Posts Tagged ‘process’

Shorted

October 24, 2017

I totally shorted myself.

By a year!

I have been ruminating over the last week about how I’m just not going to get all my 3,000 hours to get my licensure by the time the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) in California changes its policies.

I must have the hours accrued by the end of December 2020.

I have been telling myself for the last week that I only had two years and there was no way, no fucking way, I was going to get those hours by the time the regulations changed.

Thus shorting me all my personal therapy hours, which count not as one hour but currently count as three.

In 2021 the BBS will no longer count personal therapy hours.

I need 52 hours of personal therapy to graduate my program, that alone is 156 hours toward my 3,000.

And at this point I will take what ever I fucking can.

I can accrue up to 300 hours of personal therapy.

Believe you me, my personal therapy work helps me so much.

I am at a new place in my life in my perception of who I am and of what I can do and of where I am going, the therapy is like Miracle Grow for me in my current stage of life, I feel like I am gaining so much getting to process what I am working on with my therapist and that helps me be a happier person and it most certainly happens to help me be a better therapist for my clients.

The other change is the BBS won’t count Couples as twice the hours, right now one hour of doing Couples Therapy allows you to accrue two hours towards your 3,000.

That’s a big deal.

Especially, I feel, since Couples Therapy is a lot harder than one on one therapy.

I mean.

Fuck.

There’s two people to deal with in the session, it should, I feel, absolutely be counted as double the hours.

Anyway.

I was navigating my feelings around this yesterday as I checked in with my person and I shared that I was just not willing to try to squeeze any more into my schedule.

That there are things and people and experiences that I need to make room for.

I don’t just want my life to be a constant grind of accruing hours.

Life is more than work.

I have this need to always be working, I have a fear that if I don’t I won’t be safe, that I have no one to lean on, that I am ultimately the only one who can take care of me.

I was a parentified child.

I was precocious, smart, attractive, fast to learn and fast to become the grown up, I lost a lot of child hood experiences because I was forced to deal with adult things way too fucking fast.

I didn’t have parents I could rely on.

I had to rely on myself.

I had to be a child doing an adults job with the skill set of a child.

Granted, as I said, a precocious child, but a child nonetheless.

This has left me at times in awkward and challenging situations where I feel there’s no one to trust, there’s no one I can rely on, that I am forever going to be failed and lost and left behind and abandoned and alone.

I have to make it on my own.

But.

Well.

That is unsustainable.

It negates my desperate need, a very human need, mind you, for connection and community.

I don’t want to isolate myself.

I don’t want my sole drive to be my career and getting there as fast as I can.

I want to enjoy my life as it’s happening.

I talked to her, my person, and really accepted that it wold be ok if I didn’t make my 3,000 hours by the time the licensure changes.

“It will just take you a little longer,” she said, “but you’ll do it, it will happen.”

And I gratefully surrendered and acknowledged that I do a fuck load of work and that it is enough.

That I am enough.

I will be ok.

Then today I’m writing my Morning Pages.

I’m reflecting on the conversation, I’m thinking, well, shoot what are my goals, what do I want?

I want my PhD in Psychology.

Yup.

I want to be a doctor.

And I want to have it by the time I’m 48.

Then.

I thought.

Well.

Then I’ll have my goal be private practice by 50.

And something seemed off.

I’m fast forwarding!

I’m not that old!

I’m 44.

I’ll be 45 when I graduate with my Masters.

The PhD is another two years of acadmic work.

Which means I’d be a doctor by 47 and I could start my private practice way before I’m 50 and then all the sudden I was like, what am I not seeing?

I’m missing something really fucking huge.

I looked at my writing.

Sometimes I’m not good with numbers, I tend towards dyscalculia, and then I suddenly realized

Fuck.

I’m turning 45 in 2017.

December of 2017.

I need to have all my hours by December of 2020.

That means I have three years!

THREE!

Not two.

I have three years to get my hours.

Well, fuck me.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’d basically spent a week being a bit anxious about how the hell I was going to manage to get all my hours and then coming to the conclusion I wasn’t and just accepted that it would be ok.

And then today.

In complete acceptance, writing about it, I realize I have an extra year!

Acceptance is the key to all my problems.

Holy fuck.

What a radical idea.

It was like magic.

I laughed out loud at myself.

It’s still a daunting task, but it feels navigable now.

It did not, not at all, feel that way all last week.

Super fucking grateful I got that figured out.

Fuck.

Hahahahahahahaha.

I am my own worst enemy.

Seriously.

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Push Button Baby

August 1, 2017

I saw a couple on the side of the road as I zoomed down Lincoln Way frantically trying to kick over the starter on a vintage Vespa.

I chuckled to myself.

The old Vespas look so fucking cool.

I know.

I used to have one.

It was such a pretty girl.

But.

Man.

It was such a hassle to get it started or it would conk out on me out of the blue.

Like coming down Laguna Honda in the fog going 40 miles an hour.

I got tired of that really fast.

That.

And the freaking horrifying sprained ankle that I got when the kick starter jammed and I folded my ankle in half.

That was no fun.

Months, years really, of healing.

The doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken and then told me it was too bad it wasn’t since the sprain is slower to heal and how badly I had injured it I would be lucky if it was healed fully in a year and a half.

He was right.

It took that much time to heal.

