Posts Tagged ‘right versus happy’

Unexpected Dance Party

January 8, 2017

I really had not thought that was in the plans for tonight.

I just got back from dancing a good solid two hours at Mighty.

God damn I love House music.

It was so good.

I am going to be stupid sore tomorrow.

I did yoga this morning, ran around all day long and then danced, pretty damn hard, for a good two hours.

I might skip yoga tomorrow and just let myself sleep in.

It’s raining furiously at the moment and I’m thinking I got a good damn work out in, I could be ok with not going to the studio in the morning.

And I’m up late, it’s almost one a.m. and by the time I finish the blog and get to bed it will probably be 2 a.m.

Not that late.

But late for me.

Late for a school girl, a working girl, a busy girl, like me.

I might have been the only person at the club with school books on them.

That’s how I roll up on the club now, bag of text books instead of a bag of blow.

Heh.

I had a pretty good idea that I would be out all day long when I left the house early this afternoon, and I knew I would be taking the BART over to Oakland in the early evening, I figured I might have time to do some reading for school on the train.

I wasn’t expecting to be going clubbing, or I might have left them at the house.

Be that as it may, I did do a little reading, but mostly it was just funny to be out at a club dancing and have all the stuff and things that I carry around with me in my day-to-day life.

But it was worth it.

I got in on a guest list.

Unexpected.

I got free waters all night.

Lovely and unexpected.

I got a ride back from the East Bay to the club.

Totally unexpected.

And.

I got a ride home from the club.

Super grateful.

I mean.

Seriously.

And it was such a turn around from my early experiences in the city with the trains and with Uber.

I have an app on my phone that basically tells me when the trains are running, but this afternoon it was constantly telling me that the train was either stopped or stalled or delayed.

So I took a car to go up to Tart to Tart.

Only to see a train pulling in as my car was pulling up.

Too late to cancel and well, fuck it.

It was a horrible ride and I arrived quite cranky, bad, bad, bad navigation, bad driving, the driver took a speed bump at full speed in Golden Gate Park and I got tossed up in the seat and hit on my head on the roof of the car.

The best part was that the driver shouldn’t have routed through Golden Gate Park, but his navigation directed him there and despite a friendly suggestion that he avoid the park, he did a circle anyway.

Coming out exactly where he had gone in, a nice loop through, a scenic detour, I told myself, be grateful, you’re in a car, it’s a gift, you aren’t wet, you are being carried somewhere, you don’t have to drive, the park is pretty.

Restart your day.

Oh yeah.

That’s a great idea.

So I did.

I just said my morning routine in my head and I started over.

Then I met my friend for a lovely afternoon at the cafe.

We sat and chatted and caught up, she was in Paris over the break from school, and then a walk through the Inner Sunset and lunch.

We parted ways.

I got a manicure.

Then.

The trains, again, running off, I really think that the weather may have had something to do with it.

I got another car.

I needed to make it to the BART to get over to the speaking gig in Oakland.

The driver was not from the city and did not believe me when I suggested he take the left hand lane on Oak instead of the right.

The right feeds to the freeway and always jams up tight.

He argued with me, told me the navigation was right and proceeded to get trapped in the turn lane onto the freeway.

I suggested that he really would have a better time if he got into the left hand lane, he basically told me I was wrong, the navigation knew better, and he was going to stick with the navigation.

I was flabbergasted.

I responded that I have lived in San Francisco for fourteen years.

“I can tell you want to be right,” the driver responded.

“No,” I said, “I want to get to the BART station and not get stuck on the freeway.”

The passenger in the front intervened, “she is right, you are in the wrong lane, and you are going to get stuck going onto the freeway.”

The driver finally acquiesced to changing lanes after the man up front explained it to him.

I was stunned, did I just get a scolding and a talking to because I was a woman telling a man that Google maps didn’t always know the best way to go.

I think I was.

I haven’t had that kind of out-and-out blatant sexism in a while.

And for the first time ever I gave a driver a bad rating.

I had no compunction about it at all.

He didn’t apologize for being rude to me or arguing with me, and even though he was correct, I wanted to be right versus being happy, it was really a jarring experience.

I got out of the car and got to the BART and made it just on time to get to where I needed to be in Rockridge.

