Posts Tagged ‘playground’

Get Paid

January 5, 2019

It’s not going to be a lot.

But it’s going to be something.

Two things.

First I got a raise at the beginning of the year, 5%, which is lovely, and will go into effect my next paycheck.

The amount that will show up on my actual paycheck is pretty small.

Still, anything is helpful.

And.

I applied to become an employee with Grateful Heart last night.

Currently I am what is called a “volunteer.”

I don’t get paid anything.

My clients pay me and I deposit that money into a one way account.

Grateful Heart administration is the only entity that can withdraw anything from it.

I can’t touch it.

I recently turned in my hours, client hours, and how much I took in, to the administrative team, which keeps tabs on all the therapists in the community and double checks the accounts against the reporting that is being done.

I am scrupulous with the money coming in and I have documented everything correctly.

The fastest a new Associate Marriage Family Therapist can become an employee with Grateful Heart is three months.

January 1st marked three months for me with the agency.

I applied on January 3rd after reporting my client hours and income for the month of December.  I have to do it once a month and as I noted, it gets matched against the bank account.

Their policy is that once a $1,000 prudent reserve is met and three months of income have been established a volunteer can apply to become an employee.

I should get approved pretty quick.

Fingers crossed, we have had some administrative changes recently, new hires, etc, I can’t believe it would take a lot of effort to look over my accounts and verify that I have what it takes to become an employee.

I am not bringing in heaps of money.

But.

I am bringing it in.

In fact.

Applying for the position actually showed me how much I have been doing in regards to establishing myself as a new therapist in the community.

In my first month I brought in $700.

In my second month, $1700.

Last month, $2400.

My rent gets taken out and a hefty ($350) administrative fee, the rest is left in my account, which has begun to actually accrue some funds.

I have more than met the prudent reserve and I have money that I could actually be collecting.

For myself.

Like real income.

They have a formula to help you figure out what you can take out without dipping below the reserve and also that I have to be paid the minimum wage for the hours I claim.

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 an hour.

So basically I will get paid slightly less than half my nanny wage.

Ugh.

But.

I will be able to increase that fairly quickly, I believe, and I will, once I become an employee, be able to get compensated for office costs.

I will also get reimbursed for my own therapy.

And that money will not be taxed or charged the 12.5% fee that Grateful Heart will also start taking as soon as I become an employee.

So, rent, administrative costs, and 12.5% goes to them and I get the rest.

It is not enough to live on by any means.

However.

It is more coming in and since my rent is a $1,000 more a month than it used to be.

(ugh)

It really will help.

Especially getting the money back from my own personal therapy.

It made me sort of chuckle when I thought about it.

I’m doing therapy to get therapy.

Heh.

I was required by my Master’s program to work with a licensed MFT and I could have dropped her and the therapy once my program ended, I worked with her for a year.

But.

It’s been helpful and I sense that it’s better for me to stay with it for a while yet.

It’s been very supportive of my transition with school, the PhD program, moving, old childhood trauma, family of origin issues, etc.

So, I’ll keep doing it and getting some money back to pay for it will feel really nice.

I’m feeling a lot of relief knowing that some more income will be coming in and it’s also a nice way to see that all these years of work is actually beginning to pay off.

Not a lot of pay off.

Yet.

But it will happen.

I had set an intention on my birthday last month that this would be my last year as a nanny.

I will have 25 full fee, weekly, seriously committed, wonderful clients who I get to help and empower by the end of this upcoming year.

25 is the number of clients most therapists aim for.

One could do more, but you court burn out.

It’s a lot of work to show up and be present for people and listen and reflect and use theory and trainings and bear witness to trauma.

Horrible trauma.

And it’s a great gift too.

I am a good therapist.

I really am and I am proud of the work I have done to get where I am.

I’m excited to help more people.

I’m happy that I have a career.

Not that having been a nanny hasn’t been a beautiful career, it just has an end and I feel it coming close.

I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

Amongst some other things, but mostly nannying.

Which is its own kind of therapy, when it’s done well, I believe.

I have been out to the parks a lot lately and I’ve been finding myself really judgmental.

I draw kids to me like flies, I literally had my little girl charge today (alone most of the day, three parks, Souvla for lunch, two toy stores for stickers, balloons, ice cream from BiRite Creamery with rainbow sprinkles) up at Dolores Park and at one point found myself surrounded by five little monkeys demanding snacks.

Friends of hers from her private school.