Actually closer to two years, if I’m honest, I had to be really careful and there were times when I could feel it was still injured.

It put a bad taste in my mouth for every having something vintage like that again.

Truth too.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of maintenance and well, it turned out it was a knock off Vespa, despite the registration issued from the DMV, it was a knock off Vietnam Vespa and no body in town would touch it to repair it.

So.

I got rid of it.

I had it recycled.

I got it off the road.

I wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else getting injured on it and when the mechanics at the shop told me all the issues with it I was shocked that I hadn’t hurt myself more on it, I could have easily crashed it out.

Granted.

There were some gleeful moments on it when someone would pull up to me on it at a light and chat with me about it, the scooter really was well done, no one had a clue it was fake.

Certainly not I.

I was a tiny bit bamboozled you could say.

Any way, that’s an old story and not the point.

The point is.

Thank fucking god for my scooter.

I live in the Outer Sunset.

I work in Glen Park.

My internship is in the Mission.

My school is in the SOMA.

I have supervision in Hayes Valley.

And.

Therapy in Noe Valley.

I have to get all over the city.

And the scooter is quick.

Of course, I do have some anxiety about what will happen when the fall comes and the rains that generally come with the fall.

I will either have to get used to wet weather riding or figure something else out.

I can ride in the rain.

I have done it.

I do not like it, but it’s doable.

I was talking to my friend yesterday as she was getting the last of her household packed up for travels back to France and she looked at me and said, “drive safe poulette (her term of endearment for me–sexy girl, although literal translation is chicken, I like to think of it as “chick” or chickadee), maybe it’s time you got a car.”

Yeah.

There’s that.

Aside from the fact that it would be handy to go to Burning Man.

Heh.

Still haven’t gotten a ride yet, still hedging my bets with a rental, but that too is beside the point.

I don’t know what exactly the point is.

I haven’t had a car for over a decade.

I got rid of mine two weeks after moving here in 2002.

Fuck.

Nearly fifteen years with no car.

Lots of bicycles.

And two scooters.

I do like my scooter and I do so appreciate getting around on it.

I just have time concerns now that I didn’t have before.

I mean.

My schedule has always been full, but then I added in graduate school and graduate school added in an internship and um, ha, since, I’m a therapist in training, I have to be on time for my clients.

I get done with work at 6p.m. and I have clients at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and I have been assigned a new client to see on Fridays now at 6:30p.m.

My first child client!

Bring on the child and family hours!

Ahem.

I digress.

This whole blog is a digression.

Sometimes when I don’t want to write about what I want to write about, I can go off on tangents.

Shadrach.

Scooter accident.

Dead.

Today.

10 years.

I had a little contact with his mom today after she posted a photo of visiting his grave.

Add onto that saying goodbye yesterday to my darling French friend.

Great recipe for sadness.

I felt heavy with it this morning when I left my house to go meet with my supervisor.

I got to Hayes Valley early and had a fifteen minute window so I called my person and shared about it and he said, “you sound sad,” and there it was, the sad, the heaviness in me, it was sadness.

Tears welled up and spilled down my face.

Yup.

Sad.

So we made a plan to meet at a church in the Inner Sunset after I got out of supervision.

It was so good.

I got right with God.

Then we went for tea at Tart to Tart and had a good session.

We sent my friend from Paris a good-bye photo of the two of us having tea, my face a little wet with tears, and my person smiling to beat the band, ugh, not all selfies are sexy.

Ha.

Oh.

Sadness.

I had my cry though and things began to shift.

I came home, made a nice lunch and then did some school work.

Because.

It’s that time.

I have two syllabi posted up and I checked them out and ordered books for class.

I sighed and realized I was pretty burnt out with the emotions.

And I decided.

You know what?

Nap.

I need a nap.

And that’s what I did.

It was perfect.

I had a little rest then got up, prepped some food for dinner and I could feel the sad had moved out of my body.

I got my things together and hopped back on my scooter, went to my internship, dealt with progress notes and paperwork and then saw a client.

By the time my session ended I was feeling great.

So nice that.

Go.

Be of service.

Feel better.

I scooted home.

Zipped by the park, rode the curves of Lincoln Way, smelled the bonfires at Ocean Beach and though it was cold and a bit foggy, I felt lifted, carried, loved.

I miss you Shadrach.

But.

You would be pretty proud of me.

Ten years.

You think the grief would have gone out of my body, but sometimes it is still there and needs expressing.

I’m grateful I didn’t squash it.

I just had it.

And I’m grateful for the emotions.

I get to have them.

Feelings.

It means I am alive.

And after all the death I have been witness to.

Well.

That’s a fucking miracle.

So glad I still get to be around.

Happy.

Joyous.

Alive.

And.

Free.

Small Steps

July 28, 2017

Add up.

I keep telling myself that as I slowly start tracking my hours for my MFT license.

I also reiterated that to myself and an old friend that I had the pleasure of catching up with today over coffee and lunch in Hayes Valley.

We hadn’t seen each other in years and it was like old times.

And yes.

We’ve gotten older.

And older is all I’m going to get.

I don’t mind.

I like myself more and more.

I feel like I am entering my prime, not exiting it.

I have so very much to live for and I am so grateful that I have carved out this life here in San Francisco.

I don’t have to think about how long it will take to get my hours, I will get my hours, it will happen, the time will pass and one day it will be a story that I tell someone else who is beginning the process.

