Posts Tagged ‘Puerto Rico’

Bye Bye

October 17, 2017

Faceplant.

I took Facebook off my phone today.

It gave me a great big scary warning about losing content and I was like, what the fuck ever.

Let me lose political arguments.

Terror.

Sniping.

Ugliness.

Trauma.

Policy intrigue.

And frankly a great big suck of my time.

I was on Facebook a bit more than I typically am via my phone today as the baby was sick and the only way to nap was to get him in the carrier and rock him until he could sleep.

It took a while and the screaming was tremendous, mostly just because the poor little guy was exhausted, he has croup.

In fact.

All my little monkeys have it.

Thanks to some kids who came to school sick last week and it spread like wildfire.

So today I had two boys, both who were sick and not so happy.

I did get to have them out in the world today as I helped the mom with some errands and for a very sweet hour I had the baby napping in the stroller and my big guy curled up on my lap telling me stories while he nibbled a pastry from Arizmendi bakery.

I got sunshine on my face, good snuggles, and sweet connection.

So.

When we got back to the house and I had the baby again I ended up being on my phone a bit, but the more I was on it, the more annoyed I got.

I have been contemplating taking myself off Facebook entirely, since the current administration and even a bit before it, I was beginning to have a lot of negative feelings about the forum.

First of all.

It’s extraordinarily challenging, I find, to see horror story after horror story, the fires in Sonoma and Napa, the mass gun shooting in Vegas, the hurricane in Puerto Rico, to name just a few, all the celebrity and musician deaths, deaths in my community and fellowship, the suicide at Burning Man, Jesus fuck, all of it and more, and then see Facebook selling me shit.

I am at once terrorized by the horror show of the world and then I am being sold some period panties, or a dress or high heels or what the fuck?

I can’t take in both information.

I can’t want to look at a pair of shoes and then feel extraordinary guilt that I can buy a pair of shoes when people in Puerto Rico haven’t had electricity for a month.

I can’t see story after story after story of women who have been raped and sexually assaulted and then see an ad for a dating site.

Fuck off.

It’s too much.

So.

When I found myself being disturbed, I put down my phone and I focused on what was happening right there in the moment.

I looked at the room I was in.

I felt the weight of the baby on my chest, his warmth and heaviness.

And then I closed my eyes.

Oh.

Why.

This is lovely!

I meditated and then.

Yes.

It happened.

I fell asleep!

I had what I like to call “naptation.”

It’s the best ever.

I couldn’t have slept more than ten minutes, a nap snack if you will, but wow, I felt so much better and refreshed and not irate at the world and upset.

I was present.

It was pretty damn nice.

Then.

Later at my office when I went into see my clients I realized that looking at social media tends to destabilize me and there have been more than a few incidents when I will be idly flipping through Facebook and see something disturbing and then I’m lost in la la land and minutes fly by and I’ve been sucked in and I’m upset now.

Well, fuck me, that’s not how I want to hold my therapy frame.

No.

I want to be calm and serene and ready and empathic to whatever my client brings in, not whatever algorithm Facebook has my feed on.

Fuck that.

So.

I deleted it off my phone.

Yes.

I do still have an account.

And I did not delete the messenger app.

I actually use that more often than one would think, especially with my classmates.

And, irony, school is one of the reasons I won’t get rid of it entirely, my cohort has a closed private group where we facilitate conversations about school and I have found the connection really important.

Facebook still has some things that I want to keep and there are friends and family that are out-of-town that I like to keep in touch with.

But.

No more on my phone.

I don’t like it and I don’t like how often I can be pulled out of the moment, out of the present, and away into something else.

I want to be present for what or whom is in front of me.

I remember when I realized that I could turn off the volume on my phone when I went to bed and not be woken up by a beep or ping or tweet.

I haven’t put my phone in night mode, except once accidentally, that was hilarious, yet, but I am close to doing that as well.

No interruptions.

Just pure sweet sleep.

I also try very hard to turn off my phone and put it away when I am with someone, I don’t like how distracting it is.

As I lean in more to being a therapist as I see what works for me and how I can better show up for friends, for those I love, for my fellowship and my clients, I lean further and further away from social media.

It was such a lot of fun, but it stopped being fun a long time ago.

When I stopped posting my blog to social media I noticed a distinct shift in how I use it and I have to say, I really don’t need the validation of people commenting on my blog from Facebook.

