend.

How I do love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Yoga.

Doing the deal.

Meeting with my person.

Getting my tattoo touched up.

And?

Who knows what else.

Yes.

Most likely there will be homework and reading and stuff and things, meal prep and grocery and what have you.

But.

I do want to let myself have fun, to relax a little to not be too serious or overcommitment to making all the things happen.

The weather today, no rain when it had been forecasted, was a boon, I was able to ride my scooter to and from work and I got to do a little speaking engagement and get some grocery shopping done.

The rain comes back tomorrow.

Which always changes my plans a little.

The not riding my scooter sort of deal.

I suspect that whatever happens it will be fine.

I’m so happy to have a couple of days off.

One more day of work.

One more.

Oof.

Hella grateful for that.

And.

Yeah.

Burning Man.

I am so very thrilled.

I am.

I am.

I have time to do some bicycle research.

Sadly.

My playa steed did not make it back from the event last year.

I was upset when I found out, but then, grateful after I had time to do some work around it and yes, some grieving too, that bike meant a lot to me, but now I get to have a new experience out there.

A new bike.

A new camp.

Not working.

Just going to participate and have fun.

Fun.

EEK.

I hope I can handle not doing any work for a week.

Ha.

As if going isn’t a hell of a lot of work.

I always have work to do to get to go.

But.

It’s a labor of love.

Dusty love, but love nevertheless.

Ah.

It’s been a good week.

Grateful it’s almost done.

I need a break.

But.

You know that already.

And some fun.

I don’t have to wait for Burning Man before I have fun.

Hell no.

So.

Bring on the fun.

I am ready.

Primed, in fact.

Seriously.

Bring it.

Home

February 12, 2017

Sweet home.

I’m not there yet.

Even though I am home.

That’s not the home I am talking about.

“Welcome home,” he shouted into the dusty air, “ring the bell.”

I rang the bell.

I skipped the rolling around in the dust though.

Fuck that shit.

It’s dusty enough up in this mess.

Yup.

I’m planning my return trip to the playa.

It’s a little early, I suppose, but I am going to get my little early ducks in a row.

I’ve decided that I am not working this year.

I am going to go and just have fun.

I am going to stay with a different camp than I have before, I’ve been a member of the camp since it’s inception and have spent time there, and have friends there, and one of them mentioned to me that it was time to come out and camp with them this year and not work and really enjoy the festival.

The art.

The joy.

The get about and the get around.

I found out my when my first weekend of classes will be for the fall semester.

Last year they fell on the same weekend of the event and I was not able to go for the full amount of time.

I went up early and left early.

I was only there four days.

It was lovely and I’m super glad I went, but it was not enough and I didn’t get to see any of the burns because I left Wednesday morning of the event.

By plane.

There is that.

It was one hell of an amazing experience to fly out of Burning Man.

I don’t know if that is necessarily happening, but I’m going to let it all fall together.

I decided in my heart to go last Sunday and then I did some research and discovered that the low-income ticket application will open in a few days.

I need to update my profile and the minute it opens, February 15th, I will be applying for it.

One of the big reasons that have always worked the event is to get into the event.

But.

I don’t want to work it this year.

I want to actually go and not be tied down and when I researched a little I discovered I could definitely afford the low-income ticket and I will apply to it.

Then yesterday I discovered that the first weekend of the fall semester for my cohort will be the weekend before the event.

Thank God.

I can go!

Well.

I won’t quite say that yet.

I still have to clear it with work.

I will ask on Monday if it’s a possibility.

I already have a lot of my vacation time tied up to my trip to Paris in May, but I do have some days that are not accounted for and I want to use them for the event.

I may have to do some negotiation with the family in regards to it, but I think that they will be amenable to me going.

I sure do hope so.

It was me doing a happy dance today when I told my friend before class that I found out the weekend dates for the fall and that there was not a conflict with school, it set my day, I was super pumped.

