Posts Tagged ‘retreat’

Taking Care of Business

September 26, 2017

I just responded to my advisor and the head of my Masters program at my school.

I was expecting to get a financial aid disbursement from my school on September 19th.

I didn’t get a thing.

In fact.

When I checked in to see what was going on I discovered that not only was there no money to disburse to my account, well, fuck me, I owed money!

How the hell was that possible?

I mean.

I was counting on getting some money.

I certainly got the heads up from my student loan processor that I was getting the money, and they will be happy when I’m finally out of school and start repaying them, but here you go kid, take on some more debt, it’s good for the economy.

So.

I start to scour the tuition bill and there it is, a charge for $1087.

For a retreat (remember those insanely not relaxing weeks I did at the beginning of my first and second year.  Nothing says retreat like being in class for 8 days in a row from 9a.m. to 9p.m.) I did not attend.

Third years don’t get to go to a retreat, we are in practicum so there’s no room in our schedule for it, and really, there’s no point, we’re three-quarters of the way through.

I wouldn’t have minded it, actually, the place is pretty, at Ions Institute outside of Petaluma, and the weather is great and it’s nice, but I didn’t go.

And as such.

Don’t freaking bill me!

I’ve made phone calls.

Left messages.

Gone to the office in person.

I was told to send an e-mail.

Did that.

Then I cc’d my advisor and I got great support from him, but the business office hasn’t refunded the charge yet and of course, my scholarship monies got released and they, the system, kept the $1087.

I haven’t had the rest of the scholarship money land in my bank account yet, but I will and I hope it doesn’t take to long to get the rest of the money.

I have things to buy.

Like a car!

I really have decided to do it.

I have had a lot of talks about it, done research, done more talking, prayed, ran my numbers and I think I can swing it.

Yes.

I will be buying the car with some of my financial aid money.

But I will be using it for school, certainly to get to and from my internship and work of course.

This will be the first time in my life that I have bought a brand new car.

I have owned a couple of cars, but never a new one.

Here’s the one I’m looking at.

I can swing the $150 a month payment.

Plus I’ll have to have car insurance, which I figure will be another $100 a month and then gas.

Gas is going to be a lot more than the $1.50 I put in my scooter to fill up the tank today.

I still will use my scooter, but when the weather is bad, or super foggy, rainy, cold, or nasty, well, I will drive my car.

I like saying that, “I will drive my car.”

I have owned cars before, but it’s been a long while.

I ran into my person today very serendipitously, at the Whole Foods salad bar on Market and Dolores.

I had gotten out of my internship an hour early, client cancelled, and I decided to do a little grocery shopping.

I was going to SafeWay and then I felt like, no, I’m going to Whole Foods.

Glad I trusted my gut!

I got my groceries and then we joined a mutual friend and chatted and talked and got caught up.

He’s very behind me getting a car and I’ve been ruminating on my money for weeks now.

I have six thousand in savings.

I have a credit card with a limit of $5,000.

I could, technically, buy the car outright.

I don’t know that I want to do that, I would rather have a buffer for myself.

I don’t want to touch my prudent reserve at all, I’ll be keeping back $2,000 in my savings to make sure I’m ok if something happens and I’m suddenly without income.

But I could put $4,000 if my own money down right away, and maybe run $3,000 on my credit card.

I don’t want to max that out either.

Then I can pay off the rest of the car when I get my scholarship money in spring.

I’ll do the $150/month payment and come spring, I’ll pay it off.

That’s the idea.

I think it’s pretty sound.

I’m going to take a few more weeks, but I feel pretty ready to make a move on it.

Plus, I don’t want to get caught in the rain.

“Doll, I know you’re independent, but let me state the obvious, you’re a woman, go to the dealership with a man, don’t go on your own,” my person said before I left to come home.

And I agree with him.

I will need a side kick to help me out, some one to hold my hand.

I’m pretty confident I won’t be bamboozled, but having never bought a car before I want assistance, I don’t want to do it alone, and I’m pretty sure I can find someone to go over to Berkeley with me and do that part.

I think that’s about the only thing.

That and getting my refund back from the overcharge on my tuition bill.

I feel pretty awesome about the whole thing though, I didn’t react to the tuition bill, I responded, and I have been combing my finances and seeing where I can nip and tuck and get the car.

And I really do feel like I can do it.

Fun.

A car.

It’s only been fifteen years!

I think it’s time.

 

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I Don’t Read Your Blog

August 8, 2016

“I want to know you through getting to know you, I want to have first experiences with you.”

I was so utterly and honestly compelled to write about this that I can’t even explain how important that is to me.

This is something I hear too much.

“Oh, I know, I read your blog.”

Well.

You don’t know.

I mean.

You do.

There’s a lot I put out here, there’s a lot of me, there’s this now, this experience of sitting in a tiny cabin with two other women in my school cohort.

Oh.

And tiny aside.

The triple is not a bigger room.

It’s the same size as the other rooms except it has a bunk bed in addition to the regular size bed.

Basically they shoved two beds into the space of one and called it a triple.

I was dismayed when I first saw the room and felt a bit claustrophobic and how the fuck am I going to handle this and where am I going to go to have some privacy?

And.

Fuck.

Like that.

Intimacy.

Into me you see.

I don’t want you to see me, I want you to see a perfectly crafted me, the woman who gets up two and half hours before she has to go anywhere so that I eat breakfast and pray and read and have my morning me time.

But.

Also the woman who paints her face and does her hair and sticks glitter everywhere.

I mean.

That perfumed lady is special and  is me.

But she’s not all me and I don’t want you to see me without the glitz and the glam, to see me in old faded yoga pants and a sleep shirt that has pink skulls and flowers on it.

I don’t sleep in pajamas, I sleep in the nude, so a week of being in a cabin room and having to wear pajamas to bed.

Oh my god.

Dying.

Yet.

I know, in a big way, in a small way, in all ways that it is important for me to let people in, to let myself be seen, warts and all, saggy upper arms and all, sans the glitter, or the lipgloss, with my hair messy and my heart out on my sleeve.

