Posts Tagged ‘professor’

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September 5, 2018

With a huge stack of books and notebooks and pages and pages and pages of syllabi.

Oh my God.

What have I fucking done?

I went from feeling pretty good about it all to feeling super overwhelmed after my last class.

The irony being that it was the class I figured I was going to enjoy the most.

Of course, with some perspective, I still think I am going to enjoy it the most, but I am awash in the anxiety of having to produce the work.

There is a lot of work.

Yesterday’s class blew me out of the water at the intensive.

I really liked the professor.

In fact, I am quite fond of him as he swooped in one morning seeing me sitting by myself at breakfast and made me join his table at the intensive.

We had a great talk.

He loves Paris.

I love Paris.

We are now friends.

Plus, he has had an extraordinary life, three marriages, multiple degrees, Harvard, Brown, CIIS, somewhere else I forget.

Of course he has a PhD as well.

And a lot of papers that he’s written and he seems to be the co-collaborator of the way the course work is designed.

First of all.

Let me say that I had some, well, not exactly contempt, but a little wiggle of worry that because my PhD is an “online” program, that it would not be academically rigorous.

Fuck my life.

Academic rigor galore.

In fact, as one second year told me, she thinks that we actually do more work than a traditional PhD program and I think she’s right.

Second.

I was in the dark a little about the length.

I had this idea that the program is only two years long.

The course work is only two years long.

Then there’s methodology, the comprehensive exams, research, the writing, the proposal and the defense of said proposal.

The course work will be four semesters.

Then I can expect at least another four more semesters of work to finish the dissertation.

Which means two more years.

And the professor made it very clear that the fastest anyone could possible do the whole shebang was 4.5 years.

What I heard from most of the people in the program was that if I did the course work and stayed the course with my research, readings, writing, methods, etc, that it would take in total about 5 years.

So.

It’s no different from any other doctoral program with the exception of the majority of the coursework is submitted online and that a large component of all my classes is to interact and engage with the learning community on-line.

There are 30 of us in the cohort split into two sections.

There are three classes.

Introduction to Transformative Society; Self, Society, and Transformation; and Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century.

I am the only student from San Francisco, though the school is located in San Francisco.

There were a lot of students from the East Coast, New York mainly, I think six of my fellows were from New York, one from up state New York.

One from London, a University Professor of Psychoanalytics and Psychodynamics.

One student from Hong Kong.

One student from Oakland.

Another from somewhere in the East Bay, a few from up North, somewhere in Canada, I totally forget now, another from D.C.

The woman from D.C. was also an MFT and teaches as well at university level, specifically Art Therapy and Play Therapy for adults, she was super sweet and insisted I call her if I have any questions about marketing or setting up my private practice internship.

Said internship that although I took materials with me to work on I did absolutely no work on at all, I was so immersed in the classroom experience and the work at the intensive.  And I read a lot while I was there on my breaks, as much as I could without totally isolating myself in my room.

Anyway, a lot of high-caliber, smart people.

Majority of them women, which was very, very cool.

Grateful to be part of some smart, intelligent, driven women.

Very grateful.

One of whom came up to me with a piece of paper today in a notebook that she was keeping to show to our future selves, our name with Dr. in front of it.

I was more than happy to write mine down.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Fuck that looks good.

And now I can stop giving myself grief that I maybe was in an “easy” PhD program because it was two years and online.

Silly rabbit.

It is not easy at all.

The great thing that I realized though, after having a bit of panic and overwhelm when I was in my Creative Inquiry class yesterday, is that the material is not beyond me.

I understand the concepts, they make sense.

Oh sure, a lot of the material is new to me, I haven’t studied these things before, but I have been reading academic papers and books now at a higher level of understanding for the last three years and the materials are not cowing me.

Nope.

Not at all.

That was a nice realization for me to make.

What was causing the panic was the number of deliverables that I must have for Creative Inquiry.

8 papers.

8!

And though some of them are short, I have a couple that are not, and two that are quite big.

Plus I have to get published.

Are you fucking kidding me.

I have to actually publish a review of a scholarly journal.

Holy shit.

Now.

I am excited.

But yesterday I was just overwhelmed.

What the fuck?  I remember thinking I have to get something published too as a requirement of the course, Jesus, plus, oh, great, thanks, I also found out that I have another book to read, in addition to the books already lined up for the course, I had to pick one of four others that were presented.

Let me say this.

I will not be going anywhere without carrying a book or an article to read.

That’s why I got overwhelmed, 8 papers for this class, three for Self and Society, and one big whopper for Intro to Transformative Studies.

Plus weekly discussions and comments and interactions with my cohort.

I worked a lot on my calendar yesterday and I’m not 100% certain, but it looks like I will have to read two to three books per week to get through all the material.

Well, not quite, more like 2.5 per week.

Plus the articles, many of them big, long, academic papers of over 30 pages, and every class has three or four of these a week.

So yeah.

The material doesn’t scare me, it’s just getting the time to do it.

I’m not sure what’s going to have to go out of my schedule, but somethings definitely are.

Maybe a few less blogs a week.

Maybe.

I’ll let you know.

For now, I’m just happy I’m home and all my stuff is put away and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Very happy for that.

Very.

 

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In The Right Place

September 3, 2018

And if there were any doubts about my PhD program, they were all erased today.