Granted that feeling dissipated, class work was challenging and showing up for it and being present for the material made me completely forget about the event, about travel times and dates and plans and things and stuff and more things.

But.

When I got home and said “hello house,” I smiled, my eyes drawn to the print on the wall, a photo shot from above, from an airplane above the event and I remembered quickly.

Home.

And it will be the ten-year anniversary of my best friends passing and me taking his ashes out to the Temple.

It will be my 11th burn in a row.

It is a part and parcel of me.

There are experiences that I have had there that I cannot rationalize or explain.

Love and light and dirt and dust and spiritual transmogrification.

So many times.

Not just once, but time and time and time again.

Dancing the tango with a beautiful 24-year-old man from Norway who was tall and blonde and yes, heh, Nordic, with a gorgeous sweet accent and the bliss of being kissed under the stars, bent backward and kissed as though every song of the stars above depended upon the breath in and out of our bodies as we melted into the dust.

Riding out to the trash fence at sunrise on the art car “A Horse With No Name” and seeing the shots of fire thrown out against the playa, piercing and bright and bathing the dust with golden smote, softening the blue smoke bathed mountains with flames of light.

Running into a friend unexpectedly in a church pew by an organ and telling him a fairy tale in the mid afternoon heat and swelter.

Reciting poetry underneath the upraised arms of the Man and the face of the man when I looked into his eyes.

“Do you know how easy it is to fall in love with you when you recite poetry,” he said.

Why do you think I recite poetry?

I want you to love me.

And somehow.

I don’t know how.

I don’t need to know how.

I find myself easier in my person, able to let that love in, to be scaffold with it, to allow myself to be exactly who I am, hair bedecked with flowers, standing tall in cowboy boots with polka dot socks and my crinoline blowing in the breeze, my umbrella of poesy flowers opened to shelter me from the sun, face bedecked with smiles.

I am somehow more me and entirely at peace with who I am and how I am and it’s not so weird, it’s just me, and I’m not that unique, I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

Or not wearing.

Of course I want to go home.

It’s home.

Anchored in between the Black Rock Mountains and the Calico’s, underneath the rising moon and the setting sun, the howl of love that whisper whips across the playa until we are all crying out of our aloneness a coming together, a community, an expression of magic, yes.

That.

Magic.

May I always be a part of that kind of love and mystery.

And.

Yeah.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve cleared the first hurdle, school conflict, now to ask off from work for event.

Then.

I’ll get a ticket after that.

And.

Soon.

I’ll see you in the dust.

I’ll be there to welcome you home.

I promise.

 

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

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

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

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

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

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

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

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

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

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

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

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

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

There is no there there.

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

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

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

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

But let go I did.

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

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

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

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

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

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

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

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

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

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

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

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

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

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

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

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

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

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

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

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

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

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

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

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

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

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

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

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

And That’s A Wrap

February 5, 2017

Holy shit.

I have had a full day.

But.

It all got done.

I mean, it just flowed, it was smooth as silk, one thing to the next to the next.

Yoga in the morning.

Hot shower.

Hot breakfast.

Hot coffee.

Writing.

Having a lady over to do some reading and some work.

Taxes.

Yes.

I did my taxes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I am getting a refund.

I am happy for that, travel money!

Oh the places you’ll go.

Burning Man.

Portland.

Anchorage.

Puerto Rico.

Paris.

Barcelona.

Mallorca.

Venice.

Well.

Maybe not all those places on my tax refund, I’m getting a few thousand back though, thank you education credit, almost makes up for taking out $20,000 in student loans this year.

Almost.

I’ve no complaints though, I am super grateful that I can take out loans, that I get to go to grad school, that I have what I have.

And I have a tax return coming.

Taxes got done.

Then I did some cooking and made a nice hot homemade lunch and I made a big batch of chicken and vegetable stew with brown rice and garlic and stuck a bunch in the freezer for the work week and for the upcoming weekend of classes.