Literally and figuratively.

And there’s not a lot my room mates aren’t going to see of me in the next few days.

Eight to be exact.

Seven nights.

Eight days.

All of me just hanging out.

So to hear that my dear friend wants to actually experience me, to get to know me, to love me, in person, up front in real rather than behind the scenes, or the screen, person to person.

Of course.

I’m not exactly present at the moment, typing away on my little laptop, digesting my day, letting go, moving forward, not knowing exactly what this next week is going to be like, or the next few weeks for that matter.

I’ll be living out of suitcases and bags and traveling with work and you now, that thing in the desert.

Don’t put nothing in unless you feel it.”

Yes.

Nina Simone.

Break it down baby.

I feel like dancing.

I feel like being in a club.

I feel like round back chairs and oval wood tables.

I feel like smokey hazy air and warm breath and sultry nights and slow dancing.

Fantasy.

But a nice fantasy to have in my heart.

My little burning heart all lit up with vulnerability and lights, carnival lights the fairground, the tilt-a-whirl, the up and down of the carousel horse, the golden bridle a shine of paint faded from sticky cotton candy hands and the brass ring.

Right there.

It is all so right there for me right now.

I can’t touch it.

But it is all right there.

Just there.

I am not exactly on the other side of the window, not exactly a wallflower on the wall, but not quite there, not quite on the dance floor yet.

I can feel it in my body, this urge to break out in dance, to move to surrender to that urge to just go.

To go where?

I don’t quite know yet.

Perhaps it’s a metaphor, a place that’s not a place, a coming back around to.

The deer, a doe,  head up and alert in the shadow of the tree.

The fawn a tender outline against the bright light flittering though the green and brown edges leaves of the old growth oak trees.

An outline of senses and thoughts and emotions.

A swirl of thought and love.

I am glad my friend doesn’t read my blog.

I am also glad that you do.

I miss you too my friend.

When the press of the stars is heavy in the sky, heaving with the sentient knowledge of god and the abundant nature of the celestial, the movement of the spheres a song that I catch faint and gossamer in the shell of my ear.

Poetry cut from the green hearts of apples.

The robin on the wire in the garden.

The moon a sail, a sloop, a causeway of honey on the midnight blue cast of the horizon.

And I here.

In this little bed.

In this little room.

I think of you.

Starlight pressed in my bosom.

Isn’t it a pity, isn’t a shame, how we break each other’s hearts and cause each other pain.  How we take each other’s love, isn’t it a pity.”

The time is not my time.

The heart, though it longs, is just a reverent watcher.

The mind, rabid burns with a morbid chastity that I cannot witness.

The applicable beauty that surrounds both.

To bring them both together, to not bring my mind to heel, to not break my heart, except to break it open, to feel more love.

To give back to go forth.

To be naked before you.

I am not so good at that.

But.

Tonight.

I will try.

In this small moment.

I won’t explain myself.

I won’t say how much I want to cry.

I won’t say how much I want to laugh.

I want to cradle you in my bosom and bright your life my words.

Love.

Love.

Full.

Replete.

“The beauty that surrounds us and we don’t see it, isn’t it a pity.”

Please.

Hold my hand.

Walk the woods with me.

And see.

How beautiful.

So very beautiful.

You are to me.

 

 

 

 

And School Starts

August 7, 2016

Now.

Go!

Fuck.

I can’t believe I am heading off to my eight day school retreat for my second year of my grad program tomorrow.

Holy shit.

I’m a second year student.

How the hell did that happen so fast?

I’m packed and ready for it.

Although not quite as prepared as I would like to be.

One of my texts still hasn’t shown up.

There is really nothing I can do about it, surrender to the imperfect start and let myself off the hook.  At least the book is on order.  A classmate of mine admitted that she hadn’t ordered it yet, another classmate of mine said, yup, I got it, but I haven’t cracked it yet.

So I’m not alone.

Not that I ever am, but I can pull myself down pretty quick if I think I’m not doing it right or perfect, whatever the fuck that looks like, and ruin a day with my grievous mind.

I broke down a lot today.

It was not a perfect looking day.

But I got through it despite stupid thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and lots of tears.

I mean loads.

I have no idea why.

General anxiety.

Trying to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan and is certainly not a solution.

My best ideas usually end up in trouble, to tell you the truth.

To tell myself the truth.

Once in a while I do have some good judgement, a little modicum of calm, a notion to do something, to go opposite my critical head and reach for some solution, some outside myself answer.

I got up and went to yoga.

I did not want to.

I mean.

Really not want to, my least favorite teacher was subbing for my favorite teacher and he’s a tough cookie, he does some really hard core yoga, I have only taken his class one other time and it left me flustered, in tears, and frustrated.

Which is exactly where I got today.

In tears on the mat, trying to do what seem to be super easy poses, but just wrecked trying to get into them or hold them or move gracefully.

Everything felt old and cranky and crunchy.

Seriously.

The noises my knees make are sometimes ghastly.

I was miserable and when I have a hard time, I try harder, I cry more, I shout in my head, I fall over, I say fuck.

“Oh no, someone said fuck in the yoga studio,” my instructor laughed, “fuck that”

The class chuckled.

I’m glad to be here for comic relief.

After ward he chatted with me and I told him the truth.

“I hate your class,” I said, point blank, “it is by far the hardest class and I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel everything so much harder, it’s just impossible.”

“You hate my class,” he said, “really?”

“I just hate that I can’t seem to do any of it, it’s the hardest class of all the classes I have had and I just feel wrecked and always in pain and always on the verge of falling over.”

Fuck.

I’m in tears reliving it.

I was so whacked out.

But I realized in the doing that I hadn’t had a thought for pretty much the entire 75 minutes that was anxious or living in the future or dwelling anywhere than in the specific pose I was trying so hard to hit.

Nada.

Quiet head.

I know enough to be grateful for that.

A beautiful respite from me, my own worse enemy, I mean really, I wouldn’t even call myself a “frenemy” at this point, I am just plain mean to myself.