Replaced by a feeling of knowing, really knowing that I am in the right place, at the right time, in the right program, with a cohort of people who I am really beginning to like and  respect.

I had my second full day of classes and the class today really (and when I say class let me say that one class was six hours, with a meal break in between, these are not your standard “classes” that are 50 minutes long) brought it home for me.

The first part of the class was really a sort of getting to know you exercise that took a bit longer than I was ready for and made me squirm a little bit as some folks began to go over time, but it was a good way to hear more about the folks in my cohort, and that was nice.

But.

It was the next part of the class, when the professor introduced to us the realities of the work and how the course was set up, the readings, and what he hoped to accomplish that would allow us to do our dissertations and get through to the final doctoral degree.

He expressed what we were going to do and how we would get there and I could see al the ideas that have been percolating in my head start to coalesce.

I had gotten really good feedback from the Dean of the school when I interviewed with her, she had never heard of anyone covering the topic I want to do and that excited me.

But that was back in February, March?

Back when I was still in my Masters program.

And I still have had the idea, still have had the interest in pursuing it.

But here.

At the intensive, it suddenly felt alive and very, very real.

The course work is no fucking joke.

I am going to be reading until my eyes bleed.

However

The cool thing is that I won’t have to write as many papers as I did for my Masters program.

Of course, there will be the dissertation and God only knows how long that will end up being.

God willing it will become a book.

I mean.

I really could see the culmination of the effort not just netting me the PhD, but also getting to work on putting out a book.

I’m really excited about it and my fellows in the cohort have been asking me questions and really into my inquiry.

Makes me happy.

After we had our lunch break and came back to class for the second half of the six-hour class, I was ready to dive in.

I had a nice lunch break and had gone for a little walk to get some fresh air and a coffee and sat down at the beach for a little while, got some salt spray on my face and some sun and felt refreshed and ready to jump back into the material.

Material that I was excited by, work that I am looking forward to doing.

Oh.

I’m a touched overwhelmed too, won’t lie about that, the reading load is really quite heavy, but if I consistently read, every day, as much as I can, I will get through it.

And that the writing is far less substantive heartens me.

I will have to have a big online presence, which will be a little new for me, but I have done it before with a couple of my former classes, so it’s not a completely new experience, it will just have to be something that I am consistent with.

There is going to be a lot of me working on this for a long time.

I’m grateful though, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do the work and I’m grateful to be excited and I’m grateful for the talk I had with my professor after class ended.

I went up to him and thanked him for presenting the class how he did and I told him that he had assuaged the last tiny feelings of why wasn’t I just going for a PhD in Psychology versus doing a PhD in Transformative Studies.

He asked after my inquiry and I told him what I was thinking about and he got excited.

HE GOT EXCITED!

For a tenured core faculty professor who has published over 50 articles and written I don’t know how many books, but more than one, he published his first when he was just 30, and he speaks five fucking languages, for this professor to be excited by my idea was really such a great feeling.

I think I floated away from the classroom.

I mean.

I am tired.

It’s been a lot of showing up, being present, paying attention, taking copious notes, reading, although not as much as I did yesterday, I tried to connect more with the cohort today and hung out with my fellows and talk, but I still did read, and being out of my comfort zone, in a new environment, yeah.

Tired.

But good tired.

And tired happy.

Tired that there’s going to be so much.

But also tired with a purpose.

I have a purpose, there’s an end goal and the program is exquisitely designed to get me to that finishing point.

In fact.

As far as PhD programs go, they have one of the highest success rates of programs in the United States for actually getting PhD students all the way through the process to the doctoral degree.

Most programs see 30% drop out in the first year.

So seeing the mechanics of how it works and what I have to do to get there and how thoughtfully it was all laid out.

Well.

It made me smile.

It really did.

IMG_E4816

 

Offer Accepted!

August 7, 2018

It’s official.

I just now, literally just seconds ago, replied with my acceptance for the Grateful Heart Therapy internship.

I am now part of their 2018 Fall cohort.

I will begin October 1st!

I can hardly believe it.

I will get to see clients and get paid.

I will get to have one office, instead of four different offices.

And!

Oh the nicest thing!

I found out that the Thursday morning group supervision meets in San Francisco not Alameda!

This is huge.

Especially since the group also meets a little earlier than I thought, 8:15 a.m.

But it’s done by 10:30 a.m. and I’ll be at work by 11 a.m.

I won’t lose any hours at work, I won’t have to finagle more money from somewhere else, in fact, once I start accruing a few more clients I will actually make some money.

I won’t for the first few months, it will take some time to accrue the prudent reserve the non-profit needs me to have to make sure that I can pay rent and supervision fees.

But that’s fine.

I have time to do that.

I have time and I will get paid, I suspect that I will start getting paychecks from them in or around January of next year.

I think it will take about three months to accrue the prudent reserve.

I am over the moon.

This is happening.

I will have an office.

Yes, it’s an office I will be sharing with my former professor, so it’s not mine, I haven’t decorated it, the couch isn’t mine, but I will get to rent from her and I will get to be in the space and it’s much nicer than the majority of my offices that I have currently with Liberation Institute.

One office.

God that just sounds so damn nice.

One key instead of four.

I am a very happy lady.

I almost told my boss today, but it was a hectic day with my charges, summer camps, doctors appointments, etc, and there was never really a moment that felt right.