Then.

I sat and I wrote my first paper for the semester.

5 pages.

1,653 words.

Not too long, took about an hour and a half.

It was a reflection paper for my Trauma class and it wasn’t too hard a stretch to come up with things to write about, it was harder to keep it contained to the brevity of the paper requirements which was 3-5 pages long.

Mine was the full five pages and I could have written much more, extrapolated much more, gone quite a bit further.

But there wasn’t a need for that and I was happy to proof it and get it printed off and into my school folder.

I made some tea then sat and kicked through 3/4s of a 40 page paper for my Community Mental Health Class.

I took a small break and wrote out some Valentines Day cards.

I love giving out Valentines Day cards.

Probably because I haven’t had much success with Valentines in my life, and I so enjoy bringing a little touch of sweetness and love and silliness and humor to the holiday.

Last year in class I gave every single person in my cohort a Valentine.

It felt wonderful.

Yes.

I am a dork.

And I don’t care.

When the clock struck 6:30p.m. I headed out the door and hit the MUNI to the BART to the Oakland.

My friend came and picked me up at the 19th Street stop and we went and grabbed dinner at a taqueria in the hood where I was not shamed by the counter guy when I ordered a steak burrito without the wrap.

Yeah, it’s a thing.

After Mexican food, we went for coffee, I got a decaf thank you very much, at Gaylord’s where I ran into friends I hadn’t seen in a while and we all got caught up.

Finally arriving at the spot a little while later and doing the deal and saying the stuff and getting up and sharing and not really remembering what I said, which is good, that means I was honest and didn’t have an agenda.

Although I always have an agenda.

I want to look cool and hip and sexy and smart and oh, so available for dating.

Usually I am just honest and speak from the heart and yeah, I don’t remember what I said and that makes for the best kind of sharing for me.

I can’t fuck it up.

My friend was a total sweetheart and didn’t just drop me off at the nearest BART, but actually drove me all the way home here to the Sunset.

I wouldn’t actually be blogging right now, I’d be on a train, if he hadn’t driven over the bridge.

Such a gift.

A ride home.

And we talked loads of Burning Man.

He was at my first Burning Man camp and is one of the few people on playa who actually knows my first playa name and still calls me by it.

He encouraged me to come and camp with his camp again.

I haven’t actually camped with them, he started an off shoot of the one that I went to my first year, but I have spent lots of time hanging out around their camp fire on playa and I know many of the people who are a part of the crew.

They are definitely my fellows.

And yes.

I know.

It’s February and I’m already talking about Burning Man.

It’s in my fucking blood.

Of course I want to go.

And I will.

Not sure how.

But I will.

Not sure how I’ll get the time off from work.

But.

I will.

It always works out.

Just like today, smooth and sweet and falling into place, showing up for each moment as they come and living in that moment.

It’s a grand way of life, being present, not living in fantasy, just being in the here and the now.

A gift, the present.

All my life, so many presents, and so often I was too far inside my head to realize what was in front of me, I missed life because I was focused on what I didn’t have and what I wanted and thought I needed.

I was always provided for.

I have always been taken care of.

I have such faith that this vein of love and care will continue.

As long as I show up.

Do the next indicated action.

And.

Let go of the results.

Simple.

Not easy.

But really.

Quiet simple.

It is an elegant design for living.

Beyond grateful that I have been gifted with it.

Just for today.

I have it all.

Right here.

Right now.

Perfect.

Love.

And.

Grace.

 

On The Road Again

September 9, 2016

Albeit a little chilly for it.

I got my scooter back today.

Hurray!

I researched scooter jackets online last night and resolved that I would wait until I went into the shop and see what they had there, that way, even though it may cost a few bucks more, I would be covered and happy in the chilly night on my commute home.

Except.

Gah.

All they had in my size was a horrid army green and orange jacket.

I mean ew.