It was adorable and also intense.

Good thing I had packed extra snacks.

Kids love me and I them, but sometimes it becomes quite obvious when  a child isn’t getting their needs filled–emotional, physical, intellectual–and like a heat seeking missile they will go to someone who does.

That was me a lot today.

I just wanted to shout out, put down your Iphones and pay attention to your children!

But.

I didn’t.

And I’m glad I didn’t, it would have looked rather untoward.

If I’m honest too, my current family hired me because the mom remembered seeing me at the playground with a former set of charges and something similar happened.

She told me later that she realized I was a treasure and that she had been ecstatic when she found out I was going to be available.

Anyway.

Here’s to drawing clients to me like I drew children to me today.

I also have to say, when I really let myself acknowledge it, children are honest and if they like you it says a lot and if they trust you it says a lot too.

I was trusted a lot today at the parks, I got to be surrounded by much happy love.

Which is beautiful and I hope that I will in turn pass that along to the clients I get to see tomorrow, and all my days thereafter.

 

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Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

And It’s Here

August 25, 2017

Holy shit.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my first day of classes in my third, and last, year of my Masters in Counseling Psychology program.

Fuck.

How did it get to be time already.

It feels hyper surreal.

On one hand I feel like I was just in class last weekend.

On the other it feels like years and ages.

I also have a better sense of what I’m walking into with my schedule as I have spent some time tonight doing more reading for class and looking over my syllabi for the classes I have tomorrow.

I only have two.

Which is a change from previous years when I had three classes a day on Fridays.

Of course.

I have practicum, which is the difference.

And beginning in September, basically after I get back from Burning Man, I will be seeing clients on Fridays.

And.

Sigh.

Saturdays too.

I have a few clients scheduled for my first weekend back from playa.

Mostly to make up for the sessions I will have missed by being out-of-town.

I was pleased and flattered when two of my clients asked me to make up sessions with them, they didn’t want to go two weeks without seeing me.

That was nice to hear.

I am doing a good job.

Not the best, I am far from the best, but I’m doing a decent job and I know that I am making headway with my clients and that they are getting something out of the relationship, enough so that they want to continue seeing me and wanting to make up for the lost sessions.

I am grateful for the work.

It is work.

Don’t get me wrong, but it is also such rewarding work.

And I am also happy that I am continuing to learn and make connections and see things, that the work generates constant learning is amazing.

I am not in a cookie cutter job, I am getting to constantly and consistently learn.

No better thing that.

I shall spend my whole life learning and still feel that there is so much more to know and learn and so much growth yet to be had.

Perhaps on this plane.

Perhaps in another.

I don’t know what or where any of this is going.

I just know that I want, with sincerest passion and longing, to be true to this moment, the one I am in, that in this moment there is constant love, consistency and self-awareness.

I am the best person I know how to be.

In this moment.

It will change.

I will have my failings.

I will freak out.

I will get scared.

I did today when I inadvertently flipped open Facebook, which I am less and less on, I just don’t have the time or bandwidth for it, to see a response to a post I had put up about having found a ride to Burning Man and how I was happy for it.

The response was from the woman I am going with.

And it should have been a direct message to me.

But.

Nope.

Of course it wasn’t, it was a post displayed for the entire forum to see, hundreds of folks.

I didn’t respond because it wasn’t the right thing to do and I felt instant, I mean, instant resentment.

Don’t fucking change things up on me now!

I am inflexible when I am in fear.

I want what I want and I want it the way that I want it.

Got that?

Good.

So, basically, do it my way.

Damn it.

But no.

My ride has some ideas, some thoughts, some desires to do it her way.

And as such.

Wanted to know if I would be open to renting a mini van.

Oh.

Well.

Fuck my life.

I had a fucking reservation made on my own to rent a god damn vehicle, a reservation I cancelled after securing the ride with the woman whom I am going with.

If I wanted to pay for a fucking rental I would have gone up on my god damn own.

This is my thinking walking down the hill on Chenery, on the way to go get my charge some snacks at the Glen Canyon Market and then go to the park at the rec center.

I almost said it out loud.

And no four-year old needs to hear my profanity.

I was, when I am in resentment it usually stems from fear–I’m not getting what I want or I am afraid I’m going to lose something–full of angry profanity and resentment.

I took a deep breath.

I did not respond on Facebook.

I paused.

I breathed some more.

I swore in my head some more.