I missed it for a little while, but what I realized, what I have always known, is that the process of writing is what is important.

If someone gets something from what I write, well, huzzah, but ultimately, it is for me and I am grateful for that, that I kept it up and that I continue to do so and I can give a fuck about Facebook.

I think it will get along very well without me.

Probably won’t notice at all that I am gone.

And that is fine with me.

I don’t mind living under the radar.

That’s where the interesting stuff happens most of the time anyway.

Seriously.

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An Unexpected

March 29, 2017

And welcome.

Change to tomorrow’s schedule.

The mom has asked me to come in at 1 p.m. and stay a little late, dad is out-of-town for the next week with work, and I was happy to help out.

I want to be flexible with them and helpful and I know that the stress of being new mom with three-month old baby and a seven-year old and four-year old and without the dad around to help for the first time since baby was born is a big stress.

Big.

Plus going in late on a Wednesday is not a big deal for me since I have a late day on Wednesdays.

I do have a commitment in the evening, but it’s not until 8:30 p.m.

Which means that tomorrow.

Yes.

I can go to yoga on a week day.

First time this has happened since I started the new job on January 2nd.

I have been a weekend warrior with the yoga and have, dare I say it, missed the extra days I was able to go in before work at my prior job.

I don’t miss the late nights, I’m not particularly psyched to work that late, but to be flexible and help out and be able to go to a yoga class before work is a nice perk if I’m going to be working a later hour.

I’m not working extra hours, I’ll just be shifting them up so that I can be there with the older kiddos while mama takes care of getting the baby fed and asleep.

I’ll also help out the same way on Thursday.

I will go in at 1p.m. and work until 8p.m.

I will not, however, be doing yoga before work on Thursday.

Before work on Thursday will look like meeting with my advisor and turning in my paperwork to the registrars office.

I’m ready for that hoop to be jumped through.

I took another little leap today.

Actually.

Let’s be frank.

I took a huge leap today.

I had my first day back in therapy with my new therapist.

Hello therapy, it’s good to see you again.

“Oh good, lots of kleenex boxes,” I joked as I went into her office.

I was kidding and serious all at the same time.

The session was really good, we got to know each other and I committed to going back.

She asked if I was interviewing any other therapists and I said no, I had found what I wanted with her, I was honest that her location and availability was a big draw for me with my schedule at work, but also that I had felt a really nice connection with her when we had our phone interview last week.

And after a few minutes into our session I knew it was a good fit.

It really helps that she went through the same program that I am going through and I can see that she will be a huge asset and support as I navigate all the school stuff.

Plus.

I liked her.

And that means a lot.

And.

“You’re going to make a great therapist,” she told me at the end of the session.

And acknowledgement I was not at all expecting and it left me with a nice glow.

I know I am going to be a great therapist, but man, it’s nice to hear it out of a professional’s mouth.

Yes.

I did use the tissue box.

I also recognized and spoke to my anxiety.

Fear of carrying the additional burden of $120 more a week.

Nearly $500 a month in additional costs going out.

But I also know.

I know.

I can carry it.

I may have to shift some things around, probably won’t be putting any more into savings for a little while and I won’t be buying new clothes, but I can handle those things.

I can still pay rent, phone, groceries, utilities on what I make and be able to absorb the cost of the therapy.

My clothing allowance is about $250 a month and my savings is also about $250 a month.

I have some in savings for my travel plans and I have some in savings as a back up teeny tiny prudent reserve.

So if I just cancel out clothes and savings for a little while, trim down on eating out, which I don’t do that often anyhow, I’ll be fine, I can afford the therapy.

And.

Honestly.

I need to afford it.

I must have it documented that I am going and besides, I need it to keep going on this career path, I have to work out my own stuff, I have to reconcile it.

There is stuff there.

A lot of my work has been done and I have an extraordinary foundation from doing recovery work for the last twelve years and my therapist acknowledged that as well.

Which I found really affirming.

We talked about me thinking what my goals will be for the therapy beyond helping navigate the school process, interning, and getting my own hours met for my LMFT.

One thing we discussed was that she could help me with some anxiety strategies.

My anxiety has been pretty high since I started the program and some times I feel absolutely swamped by it.

I told her that I had been doing yoga and that was helping.

I am holding on tight to my two days a week and I am super happy that I will sneak in another class tomorrow morning.

Heck.