I paid for my scooter, $246.81 and scooted out the door.

I just now bought a new pink Corazzo jacket on line.

Fuck it.

I found a cheaper one than what I was looking at last night and hopefully I’ll have it by Monday.

Until then I can layer up.

It wasn’t too bad a ride home though.

I was going to go up to the Slovenian Hall, but once I was going into the wind I realized I really didn’t have enough layers on to make it a comfortable ride, so I just got myself home a little early.

I figure I’ll get up early and do a yoga class before work.

Ah work.

More and more of it is cooking and less and less is with the boys.

I am going to start looking for other avenues.

Less housework, more kids, toddlers, or my preference, babies.

I’ve got with my current family through December.

I’ll spend a little time putting together my resume and updating things.

I don’t really think it will be too hard to find a new position.

In fact, the mom told me when we were talking before I headed out to Burning Man, that if something came up that was of more service to me and my needs to go for it.

The boys are both in school and so much of what I do now is household stuff.

Laundry, dry cleaning, runs to the market.

But!

Oh what an awesome run to the market today.

I ran into a playa friend on the street!

I have never seen him off playa and thought I was hallucinating.

Man, that person looks a lot like…

“Hey!  What are you doing here, I thought you were on your way back to London?!”

We hugged and I met his friends, who were still in Burning Man mode and instead of getting handshakes I got great big hugs.

That was nice.

We chatted and I recommended a restaurant in the hood and then went back to work.

I made gyoza tonight.

My first time making steamed dumplings.

Earlier this week I made spinach, sausage, and mushroom lasagna.

And the usual broccoli soup, sushi rice, oatmeal, and prepped veggies and fruit the family likes.

Which is to say that my job seems to be evolving more and more into a personal chef deal.

On one hand I don’t mind.

On the other, as I was reminded by a friend, “just because you’re good at it, doesn’t mean you have to do it.”

I remember looking out the window at one point today, wistful and a little sad.

It was beautiful, sunny, the skies so blue.

And the boys were with dad doing Legos and mom was doing mom stuff and I was in the kitchen.

I haven’t had a job like this before.

And that’s great.

It’s a new experience.

But.

Man I miss getting outside to the parks.

I did manage to get outside once this week.

Once.

It’s Thursday and I have been out to the park once with the boys.

Remember this feeling, I told myself, as I struggled to make the top bunk on the boys bed–it’s special size and awkward as fuck to fit the sheets on it–remember this feeling, this is not what you want to be doing for work.

I haven’t had many conversations with myself with that amount of clarity.

In fact.

The last time I told myself to remember how bad something felt I was hung over.

I mean.

It’s a bit of a stretch to compare the two things, but I had the exact set of words pop into my head as I did that one time I was staring at myself in the mirror at the house on Potrero and 25th Street.

“Remember how bad this feels,” I admonished myself.

There was more conversation that followed and a phone call from a friend that lead to me cracking a bottle of beer and sipping it in the hallway while I chatted with him.

I wasn’t halfway through that bottle before I was on the other line calling my dealer for a delivery.

I had forgotten the words before they had even dissolved into the bathroom tiles.

I stepped all over them and went my drug addled way to further create some havoc and ruin.

Ah desperation.

It worked though, it wasn’t much longer thereafter that I found myself in a church basement doing the deal.

Even though I had no clue what the deal was, just that this group of people suddenly swooped in and rescued me.

I have to rescue me from this job.

Before I forget and I get lax and I’m not happy and I’m letting go my boundaries again.

I had to hold tight to them today.

It feels like they are already getting pushed and I’ve only been back three days.

So.

Gently.

Putting.

It.

Out.

There.

I am available for a new nanny gig.

Babies preferable.

Parents that don’t work from home.

If it’s a great match I’ll give my current family notice, they will understand that I need to take care of myself as we have already had the conversation.

That being said.

I’ve got the job through the end of December should I want to stay.