And I’m glad that I didn’t, because I would have jumped the gun regarding the Thursday supervision.

My god I am so grateful that it’s in San Francisco and not Alameda.

Sure, I’m still going to have to deal with commuter traffic on Thursdays, but not having to go over the bridge is huge.

Such a relief.

It feels really nice to move forward.

I told one client today that I had gotten the internship and gave a soft notice for October 1st.

Now I will have to tell the rest of my clients.

Some I know will come with me.

Some will not.

For the ones who will not I will need to do a little footwork with my current internship to make sure that they are transitioned well to their next therapists.

For the ones that will go with me I will just have to tell them what office to start meeting me in when October rolls around.

Which shouldn’t be any kind of big deal as my new office is going to be in the same building as my current internship.

That is the best part of this new internship, I get to decide where I want to rent an office, and Grateful Heart takes care of the lease.

At some point I will transition completely into my own office, and I want to stay in the same building.

There is nice community there and I like the location, Activ Space (sic) in the Mission at Treat and 18th.

There’s a Gus’s Market just a block away, Stable Cafe, the new park on Folsom street at 17th, there’s Rainbow Grocery just a few blocks away, there’s plenty of parking.

And if I should want the building also has parking if I want to rent a spot.

I probably won’t at this point, but in the future when I have a sustainable income and my bills are being met well I will.

I really like the idea of having covered parking, the street parking isn’t horrible, but there are homeless folks around and there’s a bit of drug trafficking that happens in the neighborhood.

Tonight I came out and some guy was smoking crack on the sidewalk.

No thanks.

I don’t get bothered, but I know at some point it would be nice to come out of my therapy office and just get into my car without interacting with that sort of scene.

Anyway, that’s in the future.

Right now I am just going to take a moment to bask in the glow of having accepted the offer.

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

Not just the Master’s degree and the traineeship and the internship at Liberation Institute.

But also that when it looked like my former professor and I were going to work together and then I found out we couldn’t that I didn’t sit on my ass and mope.

I went out and discovered that there were things I could do.

I heard about Grateful Heart from my therapist and remembered I knew someone who was there and met with that person and got my shit together and did the big application and got it in to the organization before I left for Paris.

I turned it all around in three weeks.

Then I got a asked to interview, which I did this past Saturday and today I got the offer.

That’s basically a month from finding out that the original plan wasn’t going to work to finding and solidifying a totally new internship.

One that is actually better for me than the original.

One door shuts.

Another door opens.

Seriously!

Waiting For

August 6, 2018

The offer letter.

It was supposed to come today.

I didn’t get it.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the position!

“I’m offering the position to you, it’s yours,” she said emphatically 3/4s of the way through the interview.

I was so thrilled.

Yesterday morning I got up super early and headed over to Alameda to interview for the Grateful Heart Therapy private practice internship.

And I was hired.

The director let me know that she would be writing up the offer and sending it to me to officially accept today.

But.

Well, she had some things come up and I will get the letter tomorrow.

I was going to hold off on writing about it until I had the official letter in my hot little hands, but I have been very excited about it.

I really am, eventually, going to get paid for the work I do as a psychotherapist!

This is very exciting.

There will be some big transitions, but I feel like they are going to all work out well.

I was also extremely pleased to find out that the group supervision which is required for the first six months of the internship, the supervision that only happens on Thursdays, might also actually work for me.

There are a number of groups that meet on Thursdays and the incoming fall cohort would typically all be together, forming a sort of support team for each other as we all learn the ropes about how to craft and create and sustain our own private practices.

However.

I was told, the director knew that I have a full-time nanny position, that there might be some flexibility there for me.

I was happily surprised.

I was getting ready to tell my employer I wasn’t going to be able to work on Thursdays anymore and I was already trying to figure out how I would manage with the loss of one day of work a week until I am established with enough clients to pay my bills.

Which may take a few months.

But.

No.

The director told me that she knew of my dilemma and that though it was typical to start a new hire with other new hires, there was an opening in the earliest group of the day, Thursdays at 8:30a.m.

Granted.

Sigh.

This means getting up really early on Thursdays so that I can drive over to Alameda for group supervision until 10:30a.m and then driving back over the bridge to Glen Park for my nanny job, but fuck, it means I won’t lose out on income while I am making the transition.

I was super surprised that she made that offer.

Then I realized.

They really wanted me.

The director had already come up with a way to facilitate for my needs!

This was just moments before the position was offered to me, I felt this warm shift in the room and then, boom, she told me they wanted me and that she thought I was the perfect fit for the organization.

I could also tell that she was moved by my honesty and vulnerability in my interview.

Interviewing for a therapist position would be the place to be vulnerable, you might guess, and it paid off handsomely.

I am very pleased.

So today I reached out to my former professor and updated her on my situation, I will be renting office space from her and eventually she will be my solo supervisor.

For the first six months of the internship I will be with the group and I can continue to do so if I want, and/or implement supervision with my professor.

What Grateful Heart does is provide all the administrative support, overhead, insurance, and tax infrastructure that an AMFT (Associate Marriage Family Therapist) needs to be able to practice and get paid.

Effectively helping me to establish my own private practice.

So that by the time I have licensure I will already have a private practice up and running.

They will deal with my lease, they will pay my rent, they will pay my supervisor.

I will pay them $350 a month for the administrative work and to pay out my supervisor.