Things take time.

Sometimes things happen quickly, they fall into place, and there is a beauty and grace to it.

I am often reminded of what a very wise woman said to me years ago, “if it’s meant to be you can’t fuck it up and if it’s not meant to be, you can’t manipulate it into happening.”

My career path is like that.

For the longest time I tried this and that and the other to make it as a creative.

A writer.

A poet.

Maybe a screen writer, I certainly had and do have some interesting ideas for movies, but nothing panned out.

Oh.

Sure.

I have this, my blog, and it’s panned out fantastically, I throw my stuff at the screen in front of me, I process my day, I get things out, I figure it out mostly by not figuring it out, but by taking the creative action of just showing the fuck up here consistently.

But.

I have never really made it as a writer.

Not that I’m not a writer.

I’m fucking writing right now.

I’m good.

I’m not great.

But I would hazard that I am better than plenty of folks that do get published.

Perhaps it’s that I don’t understand how to submit, or that I don’t submit the right stuff or that I am not as good as I believe, it’s beyond me is what I’m saying.

One day it may not be.

Today it is and suffice to say.

I don’t give a flying fuck.

I love writing.

I love poetry.

I love expressing myself.

And this is my medium.

I don’t write for an audience.

Oh.

Sure.

Sometimes I may be addressing you, sometimes things sneak in and there’s a message between the lines, I won’t say that there’s not.

But I do really do the writing for myself.

But it’s not a career.

The dividends that have paid off are vast and varied, the people who I have met because of my blog, the things I have done, the experiences I have had, especially when my blog was a little more public, were and have been astounding.

Too many to list here.

However.

Most of the time the pay off has not been cash money.

In some round about ways, though, it has paid off more than handsomely.

I expressed to my friend today that I am often a bit ridiculed, or teased, ridiculed seems a harsher word than the poking fun I get from my cohort, for how fast I can write papers for class.

It really hasn’t been too much to sit down and knock out a big paper in one sitting, in a few hours.

If I have an idea of what I am writing, if I have done my research, taken good notes and done my reading for the class, I can crank it out.

I can do that because I do this, consistently, my rate of typing is fast.

I haven’t timed it in a long time, but it does seem that my thoughts fly from my brain and to my fingers quite quickly.

I will publish, I know that.

I will publish poems.

I will publish essays.

I will publish my memoir, although it needs severe re-writing.

It may not be the book I originally wrote.

But it will have the skeleton of the manuscript, I am sure of that.

My writing goals have not been met, but they will be, I am sure of that.

When isn’t important.

And I will publish psychology papers.

In some odd sort of twist that may be where I find my first publications, I don’t know exactly, but I do think that I will find that as an avenue for my work.

I have had great reviews of my school papers and I think with some tweaking I could probably submit some of those papers to psychology publications.

Who knows.

I just know that it will happen.

And I’m fine with the process being what it is.

I don’t have to manipulate it into happening and I can’t fuck it up.

Unless I stop.

Which right now seems impossible.

I have stories and stories and stories.

All the words.

There are so many.

So beautiful, like birds on a wire, like the scattershot of sunshine sparkling from the froth of waves, like the way love endears itself further into my heart when I am least expecting it.

My friend and I parted ways and I reflected as I got on my scooter and headed over to my job, my day job, that I have it pretty motherfucking good.

I do.

I have discovered many things about myself in the dozen or so years my friend and I have known each other and they all seem to have played beautiful and rich into the hand that I have been dealt.

I am on the path and in the place I am meant to be.

“You look amazing,” he said.

And you know what?

I feel amazing.

I think that shows.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

What To Do?

July 7, 2017

I mean.

I have poetry surging through me right now.

But.

I also just need to process the fuck out of my day.

It was a day.

And though I was chased by poetry all day long.

ALL DAY LONG.

I feel as though I just need to write it out for a while.

It’s how I work things out.

Oh.

The poetry is that too.

But I have had a long day and I want to shake it out of my brain so that I can sleep.

I have much to do tomorrow and many places to go and be and do and see and feel.

Oh.

All the feels.

Hello feels.

So nice to see you again.

I don’t find it at all ironic that the field I am training in is therapy.

Hello.

Let ‘s get down to the feelings you have around that.

I had three clients tonight.

However, I only saw two of them.

One of my clients confused when we were supposed to meet and as the client was new and had not done an assessment yet I rescheduled her, I wasn’t going to be able to do an assessment in the ten minutes before my first session.

It took some time to explain what she needed to do and I had to own my part, there had been some miscommunication.

A little like playing telephone the old-fashioned way with cardboard tubes and strings.

It was worked out, but it ended with me having an hour in between my two clients that I did see.

I was fine with that, it actually let me take an important phone call and watch the sky while the sunset.

It was a nice sunset.

I found myself looking at the sky a lot today.

At work earlier in the day, it was a long day people 9a.m.-9:30p.m., the baby had fallen asleep on me.

Not once but twice.

The first time was fairly short and I handed him off to the mom who was heading out the door and taking him with her on her journey through the day.

I got to hang out with the other two monkeys and do lots of cooking a meal prep.

Then when the mom got back I got the baby and he passed out on me.

I had him on my chest, in a carrier, for at least two, probably two and a half hours.

Oh sure.

I looked at my phone a bit.