I have also had it suggested to me that I can be a personal assistant or some such thing.

I make great broccoli soup.

Heh.

I’ll be looking for close to full time, but it doesn’t need to be 40 hours, 35 will do.

And, yes, I’m in graduate school, so the ask that I received a few weeks ago to work 50-60 is not on the table.

No more than 40 hours please.

And.

Thank you.

Often times putting things out on my blog is my way of working through whatever actions I need to take next in my daily life.

Thank God tomorrow is Friday.

This week has been big and full.

And very.

Very.

Very.

Adult.

I’m ready for some play time.

Seriously.

Where Am I?

September 1, 2016

Who am I?

Who is this woman?

Flying up in the sky.

At oh, about 12,500 feet, over the Sierra’s, which let me be frank, was a fuck of  a lot better than how I got over the Sierra’s.

Really, nothing says it’s going to be a long ride to the playa than finding out that the roof on the car that was picking me up was not in working order.

Oh yes.

That’s right.

We drove through the night, in an open top convertible VW Cabriolet.

It was cray cray.

And may I just add.

Hella fucking cold.

I mean, we drove through the mountains at night with the top down.

In the end, it didn’t matter, we got to the playa, albeit once we landed the poor kid’s car got crop dusted with playa from every vehicle driving past.

Who the fuck needed to do dust angels on the playa when we were already covered?

He dropped me, dropped all his clothes, from an untied garbage bag stuffed in his trunk, and once I got all my stuff out of the odd nooks and crannies I had to shove my things into, I gave him a hug, told him to relax and have fun and pointed him in the correct direction.

I have no clue what happened to him.

But I am assured he had enough molly and hits of LSD to make sure it was a fun trip to his side of the playa.

Note to folks.

Don’t tell your ride share that you are carrying drugs on you.

Just don’t.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Also.

When it’s suggested that you not have your bicycle cover up your license plate or obscure it in any way, really, listen.

OH.

And.

Navigation in certain desolate places in Nevada is not always spot on.

“Don’t turn,” I said loudly, I didn’t holler, I didn’t grab the wheel, but I almost did, he was totally on autopilot listening to his navigation system.

“But the navi says to turn left,” he said in a voice that was young, 23, slightly white male privileged and very naive.

“Honey,” I said in a kind voice, a voice that was beginning to be over being kind as I had talked him out of returning to Reno to buy bell peppers from the Safeway after having a text fight with one of his camp mates all the way past Fernley, “there’s not a road there.”

There was a dirt track leading God only knows where, but it was not leading to Burning Man.

The navigation insisted and for a moment I really thought the kid might just off road it and defy my suggestion.

Fortunately he did not and we got into Gerlach and refueled at the last gas station in town.

Then.

Burning Man.

I should call it “I didn’t get much sleep, man,” I mean really.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

I had gotten up on Friday at 7:30 a.m. worked then came home and left for the event and drove through the Sierra’s, remember in a chilly, drafty open roofed car.

Although, I will say it was beautiful, the Milky Way, the dark skies, the stars, the nebula and the two shooting stars I saw, exquisite.

We landed on playa around 3:45 a.m.

After a rather long, protracted grocery stop in Reno, wherein there was much re-packing and re-sorting of the small amount of space in the car.

After getting through Gate, getting the kid’s ticket from Will Call and getting to where I was camped, it was 5 a.m. by the time I had gotten my stuff to my small spot on the playa.

What was fortuitous though, was the sky starting to brighten.

By the time I had my tent up, my bins sorted, and my air mattress inflated, it was already beginning to get hot.

I tried.

Oh.

I tried really hard to lay in my tent on my new blow up mattress, but man, without a shade structure, it was just too hot to sleep.

I got up.

I did shit.

I did eventually take a nap in the communal shade structure and thank God.

I might have cracked.

I only really got emotional once the whole morning, and that was when my air mattress pump died.