Then I just got into, this is what’s happening and this is what is going on and I can accept the situation or I can rant like a maniac.

Do I want to be happy?

Or.

Right.

Right!

Just kidding.

Sigh.

I wish.

No.

I want to be happy.

And if my elderly lady stateswoman wants to rent a mini van, well so be it.

I let a lot of time go and I said some prayers and I did some spot check inventory in my mind and I realized a bunch of stuff.

I have a job to attend to.

I am with my charge and I have to go get my other charge across town.

I am in a pretty park with a sparkling water in my hand, I am outside, the grass is green, the pollinating plants smell intoxicating, the clover especially, and I am alive to have all these feelings.

I have the opportunity to accept what is going on and I prayed for guidance to take the next action in front of me.

So when the text came in from my ride I was able to respond, not react, and take a phone call.

Oh.

I still got flustered on the phone.

I had an idea of what I was going to spend on getting to the damn event and now I was facing having to pay more and I felt a bit in a bind, a bit out of control, like, I don’t have any other way at this time to get myself out there and I have a three-day weekend of school and the rest of the work day to get through.

I can’t fathom trying figure out other means of transport.

I told her I was willing to consider it.

I asked what she wanted by way of compensation.

She gave me, what I considered a vague, cop-out response, but, ultimately, the freedom to decide what I felt comfortable contributing.

I had a number in my head.

I paused for a while after getting off the phone.

I know I can afford it.

I am willing to pay more.

I don’t want to think about it.

I have other things happening before it.

I want to show up alive and present and enjoy every beautiful moment of my weekend.

So.

Whatever vehicle shows up for me on Sunday.

Well.

That’s the one I’m going in.

And whatever the cost.

Well.

That’s what I will be paying.

I’m just surrendering to what’s happening and letting God have it.

God always does in the end anyway.

I get to have this experience.

And like so many others.

I am sure there will be spiritual growth.

And.

Love.

I am certain of that.

There will be love.

There always is.

Foiled!

July 14, 2017

But not really.

I mean.

Yes, I am a bit disappointed that the Friday 8:30 a.m. yoga class I was going to hit up was cancelled.

Boo hiss.

But.

On the other hand.

I get to sleep in!

Yes!

Especially after a full week and a very, very, very full day today.

It was a good day, but it certainly had some big pockets of anxiety.

Not mine either.

The family I nanny for left today for three weeks.

THREE!

Oh my God am I so excited to have some down time.

I actually.

Wait for it.

I have the whole day off tomorrow!

The whole fucking day.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Like.

Over the god damn moon.

No clients.

No internship.

No paperwork.

Not as though they didn’t try.

Ugh.

I had an e-mail today that I wasn’t paying much attention to as I was busy helping the parents get ready for their trip.

I had to do a lot of monkey wrangling today and the monkeys did not want to be wrangled.

When I showed up the oldest boy was already in his travel clothes with his back pack on his back.

Oh dear.

They didn’t leave for the airport until 4p.m. today.

It was 9a.m. when I showed up for work.

Sigh.

I could tell it was going to be a challenge, but I was game for what was happening, although I thought I might lose it when the two oldest siblings just about killed each other at the playground.

They are really physical kids and sometimes I think they go at it a little too hard, somebody gets too aggressive, somebody pokes too hard, or pulls hair or bites and all hell breaks lose the the sister goes bananas.

I mean.

The lady can howl bloody murder.

I also know when she’s faking for attention, so there’s that, but like, the rest of the playground doesn’t know that, she sounds like she’s dying but it’s just dramatics.

I let it go as long as I can, hoping they will work it out and once in a while I do have to intervene.

And of course, though it was pulling teeth to get them to the playground, when it was actually time to rally and go back up the hill, we were at the Noe Valley Rec Center, they didn’t want to go home.

Haha.

Ah.

Nanny life.

They did get home though, and by the time I got them across the MUNI tracks at the end of Church Street and heading up the hill on Chenery, they started to get excited.

So too, did I.

I could see the end of my shift in sight and though I was going to have some down time in between my client that I saw tonight and the end of my shift, I was happy that my shift was about over.

It did seem like an extra long day.

Just the anticipation and the anxiety and the double and triple checking the passports and visas and id’s and snacks and last minute laundry, and cleaning out the fridge (I was given three pounds of asparagus as a parting gift and two avocados that hadn’t been eaten.  What the hell am I going to do with that much asparagus?  Soup maybe.) and getting the keys to the house and making sure I had an extra set of car keys if there was an emergency and also co-ordinating the cars and the all of it.