I read some texts.

I looked at some photographs.

Then I just got dreamy and looked out the window.

I watched the sky.

I watched the trees.

I closed my eyes and drifted.

I was seated on the couch and a few times the little guy would startle hearing his siblings or his mom and he would wake up and cry a bit and I had to get up and walk around and jostle him and bounce and hum.

I have this little thing I hum.

I have been doing it all the years I have been a nanny.

Sometimes I catch myself humming to myself.

It settles me, it soothes me, I don’t know how it exactly came about, but I pair that hum with a lullaby and sometimes I will just hum, three or four notes and repeat them again and again and breathe, in and out, deep and slow, and the baby always settles.

He left a pool of drool on my chest, a ring of moisture that the mom was aghast to see when I finally took him out of the carrier five minutes before I had to hop on my scooter and head to my internship to see my first client.

She pointed it out and I shrugged it off.

“My clients will love that, subconsciously, I’ll be a maternal and warming experience,” I told her, noting to myself that it wasn’t spit up and I didn’t smell like mothers milk, it was just baby drool and I know that baby drool is actually an amazing moisturizer.

I credit that and my grandmothers genetics on my father’s side for my youthful good looks.

Hahahahahaha.

Sorry.

I digress.

I told the mom it would dry before I got to work and I wasn’t worried about my clothes.

Although my fucking clothes have been much on my mind this past week.

The washer in the garage has been out of commission, it was supposed to be repaired this Wednesday but when I tried to do a load of wash last night, no go.

And I got a text from my landlady today while I was at work saying that it was beyond repair and that it would be getting replaced.

IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

Fuck my life.

I can’t tell you how much I was relying on doing laundry when I got home tonight.

God laughs when I make plans.

I guess I”m going to have to go to the laundry mat on Saturday.

Grr.

Annoying as fuck.

But at least the dryer works.

It’s more that it’s a time suck.

I don’t know how early or how late the laundry mat is open, it’s just down the block by the 7-11 on Judah and 46th, it’s just out of my fucking way and I don’t want to waste time dealing with it and I need to wash my yoga gear if I hit a class on Saturday.

Anyway.

Fucking luxury problems.

I have more than enough clean clothes to get me through the rest of the week.

Shit.

Tomorrow is Friday.

FRIDAY.

So ready for you.

So ready to see you.

Yes.

Yes I am.

Ah.

And there.

See

I did it.

I processed all my shit.

And maybe.

Well.

Maybe there will be poetry too.

There’s been so much.

Why not a little more.

It is the end of the week after.

Sweet dreams.

Gentle awakenings.

Happy end of the week.

I’ll see you on the flip.

Forgive

April 9, 2017

Forgive.

Forgive.

That’s what the message said.

I forgive you.

I hope you had joy while you ate my chicken soup.

I roasted that chicken last Sunday then used the bones to create a stock, it has garlic, onions, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, and brown rice.

I hope it fed you.

I hope it nourished you.

I wish you well.

I forgive you for taking my soup.

I forgive you for taking my gift, the one I was going to give to my friend in the cohort who is getting married.

I hope it brings you love and light and joy.

I do.

I forgive you.

And more than that.

I forgive myself.

I was not to blame, I didn’t do anything wrong.

I will, however, remember the feeling of what it was like to mystify myself.

Because I didn’t believe you could do this to me.

Take from me.

Take my things.

Take my little piece of home in a Mason jar.

My warmth and succor after a long day of class.

I was not expecting to have that happen in a space where I practice so much vulnerability.

Please God.

Have me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

I forgive you because I have to forgive me.

Some things are valuable.

And some things are ,well, just things.

“It’s just stuff,” he said and looked into my eyes and held my gaze, “you get to grieve the loss of it, don’t shove off the feelings, but don’t hold onto it, let it go, they’re just things, and as crazy as this sounds, the Universe has something better for you.”

I did not think that sounded crazy at all.

I believed every word of it.

I also took what he said to heart and let myself feel the sorrow of the loss.

I cried my tears.

I also know that the soup and the gift were symbols of other things that I had taken away from me, a sense of safety, a sense that the world is not a scary place, an inner equilibrium, home.

So.

I find solace and safety within myself.

That I am enough and that I can take care of myself.

I was able to source another gift for my friend.

I was able to go to The Market and get dinner with one of my favorite people.

I was able to accept hugs and shoulders to lean into and validation that what I was feeling was appropriate.

I took some action too.

I reported it to the school, if someone is rifling through the student lounge and stealing it should be shared with the students at the campus.

Food is a sacred thing.

We all need to eat.

So.

I forgive you.

I hope my soup warmed you, fed you, nourished you, gives you sustenance.

For that is what it has done for me.

I am proud of myself for taking care of myself, for having the good cry, for letting my T.A. approach me in the cafe and actually have a conversation about it that was both sweet and intimate, but affirming of me and my abilities.

“You are amazing, you have so much light,” he said and gave me such a hug.

I felt seen, validated, and empathized with.

I am grateful for that.

It was an unexpected gift in the wake of the loss.

He was right too.

It’s just stuff.

I have unshakeable faith that God took something from me that needed to be elsewhere, those things, all things really, are for God to appropriate, I had them for a little while, they are needed elsewhere.

I now have open hands to accept the things that God wants for me.

