Posts Tagged ‘room mate’

So Good

January 30, 2019

To be home.

My God.

So good.

I’m super grateful I went to the intensive and I reconnected with all the folks in my PhD cohort, don’t get me wrong, but fuck, I was ready to get the heck out.

I cannot wait to sleep in my own bed again.

Five nights in a hotel in Burlingame is not exactly my cup of tea.

Granted.

I got super lucky, again!

I had no room-mate.

Although I had been assigned to share a room with another woman, I did not pay the extra $702 to have  room to myself (there were quite a few who did drop the money, but I really couldn’t see doing it) to have it to myself.  My room-mate just never showed up.

Not sure why either.

The name of the person was not someone who I knew from my cohort, which meant I would have basically been bunking with a second year person.

Which isn’t horrible, it would have just been an unknown and another layer of the experience.

Grateful as fuck that I had the room to myself and I didn’t have to pay the extra to be alone.

It was nice to sleep and do my thing at my own schedule.

It was nice to get up in the morning and shower without having to be concerned about a room mate or another’s sleep schedule, or wearing pajamas to bed, I sleep in the nude thank you very much.

It was lovely to have the quiet, especially as I have been incorporating a fifteen minute meditation into my morning the last few days.

I had a friend suggest an abundance meditation and I started doing it the first morning of the intensive.

I do a little reading, mull on the reading, then sit and meditate and after words write down what comes up.

Sometimes my brain is just too busy, but I have found pretty consistently over the past five mornings that I have felt more abundance and my flow and I have felt more generous, both with my money and with my time.

I definitely can suffer from a scarcity mentality and I feel like I have worked a long time on turning that around.

Now I want to bring more abundance in and that means conversely being more generous.

Faith.

Not fear.

I’m grateful for that.

I found myself tipping more at the intensive, offering to get things for people, more coffee when I was doing a refill for myself, asking others what they needed, buying flowers.

That experience was really sweet actually.

The second year students had their last intensive, there’s four in total for the program if you’re on the two-year track, six if you’re on the three-year track.

I am on the get it done as fast as possible track, two years of course work, instead of three years.

It means that once again I am full tilt boogie for the semester, but having survived the first semester I feel like I have a slight leg up over the person who walked in pretty blind last semester.

Granted, I still did have an anxiety attack the third day of classes going over my third class syllabus and realizing how much the professor wanted of us.

But, I managed to not die and a dear friend reminded me that I had a near panic attack last semester going over the syllabus in my third class too.

So I was right on time.

Lean into the process.

Fuck.

He was right.

And I got through it.

So it was nice yesterday to have a big chunk of time, I had my elective scheduled on Sunday, to run around a touch and get out of the hotel and go get flowers.

I had been tapped along with two other women to do the adieu ceremony for those in the program who were moving on and wouldn’t be with us next semester.

They will instead be doing the independent research that they need to do to get their dissertations done.

I drove my car into downtown Burlingame and went window shopping and walked around.

Downtown Burlingame is surreal, FYI.

It was like a big outdoor mall.

Very little that felt unique or town like, although there was a town like sort of structure to it, it felt like a big suburb.

It was nice to be out though and considering that most of my time I spend in San Francisco, it was nice to see something new, granted, not my cup of tea, but still seeing new things is good.

I won’t be going back anytime soon, unless they decide to do the next intensive in Burlingame too.

It’s hard to say, the place that the school had been doing them is under a huge remodel and may not be ready by next fall.

Anyway, I had fun window shopping and got a few new lip glosses at Sephora and then got flowers to give to the outgoing cohort.

We had a little ceremony later that night and I have to say I was super happy that I had made the suggestion to get flowers and then went and got them, it felt right and it was so sweet to see how touched the outgoing students were.

I like this kind of generosity.

I like bringing happiness to others.

I do like feeling in the flow and in abundance.

And I realize, quite well that when I am in scarcity I tend to hold too tightly to money or objects, afraid to lose what I have.