It was a lot.

So yeah.

Four o’clock and I was able to zoom out.

I got a check for the overtime I worked this week.

Yeah.

Overtime.

And I’m interning, but whatever I got to make it through and yes, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of yoga but the additional sleep in time will be nice.

The time I had in between work and my client this evening was spent running errands, post office, zip home, drop off package, collect mail, tidy house, clean bathroom, masturbate, ahem, I needed to de-stress after I sat down and checked my e-mails.

They booked me a client for tomorrow!

NO!!!

I said no clients.

I wanted to have this one fucking Friday free.

What the hell?

I was upset.

I have plans.

I thought about contacting the person I am seeing tomorrow and saying, well, shoot, sorry, I got a client, but then I saw it was a consult and I was like, no, this is bullshit, I marked the calendar clearly and I do not want to take a consult tomorrow.

NO.

I started an e-mail and then I was like, why the hell am I fucking around.

Call my assistant director.

I did.

We cleared it up.

I have tomorrow off.

Which is fucking good since I’m getting my hair done.

Cut and color and a blow out.

Please and thank you.

I laughed with the mom today when she asked if I was doing anything fun, besides working at my internship while they were on vacation.  And I told her I was going to a ritzy upscale salon downtown to get my hair did.

I always feel a bit out of place there, so many ashy blondes with razor cut layers, so much money, the atmosphere is very white, upscale, wealthy, which is fine, I just feel a little out of place, although I like to play like I have money and I hazard I tip better than the majority of the clients, much better.

The cut and color will still be a pretty fucking penny, but I don’t care, hello student loan summer disbursement.

Thanks overtime check from this week and last week.

I got the cash and I deserve to be a little spoiled.

Anyway.

I do like Harper Paige (good grief even the name sounds like ash highlights and toner), I get a sassy cup of coffee, fashion magazines, and the prettiest smock I’ve ever worn getting a hair cut.

And.

I know the colorist.

I have known her for over twelve years and she’s amazing and probably has as many tattoos as I do and we have a lot of mutual friends in common, I mean a lot.

So.

She’s the reason why I’m “slumming” at a fancy pants salon down town.

I’m even going to skip taking my scooter and splurge on a car.

Get all dressed up, wear some stockings, put on some heels and a pretty frock and really play the part, you know, tattoos be damned, I can look hella polished and femme when I want to.

I’m so excited.

It feels nice to take the time and let myself be properly pampered.

I may even book a massage over the next couple of weeks.

I have a tentative MOMA date with a girlfriend Monday after I meet with my supervisor and some lunch dates and coffee dates with friends lined up.

Nothing solid yet, but I’m going to enjoy my time “off” so much.

I’ll still be taking clients.

Just not tomorrow.

Heh.

Here’s to a very well deserved day off.

I mean.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Don’t Tell Me How To Do My Job!

September 22, 2015

Or anything else either.

I am feeling a touch overwhelmed.

Can you tell?

First, I had too many people, two, but who’s counting, tell me what to do today while I was working.

Hey, you know what?

I didn’t fucking ask.

Further.

I don’t want your opinion.

And lastly.

Yes.

I did some spot check inventory and some checking in with myself and I understood pretty damn quick as I cramped up in KidPower Park (crack power now!) that I had just ovulated.

Great.

I’ll be getting that friendly reminder in the next day or two.

Which is fine.

It’s on time, it’s doing what it does, the body.

I just knew there was something up with me when I got overly sensitive to the three-year old throwing a temper tantrum on the sidewalk as I pushed the stroller through La Mission, the great gentrification thereof, and it’s nearby environs.

People do not always like kids in the Mission.

The hipsters don’t want to get out-of-the-way of the stroller and no one wants a screaming three-year old disturbing them while they taste artisanal chocolates at Dandelion or while they are getting their haircut at Fellow Barber, or god forbid while they are on a sneaky Tinder date early happy hour at Bar Tartine.

No.

And nothing says good times like a three-year old screaming at the top of his lungs while flailing his feet in the stroller.

“IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

Sorry kiddo.

No bagels to be had at 4:30 p.m. on a Monday afternoon in the Mission.

Oh.

I know i could have gotten him a “special treat” at the coffee shop, but I was just stopping in to grab a thank you card for someone who had sent me a Bicycle Coalition Membership!