One of the biggest gifts were all the interactions I had with my cohort, my friends, and my T.A.

I was smitten with the love and affection that I was showered with.

I still am.

I had some wounds open.

Sure.

It felt that I my home dumped out and stolen.

It felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I could almost see the person searching through the refrigerator and going, “Ooh, this looks yummy, and then seeing the gift and thinking, “Ooh, I must have that.”

I understand.

There is a thrill in theft.

I have stolen.

I know.

It has been a long time, but I have.

There is entitlement in stealing.

There is adrenalin.

It can be addicting to swipe something.

To gain vicarious thrill from a source that is unwitting.

But this is just a story.

There is a narrative, an arc of action.

Perhaps there is guilt and shame.

I don’t know the persons story.

I do wish for them the ability to get what it is they need.

That is unconditional love.

I do not like what happened, I don’t care, not one fucking bit, but I do hope there is relief for the person, I wish them the best.

Because you can’t steal what I have in my heart.

In my strength of person.

You only took some stuff.

Stuff does not make the world go round.

You can’t take my sense of value, self-worth, or safety.

You can’t take away my experiences, pains, joys, loves, laughter, growth or healing.

Those things are nonnegotiable.

They are mine and you are not going to ever take that from me.

No one puts Baby in a corner.

I am my own woman and I am grateful for this, already, I grow stronger.

Something got moved around today, an opening was made for some unexpected healing, perception, awareness, and growth.

Actually.

I should be thanking you, Soup Thief, you unwittingly gave me an absolute firm sense of my core and my abilities.

I learned how to use my resources and how to accept help.

I learned it is ok to grieve for something, whether a thing, or a concept.

I softened and I grew.

Pretty amazing day when it all comes down to it.

I will say, I am freaking tired though, it was a draining afternoon to evening.

So.

Another cup of tea.

My apple and some blueberries.

A comfy pillow behind my back.

Half an episode of Billions.

And a good nights rest.

Conflict.

Resolved.

Working Too Hard

January 15, 2017

To work too hard.

I realized this today.

Especially when I had a brief moment of actually contemplating, yes, yes I did, that I could just not sleep, then I’d be able to do the practicum hours at the site I was thinking about applying to.

Are you bonkers was the next thought.

Thank God that came faster than it typically does.

I mean what kind of fucking therapist would I be if I was advocating for someone to work without sleep?

Yeah.

Not so much.

I remind myself to treat myself like I would a client and do some real looking at my own outlandish expectations and what I can actually accomplish.

And.

That I don’t have to accomplish it all over night.

I mean.

I just don’t.

I’m doing pretty fucking good anyway.

What I am alluding to is that I am not going to apply to the UCSF Infant/Parent program.

They just want too many hours for me to be able to do it.

I like sleeping.

I mean, not like I’m checking out, but you know, 7-8 hours a night seems like a reasonable ask.

Heh.

I met with the professor that I was asking to write me a letter or recommendation for the practicum site and I told her that I had re-evaluated my thinking in regards to the problem and that when I was honest with myself there really was no way I could commit to 25 hours week at the site.

And she agreed.

She also expressed to me that it might be a super challenging site to leap into and that it would require me to make home visits and maybe that was something I might not want to do as I am currently working out of someone’s home as a nanny.

She also said that in a realistic world she believed that nannies should get credit for the hours that they spend working, that a nanny can actively be doing family therapy and she wished there was an acknowledgement of that as she had known a few other nannies come through the program and she really felt that we should get some credit.

If only.

My God would that be nice.

I discussed the fact that it’s just me and my own self, no family, no spouse, no other outside sources for income, not to paint a pity picture, but to be up front, rigorously honest and accepting of where I am.

Because I’m ok with that and I understand that it may necessitate some different actions than the ones I had originally formulated.

I wasn’t super set on the program anyway, I mean I love babies and kids and working with children, don’t get me wrong, but maybe, just maybe I could use a break from it and explore working with adults.

Just a thought.

We talked about the other programs and we had a really honest engagement and I also found out the sites affiliated with the school didn’t need me to provide a letter of recommendation.

Which was some big relief, as to the other program I was thinking about applying to.

If I could navigate around that and not have to worry about those things, well, less work would suit me just fine.

I mean.

I do a lot already.

I don’t need to add more in.

Besides I’ll be adding in plenty just with practicum no matter where I go, I’ll be working at least 10-15 hours more a week, possibly 20-25.

If I go somewhere that I can do nights and weekends.

So I took a little pressure off myself, I forget how easy it is to put myself through the additional wringer of must get it right.

All I have to do is keep showing up and I’m doing ok.

I really am.

Hell.

I’m doing better than ok.

I am a little tired.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, still a tiny bit on the sick side, but it does feel like the cold has predominately lifted.

I am just tired at this point.

Really.

That’s to be expected.

These are big, full, emotional days.

Long days.

Lots of reading and sitting and listening and attending.

Lots of fucking processing.

Jesus fuck.

I mean.

You want to hear process, just sit in on a psychotherapy class and watch them deal with conflict.

It is amazing and exhausting all at the same time.

I am learning a lot though.

And I realized that I can hold a lot more than I have been able to in previous semesters, my own container has grown bigger.

My heart has gotten stronger.

I can read my feelings a lot better and my capacity to express them has also grown.

I can also sit through other people having their process without freaking out or rolling my eyes.