The money my clients pay will be directed to them, they take out fees, rent, supervision costs and then they will cut me a check out of what is left and it will be direct deposited  to my bank.

I will learn about how to get referrals, how to network, how to build up my own website.

Holy shit.

My own website.

I have been doing this blog for a long time, but I have never had my own website.

I have been thinking that I want to write a blog for my website, something therapeutically oriented, a sort of gift to clients or would be clients, a tool that can be used for their own self-care and as a way to promote my business.

I have to think about what I will call my practice.

I am nervous, but in a good way.

This is very exciting stuff.

I will leave my current internship at the Liberation Institute, where I was told rather sweetly by members in my group yesterday how much I will be missed, sometime in October.

Some of my clients will go with me.

Not all of them, however, I will be charging $80-$100 a session.

When I get licensed I will be charging $150-$200 a session.

And some of my current clients won’t be able to afford that, Liberation Institute is community mental health with an extraordinary sliding scale where no one is turned away for lack of funds.

But a few of my clients will be able to afford it and I suspect that a few may decide to stay with me as well, despite the raise in rates.

I am hopeful that I will get referrals from people I know in community as well as from my professor.

Even my own therapist said she would refer clients to me.

So it feels good.

Hopeful.

New.

Exciting.

I will share the letter with you tomorrow.

And whatever else happens as I move forward into this next phase of my developement.

Oh!

Before I forget.

I bought my books for my PhD program today too!

Things are really happening.

REALLY!

One Down

April 23, 2018

One to go!

Holy shit batman.

I did it

I just now, I mean, literally two minutes ago, sent in my Research Methods paper.

Fuck did that feel good.

It’s not due for two weeks, but the fact is between working full-time, over time this week and last week, seeing eight clients, doing the deal, and whatever else life throws at me, I only really, for my money, had this Sunday and next Sunday to do the writing on the papers I need to write to wrap up the requirements for my coursework.

I did it!

I wrote my paper.

10 pages.

3,760 words.

It is done!

Such a good feeling.

Today went so well for timing and getting things done, it really unfolded in a lovely, sweet way.

So much so that I am a little in awe as I look back over the day, one thing leading smoothly into the next.

I got up early like I planned.

I went to the 7:15 a.m. yoga class.

Frankly it was perfect timing.

Oh sure, maybe my head was a little grumpy about getting up, but it was just great timing, to get up early to go to the 7:15 a.m. class instead of the 9 a.m. class, it gave me some wiggle room in my day and it was also the most pleasurable part of my day.

Yoga with my best friend than coffee and breakfast.

Then some household chores.

And.

Yes!

Getting all the paper work together for my supervisor to sign off on tomorrow.

Tomorrow is our last day together.

I’m excited to be moving into the next chapter and whatever it holds, though I will miss him, it’s been a good run and I do feel ready to move forward.

It will be good to thank him, hand over the paperwork and get that shit signed off.

After I took care of that I did a bit of food prep and tidied up, not that there was much to tidy, then I took a hot shower, got dressed in my super hero outfit–I like to dress up too when I’m writing a paper, especially since my Sunday evening commitment is in the Castro, and I like to represent–and then did the writing that supports the writing.

My morning pages.

I had a good run, wrote four pages then got ready to meet a ladybug and do the deal.

An hour later I was raring to go for my second lady of the day, but she’d gotten tied up in traffic and wasn’t over the Golden Gate Bridge at our regular meeting time.

I told her to relax, she could do a phone check in and besides, I had a big paper to write.

And.

That little bit of extra time was just exactly what I needed.

I had a small lunch, the breakfast was big, but oh so yummy, so I had just a pear, a piece of cheese, a bite of prosciutto leftover from having my friend over for dinner the other night and then I sat down.

I wrote a little note asking for help writing the paper, said a prayer and dropped it in my God box.

I got all of my resource materials out, all the books and articles, and sources I needed, my notebook and laid them on the floor around my little kitchen table.

One day.

Oh, one day, I will have a great big writing space, a big long kitchen table that I can spread out all my work on, but until then, the kitchen floor suffices.

Then.

I opened my laptop, opened the page to write and jumped in.

Two hours and forty minutes later I was pretty much done.

I had written 10.5 pages.

The paper is only ten so I knew I would be doing revisions.

But.

Well it was 5 p.m. on the nose and I had to meet my person in the Castro at 5:30p.m.

And I did.

We had a great meeting, a great check in, and then I went and spent time with the fellows and that was fantastic.

I am so grateful for my community.

Am I ever.

Then home again home again, jiggedy jig.

I opened my computer back up, did a deep spell check and grammar sweep, and then edited the paper down to a crisp ten pages on the nose.

And after taking a nice deep breath I saved all the changes, opened an e-mail to my professor and attached the paper.

Bye bye!

God, what a nice feeling.

So, so, so nice.

One down.

One to go!

I am so close, I can smell the bonfire on the beach at my graduation party.

Seriously!

Hold That Thought

April 18, 2018

I was supposed to register today for my fall semester in the Transformative Inquiry PhD program.

But.

Nope.

Holds on my registration.

My first thought, “but I don’t have any over due library books!”

Literally.

Second thought, “or videos!”

When I was in my undergraduate program at UW Madison Four Star Video was affiliated with the UW system, I don’t really know why, but it was and I had a video that was over due.

By like a year.

