Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

First Book Ordered

July 26, 2019

And summer is done.

Well.

Not quite.

I still have a few weeks before school starts, but I am already doing just a little reading for this upcoming semester.

I said I wouldn’t touch school books until after my trip to Cuba.

I got back Tuesday night at 7a.m.

My god.

My bed was so nice to get into.

I love to travel, I really do, but there is nothing quite like your own bed.

Especially after sleeping 8 nights on a really hard mattress.  I have to admit I was a little let down when I saw my room, but after doing a walking tour of old Havana with a local architect, I got over that shit.

My casa, in comparison to much around me, was really quite nice.

It is one thing to know about the Cuban embargo.

It is another thing entirely to experience it.

The country is poor.

I mean.

Really poor.

And dirty, the streets are disastrous, the cars are all old and there is no smog control, so much exhaust.

So much.

And not actually that many cars, lots of classics, yes, which was fun, I won’t lie, and super cool to see, but there were lots of horses and carts too.

Horses and carts people.

Traveling from Havana to Vinales one day for a trip to visit a tobacco and coffee farm, I counted more horses and carts than actual cars on the freeway.

ON THE FREAKING HIGHWAY.

More horses then cars.

I am not kidding.

These were some of the cars I got to see and go for rides in.  I actually went for more rides in classic cars than regular cars, I didn’t actually take photos of them all.

Sometimes I don’t want to act like a tourist.

Even though I am totally a tourist, I just couldn’t really bring myself to pose on the cars, it didn’t feel like me.

I did, however, quite enjoy cruising around in them, especially when they had A/C.

It was fucking hot.

It was humid.

So humid.

My hair did some batshit crazy things.

And I was constantly sweating.

Er.

Glowing.

I was glowing.

A lot.

 

As you can see, I was “glowing” quite a bit.

I also learned to wear my hair up real fast.

Real fast.

And I was hella grateful that I had brought a travel umbrella.

I actually didn’t use it that much for rain.

There were some showers and one big storm, with hail!

But mostly, I used the umbrella for sun shade.

I was reminded a lot of Burning Man in that regard.  I usually  bring a parasol for the hot days out on playa.

In fact.

Havana reminded me a lot of Burning Man and in some ways having had the experience of going to the event was actually very handy.

I had to bring everything that I wanted or needed.

There were no stores to buy sunblock or extra toothpaste.

I had to use my water filter bottle or buy bottled water, there is no drinking water from the faucets.

Everyone buys bottled water.

Everyone.

It was really dirty, Old Havana is all cobblestone and dirt roads.

I mean.

500 year old cobblestones ain’t clean.

Plus add dogs, cats, and chickens to the mix, garbage, and potholes everywhere.

I’m super glad my friend who had been before cautioned me to wear really sturdy shoes and to bring anything that I might want because I was not going to be able to purchase it there.

I cannot tell you what it was like to see people queuing up for chicken, or to buy one bread roll.

The black market is a real thing there and I found out that I had participated without even knowing it by eating beef one night.

All beef is allocated to the government, restaurants are allowed to have it.

I had it and that means that it was bought on the black market.

Most of the time though I did stick with Cuban classics and I was quite happy with that.

My casa had breakfast every morning, fruit–usually a slice  of watermelon, some papaya, 1/2 a banana and slices of mango with coffee followed by one egg and one slice of avocado.

No bread for me, which my host couldn’t quite understand, but I’m sure she was happy to have the extra roll I sent back each morning.

I dined in a lot of private restaurants, basically in people’s homes.

And I found a couple of cafes that became my haunts, Cafe Bohemia and Papa Ernesto.

Aside, Che Guevero’s given name is Ernesto.

 

This is Cafe Bohemia.

I was so happy to have Pellegrino and mango blended with ice, which they called frappes.  I had a lot of mango.

A lot.

My poop turned orange.

I know.

But it did!

I have never had orange poo before.

Anyway.

The cafe was a life saver as too was Mas Habana.