The speaking gig went well, I don’t remember anything I said.

Well, I swore a lot, but I tend towards profanity, and I was told it was good.

So that was nice.

Then.

I got talked into the dancing and I just said, fuck it, yes, I’ll go.

Then the ride to the club, the free pass in, the awesome music, the dancing until my knees wanted to buckle and the ride home, all more than made up for a few goofy transportation snags.

It was a really nice way to end a day that had been a bit on the wonky side.

Grateful I got to get right with God and be of service and then to go hang out in the church, the club, and dance and raise my arms and raise my voice and sing and shout and stomp.

God loves music.

Dontcha know?

Seriously.

Music and dancing are spiritual to me and I got right with God.

I got my groove on.

Hella on.

I may also have to get my ibuprofen on before I crawl into bed.

But it was worth it.

Very much so.

Thank you God for House music.

Thank you so very much.

And for always getting me to the church on time.

Always.

Regardless of the navigation.

 

 

Things Falling Together

November 30, 2016

I got up early.

I did the yoga.

Or the yoga did me.

Good class, challenging, but I can see again where I am making progress by just showing up to the practice.

So much of life, my life, is just that, constantly showing up.

Sometimes, most times, with expectations.

Once in a while, without them, and then, oh glory.

So good.

I had that happen today in yoga class.

The class was hard, but I could see and feel improvement in my body by making it regular in my schedule again.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when I change my jobs, but I’m not going to worry about that today.

There is too much going on.

December is jam-packed with all the fun.

All the things.

Travel.

Work.

School.

A friend’s wedding.

Yoga whenever I can get to the studio.

It does seem to make me more efficient.

Whether that is because I’m less anxious and able to focus better, or if I just feel better in general and it’s easier to keep a thing in motion in motion.

I came back from yoga this morning, took a shower, threw laundry in the wash, made breakfast, ate it, oh the deliciousness of a persimmon with my apple in my oatmeal–so good–and drank some tasty coffee.

I wrote four pages long hand.

Then.

I made a second cup of coffee and did my makeup.

A nice make up session, I’ve realized that though I like the big bold colors sometimes, that softening as I grow up, yeah, I’m getting older, what of it, is nice.

I feel prettier and more approachable and I rather like that.

Anyway.

The makeup was just a distraction as I found myself with a tiny bout of nerves this morning.

I registered for my second semester of classes!

I was counting down the minutes as I was drinking my coffee and writing and I realized I had a little bit of anxiety around it.

Not nearly as bad as last semester and certainly nothing at all like it was the first couple of times I did it when I was newly in school, but just there, a little rankling of my nerves and I caught it.

Oh.

Hey there.

You’re nervous, that’s ok, be nervous, I’m going to let God take care of this, just show up to the computer, sign into your student account when the clock turns 11:30 a.m. and do the next thing in front of you.

I had multiple tabs open on my computer with instructions from the school and an updated code for one of my courses.

I signed in, updated my account information, signed the waiver saying I had read the policies, nope, but what ever, I’m signing away my life to student loans, I’m not turning back now, then I was in the system.

It took less than five minutes.

Now what?

I basked in the feeling of having registered and then I brushed my teeth and washed my breakfast dishes.

I flipped the laundry into the dryer.

Hmm.

I have some time before work yet.

I could do some Christmas shopping.

Or.

I could work on some homework.

You guessed it.

I chose homework.

I started by first reviewing what I needed to write for my Psychopathology paper.

I got some ideas and I have an idea of where to start.

But.

It’s a honking big paper and I’m going to be spending a lot of time reviewing my notes and re-reading and researching my text books, so, just having an idea of where I can start was nice, but it was just an amuse bouche to pique the appetite.

No.

The paper that I knew I could knock out and get done was for my Child Therapy class.

It was basically a reflection paper on one of the text books we had read over the semester, we could choose from any one of the four and I chose the one that was latest in our syllabus, it was the freshest in my memory and really quite easy to ground myself in the material.

I wrote a paper on the book Odd Girl Out; The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.

I had some experience with that.

I was bullied a bit in middle school.

I got over it.

I learned a great deal from it.

And.

I didn’t let the bitches grind me down.