That was a nice thing to get in the mail.

Especially since I have no extra money and I apparently, I will get to the bottom of this later, I owe money on my account with school?

Anyway.

I had not found out that information and I am not certain to the credibility of it and I am trying to not panic at the thought of owing $3,478.

I mean, huh?

Oh.

Fuck.

I don’t want to write about this right now.

I am still writing about a bagel.

“Honey, I’m not getting you a bagel right now, we’re going to have dinner in a half hour,” I said as I paid for the card.

“IWANTASPECIALSNACK!”

“I made you a special dinner,” I cajoled, accepting the change and rapidly wheeling the stroller out the door and over to the park.

I had agreed to go to KidPower Park as the boys also wanted to stop by the Eco Center on 17th between Valencia and Hoff.

“She made chicken pot pie!” The five-year old gleefully jumped up and down.

“IDONTWANTCHICKENPOTPIE!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

UGH.

I had made chicken pot pie.

And roasted cauliflower.

And I was not about to bend on the bagel.

Once in a while a bagel is great, but not right before dinner and I knew I couldn’t justify it and I headed off to the park with a wailing, flailing, screaming child.

“He needs to get out and walk,” a man told me, who was also trying to hand me some sample of something in front of a store.

“No thank you,” I said as I went past.

“He needs to get out and walk,” the man said again, louder, stepping up to me.

I wheeled around with fire in my eyes, “I’ll thank you to NOT tell me how to do my job.”

And I walked away.

Grr.

I hate responding to people like that.

I don’t like being mean and I don’t like it when people assume I don’t know what I am doing, or try to offer help and I realized by the time I got to the park as was booting a homeless man out of the playground who was digging through the trash with a stray dog running around him, that I was about to go on a tear.

I asked the man to leave the play area and was told, “get a job!”

“I have a job, this is my job, you are in the way of me doing my job, get out of the children’s playground with the dog or I call the cops.”

I didn’t raise my voice, but I was dead serious.

He left.

He muttered some things best left unsaid.

I have called the cops three times in the year that I have nannied the boys.

Addict shooting up in the playground.

Pack of adolescents smoking pot and crack in the playground.

Homeless deranged man masturbating on the corner, I mean full on pants around his ankles, dick out and in hand.

Oh my fucking god I did not need to see that.

I got myself under control and then bent over double.

Ouch.

Oh?

Oh really.

Sigh.

Well, that makes more sense.

And I didn’t even need a third person to get pissed off at.

Generally I find that if I call three people an asshole in one day, I’m the asshole.

I got there a little faster today.

Hello.

And.

Happy Monday.

Happy anniversary to me too.

Well.

Almost.

Tomorrow makes one year with the family.

I mentioned it tonight before I left.

Which means tomorrow I ask for the pay raise.

I’m going to need it if I owe money on my tuition bill.

I can’t imagine why I have an outstanding balance and I can see that, obviously, something has been applied to it, since it would be a lot more than $3,478.

But.

I thought I was actually getting back some money.

That once my scholarship and subsequent loans were applied there was going to be an offset of about $2700 to my bank account.

I guess I need to call the financial aid office tomorrow and find out what is happening.

Perhaps my loans have been applied, but not yet the scholarship?

I know that the disbursement was to happen this Friday, although I received the letter from my federal student loan lender that my financial aid loan was applied to my school.

That must be it.

That is the only thing that makes sense.

The loans were applied, but my scholarship won’t be disbursed until Friday when the school disburses funds.

Whew.

That’s a relief.

Anyway.

There is nothing wrong.

Even if I do owe money.

It will come from somewhere.

I have a month’s rent in the savings and that will cover some costs and I suspect I will be taken care of anyway.

I always am.

I do the work.

I show up.

Even when someone tells me how to do me how to do my job, I know that I am doing a damn fine one indeed.

I have nothing to worry about.

Not at all.

Life is good.

Really.

I insist.

I don’t even need a special snack to know that.

Some Times You Have To Walk Away

June 11, 2013

She was crying and her small cocoa face crumbled up in tears and her mouth opened wide and I could see her little two-year molars cutting through her gums.

The tears flew out of her eyes and she held her small arms out to me pleading.

Mean while my little blonde elfin waif child clung to me and pinched my arm, “home, home, home, home, home,” she demanded.

She had been fine with her new friend until said new friend had clambered up me and I suddenly had two little girls, just a few weeks apart in age clinging to my arms.