I’ll even be able to sleep in a little tomorrow.

It’s going to be a long couple of weeks, but I can get through it.

I read a ton today at work on my lunch break and I should be able to do that as well one more day this week, probably not tomorrow or Thursday since I’ll be coming in late, but Friday I will.

And I get to meet with a friend and do the deal and catch up over dinner afterward.

I haven’t seen him since my birthday, he’s just getting back from Puerto Rico and I am super excited to catch up with him.

I still might try to get to Puerto Rico in July.

There are so many plates spinning in the air I’m not going to try to predict it, but if I can, I will.

Oh life.

So much stuff.

So grateful for it all.

And a sleep in tomorrow followed by some anxiety reducing yoga.

Life is good.

All the things people.

All.

The.

Things.

Give It To Me!

March 3, 2017

I was just having a moment with my lip balm container.

I love it.

It’s the best that I have found since my favorite brand stopped making my lip balm about ten years ago.

It’s by Tokyo Milk.

And it is so good.

But damn it man, the packaging is so hard to open.

I was like.

My face is cracking, open up.

Ok.

Maybe not that dramatically.

But.

I can tell some things about me are changing.

My lips get chapped faster, my hands are dry (I mean, I’m a nanny, I do wash my hands a lot, especially when handling a new born, but still, I’m definetly getting the old lady hands, age spots and all), I have laugh lines around my eyes, even though I wear sunblock every day.

I’m getting older.

As though the gum disease and the having to wear bifocals, um, excuse me, let me get politically correct, my “progressives” glasses, weren’t enough, the grey hair at the roots of my crown, the aging, it is happening.

But.

I still wear them damn flowers in my hair and I still feel often oddly childish and silly and light-hearted, I may be getting older, but I still have a wonder about the world and a curiosity and a wish to see more things and have more experiences.

Once in a while my brain tries to launch an attack, oh my God, you’re 44, what’s next?

Death.

I suppose.

A cold, hard, lonely death, boohoo.

Can you hear the tiny violin playing.

It’s in concert with Jim Croce.

That’s not the way it feels.

I didn’t bother to watch that horror show though, today.

I just rather enjoyed the red rose in my hair and the lip gloss on my lips.

I had a nice day.

I even had a half hour by myself, sort of, my charge was napping, in which I was able to make a check in phone call with my person and confirm meeting with her on Saturday at Tart to Tart, look over some defects of character and get right with God.

And.

I got to sit outside on the back porch and enjoy the sun and a hot mug of tea.

It was pretty fucking spectacular.

Shit.

I even put my phone down for a while, got off the social media and just connected with the blue skies, the warm sun, the flowers blooming in the garden, the paper whites, narcissus, in a pot, the tiny buds of jasmine just turning pink, the whir and buzz of hummingbirds in the plum blossoms.

It was exquisite.

It is Spring and it is a little warmer.

Not a lot, but enough and yes, there’s more freaking rain this weekend, but the last couple of days the sunshine on my face makes all the wrinkles fine and acceptable, what am I going to do anyway, erase my life, rub away the laughs and the adventures and the experiences.

I like how I am, most of the time I’m in acceptance about my body, my health, my age, I’m pretty fucking lucky to have gotten to this age and have the health that I have.

Ridiculous the gratitude I have for that.

I have plans for these old bones, I’m not ready to roll over any time soon.

I was talking to my boss about going to Venice at some point and I think about all the places I write about in my morning pages.

I want to go to Burning Man.

Duh.

I have the time off but haven’t found out about the ticket yet.

I will be going to Paris, so that doesn’t count, I have already gotten the ticket and I have a place to stay.

All I have to do is show up with some money for food and museum entrances, and oh a couple of Claire Fontaine notebooks and maybe a tattoo and a flea market score or three, a souvenir or two from the Marais.

Paris is a done deal.

Other places I’m contemplating are Anchorage to see my dad, Portland to see my sister and Puerto Rico to see my roots, and because I have a friend that has contract work there, he’s invited me and I’m just waiting to find out when the family will be out and off to Europe for three weeks in July.

I don’t know what their dates are yet, so I’ve been holding off on getting any forward motion on buying a plane ticket.

I still have the voucher from this past Christmas too for an air plane ticket.

I am planning on using that for Puerto Rico and then buying a one way to Anchorage and doing three days there and then a one way to Portland, get a room in some hipster hotel and drink a lot of coffee and walk around and see what the scene is like, hang out with my sister, see what the deal is like.