And the school wouldn’t release my financial aid funds until I returned the video.

But I had already.

Or so I thought.

I had given the video to my boyfriend, my first boyfriend, now that I think of it, Rob, to return to the video store.

He said he did.

But as it turns out, he did not.

I hadn’t been dating him in a while, a while for me at least, six, seven months, and had barely seen him around the campus, he wasn’t a student, but his father was a professor in mathematics at the school.

I was so broke.

I remember it so distinctly.

I really needed my financial aid and I had to pay out $90 to the video store to replace the rental.

It was “Gone With The Wind,” I have no idea why they hell I had rented that movie, although I do like it, though the book is so much better, and was astonished that to replace the video it would be $90.

Partially because it was a double cassette movie, two different cassettes.

I am so dating myself.

I couldn’t track down Rob, but I could track down his father.

I went to his office and I waited until he had office hours.

He remembered me fondly and asked after me and I was suddenly shy to say why I was there, but I needed that money and the financial aid office refused to let it go, I mean, I reasoned, wouldn’t it make sense to just give me the fucking money and I pay the fine?

But no.

I had to pay the fine first.

I girded my loins and told Rob’s dad and he was so sweet, he opened his wallet pulled out the money and wished me the best of luck.

I ran back to Four Star Video, which was a haul, UW Madison is a huge campus and Rob’s dad’s office was on the other side of Bascom Hill, it was probably a two-mile hike, but I feel like I did it in twenty minutes.

I paid the fine.

I got my financial aid.

As it turns out, I don’t have any outstanding video rentals or over due library books, note to self, I do have a book I need to return next class session.

LAST CLASS SESSION!

I can’t get too excited yet.

I am not there.

I still have two papers to write.

I still have work to do.

My therapist and I talked a lot about it, how it feels surreal, how it doesn’t feel like it’s actually happening.

I’m having my best friend over for dinner tomorrow night to do party planning and catch up and I have to say it feels weird to be planning the party as it’s not really hit me yet that I’m going to graduate.

My therapist look at me at one point in the session and said, “you’re going to graduate.”

I’ll take her word for it.

Therapists are supposed to hold the hope.

heh.

Anyway.

The hold seems to stem from the fact that I am not yet graduated from my Master’s program and I can’t register online for a PhD while my grades are still out.

I have been provisionally accepted.

Which means I have to graduate before I can be in the program.

But.

I can register for classes.

I just have to go to school and do them via hard copy.

Hard copy!

Shit.

That sounds like craziness.

I remember when I went for my undergraduate the school had just switched from the stand in line and hand register and hope that you can get to all the classes you want to get to, to using the phone.

And man.

It was so important to call ASAP.

Once your time was up it was a hustle.

I remember waiting with my booklet of classes and the phone, dial-up, though at least not a rotary phone (although, yes we did have a rotary phone in middle school and high school, a big yellow one that hung of the wall in the kitchen nook in the house in Windsor, that had a super long curly cord that my sister would stretch tight so she could have phone calls in the bathroom without anyone overhearing her), and I would have to put in my student id pin number and then punch in the code for the class.

Sometimes I was lucky, especially by second semester Junior year and most of my Senior year, and I would get right into the classes I wanted.

But often.

So often.

I would not get what I wanted and thus began the negotiation of what class to pick up that would fulfill my schedule needs, I worked full-time (nothing’s changed, well, that’s not true, I don’t work in a bar anymore), my school requirements for my degree, and whether or not I had any interest in the class.

Sometimes I would get home from work and comb through the class lists, looking for an interesting class that I might have overlooked, sometimes I would sit on the phone, continuously dialing and re-dialing the number.

I was persistent.

Persistance paid off.

Someone would drop the class I wanted and I would be having one of my twenty-minute or half hour tries at getting into a class.

It was always the best feeling when I would dial-up a number for a class that I had been trying for days, sometimes weeks (happened a few times) and suddenly there was a spot open.

And it was tricky.

I would not be able to register for the class and then drop the one I didn’t want, I’d have to take a leap of faith and drop the class first, knowing someone might grab the class I’d drop or that someone else might be trying for the class I wanted.

It always worked out.

I remind myself of that now.

Things will work out.

I will get my papers written.

I will get it all done.

I will get registered for my PhD.

And I will have a party.

All the things.

They will happen.

I have faith.

Thank God.

Time To Take A Break

March 12, 2018

I should have just skipped it.

Trying to do more work after wrapping up a fairly exhausting weekend of classes, but no, I tried to do more.

But my brain was not working and as I was getting teary eyed in the Pete’s Coffee across the street from my school I knew it was time to concede and throw in the towel.

I was done.

I was a burnt little piece of toast.

Instead I had a really good talk with my best friend who bolstered my spirits and kept me on the phone out the door of the cafe, into my car and up to the Castro where I had to go for my next round of commitments for the day.

Man.

It was a long day.

And of course, I’m just now remembering that it was Daylight Savings so I was on one less hour of sleep.

I got up at 6:30 p.m. which felt like 5:30 a.m.

In fact, I got up right before my alarm went off to use the bathroom, crawled back into bed thinking I had another hour of rest and then the alarm went off and reminded me, that no, nope, no way, it was time to get up and start my day.

It was a hard day and I did a lot of work to stay with it and I am proud of myself for showing up the way I did.