It’s all perfectionism and it’s about getting greater humility and letting go of the idea that what you think of me is important, or for that matter, any of my fucking business.

I mean.

I hope you like me, tilts head, smiles coyly.

NOPE.

Not my business how you feel about me, think about me, or on the other hand, it’s not even my business how I think about myself either.

It’s a lie.

I am good enough, sweet enough, kind enough, I am smart enough, I show up, I try.

“I have that voice too,” my teacher told me today, looking right in my eyes, “I am a perfectionist too and you have no idea how far you have come in such a short time and how much further you’re going to be able to take this.”

“You’re beating yourself up, you try harder than anyone we’ve seen at the studio in recent time, you’re doing great, you really are.”

He told me some stories and shared some experiences and I was humbled.

That’s some perspective.

And a good change for me to hear and take in and also almost, but not quite, sign up for his class tomorrow.

Except.

I have to go to school.

“You get to go to school,” my person reminded me as I was crying over my utter lack of control over my life, total and completely powerless.

“You get to go to school, you get to be of service, you get to go to grad school, this is amazing!” She said, bright and shiny and full of humor about my tears and how good it was to see me letting go of perfectionism and just showing up and being vulnerable.

This is amazing.

I am in graduate school.

I am getting my Masters in Psychology.

I get to be a student.

I get to get out of the city for a little while too.

The fog and the cold have been pretty overwhelming and the the grey and the no sun a little wearing.

I’ll be in Petaluma tomorrow by 3p.m. and that’s not in the fog belt at all.

I packed summer clothes in my suitcase.

I get to see some wonderful friends from my cohort and I get to eat really nice food and be outside in the sun.

And.

I packed my yoga mat and my yoga clothes and I’m going to keep practicing.

I’ll be showing up to the mat if not the studio.

I have come to realize that this practice is important for me to cultivate.

Being in my body is important.

I am too much in my head.

It’s a dangerous neighborhood and I go there to frequently.

Ready to head out of that dark alley and into the sunlight of the spirit.

Or.

At least of Petaluma.

Ha.

I’ll be out of town for eight days, but not out of touch.

Call.

Text.

Send me a smoke signal.

I’ll respond in kind.

In between classes.

And reading.

And homework.

Oh.

And yoga.

Because.

Yoga.

 

 

You’re Super Smart

July 21, 2016

And hot!

I’d date you.

Aw!

Thanks darling, that means a lot.

I responded to a social media post about being out in the dating world as well and that was my response.

That’s really nice to know.

Even if I don’t always believe it.

Habit.

Not a great habit.

But.

Not as bad as the overly confident man on Tinder today who basically went from a semi-flirtatious message to a over heated, over bearing, pushy overtly sexual perverted exploration of my tattoos.

Dude.

Unmatch.

Ugh.

I haven’t had a lot of creeps, but every once in a while I get one and my instinct were right and I shouldn’t have swiped.

I did, he did, there was some messaging, but after a real good gut check.

Nope.

Unmatched and moving on.

Not that I really need to being pursuing a date for this weekend.

God damn I have a lot of stuff going on.

Friday night I may have a touch base date, like a hello in passing, which I am flattered by, he’s the gentleman I met last week at Public Works, he’s an Oakland guy and coming over the bridge for some Detroit house music, which if I wasn’t already engaged I would totally go check out.

But I do have plans and so instead of saying no, I said, hey, if you want, you will probably be a good fit with the friends I’m going to be hanging out with, swing by if you want.

That being said.

I don’t want to make Friday a rager.

Even if the night is looking like that right now.

I have a lot of stuff to do on Saturday.

There is the yoga.

Which I did today and I’m super glad I got up early and made the effort to exercise, I needed to stretch probably just as much as my body could have used the extra hour of sleep.

That being said, if I go out Friday night getting up for a 9 a.m. yoga class is challenging.

Plus.

Meeting my person at noon.

And.

Recording a podcast at 1:30p.m.

I want to make sure that I have good voice for that.

I’m a little nervous, but also excited.

I have been practicing a few of my pieces and the woman I’m recording with said she was just going to ask me a bunch of questions, so just be me.

God.

Who the hell knows what that is going to look like.

But.

Yes.

I am excited.

I also feel like I should be writing some poetry, I haven’t cut a poem in a while, but I have been consistent here with the blog and with my morning pages and as long as I continue here it doesn’t matter so much.

The woman expressed to me that I would also be able to plug anything I’m working on and she would be putting my blog address in the podcast.

I have no idea what to tell her.

I’m not here to advertise or get accolades.

Although those are nice.

It’s just a practice, a letting go, a surrender to the words and whatever my heart needs to process from the day.

Yes.

Miraculous things happen here.

But I can’t sell the magic, it just comes when I am wide open to it.

Sometimes I am so blown open, a dandelion fluff of seed pods blown high into the blue robin’s egg sky.

Sometimes I am closed down and sad, sad, sad, and things get over blown and I feel dramatic and snarky and I want to be mean and then.

When I am.

Fuck.

That sucks.

But.

It comes and goes and flows and I have no idea where it’s going and I have no project on the burner, I have not needs to process or things to promote.

Unless it’s me getting shit together for Burning Man.

Which.

By the way.

Where is my ticket?

I signed for it via the UPS site and it was supposed to be delivered today and no ticket.

Which also reflects my lack of ride, gear, and on and on.

I did, however, get a ride set up for the school retreat that is coming up for me in August.

I got an e-mail from a friend in the cohort asking if I wanted a ride, and yes!  Yes, please and thank you.

So grateful to not have to think about that.

One less thing on my plate of busy.

I also got another e-mail from another friend in the cohort regarding a room request, which was made today and I’m super happy for that.

I’m a little nervous, I had my own room last year.

Just happened, the person assigned to be my room mate pulled out of the program before the retreat and I got lucky.

It was nice to be alone and have a space to come back to, but I am also looking forward to sharing a room with not one, but two of my friends.