I’m thinking one week in Puerto Rico, then one week split between Anchorage and Portland.

Then the third week the family is gone, just chill here in the city, do some yoga, hang out.

I get ahead of myself, but it is fun to contemplate.

Better travel plan contemplation then my brain trying to play some late night B movie horror show about being single and alone.

Frankly brain.

I’d rather watch Dirty Dancing again.

Go away.

I mean, for real.

I got better things to do.

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

Thanks.

I mean it.

I need all the help I can get.

The weekend is nigh and I want to have fun.

Please show me the way.

I’m open to suggestions.

Bring it on.

I’m all ears.

Seriously.

 

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

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

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

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

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

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

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

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

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

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

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

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

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

There is no there there.

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

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

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

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

But let go I did.

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

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

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

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

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

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

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

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

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

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

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

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

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

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

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

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

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

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

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

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

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

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

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

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

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

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

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

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

Gearing Up

January 7, 2017

For the weekend.

I got stuff to do people.

Places to go.

French friends to reconnect with.

Plans to make.

Plans that may be changing.

I may postpone my trip to Paris in May, my friend won’t be going back the time we had originally made plans on being there together, she’s made some suggestions and we are going to get together tomorrow in the afternoon and hash it out.

Oh.

I’m still going.

There is absolutely no doubt about that.

Just that the timing may be different, more toward late summer or fall.

The entire point of the trip was for us to spend time together, she’s from Paris and has spoken often and passionately about a Paris I have had glimpses of but not quite gotten to see.

She wants to show me and I am all in.

We just have to push it back a little bit.

Once we have figured that out I will look at making my other travel plans, Puerto Rico.

I may take a few days and go there in May, swap out the timing on the two trips.

There will be travel.

And tomorrow there will be much get about on the train.

I have parked my scooter and covered her up.

It’s going to rain.

And it’s going to rain a fucking lot.

For over a week.

Oh well.

Before the train I will be going to yoga, I haven’t been all week trying to navigate my new schedule with the new job, but I signed up for the 9 a.m. class tomorrow and I will squeeze in a class on Sunday as well and perhaps one on Thursday, help me get mellowed out before I have my first weekend of classes.

Yup.

That’s next weekend.

I got my second text-book in the mail today.

The stack of notebooks and text books begins to grow once again.

So this weekend will be getting as much stuff as I can done before next weekend’s first classes.

I will do the deal at Tart to Tart with my person tomorrow at noon.

Then a manicure.

Then lunch with my friend.

I’ll probably find a cafe to hole up in for a few hours and crank out some reading.

I’m not going to bother coming home after I do the deal and meet my friend for lunch.

I’m gong to be heading over to the East Bay to a speaking engagement and I figure once I’m out, I’ll be out all day and just get it all in.

Sunday I’m having a lady over to do some work and then I’ll cook for the week and work on my practicum applications.

Because that shit has to get done.

And after next weekend I will be in the doing homework mode.

I mean.

Fuck.

I already am.

I have reading assigned for all my classes.

But after next weekend’s round of classes I will also have the papers and the projects that inevitably follow a weekend of classes and I have to get my practicum stuff together.

So yeah.

I’m almost, not quite, but almost, grateful for the rainy days.

I will not be out running amok.

Not that I tend to anyway when I’m getting prepared for the school weekend.

But you know.

Easier to sit still when it’s rainy and cold.

I do wish that it passes quickly and that it clears by the weekend so that I can ride my scooter to school or even to a day or two of work.

It is just so much faster than the trains.

I finally figured out the fastest way to work today.

I found the magic through streets that get me from Diamond Heights to my spot in Glen Park.

It’s a lot of hills and it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m getting used to the commute and it is intriguing to be in a part of the city that I haven’t had much experience with.

It’s funny how a little change in my work location opens up an entirely new part of the city and all the things that I had no clue where there are there.

It’s fun to discover stuff.

And the new job continues to be quite lovely.

I am really going to like it, I am liking it more and more every day.

Even though today was a little hard.

It wasn’t hard because of my current job, it was hard because of my previous job.

I saw the boys today.

Oh, hello tears.

I am super grateful I didn’t cry at the school, but it took some enormous draw of strength to not do so.

I saw the little guy first when I went to pick up my current charges from school.