A restaurant I never would have stumbled upon on my own as it was down a super dirty street with a lot of construction on it.

But I had made a reservation to do a tour of the houses in Old Havana and my host wanted to meet there.

It was a fucking oasis.

An air conditioned oasis.

I went back every day from that point on, either for lunch or for dinner.

On my last day I went there for both lunch and dinner.

I was the queen of beverages at every meal.

San Pellegrino.

Mango frappe.

Cafe con leche.

I had the same amazing appetizer each time, sometimes it was just my meal since I filled up on all the bevvies, tostones rellenos–stuffed fried plantains.

OOOOOH.

So damn good.

Mashed plantains made into patty’s, fried, and then topped with smashed avocado and a shrimp.

I was in heaven.

 

Mas Habana was my little haven.

And on my last night, I splurged and had lobster.

Also black market.

But, fuck it, it was my last night and I knew it was going to be good.

It was in fact, amazing, bathed in a beautiful garlic broth and shelled for me.

All I had to do was scoop it up in a spoon and sigh with delight.

The staff was great and my last night discounted my bill, “for being such a nice customer.”

I am a good tipper.

Once a waitress.

Always a waitress.

I had many more adventures, but I’ve got to get up early tomorrow.

So more pictures to come.

And more tales to tell.

I have a few more days before I need to knuckle back down for school, I promise I’ll show and tell a bit more before I get buried in the reading.

Promise.

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Abundance

May 9, 2018

Of tears.

Of tissues used for said tears.

Also of acknowledgements and validation and super sweet holding.

I do quite like my therapist.

I had so much happening this morning that I literally was at a loss as to where to jump in.

But jump I did.

We didn’t even cover half of what I was thinking I was going to talk about, which was fine, the one big issue I had awoken to this morning I dealt with my person on a phone call over my morning latte.

And though there was a lot of work that was done and an abundance of dumping, I even apologized at one point, I don’t normally dump, but I just had to get it all the fuck out.

She said, “bring it on, get it out.”

So I did.

It was a relief to do so.

I talked quite a bit about how much pain I have been in and how I felt like it was beginning to really make me weird in the head, she reflected that my body is working over time to keep me in balance and that it’s a hard thing to do right now.

It really is.

And it’s been pretty relentless these last few days.

I shared that I haven’t really dropped into being done with school, about how I almost fucked up my paperwork, but not really, but my head space has been foggy with dealing with getting everything done and being in pain whilst trying to do it, and that I didn’t beat myself up but that I was flummoxed at how side tracked I got doing what should have been a pretty simple tasks.

Simple tasks are not so simple when I’m busy and also trying to navigate through this experience with my body.

My sweet body that is just trying to get by and I am doing whatever I can to help it.

Second day of oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch, oatmeal for dinner.

I will admit, I haven’t had time to do decent food prep and not much energy for cooking when I get home.

Do a big therapy session, cry a lot, then go work a full-time shift with a teething baby and then after that go see two clients and be emotionally and empathetically available for them and expect myself to make a big fabulous dinner?

Nope.

Oatmeal.

I like oatmeal, so that’s not really an issue, but it does speak to me that there’s a lot happening inside that’s not in equilibrium.

I very much want to get back on track with my health.

I am grateful that I have an appointment soon to find out what’s happening.

And grateful for a therapist who let me dump for a while and then I got to talk about the other hard stuff.

I will be terminating a client on Thursday and there was a lot to process around the situation.

So we did that for a bit too.

And it was super helpful.

That my therapist went to the same school and did the same program as I really is such a helpful thing.

I get such nice perspective.

She doesn’t self-disclose much, but she does relate to me and I know that in the therapeutic alliance we have together that her experience helps me with mine.

Then.

I got to talk about the fun stuff, the happy stuff, the amazing I got a private practice internship!

It was such a joy to talk with her about that.

Especially since working with her helped me see that it was possible.

When my supervisor recommended it to me I was rather at a loss as to how to go about it.