There is a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed before I graduate and the final projects are coming together and I need to be doing more work around those, but for today, well.

I’m fucking done.

It’s ten minutes to 10 p.m. and I have to be up early again tomorrow to go to supervision before work.

I will say, however, that I figured out one small part of the Diversity Scholarship Application that I needed to do and the problem that was so insurmountable at the coffee shop was quickly remedied when I got home.

Some fellowship, some recovery, some doing the deal, meeting with my person and getting right with God, and voila!

Computer stuff is a walk in the park.

I’m still not doing it quite correct, but I don’t give a good god damn, I did what I needed to do and its enough, I have to remind myself that all that time, the work I do is enough.

I did a lot of work this weekend, I participated in every class, I brought myself forward, I was vulnerable with personal experiences and I used that vulnerability to show resilience and to model how my experiences can be of service to my cohort.

At least that’s what I hope I did.

It seemed as though it landed well, my efforts this week, and I’m happy with how I showed up, although, frankly, exhausted, it’s work, this school program and a lot of that work is process work, processing the experience of being in school, the psychological fallout of my own issues and my own work and then watching the interplay of what is happening with others in my cohort and what they are working with.

It was a lot.

And I’m tuckered out.

I don’t even feel much like writing more.

I sort of just want a snack and a cup of tea and a little video to chill out to.

I have a big full week, of course I do, seven clients this week, supervision, therapy, yoga if I can muster the energy before therapy and work on Tuesday, plans to see my best friend, work, as always, and getting my scholarship application filled out and sent in.

I will finish the rest of the work on the application tomorrow.

Now that I have figured out my technical issues it shouldn’t take more than a half hour, 45 minutes tops, to get everything done and turned in.

Fingers crossed.

The scholarship is worth $5,000.

It is applied directly to tuition.

And I don’t even know what the tuition is yet for the program I applied to.

Hopefully I will be hearing back from the program in the next couple of weeks.

I will either get called in for an interview, or I won’t.

I suspect I will.

The dean of the program had related to me that they generally decide within two weeks of the application deadline who they are going to call in for interviews.

I was told that they’ll make the decision very quickly after the interviews are done and that the entire process is typically done by the end of March.

Today’s the 11th.

I am assuming I’ll get the phone call this week.

That’s the thought, anyway.

And then interview. and then go get my PhD.

Of course.

There will be lots of work between here and there.

I can’t quite hold it all right now though, my head is too full and I am too tired.

So with that.

I bid you a wonderful good night.

And sweet dreamy dreams.

The sweetest.

Got Through

February 12, 2018

I did it.

I got through the school weekend.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I fucking did.

I wrote a god damn paper too.

I just sent it in a little while ago.

I was so happy to kick it out-of-the-way.

Five pages, not a huge guy, but not really what I wanted to do after a full weekend of school, proceeded by clients at my internship, and working all last week at my nanny gig.

I really wanted to take a nap half way through the day.

It felt like I got wallop by the tired stick.

I stuck it out though.

A lot of folks were playing hooky today though, it was obviously a challenging weekend for the entire cohort.

But fuck.

I got it all done.

I am super happy I wrote the paper.

Now I am free.

At least for the next few hours.

Before I have to get myself ready for bed and a full week of supervision, therapy, work and clients.

But.

Not really a “full” week.”

I am flying out of SFO to Washington D.C. on Thursday night to spend the weekend with my best friend.

I am so ready for some vacation time.

It’s only for the weekend.

A quick in and out, but I know, without any doubts what so ever, that I will savor every last-minute.

Every moment.

I am so ready to go.

I just have to get through the next four days.

They are full days, twelve-hour days tomorrow and Tuesday, work and packing on Wednesday, therapy, supervision, clients, but, oh, the reward at the end of it all, well, the week will go quickly I sense.

Staying busy doesn’t hurt.

I vacillated today whether I was going to attempt the paper after I got out of school today, I was feeling pretty punchy after all the work I put in over the weekend, but the thought of having to do any homework while on my way to D.C. or in D.C. prompted me to get it done.

And done it is.

So too is my laundry and my food prep for the week.

And it’s not yet 8p.m.

But fuck, I feel like I have put in a very, very, full weekend.

I had some lovely times this weekend though, yes, yes I did.

And I am so grateful that I was able to get out of my school mode a few times.

It set the tone for next weekend and filled me with some excitement for my trip.

I haven’t done any travel in a little bit and I’m really happy I will be packing my roll on suitcase for a little adventure here real soon.

I don’t typically pack until either day of or night before.

Since I am going to go into work on Thursday for my full day of work I figure I will pack up on Wednesday and just throw my toilet bag together when I get back from work.

Debating the whole drive my car to the airport and do long-term parking or taking a Uber.

It was suggested to me to park there, but I get nervous about doing something outside my comfort zone.

I also think that my noggin is so full of thinking and learning and writing papers that I can’t quite figure the whole thing out right now.

My poor little brain is just looped.

I could use a snuggle and some sleep.

I wager I will go to bed early tonight.

I mean.

It’s not often that I am writing my blog at 7:30p.m. at night, but there it is, I got home from school, cancelled on going out to do other things today, threw a chicken in the oven to roast and started in on my paper.

I got the paper out-of-the-way, sent it off to my professor, and then had a nice hot chicken dinner with brown rice and garlic sautéed broccoli and romesco.