He was out running around, he and the little girl in the family are in the same class and I figured I would see him, but I had no idea how hard it would be.

Which, you know, is a gift, when someone affects me like that, when I have that kind of depth of feeling, I don’t have to run from it, it’s a gift, it means he meant something to me.

He still does.

He means so much.

I said his name.

He looked at me, and for a moment he didn’t recognize me.

Then.

“CARMEN!”

He flew across the playground and threw himself in my arms (pausing to cry, I’ll be with you in just a moment) and hugged me so hard.

So very hard.

“I missed you,” he said and shuddered and then clung to me even harder, “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too sweet guy,” I said and squeezed him back.

I set him gently down and asked how his Christmas was and his first week back at school and then I took a few pictures of him with my little girl charge and there was another hug and then he raced off to the playground and that was that.

I hugged my new charge and we got her back pack and bag of stuff to take home and signed her out.

I saw the old mom.

We said “hi,” and she said, “did you see?”

I did.

I nodded.

She told me his older brother was coming out and very much wanted to see me as well.

Ugh.

Slight pause to clean off my glasses.

Tear splatters.

I girded myself for the emotions and took my little girl by her hand and asked her about her day and she showed me the drawing she had drawn for me and then I looked up.

And.

Oh.

God.

His face.

All the emotions dancing across his face.

Shyness, excitement, joy, sadness, he paused and looked at me.

I smiled.

He smiled back.

Then he grinned.

Then he ran to me.

I caught him and lifted him up and hugged him and smelled his sweet neck and tried very hard, very, very, very hard, to not cry.

Saved that all for right now.

Ha.

“I missed you Carmen,” he whispered into my ear, “it’s been two weeks, it’s been too long, when are you coming back?”

“Oh bunny,” I said, and set him down, then I knelt down next to him.

“I missed you too,” I said and brushed his hair from his face and touched his soft cheek, how pale he looked, how sad and sweet and sincere.

“When are you coming back?” He asked me again.

I didn’t get a chance to say anything, the mom came and scooped him up, “we got to go ____________”

“I have to get them to the dentist,” she said, “sorry to rush off!”

“No worries, it was wonderful to see them, have a great weekend,” I said and smiled.

He looked at me, ugh, that look, then walked away with his mom.

I signed out my other charge and gave him a big hug.

“Guess what?!” I said and shook the sads out of my coat sleeves.

“What?” He asked very solemn.

“ICE CREAM,” his sister yelled, “ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, we’re going to go get ice cream.”

And we did and it was jolly fun and it helped soothe the ache in my chest to be with them and giggle and laugh and taste, them, not me, the different flavors at BiRite Creamery, and then sit and watch them devour their cones and then say, hey, let me get a coffee and guess what else, we got time for the park before we catch the train.

It was a good day.

A little sad.

A lot tender.

But a good day.

And I’m grateful for all the feelings.

“It must be hard,” my new mom said to me, when I mentioned that I saw the boys.

“For them, but also for you,” she said.

She’s an insightful person.

We get along quite well, I have to say.

“It was, but it was also good to see them,” I said, I might have been trying to gloss it over a tiny bit to keep myself together as I got my stuff to leave for the weekend.

“You must feel pretty tender, it might be harder than if you had just had a complete end with them,” she added.

“Maybe,” I said, looking at her deep blue-green sea glass eyes.

“But I’ll be ok, and I am so grateful to have made the transition to be with you,” I smiled, “thank you and please let me know how I can help next week, I’m very happy to be here.”

“Mom!” The little girl came running, “come eat dinner.”

Saved by the dinner time bell.

I got another hug from the little girl and a blown kiss from the boy and big, hearty, heart-felt thank you’s from the parents.

It was a good week.

I am glad.

My tears have dried.

And I am glad for both the expression of the emotion and that I can hold a vast amount of love and joy and emotions all at the same time.

I can love and miss the boys.

And.

I can be excited and happy for the new job.

And grateful for all of it.

All the feels.

All the things.

All the love.

Yes, love.

All the love.

It is so very, very good.

Even when it hurts.

Even then.

Seriously.

Puerto Rico

December 19, 2016

In the New Year?

Um.

Yes please.

So today was my birthday and like all good plans, hahahaha, plans you are just awesome and always so fucked, it didn’t quite go the way I um, planned.

Free Gold Watch was closed for a private party.