My therapist opened that door, shared insights, and gave me places to look.

She did not tell me to approach the person I did, but she helped lay the foundation for that experience to unfold and I am so wildly grateful for that.

And that when things are supposed to happen, they just fall beautifully into place.

She reflected to me the amount of work I do and also what I could expect to charge as an intern would be higher than others just starting out as private practice interns.

She told me without a doubt I can charge $80-$100 per session.

Of course.

I won’t get that full amount.

But I tell you what I will get half of it at the minimum.

And that means $40-$50/hr.

So much more than the $0 I make now.

I have pretty much decided, you have heard it here first, that I will give up my internship where I am at as soon as I get my AMFT # from the BBS.

Once I have that number I can be paid as a private practice intern using my supervisor’s number, the woman I just basically got hired by.

We’ll have to set up W-2’s and there will be taxes taken out and other things I am sure.

I will have to pay for her supervision and I will have to pay a portion of the lease for the office.

She will take that out of the amount I am paid by my clients, and then she will pay me.

I will be making money and I will build a practice an I will have abundance.

That was the biggest take away from my therapist today, that I have striven so hard, all my life, worked and worked and worked and studied, and now, I am almost there.

That I am close.

In fact.

That I am closer than I even think I am.

I will be done with my current internship by September 1st.

That’s the plan.

I figure I will have my intern number by that point, it does take a little while for BBS to get all the paperwork and assign a number.

I am hopeful that I will be able to start seeing clients at my private practice internship after Labor Day.

Which feels about right and will be just after I have done the intensive for my PhD program.

I am so ready to step forward, ready to transition out of where I am, ready to start seeing the fruits of my labor.

I am excited about it.

I really am.

And I am ready to embrace all the abundance.

I.

Am.

So.

So.

Ready.

Gold From Dross

January 8, 2018

I keep hearing my person talking to me about my life and what’s been happening over the last few months and school, and work, and relationships and how she managed to give me the most amazing compliment and also an admonition all at the same time.

She said that of all the people who she’s met in her life I am the best person at making gold come out of a poor situation.

She was giving me a really big compliment.

And.

She was also pointing out that I am used to not getting to work with much, so I manage to make the best out of whatever situation that I am in.

That I also, it was noted, have a tendency to take whatever I can get and spin it into something beautiful because I was never really allowed to have wants or needs.

And as it turns out, those wants and needs are not being met.

In a way.

My needs are being met and wants are desires that have a pretty name attached to them.

I have everything I need and then some.

But she had an interesting point, that just because I have the ability to make due with less does not mean that I must have less, that I’m allowed more, and that I can acknowledge those wants even if they are not met.

It’s a poverty thing, growing up so poor, take what you can get and be happy that you got anything.

It’s a kind of scarcity thinking that I have to often work around.

Like yesterday when I was getting the crown for my cracked tooth and there was a part of me that was loud and vehement, go with the cheaper option!

Fortunately.

I have done so much work that I knew that what I needed to do was go for what was best for me and my health and have complete faith that I was being taken care of.

And I was.

I paid for it, it’s done.

Today was actually quite nice, no pain whatsoever.

Well, once, once I bit down on my dinner a little too hard and there was a snatch of pain, but other than that, nothing worth noting.

I’ll be gentle with my teeth for the next couple of weeks and head back in on the 20th to have my permanent crown put in.

What has stuck with me about the comment was partially what I did yesterday and also acknowledging that there are parts of me that I just don’t let out, I don’t acknowledge that I have wants and desires that are very human and pretty typical.

Again.

She noted in the sweetest, kindest ways, nothing judgmental about me, or my situation or my life, just that she wanted me to see the parts of myself that I was perhaps pushing away as I made gold from my situation.

It struck me deeply.

And when I got off the phone with her I hopped onto the website for my yoga studio and signed up for the 4:30 p.m. class.

I was going to skip it today having been plenty active this morning and then going back to bed and sleeping until 10 a.m.