I have been here before it is not such a bad thing to have two cuddle bunnies in my arms, but I had to put the other little girl down and she did not want me too.

Her grandmother was not helping, “she like you.”  She said pointedly and watched her grand-daughter wail away as I gathered all of our things together.

“I like her too,” I said with a smile, “she is a sweet little girl”.

The grandmother extended the child back to me, “no, I am sorry, I can’t hold her any longer, I have to take care of this one.”

Some times you want to take care of them all.

Some times you have to walk away.

It broke my heart and I could see every ounce of neglect etched into her small body, every solid meal denied, every bit of purple flavor popsicle shoved into her hand to get her to go away.

“You shouldn’t her hold upside down too long,” the grandmother had said a few minutes earlier as I tossed her gently in my arms, “I only got the one diaper on her and it’s gettin’ full.”

Oh fuck me.

I thought about handing her a diaper.

I thought about handing her the entire diaper bag.

Not my property to part with.

Then on the other spectrum there were the two little girls that rolled up in their miniature G-LS Class Mercedes-Benz black SUVs–motorized.  The pulled up just ahead of their daddy into the playground and led a cluster of children like the Pied Piper to surround them throng like in worship.

“Whoa,” one little boy said, “look at them rims.”

Indeed.

REALLY.

Drug dealers got kids too.

Or parents want themselves to look like they are drug dealers?

I don’t know.

It was just such a surreal moment to be nestled in, the Hispanic/German/Polynesian nanny with her white as white can be little girl charge.  And I don’t look like a traditional nanny either, “wow, look at her tattoos,” a little girl said to me earlier.

There were so many clichés happening I just about forgot to count them all.

Then the blind black man in the corner came tap, tap, tapping with his cane and his cadre of older heavy-set, but still lithe black women came into the park.

Every Monday there is some sort of mixed martial arts class that is taught.

One of the students rolls by in her car, turns up the stereo and Motown floods the playground.  I danced my little girl around and took her up and down the swirly slide until she wanted to go investigated the SUVs which had been parked by the dinosaur slide to be abandoned by their drivers, watched over by the dad who let the line up of little kids stare at the cars and gently touch the hoods, but did not let them get into them.

Show pieces indeed.

The class of four women, one blind black mane instructor, and a homeless dude that just decided to join up, stretched and starting to ki-ai in the back ground.

The elementary.

Whoa.

Fuck.

Gunshot.

That was a gunshot.

Where was I?

Elementary school next to the play ground let out and the entire yard was flooded with kids.

It was neat.

Neat is the word.

The mixture of kids in the playground, black, Hispanic, Asian, white kids, mulatto kids, all sorts of mixtures and ethnicities, the hipster white mid-twenties male teacher/monitor with Ray Bans on telling the kids the rules to the kick ball game, all hodge podge and tossed together in the bowl of the park.

I loved it.

I did not like walking away from the crying child, but I am not responsible for all the little ones in the world.  I just can’t be.  I am barely responsible to myself.

Today as I watched a rail thin mother so eradicated by crack jitter across the street in front of my bicycle as I came home on International Avenue, I thought to myself, “thank God I am not smoking crack.”

And as I flew by I saw the crown of a baby in the back seat carrier of the car.

“Thank God I don’t have any children of my own today,” flew out of my mouth.

I can’t imagine, despite having lived through some horror and neglect, the patina of time has tarnished the images and softened the impact, having children in East Oakland and having to turn tricks with them in the car to score crack.

Cannot.

I got to say I am going to take a pass on that experience.

Grateful that I do get to walk away, or ride away, as the case was, to admire instead the purple sky frosted with lavender and edged with ripe peach pink clouds sunset dusted palm trees hazing into the twilight.

So much beauty.

You just have to open your eyes to it.

Perhaps it was the stark contrast that made my heart open wider to accept in the gifts of the light or perhaps it was the long, fulfilling (I worked two different kinds of job today) day at work, something about the sky made me forget the crack and the crack babies, the potholes in the road and the jacked up El Camino that kept circling me, it was glorious.

I felt like I was indeed riding off into the sunset.

In East Oakland.

Honesty

January 28, 2012

I paid the deposit today on my new room, February rent, and I also paid for the two extra days that I am getting to be there.

When I handed Aurora the money, she counted it out and said, “I get you change”.

I said, “no, that extra is for you letting me rent the room before the 1st”.