Besides when I see how far I have come, part of me is grateful for those girls, they’re mean strivings only propelled me further.

But I did take something from the book that I have found to be true in my life, that I was raised to not be in conflict, that conflict is bad, and that I can’t afford any conflict in my relationships, not my friendships, my family relationships, romantic relationships, work relationships.

Increase the list ad infinitum.

However.

All relationships have conflict.

Conflict is not the problem, it’s how I resolve it.

I’m learning.

I still can fuck it up, but I have discovered that I really do blow things out of proportion and I am super sensitive to being in conflict, it feels like I’m going to die and I have inventoried it a lot.

A fucking lot.

I don’t have to be right.

I do have to be happy.

And I’ve been a lot happier just realizing that.

So much happier.

Unhappy still happens.

I mean.

Hello.

Lice.

But.

I can get out of the bad stuff faster and when I allow myself the room to make a mistake and not try to manipulate you into behaving a certain way because god forbid we be in conflict, well.

Life is a whole lot better.

Really.

So I kicked out that paper.

When I know what I want to write, the words just flow.

I formatted it, gave it a little bibliography, and printed that bitch off.

I was done with it a half hour before I was due in at work.

I gathered my gear, hopped on my scooter and made it to work three minutes before my shift started.

The dog gave me love.

The mom updated me on the things that needed to be taken care of.

I did a fuck load of cooking.

But the best.

The best.

Was the four-year old running through the house, running, arms wide open, “Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, I missed you, I missed you so much, I love you, I want to spend all day with you.”

He literally threw himself into my arms.

It took a lot not to cry, but I definitely teared up.

I had missed him too.

We had ourselves a love fest reunion and then built trains all after noon and he helped me “make dinner” (up on the step stool with the pepper grinder and the salt grinder adding “special” seasonings and “magic” to the chicken I was about to roast).

It was the perfect afternoon.

Until his brother got home.

Then.

It just got beyond exquisite.

He had drawn me a picture.

“Carmen!  This is your house, this is where you live.”

He had drawn my house in bright colors, full of love, big, juicy, heart breaking wide open love.

My little house was basically a tiny little happy house that was covered in a HUGE rainbow that filled the page and scrawled off the edges of the paper.

It made my heart just swell.

I felt like the Grinch who stole Christmas when his tiny heart got three sizes bigger.

I squeezed him very, very hard.

And when we had finished dinner–roasted chicken legs for the boys with roasted mashed sweet potatoes and sliced apples and mandarins–I had music playing and I danced with him.

“I love this song,” he said, all melty and dreamy against me.

His eye so big, so brown, so round and full and sweet, swollen with love, it was like looking at the sun, I thought I was being swallowed up whole in that love.

I sang the words to him and we slowly swayed back and forth.

He’s a big kid now, 6 1/2, but I picked him up anyway, and we danced.

It was a full beautiful day.

I really couldn’t ask for more.

Well.

Ha.

I could.

But I won’t.

My needs are met beyond my wildest dreams.

And I am so loved.

So.

So.

So loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Go For A Swim!

August 19, 2015

What?

You haven’t gotten into the pool yet?

Go for a swim!

When your person, the person that I check in with almost daily, meet with weekly (except when I am out-of-town with work or Burning Man), and trust implicitly says get into the pool.

Well.

I thought about it.

Then a dear friend and I chatted this early evening and when I told him the same thing I could hear it too in his voice, what the hell am I am waiting for.

Well.

You see, I have a lot of reading to do and some papers to write, like four, I think, could be five, but let’s not talk about that quite yet, and I have things to think about and worry about and why, I’m quite the person for self-abnegation, why the hell would I do something I like to do.

I could feel the disinclination to want to do it.

I was balking.

I don’t know why, perhaps some sense of I just don’t have time to enjoy that stuff.

I must always be doing the working and the things and the figuring it out.

And oh what the fuck.

I got into the pool.

It was preceded by a pretty honest and open communication with the family I currently nanny for in regards to the discussion that was had about my not getting paid vacation pay for going to Burning Man and I re-iterated to the mom that I understood her viewpoint, I was taken aback, that I had gone back over the contract and that I saw she was right.

I can be happy or I can be right.

I am not right.