Which is the last time I will be sleeping in for a while.

Supervision starts back up tomorrow morning.

I will be up at 6:30 a.m.

I’ll be taking my car, rain in the forecast, and I will need to leave home earlier than normal to get to my supervision in Hayes Valley, during morning rush commuting hours.

Blech.

But.

Hey.

Not riding my scooter in the rain!

Supervision for an hour, then a phone call with the dean of the Transformative Psychology PhD program, then work, then two clients, then home.

It’s a long day.

So yeah, letting myself have that kiss of extra sleep was nice, plus I went to bed late last night, I was restless and had a head full of thoughts, dreamy thoughts, but thoughts that kept me up a little later than I would have wanted.

I don’t think I fell asleep until 1 a.m.

So morning yoga was out.

I flirted with the idea of doing either the 4:30 p.m. class or the 6:15 pm restorative yoga class.

But after my phone call, I knew, I had to get into my body and exercise.

It was super good.

So good.

Great instructor and I got super sweaty and just worked.

My head was quiet, except at the very end right before the final pose and it got a little too chatty, but it was emotional chatter that needed an outlet, and I was able to cry a little and let it go.

Sweat, tears, all the same thing, pain leaving the body.

I floated home and when I got there a message came in from a woman in my neighborhood about what I was doing this evening and where I might be going and did I want to head over to Quintara and 20th?

Um.

Yes, please!

Super good, caught up with my fellows, did the deal, got right with God, connected and feel really positive about moving forward into this week.

As I come up on my sober anniversary and see all the amazing insights that I get to have and all the growth that I have gotten to do this past year, it blows my freaking mind.

Like.

Just for instance.

Right before my friend picked me up to go do the deal I sent off my graduation application to my school program.

I paid the $90 fee and I filled out the four pages.

I noted my 4.0 grade point.

I expressed what name I want on my diploma, my full name, middle and all, thank you very much.

It asked if I wanted to speak at my commencement and I said I would be honored if so chosen.

I said I was going to attend the commencement and that I would walk in the procession and yes.

Yes.

Yes.

I said I wanted to pick up my diploma in person.

I want that baby in my hands as I cross the stage.

My god.

What a day.

Started with love and gratitude.

Ended with love and gratitude.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Let Go Those Old Ideas

March 9, 2014

Let them the fuck go.

I had a list, she asked me to read them out to her.

Amazing what perspective and a little pen to paper can afford a person.

Well, this person anyway.

Old Ideas List–The Top Ten (I am sure there are others, but these were the ones that popped right out when I did the list)

1. I am not worthy of better

Better what you ask?  Better anything, better lifestyle, better job, better boyfriend (or even a boyfriend period) better clothes, better shoes, fuck, better underwear (I hate to air this one out, but this lady needs to go bra shopping, it is time), better toothbrush, better socks, better food (that one has slowly, significantly changed and I do a lot, uh, better, with that then I have ever had before).

2. I am lazy

Yeah, I know, I am.  But then again, no, no I am not.  What time did I get up this morning, on my day off? 7:39 a.m. I was awake, I was ready to go, but damn it, it’s my day off, loll about a little love, nope.  I was up and going.  By 9a.m. I had showered, made the bed, dried the hair (there’s a lot of it, it does take some time), made a homemade breakfast and fresh ground pour over coffee, written three pages long hand, read from a number of spiritual pieces of literature, and meditated.

By 9 a.m. on my day off.

Yeah, I am a lazy, lazy girl.

Yesterday I did all of that and rode my bicycle to work, 46th and Judah to 19th and Noe.  Worked a 3/4 day, left, rode my bicycle over to 850 Bryant, went to my traffic court deal, then rode back to Fell Street to the DMV, then over to 7th and Irving, did an hour-long commitment there, finally riding home back to my place, made dinner (nothing fancy, just an omelet, but still), then I blogged–even though the internet was down, I still blogged.

I do nothing all day long, I am sooo lazy.