I was like.

Fuck me.

It hadn’t held the charge and only blew up my mattress about a quarter of the way.

I was bereft.

Until.

Heh.

The playa doth provide.

A friendly neighbor in camp said, oh go across the street to the Electro Shock Therapy camp, they can help you out.

And help out they did.

It was a solar powered camp that had strips of chargers and before you knew it I had gotten my air mattress blown up, bed made, and was lying in a hot box trying to nap.

I retrieved the item that was to save my life, a black out sleep mask, and found myself reclining in the shade structure.

I got about an hour and a half of sleep.

Enough to get me going again.

I went to a birthday party that night and dressed up and was up until about midnight or 1 a.m.

Most nights I was up about that late and most days I was up by 7 a.m.

One day I was up at 5:15 a.m.

I went to watch the sunrise with some friends from camp on an amazing art car that took us all out to the far reaches of the event at the trash fence.

It was a spectacular sunrise.

And there were beautiful sunsets.

Long bike rides to deep playa.

Crazy conversations struck up out of nowhere.

Running into unexpected friends.

Being told how good it was to see me.

Getting tons of hugs.

But.

No kisses.

No boys.

No hook ups.

I just treated the whole thing like and art and recovery retreat.

It was fantastic though, no matter the  I am tired bit.

I am not spent.

I am happy.

Happy I got to go and got some good photos.

Although I am a little concerned, I’m having some trouble with my regular camera.

I think the dust has finally gotten to it, I’m going to try a few things, but I may have lost some photos.

Such is life.

And I have my memories.

Loads and loads.

And a day to sleep in before I head back into school.

A day to readjust, catch up on the sleep, and um, oh, yeah.

Go see Mike Doughty play.

Nice to be home.

I have no complaints.

Not a one.

I am so very happy.

Yes indeed.

I get to sleep in a dust free bed, I got the playa out of my hair, and I get to see a great musician tomorrow with friends.

Life is lovely.

Nighty night y’all.

I have some much needed beauty rest coming to me.

Sweet dreams my friends.

Sweetest, undusty dreams.

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.

The Internet Connection is No Bueno

August 24, 2016

Seriously.

I’m going to have to take this blog somewhere else, I get such awful reception in the room I’m staying in, I started it in a Word doc but have transferred it over to my WordPress platform which keeps going in and out.

Story of my life.

Half the time that I am at home the internet will drop or I can’t get online or I’m standing on one foot doing the electric boogaloo trying to pick up the signal so I can post my blog.

I could go elsewhere in the house, I suppose that may be the answer at this time.

I don’t want to though, I’m all cozy in my room and I need a bit of a break from the day and the family and the stuff and things.

I know very well why I am not the woman who would ever accept an in house nanny gig, meaning a live-in.

It’s just way too hard to assert boundaries when there’s no physical space, and fuck, I have a super hard time asserting boundaries anyhow.

I tried a bit today and it didn’t go well.

Which was sort of the expectation I had all along when I have thought about what I need to ask for in my job for me to do a good job.

I actually don’t want to talk about it right now since it feels very unresolved and very not able to address it in the moment and I feel pretty stressed about it.

Stress and anxiety never really serve me and as I sit in my room in this big house out in the Sonoma country side I put into my mind all the love and support I have from my friends and know that whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.

I just don’t have much practice with conflict resolution in my work life or in my life in general.

I can’t stand conflict, let me be up front.

Conflict in my life was not typically met well.

I joked with a friend tonight that I was terrified to have conflict because I realize that I think I’m going to be beaten if I bring up an issue that I have needs around.

And.

Yes.

This is a dramatic reenactment of my childhood shit that still lingers when I least want it to.

I also know that a lot of this can be circumnavigated the more I communicate what I need.

I also know that sometimes people don’t want to hear that you have needs or aren’t interested in helping you meet them.

And that’s ok too.

This is all my stuff.