Once today I caught myself having an expectation about how something was supposed to go and I realized that the learning was happening and I just reached inside and said, buckle up kiddo, learn, watch and learn.

When I wasn’t struggling with how I thought the class should go I was actually able to learn.

I don’t have to make shit so hard.

I don’t have to over complicate.

I don’t have to manipulate.

I also trust my teachers much more this semester than I did last semester and I’m enjoying the showing up and being a part of.

I feel more a part of, more integrated, more appreciated.

I am sure I have always been appreciated I wasn’t always able to acknowledge that, and I did today, I accepted some compliments and I had some nice heart to hearts.

Not just with my professor but also with various members of my cohort.

A growing edge.

The constant letting down of my guard, the graceful surrender, the bent swan neck not acquiescing to the emotional demands of another, but gently bowing to hold the space being made, a flexing of feathers and a slow bending collapse into surrender.

I learn more there every day.

It is said that surrender means going over to the winning side.

I did that today.

I did.

It was glorious.

I teared up.

I let people in.

I reached out.

I listened.

I held my own council.

I learned.

Man.

Did I learn.

And that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?

Learning.

I’m in grad school for fucks sake.

That’s what I supposed to be doing.

I don’t have all the answers.

If I did.

Well.

That would be a different blog now, wouldn’t it.

Grateful for the flexibility and generosity of spirit from my class and cohort.

You, my classmates and cohort,  are an amazing and wonderful teacher.

I tip my hat.

And.

I hope I do your lessons justice.

I really.

Really.

Do.

 

I Think I Need

October 15, 2016

To write some inventory.

I am mad right now.

I am fucking livid.

I am pissed at the lover who basically bailed and said tomorrow night.

Not cool.

I’m annoyed with Comcast and the pop up window on my computer.

I am tired of work and trying to figure it out.

I can’t.

I am annoyed with the airlines and trying to book a flight and arrange the deal and figure out what makes most sense.

I am fucking livid with God.

FUCK YOU GOD.

REALLY.

I’m just mad.

Mad.

Mad.

I suspect it’s been there for days.

I know it has, when it’s this big and sitting this high in my throat that is, it’s like collateral damage anger, anger that is rooted in super old fears, seeping out from old wounds re-opened.

I can’t quite get it out of my system and really what I want to do is scream.

SCREAM.

Scream and flail and kick and scream some more.

I don’t care for it when I get this angry, it’s hard to navigate through it with any kind of grace.

I am tired of watching the entire fucking world pair up and not I.

I am sick of trying to figure it out.

I am tired of working so hard to work so hard.

I just want to throw it all in the sea.

Not myself, but all the things.

Like.

If I could afford to I’d smash my laptop right now.

l am that fucking pissed.

I am mad at my body.

I am angry beyond words at the violence I have been exposed to and been handed to deal with.

Oh.

I am sure I will grow through the experience.

Fuck you too, “growth.”

I’m tired of that as well.

I can’t actually remember the last time I was this mad.

Oh.

Wait.

Yes.

Haha.

I can.

It was a few years ago.

I did yell out loud too.

Now that I recall it.

I know the anger will pass, it usually does and it is a good indicator of places I need to grow through and I know that the anger usually masks a lot of fear.

I am afraid, once again, that I am broken beyond repair, that no matter how much work I do I will still get stuck.

I am stuck.

I really don’t like being stuck.

This process.

This here.

This writing.

It’s my way of getting unstuck.

The fear that I am not enough is so deep in the grain it can feel like it will overtake me and nothing can save me from the annihilation of myself and my life.

I’m not having ideation, suicidal or otherwise, it’s just the emotions working themselves out and I’ve always been uncomfortable with anger.

I suspect that it’s not all mine either.

Work was really challenging.

A lot of temper tantrums.

Bigger and more intense than I have seen in the past, from both the boys and it’s hard holding my own against them.

I feel like some of the emotion is just from that.

Leaked out on me.

Both the boys had whopper temper tantrums.

I was able to walk through them both, but it took just about everything I had left for the week out of me.

And kapow.

I was kaput.

Then the cancellation tonight, which was fine, really, I realized, oh look, I had expectations.

I expected to get laid after work tonight.

And that poof.

Disappeared.

And then I thought.

Fuck.

I’m supposed to be working through these emotions, I probably need to process out the enormous amount of historical trauma that I was informed about and all the ramifications thereof.

Not to stare at it, but to let it work its way out of my body.

Boy howdy.

Is it working its way out.

I will, of course, do more writing after this.

The big stuff, the inventory.

The fears list, the I’m mad at God list.

And I’ll get to work it out.

Like always.

And it will be fine and then I can get down to the other work.

All the fucking homework.

All of it.

I am not helpless.

And.

Ah.

I am not as angry as when I started this blog.

I feel better just for getting some of the vitriol out via the keyboard.

I will also feel better when I take care of buying my ticket back to Wisconsin for Christmas.

It looks like I’m probably going to catch a red-eye out on the 23rd and get in early the 24th.

I’m going to fly back the 30th.

Which reminds me.

I need to get a hold of the new family and let them know that I set my official end date with my current family at December 23rd.

That I am further going to take that next week off and I’ll be fully available to start on January 2nd.

Get my ducks in a row and not have to be too concerned about it any longer.