Get you gone old idea.

3. I am a bad writer.

Nope.

Not really.

I mean, I am not the world’s best writer, but I am an ok writer, sometimes  a good writer, and once in a while, I can say I wrote something great.  I have had published authors read my work and say I am talented, I have had a professor tell me that I was the only student he ever had that had the likelihood of winning the Nemerov award (poetry award for best sonnet), there are people who read my blog that aren’t my friends, that I don’t know (consistently read too, for like years now, love you guys and thank you!), I have been thanked in person, over the phone, via text, by e-mail, for what I have written.

Folks would not continue to read if I was a bad writer.

Next.

4. I am always going to be single.

Yeah, pity pot, I am on it.  I hate this one, who cares if you are and you probably will have a boyfriend next week, so shove off old thought.

Somebody out there right now wants to date me, so who’s getting in the way of that?

Probably me and my old crusty thoughts.

5. I am always going to be poor.

Nope.

No, I am not.

I am not poor now.

Oh, I live below what I would like to, but I am not poor, I have many amenities, the least of which is a gorgeous bicycle, a great laptop (hey, I keep saying it’s about to die and it hasn’t yet), I have a wonderful camera, an Iphone (yeah, it’s a four, it’s still an Iphone), I have clothes and toiletries and nice candles.

I am not poor.

Poor people don’t have laptops or organic vanilla almond milk in the fridge.

6. I am alone.

Bahahahaha.

Such a crock.

I am not alone.

Two, no three people today told me point-blank, “I love you.”  I have wonderful, incredible, amazing friends in my life.  I am alone in the sense of the word only at this moment as I sit in my in-law writing, and even then, I am not alone.  I have a relationship with a little, big, something called God and if you don’t care for that, not my problem.

I have a spiritual connection to my world and I do not apologize for it.

Alone I am not.

7. No one loves me.

See above.

Such a bullshit, scared, cowardly old idea.  I am loved, I am lovable, I am worthy of love (yes, I hear you Stuart Smalley, we can do our affirmations in the mirror in just a minute–I forgive you and accept you–just let me finish my blog for the night).   I have so much love in my life, I can just look at all the photographs of amazing little people on my phone that I get to work with every week to prove that.

Then I can extrapolate that out to all the children I have been privileged to have in my life.  Next add in my mom and my dad and my sister and my aunts and my grandparents and uncles.  Then throw in a few best friends and some amazing mentor relationships, even toss in the lovers, the ex-boyfriends, the former employees I have gotten to work with, I mean, my life is a long list of love.

I just don’t always acknowledge it or recognize it, because I am too busy paying attention to an old idea that doesn’t serve me or my way of life.

8. I am not enough.

Not smart enough, not sexy enough, not pretty enough, not fast enough, the list could go on ad infinitum.

Such craziness.

I am not perfect enough, I am not a good enough nanny, I am not, blah, blah, blah.

Even I am tired of listening to this one.

I am enough.

There is no improvements that need to be made.

I do not have to self-improve.

I am just right.

End of story.

9. I have to figure it out.

Ugh.

This one is awful, it means that I have the ultimate responsibility to make everything work, your schedule, my schedule, potty training three different charges, juggling this that and the other to “make things work”.

What fucking things?

And who put me in charge?

And aren’t I just a bit presumptuous?

I don’t have to figure anything out.

In fact, it would be really healthy to not figure it out.

Let’s leave figure it out to someone else, okay?

10. I am not allowed success.

Says who?

Hell, just looking around the place I live I can see that I am successful.

It is my idea of success that is also the old idea–wealth, fame, accolades, notoriety–I have an amazing successful life.

I will continue to have an amazing life.

Just need to let this all go.

Daily.

One hour at a time, sometimes one minute at a time, and then, voila!

A new perspective, a space to breathe, a song catches in my ear and my heart swells, and I am loved, lauded, and held perfect, secure, and taken care of.

And awed.

Once again by this journey.


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