Simple.

I will save the fancy food for the weekend.

That’s part of the fun of traveling, staying in new places and going out to eat.

Shopping too.

Not that I was planning on doing a lot of that, but I do like to get a souvenir or two.

I usually buy a pair of earrings wherever I go.

A notebook.

Postcards.

I send myself a postcard.

I get a notebook to do my morning pages in.

I like to get a hat sometimes too or some clothes, but the focus of this trip is not shopping, but rather spending time with my dearest friend whom I don’t get to spend time with often in the quantity that we will have this weekend.

So grateful for the time.

And now that the school weekend is officially finished it feels so much more real.

I fly out on Thursday!

My friend is picking me up from Dulles taking me to the hotel and letting me get settled in, then off to a museum, The Phillips for some modern art, and a nice lunch out.

There will be much improvisation too, not scheduling too many things, just the time together, that’s what’s important.

The time together.

Oh.

So much nice to look forward to.

I am so ready for it.

It’s been a hard three weeks.

When I consider what the last weekend of classes was like and then juxtapose the weeks in between then and now I am amazed that I made it through.

It was hard.

My heart hurt so damn bad.

I am still tender.

I won’t lie.

You should have been listening to the music I had on driving to and from school

But I’m not focusing on that right now.

I am focused on the lovely things I will get to experience with my dear friend as well as giving myself  a big pat on the back for getting through the school stuff that had to be dealt with so that I may travel unencumbered by homework.

Happy Sunday.

Is it Thursday yet?

Someone Loves You Very Much

December 6, 2017

She said to me and gave me a big hug, “such beautiful flowers!  I saw them backstage.”

I smiled.

I am loved.

I feel pretty astounded right now.

As I sit in the quiet of my home after a very nerve filled night, did that all really just happen?

Surrounded by love, engulfed in love, friends came out, unexpected classmates came out, hell, one of my professors came out.

I wonder if I can get extra credit for doing the lecture?

I jest.

Sort of.

I got there right at 4 p.m.

Literally found parking a quarter of a block away.

How the hell that happened I don’t know, but it was magic, just like the rest of the night.

Surreal.

Overwhelming.

Wonderful magic.

There were flowers waiting for me when I arrived.

I felt so special, so touched, so very loved.

I got a chance to connect and talk with all the performers, to get up on stage early, to feel what it was like to wear a wireless microphone and have something clipped to the back of my dress.

Very glad I wore a cardigan to hide the battery pack, that was serendipitous.

I got to get good and nervous.

I got to practice breathing.

And praying.

I did that a lot.

A couple of times in the bathroom in the green room and then again kneeling down by a couch when everyone was in the wings, just to get centered, just to ask that I carry the message, not my mess, that I be of service, that I let whatever was going to come out happen and not get in the way of it.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the community that came out.

The show, as predicted, sold out, and at one point there was a line of hopefuls sprawling out from the door.

I think everyone got in who wanted to get in, but I was far from that area, having had time to connect with friends I retired to the back stage to calm down and drink water.

I could not eat.

In fact.

I didn’t eat dinner until I got home a little while ago.

I just didn’t have it in me and I didn’t want to have food get my stomach upset.

I ate a banana before showing up and that really did tide me over quite well.

The nerves made it impossible to have any appetite.

I was told later that my nerves did not show at all.

And I know that to be the truth because when I got on stage they completely dissolved.

It really helped to be under the lights.

I couldn’t see a single face in the audience, I could barely see the balcony seating area, it was all just a melding of lights and laughter and voices.

I got to tell my story and it felt pretty damn good.

I added to the narrative I wrote.

I subtracted.

I got into it.

I haven’t really a good clue what I said.

But I apparently invited the entire audience to come to my graduation in May.

OMG.

I didn’t remember doing that until afterwards when a woman came up to me and asked to hug me and said, “I want to come to your graduation!”

I was like, oh snap, I did do that.

I met so many lovely people.

I was told so many lovely things.

It seems almost too much to even tell you what was told.

I wish you could have been there.

I really do.

I’m still pretty jazzed up from the experience and I’m not really sure how I am going to wind down.

Some hot tea I suppose.

Writing this always helps.

“You are such a writer!” One of my friends told me after, “you tell such a good story, it’s just so obvious that you write.”

That was a compliment.

I do like to tell a story.

I have told a few.

I am sure I will tell a few more.

I was asked, “what’s next?”

I don’t know.

I have to nanny in the morning?

I was asked to keep doing the storytelling, to do something else, to perform.

“We put you in this spot for a reason,” one of the producers told me as I was waiting in the wings, getting reading to descend the steps and go up on the stage.  “We wanted to build a crescendo, we really believe you are going to pull it all together, you got this.”

I think I did.

It was divine.

And it was more than me, as it usually is when I get out of my own way, I just got to become a vehicle for the words and the story flowed and I was happy telling it and excited and sad and oh so grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

I got asked about my blog.

I told folks the name, but I don’t think anyone will really find it.

Since I’ve gone off social media with it, it barely registers.

And that’s ok.

I thought about that a little tonight.

There were times when I wanted something big and important and fascinating from this blog–money, fame, applause, who knows, but something that would make me renown and also pay my rent.

Or buy me a house.

You know.

But that didn’t happen.

If anything, the reverse did.

It became a vehicle for something small and special and unique and sweet and mine.