I’m thinking about that spiritual axiom, the one about being disturbed, and I know that all these feelings have to do with my idea of how my life should look.

Not how it looks.

Not that it is pretty fucking incredible when I give myself to get out of my myopic world view, because it is.

I am disturbed and therein lies the rub and the relief.

If there is no one else to blame, if it is all about me, well, then, I can fix that.

I have a simple kit of spiritual tools.

I just need to pick them up and use them.

I’ll be making a list and checking it twice.

I promise.

No more angry blog.

Just some writing for other eyes, some tea, and some bed time.

Good night.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Those fuckers have gnarly teeth.

Seriously.

 

It’s Been A Day

August 17, 2016

One in which I spent too much damn time in my head.

However.

I called in the cavalry.

I amend that.

I texted in the cavalry.

I also got myself out to a little hoe down of my fellows in Sonoma and got right with God and then made some phone calls from there.

I can fall off the beam easily and have really black and white thinking.

At one point today I was ready to call it complete quits at my job.

Not because there’s something screamingly bad with my job, rather, there’s something off in me, something where my ability to speak up for myself and my needs gets lost in the shuffle and the next thing you know I’m doing a job that is not compatible with my needs and I’m a wreck.

I have to communicate.

Ugh.

No fun.

Except.

Maybe it can be, maybe I am here having this experience because I need to learn, again, how to do this thing called life, how to reconcile conflict and draw up some boundaries that are good for me and empower me.

I deserve the job I want and I can probably have it here and now as soon as I can draw upon the resources that are available to me.

My friends.

Who bolster me all the time.

I don’t see myself very well and sometimes I forget that I am a valuable asset, that I am smart and capable and worthy of my hire.

I have had this come up before.

How many times have I gotten to suss this out, many.

However, I am feeling a lot more stable in my need to articulate what I need and to ask for the compensation due the nature of the accommodating that I do for my family.

See.

I’m happy to accommodate.

But what I have discovered is that I need to be compensated, to continue being flexible and rolling with the punches and what have you, I need to get properly taken care of and I have lost my ability to speak up for what works best for me.

There is no malicious intent with my employers, god am I aware of that.

The malicious intent is within me, those things that I grew up with, the danger, and it was very real, of asking for what I needed.

I knew better than to ask for what I wanted, those things never got met and as for what I needed, I didn’t know, my needs were overwhelmed with the needs of my family.

There have been plenty of times in the past where I was asked what I wanted and I couldn’t tell you to save my life, it was so much easier for me to just ask what you wanted and roll the fuck over.

I didn’t even realize what I was doing and I did a lot of shoving down of unpalatable things to keep the balance going and to save myself from being annihilated.

That sounds extreme, but you get beaten for asking for what you need or asserting your needs, for a little while and get back to me on your stance then.

That shit stays with you.

I have done work.

I will continue to do work.

This is part of my work.

Recovery is integral and an absolute necessity.

School has been amazing.

Friends.

Oh my darling, dear, sweet, loving friends who advocate for me when I am not always so inwardly supported, have been instrumental in this.

Finding the support to take the actions that to me and my personality feel absolutely mind blowing and devastating to do has been crucial.

All the walking through the fear.

I have taken in so much love and support, especially this past week, to know that I can take the next steps to ask for what I need at the job.

And.

The best part?

I will be taken care of.

I always am.

I get to fuck it up.

I get to make a mess, I’m messy, it might be messy, I might fall on my face.

That will be ok.

Part of the process.

Part of living.

Learning and bearing witness, gently, when I can to my own process.

Really when I think about it after all the trauma, drama, and agonizing shit that happened to me it’s a fucking miracle that I am who I am, that I have what I have, that I have gotten to break out and make something of this life, that I didn’t roll over and die.

I am alive.

I am fucking resilient.

I am a living fucking testimony that you can get out and you can get better and that life is exquisite and amazing, astounding in it’s joys and astonishments.

The fawn that I startled out of the bushes today on the edge of the rental property.

The red tail hawk in the sky shrieking for its dinner.

The quails chasing through the underbrush.

The sun, warm on my face, I again turn toward the nut brown skin that is in me and glow with fire and heat.

The black berry brambles tumbling down the hill full of fruit.

The sun through the trees as it sinks golden and full with possibility as I climb Sonoma Mountain Road.

The boys, both of whom have found ways to further endear themselves to me as though sensing that tremulous moment when I was offered a job today, the mom having gotten my number through a friend at school, desperate to hire me and get the ball rolling.

Except.

I don’t want to work 50-60 hours a week and go to grad school.

No way.

No how.

In reality.

I already work that much.

My job fluctuates during the summer between 35-45 and since I started school between 28-35 hours a week.

Through in my recovery and that’s easily another 15-20 hours of my time.

I can’t even imagine trying to work more than that and go to school.

I knew that and gently thanked the woman to whom I was speaking and said thank you so much, but I can’t do the job you require.

She begged me to keep her in mind and I will, but not for me.  I also suggested an agency that she could go to.

There’s plenty of jobs out there should I fall flat asking for what I need or my needs are unable to get met at my current position.

It doesn’t mean that my needs won’t get met.

They will.

I just have to speak up for them.

And.

Big.

Deep.

Breath.

I will.

 

 

I’m Not Tech Savvy

July 24, 2016

But.

I am listening to music that my dearest friend put together as a playlist for me.