My stuff I get to work on and if it doesn’t work out, hey, there are other jobs in the sea, I’m good at what I do, I am smart, capable, loving, kind, compassionate and accommodating.

Too accommodating for my own good, as the case may be.

I’ll leave it at that.

Which yes is vague blogging, but I really don’t feel comfortable airing it out here until I know what is going to happen next for me.

As there is still conversation that needs to happen.

Anyway.

One nice thing about asking for what I need is saying what I have to have in regards to hours for the fall and being met with an affirmative yes, that is doable.

Basically what I did last year, work 35 hours a week on weeks I’m not in school and weeks when I am, 28 hours a week.

It’s enough to get by and cover my costs if I am frugal.

I also found out that I am going to have a slightly different Friday than I was expecting.

I thought I would be here in Glen Ellen with the family, but mom asked me to go back to the city early, after work on Thursday and help out by being at the house on Friday while they are still here in Glen Ellen and cooking for them so that they are set up when they get back from the summer vacation and have things ready for the boys for the first week of school.

I can totally do that!

It helps me out as much as them.

I’ll be able to return the rental car early, Thursday night, rather than trying to helter skelter it back on Friday and then get back to my house to leave with my ride share to the event.

I’ll also be done with work and in the city by 6p.m. versus leaving Glen Ellen at 6p.m. and then having to drive back with Friday traffic.

This means home by 6:30 p.m. and ready to go by 7p.m.

I e-mailed my ride and let him know that I would be ready an hour and a half earlier than I thought.

There is also a very good possibility that I will be done sooner than 6p.m., but I am going to play it safe and not promise that I will be available sooner than that.

I did indicate there was reason to believe I may be done sooner, but it all depends on how much cooking I get done and how fast the InstaCart delivery gets to the house.

If it follows like it did the last time I cooked for the family when they wanted a big supply of dinners in the freezer from me when I went to my school retreat, I’ll be done by 5p.m.

That would be the most optimal.

I would love to come home and leisurely get my organized stuff out to the front of the house and change into something appropriate for a long drive and maybe shot gun a coffee or thirteen.

I mean we will be driving all night.

But that is fine with me.

I am so eager to go.

Just have to make it through the next two days without imploding.

I know that ultimately for me this is a great growth opportunity and that there is no malicious intent on either side, and it’s also just a job.

It may be challenging to get what I need or to ask for it, but if this isn’t the right place for me to keep growing and being of service, there are other places.

And I’m grateful, I’m grateful for the conflict, I’ll probably change my mind about that tomorrow when we talk, but I know that I’m growing and that this is change and change begets change and I deserve to grow.

And to know that conflict doesn’t mean annihilation.

It just means communication of uncomfortable things.

And I don’t need to be right.

But I do need to be happy.

And that means, communication.

I just need to say what works for me.

Even if it’s not heard they way I want it to be heard, or it’s misconstrued.

I know I will be better off for having voiced it.

Here’s to having a voice.

Here’s to change.

Even when it sucks.

Especially then.

Since that typically is the time when I grow the most, benefit the most, and find even greater reserves of love in my life.

Love.

Love.

It’s all about the love.

Always has been

Always will be.

Love.

Psychodynamic Psychiatry

August 23, 2016

You soul sucking little fucker.

Geeze Louise.

I think a little bit of my brain tried to ooze its way out of my ear when I wasn’t looking.

That being said, I just killed a good portion of the reading I need to have done for my first weekend of school.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s confusing.

I have already had 8 days of school, but that was the intensive (two classes completed in one week), my semester officially begins the 2nd of September, which is why I shall be returning from the dusty dust quite a bit earlier than I want to.

Ah well.

At least I get to go.

I had another person tell me recently, thank you so much for your unsolicited advice, that I should just speak to my teacher and tell him (note him, note now I think you’re sexist, and white, and old (at least from the photo), and probably haven’t been laid in a while, oops, am I projecting?) and let him know that it was Burning Man and important to me and I would catch up on my classes soon.