But it’s really hard to accept what is trying to be given to me if I hold on too tightly.

Giving back, being generous, even in small ways, seems to shift that for me and I found that I felt really positive and good in my interactions with my cohort and the second years moving on.

I also participated a lot more than I did last semester.

Sat longer at meals and talked more.

Participated in the talent show.

Made myself known.

Sure.

I also ducked out of going to the bars and grabbing margaritas or drinking wine with the ladies after class and went to my room and read, but I really did try to socialize a lot.

It was good.

I am proud of myself for getting through.

And I’m ready to go back to “normal” life.

Heh.

Busy life.

Full on tomorrow, work and three clients after work–I had to reschedule some of the folks that I had not been able to meet with for having been out-of-town.

Plus!

I picked up two new clients while I was at the intensive, which was really cool.

Anyway.

Grateful to be home, it’s home, and my bed is going to be a miracle, I can tell.

And I’ll do my best, I think I really do want to do that for you and for me, by writing my blogs as often as I can.

This week I’m pretty caught up on my reading and ready, but I know there will come a time when I fall off the face of the earth for a while.

Don’t worry though.

I will be back.

I promise.

I love this too much.

I really do.

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Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.

Trolling Craigslist

July 31, 2018

It has begun in earnest.

Me looking for a new place to live, that is.

I dropped off the signed paperwork to the law office today that my landlady is employing to navigate the buyout.

I have officially been bought out.

I turned over the paperwork and in return I got 1/2 of the payment we agreed upon.

I will receive the other half when I turn in my keys.

I will have until October 31st to find a new place to live.

I actually looked at a place last night, but it wasn’t a good fit.

It was also a room-mate situation and although the price was great and on paper it really looked good, I realized that I was going to have to be really conscientious about what I am able to accept or not accept in a room mate.

I mean.

I have lived alone for the last five years.

I am really used to going to the bathroom naked.

For starters.

And two.

I am clean.

I am not a neat freak or obsessive, in fact, I could stand to sweep the floor a little more often, but I am tidy, my place is nice and I keep my things well.

I make my bed every morning, I wash my dishes after every meal, I like things a certain way.

I realized well I was looking at the place that while I liked the master tenant I noticed that the standards were different and for me to be comfortable I would end up cleaning a lot more and also that I suspected I would spend a lot of time in my room.

So.

I passed.

In the past that would have freaked me out a little bit.

A perfectly decent place, less rent than I pay now, good size room, laundry on site, parking.

On paper, it looks fabulous.

Not so much in person.

And I don’t want to denigrate the place I saw, it just wasn’t a good fit.

I do suspect I will end up with being on my own wherever I move to next.

I’m just so used to it and well, I have a PhD program starting soon, I am going to want and need quiet.

So I have been searching craigslist.

I don’t have to be super on top of it right yet, I do have time.

Part of the buy out was to get myself a little more time to move out, originally I was asked to move out by September 1st, which would have been over the five-day intensive in Pacifica that I have to attend to start my PhD.

Now I have until October 31st.

Which is nice and thus not too much pressure to begin the hunt, but it is there.

I know that there will be a time when I see the place and I am going to want to make a big move on it.

Grateful that I have the first half of the buyout payment to put down a deposit and first months.

And I decided to leave it in my checking account rather than put all the money in my savings.

If I need to I will be able to plop the money down immediately if something comes up.

I am also hoping, really so much so, that I will find my new place by word of mouth or referral from a friend, from my network, which is usually how I have found places.

I haven’t had a ton of luck with craigslist in the past, although I have found a couple of places.

My first being the two month sublet I had in the Mission at 22nd and York when I first moved to San Francisco nearly 16 years ago.

$650 a month for a big room in a big four bedroom house with a back yard and laundry and three levels and a big kitchen and lots of bathrooms.

Even then, I remember being told I was getting a great price for a room.

Rents in SF have never really been low, not after I lived in Madison, Wisconsin (though truth be told rents in Madison are always higher than elsewhere because of the high student population attending the UW), god I remember this one house I lived in, a house, the bottom of it at least, and how much space there was.