She did not quite understand.  I was giving her more money.  She wanted to give me change.  Part of me really wanted her to give me change too.  The other part of me, that part that wants change of a different sort, said, I figured out the difference and added that in.  Thank you for letting me move in two days early.

I could actually move in tomorrow.  But I said no.  I need to wait until Sunday.  Plus, the room still has construction materials strewn about, the last touches are being put on the bathroom and there are tools and implements laying around, and I want to move into a fresh, new space.

A small, fresh new space.  Eek.  It’s a lot smaller than I remember.  But, it will hold my bed and it will accommodate a desk and it has a brand new big bathroom.  It is just perfect.

The elementary school across the street is also perfect.  As I stood in the waning late January light waiting to be let into the house, I listened to the laughter of the children running around the playground and I felt uplifted.

Scared.  Nervous.  But in the right place.

Overwhelmed.  But in the right place.

I don’t know how long I will be there.  I am saying that because it does not feel like a permanent residence.  But it is obvious to me that it is the next place I am supposed to be.  And I will make it my home for as long as I am supposed to.  Just like my job.  I don’t actually believe that I will be working in a bike shop the rest of my life, but it is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.

I am grateful to be just living life.  Simple.  Uncomplicated.  Work in the Mission.  Live in the Mission.  Go have a coffee at Philz.  Which is exactly what I did after I left my new place.

I went to Philz, had a large Canopy of Heaven with cream, no sugar, and sat and ate the dinner that I had packed up for myself.  I read over a newspaper and enjoyed the hell out of my coffee.

I left my bicycle at the shop, one less thing to move, and I walked around the Mission before meeting lady Beth at the Church St. Cafe.  We had tea and caught up.  God, I am so lucky to have amazing girl friends.

I missed my ladies this week, so it was really nice to sit and get caught up.  And it’s really nice to be myself, slightly neurotic, silly, and out there.  A wee bit self-deprecatory and sarcastic.

We talked about how we never see ourselves as we are.  So true.  I was feeling a little cheap and trashy and tawdry today.  I left the house feeling pretty darn cute and liking the frock I was rocking and the hair and make up and then the other gal at the shop walked in and I went right to I will never look like that ever.

I will not be that polished, put together, or small.

Uh duh.  Of course not, because I’m six inches taller.

Fact is, I don’t want to be her, but it’s an easy way for me to take out my insecurities and unpack them all over the shop when I work with her.  She’s just so, perfect.

Honesty.

Honesty says, look at the facts, ladybug, you are perfect too.  An ever evolving art work.  Ever changing, ever-growing.  I am grateful beyond words that I am not stagnating.  And Beth is spot the fuck on.  We never see ourselves the way others do.

I ever hear you saying things about yourself that I say about me, I’d sit you down and have a serious heart to heart talk with you about how special and amazing you are.  I am not always capable of doing that for myself.

But, that’s ok, as I am a lot better at it then I used to be, so much better at it then I used to be.

It is what’s inside that matters.  It is how I comport myself in the world that matters. It is giving Aurora the correct rent.  It is asking for help when I need it.

Right now I am struggling with not manipulating and asking for what I need.  The friends who were originally lined up to help me move on Sunday are no longer available.  I know I could get the whole job done on my own with no help.  I have done it before.  But I also know that I can ask for help.

I posted to FaceBook.  That will probably not work very well, but I am getting it out there.  I have also sent out a message to some guys I know that I am keeping my fingers crossed may be able to lend a hand.

I will be asking around tomorrow as well.  I hate asking for help, but what I am beginning to realize, is that I also don’t like myself when I am not being direct with my needs.  I caught myself being manipulative about needing help moving earlier and it made me so uncomfortable.

I am currently practising having acceptance of the behaviour in hopes that acknowledging that I do it and accepting that I do it, will allow me to walk through the fear of believing that I am not worthy of being helped.

Through the falsehood that no one likes me.  And through the garbage strewn landscape of my diseased brain.  Poor little brain.  You are just working it over time.  I hereby grant you a reprieve, little guy.  I will pick up the reigns and suck it up and ask for help.  I will accept that I do not know how to do it alone and regardless of my fears, it will all get done.

I do not need to manipulate it into happening.

Honesty.

Practising it makes me feel extraordinarily vulnerable and free all at the same time.

I am scared I won’t like my new home.  I am scared I made a mistake.  I am afraid.

There.  Now that’s all out there, let’s get a move on.

It’s time I got off the couch.


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