Which they hadn’t advertised and so when I showed up with my friends there was no pinball to be had.

And it was cold.

And I had stood outside for a long time waiting in line at Zazie’s in Cole Valley for brunch to want to stand outside any longer and figure out anywhere else to go.

So.

I called it a day.

And I have no regrets, no hurt feelings, because.

Ha, I had no expectations.

Which is actually a really nice way to roll.

And.

I had such a good time, such a lovely, sweet, warm, cozy, when we finally got seated in the restaurant as we had to wait in line for over an hour, but so worth the wait.

I had a delicious meal.

A lot of coffee.

And the company of some dear friends.

I am a very lucky girl.

Standing on the curb in Cole Valley outside a hopping French bistro waiting in line to have brunch on my birthday, feeling all the love.

I was a little disappointed to not play ye olde pinball, I love pinball, but I wasn’t upset that I was missing out, I had already had such a good time.

And.

My friends sang me Happy Birthday in the restaurant and the entire place joined in.

Wonderfully mortifying and special all at the same time.

Full, replete, and warm, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I also had an awesome talk with my dear friend who came over from Oakland to have brunch, we hadn’t seen each other in months, but sometimes, when there’s a connection, there’s a connection and it doesn’t matter that it was a little while, we were right back in it.

And.

Guess where he’d been?

Puerto Rico.

And guess where the airline I have the voucher for flies to?

San Juan.

Puerto Rico.

Of course, it’s too late to get a flight anywhere, all the holiday traveling, and I’m fine with that, but I corralled my friend on the curb and told him about my Christmas plans changing and that I had to cancel my ticket and now had a flight voucher that I could use to travel anywhere the airline had hubs.

It’s a small airline-SunCountry, so no Hawaii or international travel, except Puerto Rico, some spots in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Hello.

I said to the little map showing off Puerto Rico.

I haven’t seen you in a long time.

I mean.

A really long time.

And I have wanted to go back, to do it right.

To do it sober, for one, to go again to the bio luminescent sea, to walk the cobbled streets of Old San Juan, to swim in the water and lay on the beach.

So as I’m explaining to my friend about the ticket and my thoughts and wondering when he’s going back to Puerto Rico, he just starts smiling and smiling and then.

“Nena, open your gift.”

I looked at him, “ok.”

And opened my gift on the sidewalk outside Zazie’s and screeched with joy.

A travel book to Puerto Rico.

A bag of Puerto Rican coffee.

And a jar of Adobo spice.

OMG.

So made my birthday.

“How the hell?” I was so excited,  smacked my friend with the Adobo.

“I don’t know, but obviously the Universe provides,” he smiled.

We’ll be talking more, he’s got business there and will be going a couple of times a year for the next year and a half, two years, so sometime in the new year there will be a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend.

I am so excited.

And though the plans, they keep changing, I will be here for Christmas, I’m not upset about them changing, life happens, things change, roll with it.

Tonight will be an early night for me, despite it being my birthday I don’t need to go and paint the town eighteen shades of red, rather, I get to curl up here in my cozy home, by my sweet Christmas tree and have a little more tea and get a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow begins my last week with my current family.

It will be sad to say good-bye to the boys, but also I know it’s not a true goodbye as the next family I work with goes to the same private school.

I will see the boys at pick up and drop off and that will be a kind way to ease the transition.

Both for them and for me.

I have some Christmas presents for them and some things that I hope will remind them of me and keep me in their hearts, but I am ready to move onward to the next adventure.

I am also grateful that I have week off from said next adventure.

There will be much yoga.

There will be a little travel over to the other side of the bridge to help out a friend on Christmas Eve day.

There will be trips to the MOMA.

Dare I say it?

There will be naps.

There will be time to figure out my camera and why I can’t download my pictures to my computer.

There will be time to attend to a few school things–practicum applications, resume writing, gathering references.

As well as doing my FAFSA for the next school year and starting to order my books for the next semester.

Fingers crossed.

There will be time for at least one book that is pleasure reading.

There will be time for a ferry-boat ride on the bay me thinks.

I love to take the ferry once in a while, it’s my special solo date gig.

There will be lots of writing.

When isn’t there?

There will be plans that go awry and things that change and I will grow and change with them.

Hello 44 years old.

You look pretty damn good.

Glad we’ve made it this far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.

Nope.

I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?

Cuz.

That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.

Yet.