Nor was I very happy when the initial conversation happened.

That being said, I saw my part so fast it was sort of spooky.

I saw where I assume, I saw what happens when I make assumptions, I saw what happens when I act out of fear and don’t have clear communication.

I saw it all and again, the mom was right.

Was I still a little pissed at myself this morning when I woke up?

Damn skippy.

I wrote, I prayed, I ate a healthy abstinent breakfast, I took the time to make some phone calls and I did another spot check inventory then called my person.

Who was perfect and clear and blunt, but not mean.

She knows how the fuck to communicate.

I hear her so well and it was good to have the talk and get grounded and get my principle for today, which was “just for today” and it was soothing to hear her and be on track with my life and job and recovery.

The recovery piece has been a little bumpy since I haven’t had my normal menu of places to be and church basements to sit in, since I have not been around a metal folding chair and some over cooked coffee in a few days.

I have been a touch self-reliant with my program, doing the deal on my own, but also checking in with my friends and fellows and making myself available to be checked in with by my lady bugs, confirming with them that I will be in San Francisco this weekend.

Which reminds me I have one more phone call to return, I just remembered there’s one I haven’t slotted into the schedule.

Anywho.

It was good to touch base and be held accountable and see how my perceptions are skewed and what I can do to rectify that.

Get into the pool

Oh.

You mean, get out of my head and into my body!

Duh.

I haven’t ridden my bicycle in a week and a half.

I haven’t done much exercise, not nearly enough.

I have been sitting a lot and reading a lot and processing a fuck load when I was in school and the only exercise I got was a few dance exercises (which thank fucking God that happened when it happened or I might not have made it through that last day of T-Group) and walking to and from the dining hall.

I knew when I had a cup of tea after dinner and was on the phone with a friend that I needed to out myself.

I wasn’t really in the mood at the time of the phone call either having just finished dinner and sitting on the porch swing looking out towards the rolling hills of Sonoma county and the grape vines tiled along the hillocks, the glint of sun on the underbelly of a red-tailed hawk soaring high in the dusky blue sky, the oak trees bending into the twilight and the rising song of crickets in the grass serenading me.

No.

Really?

I don’t feel like changing up and putting on my swimsuit.

But.

One little three-year old came out to snuggle in my lap, then the five-year old, the mom came out and dad and the next thing you know we are having an open conversation about what we can do moving forward and if I felt that it was unfair not to be given some sort of compensation for the week I’ll be missing work (I’m not even talking about getting paid for the two days extra, well, extra in my calculations, not in theirs) while I am at Burning Man.

The funny thing?

I had pretty much forgot the whole thing by the end of the day.

I was enjoying being in the moment with the boys, we went black berry picking and had a really nice walk and lots of snuggling and being silly with each other and time on the porch swing too.

I had legitimately let it go and had moved on.

Fucking unreal.

And.

Awesome.

The mom and dad and I talked about moving forward, when my contract was ending, what they wanted to try, not signing another year-long contract, but giving all parties a two month trial as I enter into graduate school and see what works for them and what works for them.

ASIDE

I just re-read that in my editing.  “What works for them and what works for them.” How amazing, I am still, unconsciously deciding my life on what works for them.

Fuck.

End aside.  And I’m keeping that piece in un-edited to remind myself that this is not about what works for them, but what works for me.

Now aside ending.

That maybe I would work extra household stuff, marketing and cooking and organizing while the boys were in school, to look at what I wanted for hours and that they would guarantee I got them and if I worked less, as they didn’t need me, or I had to take more time for school, that during those two months, my pay would stay the same.

Super generous.

And it felt right.

I said my gut wanted thirty hours a week.

My head wants 35 hours.

But I think I want a guarantee of 30 hours and if I need to supplement I can say so.

I can also work outside the family and do cash jobs, baby sitting gigs for families I used to work for.

Maybe just put it out there in my circles.

I don’t also have to stay with the family, I am aware too, though I did not say that to them, that I have options and if it seemed that I would do better financially to find  different situation that plays better, that I go with it.

Ultimately.

I am the only person who is going to care for me.

Though I have been assured by some lovely friends that I will be taken care of no matter what.

I believe that too.

I always have been, why the hell would it change now?