The request was for the triple room.

I got another message from a woman in the program also expressing how she missed me and how she was looking forward to seeing me at school.

It’s nice to be thought of.

It’s nice to be missed.

It’s nice to know that I have made some kind of impact on someone’s heart.

No matter how small.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Yup.

I heard this recently and it so resonated.

Looks are fleeting.

But when you touch someone’s heart, that stays.

I hope that I can be that person, the one who is kind and sweet and loving.

But usually the best I can do is be tolerant.

I do love.

And I love hard.

I do.

I do.

I’m an old school romantic.

It’s part of my blood and I don’t mind.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

Love.

God.

Same.

Same.

Sorry.

Not.

Sorry.

And ever more.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

 

Just Add Another

July 20, 2016

Thing to an already full plate.

But fuck it.

I signed up for an American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED child/infant/adult class for the last day of the month.

I don’t have any free time really in August.

August is going to be interesting.

And actually I do have a couple of odd free dates in the first week of August, so if you want to hang out and you’re not doing anything the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, hit me up.

We can do the MOMA.

Get coffee.

Hang out.

Make out.

You know.

Whatever.

Heh.

My certification lapses at the end of this month so I was trying to book in for one of those days that I will be free, but the classes weren’t available and I ended up having to sacrifice a Sunday afternoon for the class.

That being said, it may work out just right for me.

I was thinking I would do the class, then grab a BART and take the train over to Oakland and go to a friend’s housewarming/engagement party.

Looks like a lot of my friends will be there and since I’m already downtown, the BART doesn’t seem all that untenable and it will be nice to get out of the fog and be in the sun, catch up with old friends and see my friend’s house.

It’s hard to believe that I am making plans for the end of July and that August is like right there.

August looks like this: school retreat, out of town working for the family as they spend a couple of weeks in Sonoma at Glenn Ellen, then BurningMan, then back and right into the September with a Mike Doughty show on the 1st and my first weekend of school on the 2nd.

The month is like booked.

Crazy.

I reflected earlier though that August for me, even when I wasn’t in school, has always been pretty booked.

At least for the last nine years it has.

Burning Man takes up a lot of head space, physical space, preparation space, emotional, spiritual space, space space.

It just is a lot.

I have no answers still in regards to rides and shelter and this and that.

But.

I did get a notification from UPS that my signature was going to be required for a package delivery tomorrow.

Of course I’ll either be at work or I’ll be at a morning yoga class.

Which I committed to going to, so maybe I should go sign up for that.

Hang on.

Ugh.

It’s not a teacher I’m very fond of.

However.

It’s yoga and I’m going.

Done.

I’m working a slightly different schedule tomorrow so that the mom and dad can double date with some friends.

The said 8/8:30p.m.

So I’m just preparing myself for 9p.m.

Although still hoping it will just be 8p.m.

Then I can make my evening commitment at 8:30p.m.

But if I can’t make it, I wanted to make sure that I did something outside of work other than work, thus yoga.

And it’s good to be as regular as I can with it, I can tell it in my body now and I like how I feel when I’m getting to regular classes.

Three is the optimal, though I would like to be doing four classes a week, it just hasn’t always worked out that way with my summer time work schedule fluctuating as it has been.

This weekend will be nice and busy too.

Meet with my person Thursday after work for a little doing the deal and a chicken dinner at Firewood Cafe.

Then Friday, doing the deal, a party, and…

Saturday, meeting another one of my people, it takes a village I tell ya, at Tart to Tart, then up and over to Noe Valley to record a podcast.

Coffee after with a friend.

7p.m. commitment.

Then.

Who knows.

Probably catch up on sleep.

No Saturday evening things happening.

That’s a little open.

Sunday, yoga, which I hope to squeak in on Saturday too, but might not.

Then two ladies back to back and after a coffee date and walk down to the beach.

It’s date 1.5.

We met last week Friday at Public Works for the Desert Heart dj collective party.

He was with friends, I was with friends, but we danced a bit and hit it off and he got a hold of me yesterday and said let’s hang out.

So coffee and beach walk date.

And the weeks.

They do pass by.

Time it does so fly.

It’s amazing how quick.

It’s amazing how full my life is.

I am blessed to have so much happening.

A full and grateful heart, a full and gratitude filled life.

It’s awful nice.

I’ll have one more week of “normal” work hours next week, then start shifting into the August scheduling.

Which reminds me.

I also need to figure out how to get to the retreat and back for school.

That shouldn’t be too hard though.

Although, that being said I still need to work out a few details since I’ll be going to work from the retreat.

I may actually end up coming back to San Francisco, renting a car, and then driving back to Glenn Ellen the last day of my retreat, depending on when it lets out.

Ack.

Lots of stuff to juggle.

But.

Also lots of fun.

Despite the school year quickly approaching I am looking forward to seeing friends from my cohort and getting re-acquainted.

And it will be a much different retreat this year as I know the folks in my cohort and I know the space and the facility.

There will be an easing in that should be much softer and gentler than the landing I made last year.

Especially, as I recall that getting a ride there was crazy pants.

The person I was supposed to get a ride from canceled last minute, like minutes before I was supposed to go.

Fortunately I was working with a lady when I got the text and she just said, “hey, I can take you,” and that was that.

See.

Things will work out like that for me and the event will as well.

For me and everything in my life.

As long as I keep in fit spiritual condition.

I will be taken care of.

I always am.

Seriously.

Way Past My Bed Time

August 15, 2015

I am so busted.

Up late on a school night.

But.

I had to do it.

There was a social event, a sort of talent show that the students put on and I was persuaded to do a piece and then I was persuaded to stay and hear a piece and the next thing I know it’s 11:30 a.m.

Fuck.

I have to be in bed in a half hour, I need to wash up, brush my teeth, contact a few folks.

And.

Oops.

Write my blog.

I don’t know that I am going to write a very long one, just a heads up, it’s been an extraordinary day, however, I have a lot of work still in front of me–two more days of classes and 9 hours tomorrow of T-Group.