French music.

From a Parisian.

I feel so special.

Seriously.

I love me some French music.

Perhaps because it is an easier way for me to understand the language, lyrics tend to be repetitive, simpler than every day conversation and lyrical, which makes it easier for me to access.

And there is just something to it.

I want to couples dance with someone in a cafe with ceramic black and white tiles.

The smell of tobacco smoke drifting in as the door opens.

The smell of coffee in the air.

The low light, the ambiance, maybe I need a French cafe in my home, whenever I get it.

Either that or just frequent trips back to Paris and this time to also experience the night life a bit more, the cafe music life, I got into the spoken word a tiny bit with my excursions to Le Chat Noir for Paris Spoken Word events and had a tiny taste.

But to be there with a Parisian and be let into that exclusive view.

Delicious.

It’s sexy and sensual and worldly.

All things I aspire to.

I got to record with Adriana Marchione today for a podcast she’ll be posting along side  her ongoing project “The Creative High” .

I was really honored to be thought of and it was a great experience, and I have to say, I felt my voice, I was in my voice and it felt really powerful.

And.

There’s something to be said to having an artist, an auteur, and a teacher, interested in my work.

Also.

How she described me.

Well.

I’ll leave you in a little suspense, but it was quite flattering.

The podcast will go up in about a week and will be on her website.

I got to share a part of my story, a bit about my process, my experience with writing, blogging, poetry, the little bit of spoken word I have done, my best friend passing nine years ago and how that prompted me to Burning Man, my other best friend and how she was the person to whom I went to for help when things all came crashing down.

It was a great experience and I didn’t prep for it other than run through a small set list of poetry pieces of my own that are memorized.

Three.

That’s it.

I have three of my works memorized.

But they please me and it’s nice to share them once in a while with someone.

I shared about the patron last year from Burning Man and doing the collaboration with him.

I talked about my memoir(s) and how I still don’t know what to do with them, or how to go about getting them together, but also, how much that striving has pushed me towards places and experiences that I was just not expecting.

At all.

It also gave me another taste of recording.

And I have to say, I liked it.

“Are you going to do something for the talent show,” I was asked by the amazing MC last night before it was about to start, “you sing right?”

I told her I didn’t.

“You look like a singer,” she said.

Now there’s a compliment.

I admitted that I do some spoken word.

But frankly, it didn’t feel appropriate to recite one of my pieces to the fabulous birthday girl, they weren’t quite in the spirit of what was happening, and they also weren’t pieces that would have been celebratory of her and her experience.

And that was important to acknowledge.

There was a moment, I thought, well, there’s that one piece that might be fun, but really, it would have been to garner my own attention and I wanted to just sit back a little and be a wall flower and watch the main act and really enjoy that I got to have the privilege of being asked and then showing up to celebrate someone’s life and the gifts that she brings into her circle of friends.

It was a great honor.

And fun.

Although I had to bail “early.”

Heh.

Though I was slightly shorted on my sleep, I came home and unwound and blogged and watched part of Stranger Things.

Which.

Side fucking bar.

FUCKING AMAZING.

So good.

I mean, I really can’t recommend it enough, except.

Well.

Ha.

I’m susceptible to the scary.

And I did have a moment last night when I was curled up in my bed with my hands literally over my ears, because I did not want to hear the soundtrack and I was preparing myself for the scary, that I thought.

Hmm.

Maybe I should’t watch this right before I go to bed.

Oof.

It’s good.

Seriously.

Check it out.

End side bar.

I can’t just get right into bed, even on a late night, so, not so much sleep was gotten.

But.

Oh.

I took a nap today.

I am so proud of myself.

I never nap.

And it was just begging to happen.

I mean, only getting five hours of sleep will catch up with me, sometimes it’s not so bad and I can have an extra cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to blow my vocal cords out and be dehydrated from drinking coffee today, so I skipped my usual Saturday morning large coffee with my person today at Tart to Tart.

Then went straight to the podcast, after that to Scooter Centre, then to Scuderia, since Scooter Centre was unexpectedly closed, aired up the tires, scooted home, ate a late lunch, caught up with a girl friend on the phone, and then I looked at the time.

I can nap for one hour before going to my new Saturday night commitment.

I folded up my laundry, nothing says sexy like knowing I’ll get to slip into fresh washed sheets tonight, and grabbed a pillow.

I lay down at an angle on the bed, on my back, head propped up on a small throw pillow and closed my eyes.

It was just a touch chilly.

Afghan, the one I got in the mail from my grandmother.

I reached for it.

It had been sitting folded on the end of my chaise lounge in the sun.

Extraordinary.

It was like being wrapped up in warm soft sunshine.

Best nap ever.

Covered in the love of my grandmother.

Warmed by the sun.

After getting to do some art and be available to my friend.

It was glorious.

I almost didn’t get up.

In fact.

Had I not had that commitment, I would have gone back to sleep.

Grateful I didn’t, I don’t need to muck with my sleep schedule.

But.

Boy howdy.

That might have been one of the best naps I have ever had.

Plus.

It was good to connect with my people.

To see and be seen.

To not let myself be isolated.

A sweet, simple, glorious little day.

Full of light and warmth and art.

Poetry.

Narrative.

Recovery.

I mean.

Really?

My life is fucking awesome.

Seriously.

It is.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 


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