I also asked for a raise come my year.

The mom balked.

She replied that it was not standard to give a raise to someone who was going down in hours.

In fact, she intimated that when that happens the person involved makes less money.

I was taken a bit aback, but I reiterated that it was a year, that it felt right to ask for a raise, and that despite my hours lessening, and not exactly by my choice (they’re children are going into school), that my level of care and the quality of my work was not going to decrease.

We left it at that.

I also found this good information to know moving forward.

I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face, but I do deserve a raise and I felt it appropriate to bring it up.

They want me to continue working for them, I adore and love the boys, it could be the best of both worlds, I am just not going to not look at all my options, as again, I’m the one paying my rent in San Francisco.

I don’t see cost of living going down any time soon.

I felt good.

I communicated.

We will have another discussion.

And I went back to my room and put on my swim suit and got into the pool.

Into my body, out of my head, and my heart swelled and the old familiar comfort of swimming assuaged me and I felt connected with my body and limbs again and resolved that I would swim again every night while I am here.

Then I took a bath with French sea salts I found in the cabinet and soaked in super hot water.

I almost fell asleep in the tub!

I did good.

And I read for an hour after getting out of the bath–putting me at two hours of reading today–finishing up the reading that I needed to do for a class so that I could move into writing the paper for it.

Not too shabby for a Tuesday.

It’s nice to be reminded to take care of myself.

It’s nicer when I actually do.

Everybody’s Got Their Own Agenda

March 24, 2015

I heard her voice in my head as I shouted at the woman who passed me on the right and pushed me into traffic on the commute into work.

I had already had a few moments of uneasiness on my bicycle.

It rained last night.

Not a lot.

But enough.

The roads were slick this morning and as I was pedaling across Lincoln at 20th my back wheel slipped under me a moment.

I righted and breathed and continued forward, cautious, but aware.

Again the wheel slipped, just a touch, rounding a corner in the Pan Handle.

When it’s just damp enough to cause all the street oil to sluice up to the top of the pavement it feels scarier then when it is a full on down pour.

Slick roads are worse in my estimation than rain.

I thought about the rest of the commute and that I had time.

I always give myself ten minutes more than I need to get to work.

I like to get off my bike, stretch out my shoulders, wiggle out any kinks in my legs and drink some water.

I like to also have caught my breath and had a moment to get centered before entering the fray.

Monday’s especially can be a ruckus, especially after having two days with mom and dad, the charges are not always grateful to see me, despite having fun moments after I arrive.

Upon arrival I often hear a “no!” or “go away!” or the pitter patter of feet running to mom and dad.

That’s ok.

I’m used to it kid.

Sometimes I get the opposite response, but not always.

So, lots of time for me to travel my way cross town.

Monday’s are also a challenge for me as a bicycle commuter.

It is the one day of the week that I go into work early and as such I am in actual commuter traffic.

Not just car commuter and Google Bus commuter, but bicycle commuter, traffic.

I will forget, have forgotten, most other days that there are many, many, many more bicycles on the road then there used to be and also that four days of the week I am riding in to work outside of busy rush hour traffic.

Not so Mondays.

I generally am hitting the end of the rush, but I can get caught in it, or catch up to it, almost always on the Wiggle, sometimes in the Pan Handle if the lights are not in my favor.

I was doing alright after negotiating the Wiggle until I crossed Duboce and hopped onto Sanchez.

As I was crossing over Market headed toward 17th, a rider passed me on the right.

DON’T PASS ON THE RIGHT!

I yelled, startled.

Damn it lady.

You’re forcing me into traffic and riding in my blind spot.

Stupid lady.

I didn’t say bitch.

No.

I was annoyed though and thought about giving her a lecture on being polite to other bicyclists.

I mean, I pass cars all the time on the right, except when they are signaling a right turn, then I go around to the left.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, though, I always pass on the left.

And yes.

I am that annoying person who hollers out, “on your left.”

Sometimes I will whistle sharply if I think a person can’t hear me who may be crossing an intersection while looking at their phone screen.

But most of the time I pass on the left and I let you know that I am there.

It’s something I learned on training rides in 2010 when I rode in the Aids LifeCycle tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I learned a lot on those rides.