Which is intensive group therapy training.

Eleven of us in a circle confronting each other and learning how to do transference and stay in the emotional middle of the boat and not get overwhelmed and also provide a mirror to the other students, to see, hear, and feel what is happening.

Suffice to say what is said in T-Group stays in T-Group.

Except that I am allowed to talk about my experience as long as I name no names and don’t talk about anything specific in relation to another member.

I have had plenty.

And I do mean.

Plenty.

Of working in  groups and listening and sharing experiences.

However.

I have never experienced people saying stuff back to me, confronting me, then sitting still and working through the conflict.

I had a lot of fight or flight come up.

And yes.

I did cry.

I just oozed tears all day long today.

I suspect I will again tomorrow.

Oh.

And I did it.

I asked for what I want.

I asked my employers to give me off August 27th and 28th so that I can go to Burning Man and do the early arrival thing with my people whom I am helping out.

I wrote a lot about it this morning, I read some things, I asked some stuff, I did that thing I do, I kneeled down, heck, I even asked for a sign.

And.

Yes.

I did get one.

Damn.

It was so obvious it was like I was being directly spoken to.

I opened up my morning reader, or at least one of them and the suggestion to do something uncomfortable just for the sake of practicing doing something uncomfortable was the topic.

Well.

Fuck me.

Ugh.

And yes!

And.

Ugh.

I figured I didn’t have to do anything right away and I also really wanted to have breakfast before contemplating asking for time off on short notice, though, it’s not too short, it’s close to two weeks in advance, and how I was going to ask for it.

I made the decision though to ask.

You know what they say about willingness without action, though, right?

Fantasy.

I forgot about it by the end of the day and was dropping off books and notebooks and grabbing other notebooks and going to the next thing when I realized, as I booted up my computer.

Oh.

I have not taken that action.

All the bravado of I’m going to ask for what I want had not gone completely out the window, but it was a challenge to gather up my momentum after such a full, overwhelming–but I did not die from my feelings, though I thought I might at one moment–and intense day of school work and therapeutic learning.

I sighed.

Am I going to do this or not?

I am.

I can ask.

They can say no.

So.

I sent out an e-mail and I asked off for the 27th and 28th.

It felt good to ask for what I want, this psychology stuff must be rubbing off.

Scary too.

But I am letting go of the results.

Fact is.

I’m going to Burning Man no matter what.

I have the 28th through the Labor Day weekend off from work and I am going.  I have a ticket, I have the early arrival pass.

I may have to negotiate a different ride if my the folks I am going with decided to hit the road before the 28th and that’s ok.

A ride will coalesce.

It always does.

In the mean time.

I am going to cut this brief.

I need to hop, skip, and jump to bed.

I am exhausted and I still have two full days of school to go.

Get thee to bed ladybug.

You got T-Group bright and early.

See you in class!

I Gave Myself Permission

August 14, 2015

I let myself get into the hot tub and join the party tonight after class.

It was intense.

As I joked with someone just a moment ago via e-mail, the intensive, is well.

Ah.

Intense.

I didn’t stay long.

I knew I wanted to do this, this constant showing up lets me show up elsewhere and I find the strength to continue writing helps me find a grace and peace that I can carry with me while I do the school work.

Truth be told.

I am almost caught up on the reading.

I have more to read, there is that, but I have been carving out little pockets of time during the day.

A half hour before breakfast, fifteen minutes here, fifteen minutes there, a ten minute flip through and skim of an article.

I also have recognized the burying my head in a book is a way of checking out from a social situation that is sometimes challenging for me to navigate.

I mean.

Jesus.

I am at school with 31 other people who I will travel the next three years with and we all want to be therapists.

That’s something.

And being as emotionally available as I have been in some of my classes and showing up for my classmates and trying to carry love and compassion through it all with me, gentleness for myself and for the group.

Sometimes.

I succeed.

Sometimes.

I do not.

However, I keep showing up to class and meals and trying to meet my fellows where they are and also myself.

I was happy coming out of class tonight.

It was extraordinarily challenging and I felt such evocative emotions come up that I just wanted to pat myself on the fucking back for doing the deal and being there in the chair and creating a space, a frame, a working notion of what is happening for me.

A language of the heart.

I suppose is one way of looking at it.

I mean.

I’m getting a Masters in Psychology and I am going to be exploring feelings and emotions and all the feelings and emotions that it elicits from me as well as learning about how to be there and present in a safe way for others too.

I don’t, also, expect that I will get this overnight.

I mean, it’s what day 4.5.

I’m half way through.

The retreat, not the course work.

I’ve only just begun.

There is so much more to discover.

I just felt really content with myself and appreciative that I could let go a little, get in the hot tub a little, sigh a big sigh of relief and let the hot water burble about me.

Someone draped the lights over the communal tub, it’s a big guy, there might have been 15 of us in it and more room was available, and suddenly the stars bloomed and I could see Cassiopea and the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and the Milky Way.

I had left my dorm room last night after my bed time on a brief excursion up the hill to see if I could catch any of the meteor shower.

The Perseid’s meteor shower, which supposedly peaked last night or actually in the very early hours of yesterday morning.

I did not catch any falling stars, the mists came in and there was cloud cover last night.

But.

Tonight.

Oh.

I got one.

I wished for love.

It just came right out of my heart and I sighed loudly, “Oh!” when the star streaked across the horizon.

No one else in the tub saw it and of course, it happened when I had stopped looking for it.

Which is always so much the case for me.

Stop looking, be still, show up to the page and love will be there.

Speaking of love.

I got an e-mail about departure dates to Burning Man and my heart is a little tender about having to be pragmatic, I am obligated to work through the 28th in Glenn Ellen for my family and I don’t want to.

I want to take extra time off and go to Burning Man.

I feel so much internal conflict.

I know I have to sit with it right now, this discomfort and the not knowing.

I can barely see outside of tomorrow’s first class and what that will look like.

And the truth is.