A yeah.

Not so much.

My school program is an Intensive program, it’s a weekend program.

It meets five times a semester for three days and in that time I am expected to process, digest, and understand the same amount of information that the weekday students are getting in 16 weeks of class.

I can’t miss any of the first weekend.

It would be graduate school suicide.

I do have a person in my cohort who decided to take off this semester and part of that decision did indeed have to do with going to Burning Man.

I did not feel like that was any kind of option for me and I sort of wondered, partially in worry and partially in awe, that the fellow was going to do it that way.

But hey.

I can’t decide how others live their lives and I get to prioritize what works best for me.

And I get to go to both things.

Actually, there’s more than two things happening here as well.

I will also be going to the Mike Doughty Living Room show on September 1st.

I have a hankering to ask him out for a cup of coffee and shoot the shit for a little while.

I may do it just to say I did it.

I mean.

What if he said yes?

That would be fun.

But back to the school stuff.

I am proud of myself for kicking through that chunk of reading.

I did 135 pages of pretty wordy reading, it was some serious deep theoretical writing.

I also went through the beginnings of my DSM 5 Desktop reference book..

I am getting myself primed for my Psychopathology class.

Say that five time fast.

There’s two really big papers and the information is dense and I wanted to make sure that I attended to the reading before going to that thing in the desert.

Pretty much what I did last year.

Get as much reading done as possible and write all the papers that I need to before going, which will allow me to come home and de-dust and get my head on straight and have a day of rest before jumping into the fray of a three day school weekend.

The bad news was originally that the school weekend is Labor Day weekend and bah humbug, I’m supposed to be doing all the things in the desert.

Now.

My thought is.

Yay!

Labor Day weekend.

I’ll have a day off before I go back to work!

Typically I roll right from the school weekend right into the work week and there is no down time, there is only get down time, get it done time, get going time, make it happen time, don’t have enough time, what fucking time do I have to set my alarm for time, do I have enough time to do yoga time, and get my God on time, and let’s not forget blog time and sleep time and please, God, let there be some sexy time in there too.

Whew.

That’s a lot of time on my mind.

So.

Despite feeling like I am in a holding pattern this week at work in Glen Ellen.

I am grateful to have some “spare” time to throw at the reading for school.

Grateful to know that I have all my gear packed and my house neat and tidy and my bed is made with fresh sheets and the garbage went out this morning and the compost and I watered my plants, paid rent early, and all I have to do is keep showing up steady for work and being sweet and kind with the process.

And in a small aside.

I got my period!

Fuck yeah.

This makes ten in a row without my menses on playa.

Not something I want to deal with.

I swear I willed the little fucker into being just to have it over with before I hit the playa.

Even when I was cramping up a little and my back was sore, is sore, and I was like, thank you God for reminding me to pack the ibuprofen in my bag, I was also doing little mental cartwheels of joy that I don’t have to deal with it at all on playa.

One last thing to not have to pack.

The only thing I really want to get before I go is a toothbrush.

I like having a fresh guy when I get back.

I like having all the things clean and tidy and neat when I get back, a new pair of black Converse waiting in my closet and fresh set of sheets on the bed, fresh washed clothes in the closet, swept floors, and a new toothbrush.

It’s a nice way to restart the daily life of living.

I suspect that since I’m only going for four days, the shortest time I have ever gone, that a lot of those things won’t feel quite the same as they have in the past, but they will still be nice.

And that’s what I want to give myself when I get home.

Nice.

I’m sitting pretty right now.

Happy to have done so much work on my Monday.

Happy to have done all the work yesterday to be ready for the weekend.

Happy to have some sunshine too–that fog was serious this weekend in San Francisco.

Happy!

Happy!

Joy!

Joy!

T-minus four days and counting.

But who’s counting?

Heh.


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