How to fix a flat, how to carry momentum to get up a hill, how to ride clipless, how to ride a back to back, how to ride a Century (100 miles) what it felt like to bonk, what I needed to do to not bonk, how it felt riding Whites Hill in Marin the first time.

How it felt climbing Mount Tam and doing the Southern Hills Climb.

How saddle sores felt.

I happily will skip having that experience again.

I occasionally rue not having registered for the ride this year, I was thinking about it a lot, but I decide to apply to graduate school and go to Atlanta for the International Conference, and see my grandmother in Chula Vista and go to Burning Man.

That’s more than enough for my plate this year.

And I still have a few ideas up my sleeve for travel.

I learned a lot of courtesy on those rides and what it felt like when another rider did not extend the same courtesy to me.

Sometimes I can be an asshole and need to prove a point and I could feel that come up in me when I saw the woman on her bicycle stopped at the traffic light at Sanchez and 16th.

I wanted to lecture her.

I wanted to tell her how it’s done.

I know better though.

It’s not my place to tell another person how to live their life and I had a flash of a driver yelling out the window at me to “wear a fucking helmet!”

Which doesn’t do much from saving my startled self when I get screamed at.

Hey asshat, when you are so focused on the behavior of someone else you’re ignoring yourself.

Just saying.

So when I coasted in to a stop at 16th and Sanchez I held my tongue.

I looked at the woman.

She was oblivious.

She was not seeing me as I was straddling my bike waiting for the light to change.

She also was fiddling with her phone and had ear phones in, so the likelihood that she heard me holler about passing on the right was nil, and she wasn’t going to hear me and my “friendly” I know better bicycle protocol about passing on the right.

I paused.

And I brought my attention to the road ahead of me.

The trickiest part of the commute, especially when its slick, the turn at Sanchez onto 17th.

There’s a great bike lane on 17th, but turning left I have to cross two sets of MUNI train tracks at a parallel instead of simply cutting straight across.

It is far to easy too slip on them.

I have in the past, but never gone down.

I kept my counsel, the light changed.

The woman hadn’t seen the light change, she was a bit behind me.

I signalled a left turn.

I signalled that I was slowing down, that’s a flat open palm hanging down at a right angle waving back and forth (think of a reverse beauty pageant queen on a float waving).

Then I signalled that I was coming to a slow stop.

A squeezing in of my hand into a ball.

I turned left.

I crossed at a diagonal and made it completely over the tracks with no slippage, I turned my head, the woman was directly to my left, riding in between the train tracks, not even in the bicycle lane.

“It’s your life lady,” I thought to myself and then, out of no where, I should move over, she’s going to pass me and cut me off again at the light.

I could just feel it.

Except.

Well.

She wiped out on the tracks.

She went down.

Hard.

I am still not sure how I avoided hitting her.

She was passing me and her bicycle nearly toppled me, I weaved to the right, and rolled off my pedals, sliding my feet out of my foot retention straps (oh how do I love thee my Hold Fast straps) and squeezing slow and steady on my brake so I wouldn’t slip too.

It all happened in slow motion.

I can still see her right hand, fingers spread, reaching to catch her fall, I can see how if I hadn’t swerved just at that moment, how I would have rolled over her hand.

I shudder.

She broke her basket on her bike and bananas flew into the street.

A car drove over one and the smell of ripe banana wafted over the tracks and assaulted my nose.

“Are you ok?” I asked, stopping, looking back, “do you need help?”

“I’m ok, I’m ok,” she stood.

I watched her pick up her bicycle and shakily run her hands over her body.

“Are you sure?” I asked again.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said and waved me off.

The car that had rolled over the banana was stopped a few feet a head of me.

I rolled up on her.

“She ok?” The driver leaned out the window.

“Yeah, she’s ok,” I smiled.

The driver smiled.

“Whew.”

Be careful out there kids.

I was a little discombulated but so grateful that I hadn’t yelled at her.

That I kept my lecture to myself.

I am certain she learned what she needed.

That’s the thing.

We all learn exactly what we need when we need it and I can’t hurry any one’s process up.

Mine included.

I can be right.

Or.

I can be happy.

And today I was very happy to make it to work in one piece.

Very happy.


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