I don’t know what it will look like, I have to share my story at group level and not that I haven’t done that, I have done it so many times that I have lost count, but it is a different focus and a different set of people and I want many things to come across and some not so much and my head gets lost.

So.

I think.

Pause.

Reflect on what I can and can’t do.

But no decision tonight.

I had at least the wherewithal to look at myself having an emotional response to the when can you leave for Burning Man question.

RIGHT NOW!

LETS GO!

FRIENDS ARE ALREADY THERE!

Oh.

Shit.

Wait.

I am still in school and I also have to work and I used my week’s vacation to do this retreat and I’m using the rest of my sick leave to do Burning Man and I can’t ask off for extra days.

Or.

Can I?

I really want to.

I can feel that intense desire to go as soon as possible to not be present with my job, to get out of fucking dodge.

I want it so bad.

I want.

I want.

I want.

Ah desire.

Shush.

Breathe.

Let it go.

Nothing need be decided tonight.

And what if I asked to get out of work two days early?

My employers could dock my pay.

What would it look like to ask?

They could dock my pay and pay somebody else.

They could say no.

They could say yes.

They have a nanny service in Sonoma they use on the weekend when I am not there.

Can I allow myself that vulnerability to ask for what I want?

I mean it might even be a good exercise for me to ask just to see what happens.

Maybe.

All I know right now is that I am conflicted and don’t know what to do.

So pause and wait.

Sleep on it.

Love.

Love is what I wished for and I want to love myself enough to honor everything that is happening with me and to come to a place where I can express that and be for myself no matter what.

Because just in this space, just with this writing I can see that I am afraid of asking because I am afraid of judgement from my employers and that the answer will be no.

And so what if it is?

What would happen?

How to make a decision that is fair and just and right.

For me.

Not for the job.

Not for the people I am camping with.

Just for me.

More will be revealed.

But for now.

I wished upon a star.

And I suspect.

I will get my heart’s desire.

I usually do.

Although it never looks like how I think it’s going to look.

That’s ok too.

I’m open to the possibilities.

It’s a vast universe.

This love.

I suspect there is more of it for me to experience.

Good night my darlings.

I will see you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Be they dusty or otherwise.

Cracked Open

August 12, 2015

I knew it would happen.

I have been on the verge for days now.

I’ve only been here in Petaluma for the graduate school retreat for 2.5 days.

Retreat.

Ha.

It is boot camp.

But at least it’s boot camp in a really pretty place.

Not that I have seen much of it, just a few glimpses walking between classes and going to the dining hall for meals, but you know, the view is pretty when I have gotten to take it in.

And.

This morning.

So sweet.

So special.

I was sitting out on a deck behind the building in which the first class of the day was to be held writing my morning pages and I heard a rustle in the grass and looked up.

Deer.

A doe and her fawn.

Just there.

Not even ten feet away, more like five or eight.

I don’t know that I have ever been that close to a deer.

The doe looked at me and the fawn regarded me, then I bent to my pages and they bent to their graze and it was a perfect communion of you do your thing and we’ll do ours.

They nibbled grass so close to me that I could actually hear them chewing it!

That was an awesome moment.

And there have been many awesome moments.

Bonding with my cohort.

Bonding in ways that I did not know was possible around issues I did not even know to think about in ways that I had no frame for contemplating previous to being here.

The defect of being the perfect little school girl, having to have my readers all read and my books all read and taking notes and listening attentively and sitting up front and raising my hand.

Here, I’m here, “present,” I said when my name was called for roll this morning.

Present.

The gift of getting to be here.

Not that many people get to go after their Masters degree.

Not that many people get to have this kind of experience.

I am hanging out with some pretty smart cookies and doing some deeply intensive, thoughtful, powerful work.

And I am working.

Let me not put too fine a point on it.

This is serious shit.

And I keep showing up for it even when I wanted to vomit in my mouth today and pee my pants at the same time when my professor handed out additional readings and said, oh there will be more posted to the syllabus on the web and here are the instructions for the five papers (FIVE!) you have to write for the course as well as a presentation that has to be done partnered up with another person in class, and the final project, which we’ll talk about tomorrow.

I was going to start hyperventilating.

I got full.

I got so full of information I stopped taking any in.

My partner looked at me, “are you ok?  Do you need to use the bathroom?”

“I’m not going to pee my pants, I’m just overwhelmed,” I said and laughed, but it wasn’t a laugh that went much further than my mouth, it wasn’t a body laugh or a joyful laugh, it was a forced exhalation of air, and a let’s move on to the next part of this exercise so we can break for dinner.

The entire cohort wandered to the dining hall in a haze of books and papers and comparing notes with the other half of the cohort and their reading schedule and who like which professor and interestingly enough, some folks switched and even though I was having a hard time navigating the amount of work that was just handed to me in my brain, I could see that I was in the right class for me.

“Have you felt this before,” the woman sitting next to me at dinner said when I told her how overwhelmed I was and the experience of being handed more work and just trying to organize it all in my brain.

And I realized I had.

We started talking about it and I shared about how no one else in my immediate family had gotten a college degree, though my mom did do some college courses, she never got her degree, which means of course that there is no one in my family who has gotten a Master’s degree and how I have had to rely on myself to go through this process.

Although that is not necessarily true, I have had my support networks, but they don’t look like traditional support.

Anyway.

I just realized how hard and for how long I have been trying to get out from underneath the pains and traumas, and dramas and neglect, the abuse and the historical ramifications of my family and it was hard work, constant struggle and effort and more to get where I am and then to get into and through college, and I don’t blame my family, they did the best they could with what they had, but I was always looking for a way out.

School was my way out.

“And you got out,” she said, and patted my hand, “you’re here.’

Ahhhhhh.

I felt tears prickle my eyes.

I did get out.

And I am here.

Present.

To be in this gift, to be a gift, to myself and to my community and to my family.

A full meal, a couple of cups of coffee and a refilled water bottle, back to class for another three hours.

Where I broke open and broke down.