Oh.

God.

So much space.

Big bedroom with a walk in closet that had a window.

The closet had a window, in SF that closet would have been someone’s bedroom.

The bedroom had six windows.

Six!

I don’t have one where I live now.

Then the dining room with three big windows, the living room with a huge bay window and a screened in front porch that I alternatively rented or let friends crash on after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I needed help covering rent.

And the kitchen, which was huge, the bathroom was good-sized and yes, had a window.

There was a full basement I didn’t ever really use, except to wash laundry.

A back yard.

And a garage.

A fucking garage.

I paid $750 for this palace and that included utilities.

And I thought that was expensive.

I can’t find a studio in-law in the city right now for under $1600.

And the ones that are that price are shady, nasty, basement dwelling things.

I know that I need light and air and space after living in my little studio for the last five years.

I want a bathtub.

My god it would be nice to have a bathtub again.

I want laundry on site, wood floors, high ceilings, light, lots and lots and lots of light, windows, and yes, I know I’m crazy, a place to park.

I don’t necessarily need a garage or a driveway, I just need to live somewhere that it is relatively safe to park my car and I can park it close to where I live.

Which means.

The Tenderloin is out and that is where most of the “affordable” studios are, $1700-$2000 a month, and I am not, repeat, am not, living in the Tenderloin.

My car would get broke into every other day.

I would be dealing with rampant drug use and homelessness and crazy.

I like being out in the Outer Sunset at this point because it is quiet and though there are homeless folk, there’s not rampant drug use.

I need serenity where I live.

So yeah, not Tenderloin for me.

And before you ask.

No East Bay either or Pacifica or Sausalito.

I need to stay in the city proper.

My schedule is just too tight to navigate anything further out.

So.

The search has begun.

If you hear of anything.

Let me know.

Seriously.

Well

August 10, 2015

It’s official.

I am a graduate student.

I have gone through the introduction, I have made it here, I did not turn around, although my ride jokingly did make the offer as we were headed onto the bridge.

“Last chance!” She said as we passed by the last of the San Francisco exits before the Golden Gate Bridge.

She was a total peach and saved my butt.

My original ride got a hold of me 45 minutes prior to needing to leave–not one, but two flat tires on his vehicle.

Fuck.

He was so remorseful about it and so wanting to help he offered me the option of calling an Uber and paying for it.

I happened to be working with someone when I got the text, so I had my phone off, and I wouldn’t have seen it, that text until after she left if it weren’t for the fact that we were trying to reconcile schedules for the next time we can meet.

My schedule, is um, ah, ahahahaha, a little full right now.

I picked up my phone to check my calendar and saw the text.

My heart stop beating and I just cringed.

Oh shit.

I told my ladybug that I was processing the text and I don’t know what exactly I said, maybe, probably, “oh fuck,” as I was reading it trying to discern in my head what was the next move, could I do Uber to Petaluma, what time would I get there, would there even be any cars available since Outside Lands was making a disaster of driving in my neighborhood.

“I’ll take you,” she piped up.

Oh my god.

Thank you!

And she did.

She left to go get her car and a cup of coffee for the road and I made a quick-lunch that I had prepared yesterday.

I had gotten up early, showered, did the trash and compost, watered the plants, checked in with the housemate to let her know I would be gone, ate some breakfast, drank a lot more coffee than I normally do, packed my bags and organized my books, notebooks, and readers.

I also packed up the two readers for the two classes I am NOT enrolled in and brought them with in hopes of being able to sell them–at cost not trying to make a profit off my fellow classmates here–when I arrived at the retreat.

I posted a quick e-mail to the class list server and I got two offers right away.

As of a half hour ago I was able to hand off the two readers and two books to a fellow in the other cohort who happens to be bunked in the same dorm building as I am.

Speaking of.

But not very loudly.

I either don’t have a room-mate or she hasn’t arrived yet.