Utterly simple.

Easy?

No.

My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.

Well.

Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.

Shit.

I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.

Or.

Worse.

I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.

But.

I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.

Or.

Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.

Always.

Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.

This.

Overwhelming.

Overarching.

Expansive.

And.

Genuine.

Love.

 

All Showered Up

March 13, 2016

And ready for Daylight Savings!

Not fucking really.

Not really excited to be losing an hour of sleep on the last day of my three day weekend of school.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, I won’t even notice the difference, it’ll still be gray.

That being said, I am sure that by Monday the extra hour of daylight will be lovely.

Just contemplating the loss of the hour is not fun.

Oh well.

Class, again, went well today.

I am feeling the material and understanding it and doing well and I got to say thank you and good bye to the woman I was the therapist for in the last six sessions of class.

It is a powerful thing to do this work and again, a powerful thing to be told that I am doing well.

I sure hope so.

It did feel like I got a lot out of the work and also that my client did as well.

We lost one of our cohort today.

That was sad.

And yet, despite the confirmation for the student that the program was not a good fit, it confirmed, again, for me, that I am on the right track.

I am not always on the right track anywhere else.

Or at least that I can readily see, but I think, I feel like I’m doing alright.

I’m also going to need to reach out to the relatives on my father’s side of the family and get some more information about the family history for one of my papers.

It’s big stuff.

I’m excited to learn more about my family and as I was thinking about it during class, I had two thoughts, one I wonder if my fondness from mangoes has anything to do with the lineage of my family.

And two.

I really want to go to Hawaii.

I have never been and I have been sticking money away for a while now in an online savings account that I have titled “Paia, Maui.”

That’s where my grandmother was born in 1928.

I really want to see that.

I really want to connect to that history and culture and be there.

It may not be for a bit.

I don’t have vacation time for it at this time.

Although I do have the money to go.

I have thought about when would be a good time, summer, fall, winter, I assume that Christmas is a really busy season.

I have a four day weekend in July for the holiday.

Although I was also keeping that tentatively on my plate for a possible travel to Wisconsin to see my best friend and her skulk.

Ultimately, seeing my friend is the priority, Hawaii can wait, but I feel that it is very much in the near future.

New York and Burning Man, my retreat for school, and possibly a dash back to Wisconsin for a long weekend of hanging out with the best friend.

It’s a good year of traveling.

Who knows what else may come into the mix.

Opportunities seem to be everywhere.

But yes, Hawaii, I would love to go and see you.

It really is about time.

There are stories to write here, experiences to be had, reconnection to be made.

I felt that today, sitting in class, talking about the traumas associated with immigration and exile and how displaced people, refugees, slaves, indentured servants, get moved around, how solace is found in the mothering environment.

I feel that I would find solace there.

I just peeped around the interwebs and I can definitely afford to go.

It’s going to be a matter of when.

I have a odd feeling that it may be sooner than I think but I cannot put my finger on why, I know the family I work for is going to be going on a trip around the time that I will be going to the retreat in Petaluma for my retreat, but I actually am wondering if the dates are lined up.

I think they may not be, I think, in fact, that the family may be gone the week before my retreat?

If that is the case, then maybe then.

It would certainly make for a very busy August.

Which reminds me.

Start thinking about what I want to take with me to Burning Man.

I have a very nice set up for the job I will be doing out there, but I know from my own personal experience, there a few things that I will want to have with me.

It’s nice to order them and have them and stock them up and not think about it too much.

Replace my shoulder harness or get it stitched up.

Check in with my OP (Original Playa) family and get the status on my playa bike.

I know it will need some tending to and might as well get things going.

This is also just a way to make busy, I’m aware of that, but it is a kind of busy that I find fun and engaging and a nice mental break from all the school stuff.

One more day.

And thank God it’s a short day.

I will be done by 4 p.m.

Then off to the Castro.

Hang out with my Puerto Rican fairy godfather.

I’ll pick his brains about Puerto Rico.

Another place I would like to go back to.

I have been once, but it was quite some time ago.

It would be fantastic to go back with a little more family history and also to go sea kayaking again and swim in the bioluminescent sea.

All the things.

All the places.

All the reconnecting.

It’s a good life, my little life, down by the sea, that rain is falling and the wind is blowing, but hopefully soon, sun.

And until then.

I will be the sunshine in my own life.

I’m getting pretty good at it.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.


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