Also, yours, really, it’s yours too.

Do you know how much you inspire me?

You do.

I love you.

I so do.

Perhaps I imagined you out beyond the footlights, a smile on your face, happy listening, to my little story.

Maybe you laughed a little.

And maybe in some small little way.

I got to be closer to you.

To another.

To this love and song and poetry that carries me forward.

An on ending stream of gratitude and grace.

Yes.

Grace.

And.

Happiness.

Joyfulness.

Freedom.

And love.

OH.

Yes.

That.

The love

So much love for you.

So much.

My Ass is Sore

September 18, 2017

No.

Not like that.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

My butt is sore from sitting at my table all day and working.

Writing.

And reading.

And more writing.

And taking tests.

Thank God I did get myself to yoga this morning.

Otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten much physical activity in at all today.

Super glad for the yoga, although it did kick my ass a little bit too.

Much ass kicking, however, was done.

I keep thinking of that line from the movie Heat, “she’s got a great ass!”

I digress.

I feel pretty damn happy that I got as much work done as I did.

I did all my CBT reading and took the tests that I had to take for the class and sent them in.  The professor got back to me right away and I was happy I did as well as I did.

Not that the class is even graded, it’s a pass/fail class that is online.

And as far as I’m concerned, thank God it’s pass/fail.

Because it’s too much work.

I was bitching with one of my friends in the cohort earlier who asked me how I had done on the tests, at that point I hadn’t even taken them, because the amount of work for a one credit online class seems way too much.

I mean.

Way too much.

I have a three credit class that I haven’t really even cracked the books on yet.

I will.

I will.

But let me bask a moment more in the fact that I got done what I got done today.

Suffice to say that even though I complained about the amount of work for the class, I did it, I took the two tests that I needed to take, I read the reading that I needed to read.

Then.

Well.

I did some more reading.

I finished all my Jungian Dreamwork reading.

That was dense.

Jesus H. Christ on a raft.

It was dense stuff.

Good.

But it took quite a while to get through the chapters I needed to read.

Fortunate for me I read them on the back porch of my house.

So.

I got some glorious sunshine on my face.

Heck.

I even got a tan line.

Heh.

I took a small “break” in between reading and tests for my CBT class and the Jungian class work I did.

I met with a lady and we read from a different book and talked about some stuff, inventory and how to do it and what it looks like and it was a great hour working with her.

Then.

I ran to Safeway did a little grocery shopping for the week and then over to Other Avenues, the food co-op in my neighborhood that I’m a member of and got the stuff that I like to have on hand that I can’t get at Safeway.

A late lunch and back to the reading.

I also read a huge chunk for my Alcohol and Chemical Dependency class.

Some of the material I have to read with a big grain of salt.

I, um, have some experience with alcohol and chemical dependency.

Ahem.

Anyway.

It was “interesting” reading but I tried to do it without judgement.

When I finished with that.

S T R E T C H.

And inside to toss a chicken in the oven to roast and some brown rice on the stove to cook.

While that was working I read all the articles and readings I needed to do for my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

Good readings.

I really like the professor, she who I happened to bump into yesterday at my internship (she has an office in the same building my internships is at), and the readings are really well curated and were quite well written.

I got a lot out of them.

My chicken was done roasting right about the same time I finished the readings for that class.

So.

Nice hot dinner and then back at it.

I wrote a reflection paper for Human Sexuality and Psychopharmacology and sent it in.

Then.

I opened up my dream journal.

Yes.

I have a dream journal.

Shut up.

I only have a dream journal because I am taking a dreamwork class.

I am not a hippy.

Ahem.

So.

I opened up my dream journal and wrote up one of the dreams I had at the beginning of the month.

I have to keep a journal for the class and every month the class meets I have to turn in a dream from my journal.

I had a magnificent dream.

It was at first overwhelming.

I was on the face of a gigantic tidal wave that was about to break over my head.

I was about to drown, I was overwhelmed, I was in a place I had been before and I knew what was about to happen.

Except.

Well.

It didn’t.

Just as I thought the wave was about to crumble and fall on top of me, I had a thought, “what if I swim through it?”

I have never had that thought before.

I have had a similar dream before, tidal waves, drowning, panic, sharks in the water.

Oh the nightmares I have had in my life.

Too many to tell them all hear and horrifying beyond words.

Suffice to say.

I had never had the experience of what unfolded in my dream next.

I started to swim into the wave, I spun around, and then I body surfed it all the way to the beach.

I flew.

I floated.

The water was warm and supple and held me.

I was not drown.

I stood up on my feet in the wake and white foam and laughed, I felt giddy and happy and full of joy.

I looked up and down the beach, white sand for miles, dunes with green grasses, calm, still, serene, the water of the ocean lapping gently on the shore.

It was astounding to me, this dream.

So I wrote about that.

And man.

Ouch.

My ass is sore again.

As I am sitting here, still writing, I’m about done, though, I have to tell you.

And.

I am done!

I just wrote the paper and printed it off, tucking it into my school folder for this weeks upcoming classes.

And yes.

I do have to do more reading for my Transpersonal Psychology class, but I will have the week days at work to do it since I won’t have any charges to juggle until school pick up.

So.

I have time.

And I did so much today.

I am really proud of myself.

So proud.

Even if my bum is a bit tender.

It was worth it.

Yes it was.

 


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