I am so hoping that I don’t have a room-mate.

Please, please, please.

It would be such a gift to have the room to myself the entire time I am here.

I am a creature of habit and routine and there are certain practices I have, especially with my morning routine that I was loath to even think about sharing.

Which is funny.

I am going to graduate school to get my Masters in Psychology to be a clinician, to be a therapist, to allow others to hold their own space and be a witness to and a guide and to help facilitate that move to authenticity of self, but pray in front of a stranger?

Please.

No thank you.

The thing is.

I would have.

I am just grateful, mainly for the space to stretch out.

The room is tiny, the beds are twins, there is one desk, two wee closets and a couple of communal bathrooms down the hall.

One less person in the dormitory is fantastic.

One less person in this tiny space is phenomenal.

And I like my space, I like knowing I can come and go and not disturb or be disturbed by another person.

I almost asked for a private room originally, but I would have had to pay extra for it and well, folks, graduate school it ain’t cheap, so I said I would share a room to keep my costs down.

So pleased to be alone.

I don’t feel lonely.

I just like to have a little alone time at the end of the night or to be able to quietly read in between classes.

And.

I am not the only person who did not get all the reading in or the only person who did not know how to access certain syllabi and who had troubles with the online portals.

A lot of folks did and I am sure there are a handful of students who did get the readings all done, but it appears that the majority of us did not.

There has been a flurry of activity since we got out of the welcome and introductions and the first exercises, which were really quit fun, although challenging ( I ended up getting partnered with a woman from Paris and we spoke French and that was hella fun and unexpected.  She used to live near the tattoo shop that I got my jackalope done in the Marais!) and longer than I expected.

We were let go at 9:15 p.m. and I co-ordinate with a guy in the other cohort and he took my readers I won’t be using and then I helped another student get online and navigate to the paper that needs to be written tonight, so many people in my cohort had new clue about the paper, then I looked over the schedule for tomorrow and I realized, I have as much done as I can.

I could read more.

But my brain is frizzled and, well.

I wanted to write.

This will be my bastion.

This will be my safe space.

My little nook in the hills were I can go and dump my anxiety and fears and let it all go.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be and though I can see the road is long, arduous, full of reading and writing and vulnerability, the journey is so worth it.

Not the destination.

The journey.

This journey.

Just to get to where I am at this little pressed plywood desk in a dorm room up in the hills outside of Petaluma, California.

Oh, my dear, my darling girl, look how far you have come.

My heart is full.

Overwhelmed and joyful.

Scared?

Sure.

But that’s just the way I am hard-wired.

Faithful, though, in the process of walking through.

“Just smile and be yourself,” her message said in regards to the retreat, “you’ll be amazed at how well you do.”

And I am amazed.

Before I was halfway through.

How Fast I Forget

May 20, 2013

Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that I was thrilled to have any work, let alone the promise, literally the promise, that full-time work would soon follow?

I think it was.

In fact, when I think back a few more weeks I can recall the thought that I would be beyond the moon over the rainbow grateful for any work.

Cue this afternoon, early, pushing my bicycle up Noe towards 19th.

“This is fucking bullshit, this is too much work.”

Thanks brain.

Chill out.

It’s just one hill.

Two blocks long, there’s a wee little road in between 19th and 18th on Noe, just to let you know you’re at the half-way point, and then you’re there.

At another house in the Castro doing the nanny.

It was the culmination of an uncomfortable morning as I felt a little emotionally hung over and not ready to face the day, the putting on a bright smiling face, and the nanny pants.

I was in tears this morning as I wrote and felt all discombobulated and, well, out of my fucking head, is what i felt.

Insane.

It was like the dirty dregs of terror were left rinsed out in my brain and I, despite having written what I thought was a decent blog, I had not addressed my brain.

Sometimes that monkey needs a little extra action before bed and I had not taken the corrective measures to assure a calm morning.

Pretty calm.