We had the most powerful lecture and the significance of the work that was done is too great for me to write in great detail–I have to go to bed soon and get up and do it all over again tomorrow as well.

Suffice to say I was not the only person in tears or who had to excuse themselves to have a cry in the bathroom or blow their nose, many, almost all of us of the sixteen, were in tears, we all worked through some stuff, we all processed, we all really got aboard the therapy bus and the journey really is happening.

I saw things.

I resolved things.

I grieved.

Oh man did I grieve.

I also yelled at God a bit.

Then I listened to my fellow cohort and we all shared and it was stupendous.

This is such a gift and I know not what the bloom will look like on the flower.

But the shell of the seed has germinated.

The husk is cracked.

And I have adequately, sufficiently.

ABUNDANTLY.

Watered the seed with my tears.

I almost didn’t write tonight.

But I am glad I did.

Just to let the tears dry a little on my face and unload a little.

It’s good.

It’s all good.

And.

It’s so very, very, very.

All the things.

The Good News

August 11, 2015

Day one is done.

Twelve hours of classes.

9:15 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Granted there are some breaks in there.

Breakfast was served, and it was lovely and accommodating and the staff here is great and have been super helpful about my dietary stuff–namely no sugar no flour–so I have happily eaten and enjoyed eating.  My first night, first dinner, not so much, ended up being just salad, but since I spoke with the kitchen, all is well and the food is really good.

Then straight from breakfast into the first class setting.

Three hours.

Small break in that three hours and a lot of listening and note taking and writing and focusing and being present.

Then lunch.

Which was shorter than it seemed, since I was reading during it and also getting help from a fellow in my cohort who is super tech savvy and helped me figure out how to open the pdf file on my computer for my student loan deferment paper so that I could fill in the text part of it and electronically sign it.

Wow.

Was that a relief.

I was really grateful to have that taken care of then all of a sudden, hey, it’s time for class again.

Fortunately there is coffee on tap.

Although I had to parse it out later in the day, I did not want to be up zooming around with energy late tonight.

I just finished doing another stint of reading as well, just now, before getting to my blog.

Which, I have learned, without asking and I intuitively knew it anyhow, that we are encouraged to take some down time, to do some of our own writing or journaling.

Yes sir and ma’am I shall be doing so.

I need to download.

I need to decompress.

Hell.

It’s only the first day.

The fear is abating and I am getting into the groove of what is happening and learning the names of my fellows in the cohort.

Lots of different folks from all over, France, southern and northern California, India, Boston, New York, and of course many of us from the Bay area.

Friendships are quietly being made, not all are quiet though.

SHUT UP.

I want to say to the chatty Cathy in the next room.

Fortunately said lady is not in my cohort, but she is in my fucking personal space.

Grateful that there are quiet hours, which started 27 minutes ago and if she can’t pipe it down by the time I am done with the blog I may say something.

Nicely.

I don’t need to cause waves on day 1.5.

But I will need to sleep.

I got up today at 7 a.m. and that seemed to work for me.

Granted.

It was not fun to have to wait for the bathroom and I swear the person in the room across from mine heard my alarm go off and bolted for the shower before I could get there, but I got off to a good start and did my morning routine in and around going to breakfast.

My only gripe about the facilities, and it’s really a small one, is that the dining hall and the dormitories we are in are a bit apart from each other.

It’s about a ten minute walk from one to the other and I had to plan on what to carry with me to best utilize my time.

I suspect that is a skill I will be honing very well over the next three years, how to carry more with me, how to best utilize my time, how to maximize time and space to squeeze as much reading in where I can.

A couple of times I even wound up in the class room fifteen minutes early to get a jump, not really a jump, catching up on the reading that needed to be done prior to the class, and that was good.

Most of the students arrive right as the class is starting.

I have been well-trained to get somewhere fifteen minutes early.

I take that time.

I get organized.

I get myself situated.

I feel calm.

Then.

I read what I can before the class starts.

This is a habit I will develop.

It is akin to multi-tasking, but just a little different.

The time at meals, dinner too, being a time when I got as caught up on the reading as I could, but was quite sure to give myself the time to sit and decompress a little, to socialize, to sit next to people I had not sat next to earlier at lunch or breakfast.

Time to also vent a tiny bit with my fellow students and see where they were in the process.

I had breakfast with a second year student and shared about my reader snafu, having bought the wrong reader for two of my classes and she shared with me that she had not even read the readers before her first retreat in her first year having joined the school very late in the process and having just moved to the city.

I felt better and ahead of the game.

I never have felt completely out of my league and that is a comfort too.

Plus, one of my fellows loaned me a book that is important to the class I took this afternoon and evening and I spent an hour or so reading it after the class let out.

At 9:15p.m.

That still floors me.

To look up from the assignment and realize, oh my god, it’s after nine in the evening and I am still in a class room.

On top of being in the intensive classes and doing the reading, I also got to write reaction papers in my class, by hand, which was a relief, but man, I wrote four of them for one of the classes.

This is no joke.

This is some work.

But.

The good news.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

I had a moment of exquisite connection in a role-playing scenario where I was the therapist and the client interaction was amazing and I got it, I’m really going to do this.

I have felt that in little snippets all day long.

The contempt I had for certain aspects of the program have completely faded and I am present, accounted for and learning my pants off.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

Time to sneak in a few last pages in the reading before bed.

See you bright and early.

Graduate school boot camp day two!

Panic At The Disco

August 9, 2015

It’s a party.

It’s a freak out party.

Sorry folks, no RSVP seating here, no VIP lounge, nope, ain’t got that for you, ain’t got the time, ain’t got the velvet ropes to hang out and seclude myself from you.

I am right here.

Right now.

I will say this much about the experience, thus far, having not actually attended a single class, graduate school is a lot of fucking work.

I spent a lot of time today doing the next right action.

Scratch that.

I don’t like “right” or “wrong” for terminology.

I spent a lot of time doing the next action in front of me, first things first.

I did not want to get out of bed.

Did not.

Did not.

Did it anyway.