You could have looked at me sitting at the dining room table eating my oatmeal with apple and drinking my big mug of coffee spiked with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, pen scratching across the page, and thought, there’s Carmen, happy in her morning routine.

But my brain was eating me alive.

It was having me for breakfast.

By the time I had made it half way through my pages my brain was satiated and burping fear.

I tried to stifle it.

It’s not becoming to cry in your morning oatmeal.

But that’s about what I did.

The shine of tears shimmered in my eyes, then drifted down my cheeks.

I heard my room-mate stir from his bedroom and I briskly wiped off my face.

I was sitting in a puddle of financial insecurity.

It comes back it does.

What I recognize though, is that it passes faster and faster and as I get closer and closer to having more full-time hours, I know it will dissipate and go away.

I was having fear about not being able to pay the rent.

Which is such an old fear I wonder why I bother with it anymore.

I suppose because I still get fuel for the fear train from it.

The longer I do this, this living, this way of being, in this kind of awareness, the more I see that I am climbing up the steps with a yo-yo in my hand.

It may feel like I am descending at times, which it did this morning, but the reality is that I am steady and slow, sure-footed and gracefully (well I like to tell myself that) rising up.

Once I catch my breath, literally, I pause and look out over the hills and see this beautiful vista that I get to be a part of again. The climb might feel exhausting, but that feeling fades, and the sun shines and the air lifts the hair off the nape of my neck and I am split asunder again by the beauty of my life.

I have had this thought, it is not a nice thought and it has some diseased thinking in it, that what was the point, went to Paris to write, and came back broke and oh, look, I am a nanny again.

But that is just the silly biting voice of all that wants me to not be happy.

Safe, breathless, and still, I propped my bike across my leg, got out my water bottle, took a huge swig of water, and calmed down.

Even with people I know, even with situations I have some familiarity with, I have anxiety.

I forget this all the time.

I have clinical anxiety and clinical depression and I am not currently medicated.

I have worked really hard to stay off the meds, but I forget my naturally tendency is to live in a state of anxiety.

First day at a new job is anxiety inducing.

Duh.

“You can always go back on a small dosage if you need to,” my psychiatrist said, her face, demeanor, all of it relaxed and at ease.

“Well, I have to say I do have some anxiety about feeling anxious,” I laughed and tried to not wring my hands.

This is a sure-fire tip-off, when I wring my hands.

When I am calm and can sit still and hold my hands lightly in my lap it is a sign to myself that I am fine, and a reminder that I used to incessantly, without pause, especially in early sobriety, wring the fuck out of my hands.

“That is a legitimate anxiety disorder as well,” she said.

Oh stop.

Which I had, I have stopped being on meds for almost two and a half years.

This is amazing.

Yet, I will forget.

I will forget the work I have done, the therapy, the medications, the anxiety, the debilitating depression, oh all the fucking work I have done to just get “normal”.

Not to say that I am special.

Nope.

I know loads of people who have had it far worse than I.

What it is though, is a soft, gentle reminder to myself that I need to cut myself some slack.

This has been a tumultuous time for me.

Moving back, time changes and jet lag, getting into a new place to live, acknowledging the East Bay as my home now, re-acquainting myself with friends and family, shit, I still haven’t managed to see everybody and I get overwhelmed with figuring out my own schedule let alone this person there or that person here that wants to hang out.

Hell, grocery shopping is hard.

I realized that today as I was walking through Rainbow at 8:45pm on a Sunday.

I had forgotten where things are and what I needed.

I had gone shopping with Joanie last night but forgotten to pick up coffee.  I had gotten overwhelmed in Whole Foods.

This is better than having panic attacks at SafeWay or Costco.

I have only managed Costco twice and once I literally bounced and left the cart in the line, I had to get out that bad.

So, sure, there are going to be moments of fear or struggle, but there are also these bright clear moments when I run into a friend at Herbivore, FROG! And get to see another friend, RONNIE! And then I am having a wonderful meal with a darling and I am alright, the world is alright and there is nothing to be afraid of.

Not even the fear itself.

 


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