I set my alarm, I got up, I did lay for a moment, less than a minute and ponder what it would look like if I just stayed in bed, threw in the towel, and said, “fuck it.”

Then I got up.

I swung my legs out of the bed and went to the bathroom and got my day started.

I took care to do the things that needed to do and I did my routine, thank you little routine for helping me get settled into my day, a day that has been just as busy, if not more, than a day I go into work.

I suspect that this is the new modus operandi for my life.

When I have a day off I will actually work harder than when I am at work.

I will think harder, I will write harder, I will read more–although if given the leeway I will do my best to read whenever I can at work.  It’s challenging to do so, there is always something happening at work, but I will give it the old college try, haha.

Pun truly fucking intended.

I striped my bed down and put fresh sheets and pillowcases on it, I won’t be sleeping in my bed much for the next month, but damn it man, I will have fresh linens when I do enjoy the comfort of my own bed.

“You know, some people live like this, they be all jet set and everything,” my housemate smiled at me with a sally in her voice when I expresses to her that I would be much gone for the next few weeks, the next month basically (and what did I tell you, I got asked out by a cute guy just a bit back, I am on a few online sites, for a bicycle ride, sorry dude, unless you’re going to have that bicycle at Burning Man I’m not available for a month, maybe even five weeks.  Am I worth waiting for, hell yes, but you know, that’s my opinion) with a quick pop in and out next Sunday and perhaps a stay the weekend following.

But yeah.

I will be gone from the 9th, tomorrow until the 8th of September (maybe the 7th or as late as the 9th).

The retreat for school is the 9th through the 16th.

It last longer that afternoon than I had realized and I am to come back to San Francisco only to hop out to the airport and rent a car so that I may spend the next two weeks working in Sonoma with the family.

I will come back to San Francisco for the school orientation on Tuesday August 25th, but only for the day, and go right back to Glenn Ellen to work until the 28th.

I may come back for the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd.

But.

I may very well stay in Sonoma having received and invitation from a friend to stay at his place in Sonoma if I need an escape hatch.

I said I would take him up on it and I’m going to play it by ear while I’m working with the family that week, it might be really beneficial for me to have my own quiet space for my down time.

Which won’t be down time, really, I’ll be reading and writing.

Just like I did today.

Almost all day today.

With a few exceptions.

That being getting right with God, reading my daily readers, writing my morning pages, and hopping on the N-Judah to head up to the Inner Sunset to sit in a folding chair and share about how freaked out I am about graduate school.

Problems in areas I never had areas before.

I went to bed weeping last night with the fear of what was happening and the dawning realization that I was woefully unprepared as I realized I may have not bought all the correct books for my classes.

That I was already behind on the reading and only to be more behind as I didn’t have the right reader or text books.

And I was correct in the assumption that I had mistakenly purchased the wrong materials.

Fortunately I did not go to bed last night without firing off a quick e-mail to the assistant to the professor who made some good suggestions and yes, I will be a bit behind on the reading, but not as bad as if I just showed up with what I thought I was supposed to read.

The good news?

I had bought three out of the five courses correctly.

And, thank God, I mean, really, the course that I had done 9 hours of reading for already, was actually a course I am in.

Thank you jeebus.

Fuck.

The two other readers and books that I have that aren’t for my cohort I will bring with me and see if anyone in the other cohort wants to buy the material from me.

I bet I make somebody’s day when I share that I have the books for them to buy.

As for the ones I don’t have.

Well.

I did order them online and I will get them and I will catch up.

Or I won’t.

But I took the action.

And.

I read everything I needed to otherwise listed on the syllabus for the first class that was online, including listening to an hour-long podcast of a lecture for the class and yes, that’s right.

I wrote my first paper for grad school.

I had joked previously that I had so much reading prior to the actual classes happening that I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a paper to write as well.

Hahahaha.

Joke’s on me.

There was an update paper listed in the class for which I don’t have the books for.

The material I needed to write the paper was online though and I read it and more and then, yup, after I ate dinner (I did my self-care today too people, let me not discount that, a little grocery shopping and some cooking for the next few days as well as setting aside the last of my Burning Man food prep, I am so not going to have time to do it and I am so grateful I have been slowly amassing all my needs, I’m pretty much done except for the packing it up part and some tinkering with my playa bike) I wrote my first graduate school paper.

At four pages not too big an assignment.

1,100 or so words, a four page reflection paper on the online reading I did for the course in preparation for the first class on Monday.

I have to express right now two things.

One.

How grateful I am to this blog.

The steady, persistent writing and outflow of words that I have done in this little online space for the last five and a half years is a practice that has so prepared me for graduate school writing, I cannot even express how happy I am for having this habit.

Two.

Which is really apart of the above expression.

I’m a hella fast writer.

I know the QWERTY board really well, I’ve been writing on my laptop, this one or my old one for so long now that I can kick out a four page paper in about an hour.

I e-mailed it off to my professor.

I proofed it, spell checked it, read it out loud.

And if it were pertinent, I might have included it here, but it’s not, so suffice to say, I did it.

Which means that I have written three times today.

Read, although not completely through to the end of each piece, five different books, listened to one hour-long lecture, and read, I think, five articles.

For a grand total of over six hours of reading.

Yeah.

Working harder on my day off is now the new normal.

I can see that.

And I’m not as panicked.

And I took good self-care.

I cooked, I did some laundry, I sat outside and enjoyed my meals in the sun–when it finally broke through the fog, I did my own personal writing and got my get right with God for an hour, plus, and here I’m just going to pat myself on the back, I even went for a walk at sunset and caught the last kiss of light on the face of the ocean.

To come back here and read another hour and half before sitting down to do this.

Write my daily blog post.

I may not continue to do this, writing of said blog, but for right now, I think I need the pressure valve of doing so.

It’s a relief to dump my thoughts out and to acknowledge not really to you, darling reader, but to myself, the amount of work that I did and that it really all comes down to sitting down and doing the work.

And today I did the work.

And tomorrow I’ll get to do the work again.

And so on.

Ad infinitum.


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