Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Smoky Voice

October 18, 2017

Sultry yes.

But sore and dry throat is tired.

It was smoky again today.

I was disheartened to say the least when I went outside to get on my scooter and head in to my therapy session in Noe Valley.

I was looking forward to seeing my therapist as we had to cancel last week.

She was affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

I have been affected too, but in lesser ways and in ways that I have felt loath to gripe about as my hierarchy of needs have been basically met.

Yet.

There has been suffering and there has been a constant feeling of sickness and showing up for work has been hard, keeping the kids inside all day long for over a week and they all, ALL, of them now have the croup.

It is heart breaking listening to them cough.

The mom has it too.

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it and I know that the ugly feeling in my lungs is not from a cold.

It’s from the smoke and whatever nasty particles I have been inhaling.

My lungs feel tender and my throat super sore and raw and my head has been hurting all day.

I also have gotten spacey and a little dizzy a few times.

The EPA had the air quality showing unhealthy for most of the day.

And that’s pretty much how I have felt, unhealthy.

Granted.

I am able to work and able to get myself going, I’ve just not been my best and I’m such a healthy person in general, that I feel a bit depleted.

It was hard to hold space for my clients tonight at my internship and I felt pretty out of it.

I had thought for a moment about cancelling clients tonight, but I figured I would just muscle through.

I did it, but it was tough and I’m really grateful to be home.

I am also grateful that the unhealthy air is projected to be moderate tomorrow, not good yet, but better than today and fingers crossed it will continue to get better.

There are still fires burning, it’s not over yet.

I can’t quite wrap my head around that, fires still burning, fires not contained yet, the fires have been going on now for ten days.

TEN.

It’s hard to fathom.

The losses, the wreckage, the ravaging of the land.

I was praying last night before bed and I was thanking God that the family I used to work for wasn’t in Glen Ellen when the fires broke out.

They have a vacation home there and they’d been there just the weekend before.

I literally started crying when I realized how close they were to the fires, I don’t know if the property made it out, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the family, the boys, the dog, hadn’t been there, I would have lost my mind if they had.

Lost it.

So it’s hard for me to fathom those that did lose it all and sad for it, heartbroken.

And also aware that I have to keep my spirits up, that people need me, that I need to take care of myself.

My therapist and I discussed that a lot today, how being a caregiver, being in the helping field, being a nurturer, that I had to focus on doing for myself, because getting sucked into the drama of it or the trauma news cycle via social media, I would not be helping any one at all.

Grateful for her perspective and all the other things that I get to work out with her.

I am super grateful to be back in therapy and I just realized I forgot to add the hour to my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) tracking.

Excuse me a moment, that has to happen right now.

There, that’s better.

Under current BBS requirements I can count my own personal therapy towards the 3,000 hours I need to accrue.

Which is awesome.

And.

The best part.

They count as three hours.

I book one hour and it gets counted as three.

Granted.

I am only allowed to accrue 300 hours of personal therapy towards my license, but I will take any extra hours any where that I can.

I also talked about the stress of getting hours or wondering how I was going to get them all before the licence requirements change.

As of January 2021 the BBS will be changing a number of things.

One of them will be that personal psychotherapy will no longer count.

The other is that Couples Therapy will not count double as it currently does.

So I want to make sure that I can get all my hours done by December 2020.

That’s not that far away.

I have had not anxiety, per se, but a little concern, now that I am in the actively doing therapy process, about how the fuck I’m going to get all the hours.

I am working full-time to support living in San Francisco.

How will I squeeze more hours into my schedule?

I want to vomit thinking about it.

I have so much going on and I want to have a life, a teeny, tiny bit of a life, I need my human connection, I need my recovery,

Ugh.

I can’t speculate on how it will happen, I will just keep practicing faith and I will pick up extra hours here and there whenever and wherever I can.

It will happen.

And thankfully, my last semester of the Master’s degree is only two classes plus practicum (which is for all intents and purposes my internship), so I won’t be running with the same full class load that I am now.

And who knows what will happen.

I could come into money, I could win the lottery, I could get a paid internship, I don’t know, and I don’t have to.

I just know that I will keep trying and keep doing the best I can and I know that I am doing that.

I am holding my own.

Not always with the most grace, but with strength and integrity and valor.

I am doing the work.

And in the end.

Every time I go back to it.

I am so worth the effort.

Therefore I will be ok.

Because.

Well.

I already am.

Just for today.

I am exactly where I am need to be.

Seriously.

 

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Feeling Better

October 15, 2017

And almost through the weekend of classes.

The air quality improved substantially today.

So much better.

I have still had a low-grade cough, raw throat and tight and sore sinuses, but the air is better and tonight when I rode my scooter home I could take deep breaths and it felt so, so good.

There are still fires burning, but today felt like hope, that maybe there was an end in sight and that as the day passed things felt better and better.

I don’t know, I can’t predict a thing, but it was something to breathe better today.

The small things that I can take for granted, fresh air, good water, my home, it was with great gratitude that I drew those clean breaths of air, such goodness, just a big simple drawing in of air.

Ah.

I can feel my head ache easing and I know that the air quality has substantially improved.

This morning when I got up it was registering at unhealthy and there was ash again all over my scooter and a distinct smell of wood burning in the air, it was hazy and smudgy and smokey and my first class of the day was boxed up in a hot airless room.

But by the afternoon it started to shift and I left campus to grab lunch with a friend at The Market, the chi chi high-end grocery store in the Twitter building, they have a poke bar that I like to eat at if I’m going to blow a wad of money on lunch rather than eat the food that I brought with me.

I was happy to get out of the school building, the air felt fresher and it just continued to improve throughout the day.

So grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

And I’m also grateful that I only have one more class to get through tomorrow and that will put my squarely at the half way point of the semester.

I will have two more weekends of classes and then the winter break.

I’m doing pretty good, I’ve participated,  caught up on all my reading for this weekend, and I turned in the paper that was due for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I have a mid-term paper due on the 24th of the month for my Transpersonal class that I figure I will write the paper next weekend.

Then two more weekends of classes and I will enter the final semester of my Masters in Counseling Psychology.

Fuck.

I am doing this, I’m doing this, it’s really happening.

It’s been so much work and sacrifice.

I don’t always talk about that, the things that I have had to let go of to participate in the program while still working full-time.

I have given up going to birthday parties, out dancing, movies, fellowship, dates, dinner with friends, people and places and stuff that I used to do on a much regular basis.

It’s been hard.

I have felt sad when I have not been able to connect.

And yet.

I have spent so much time figuring out how to connect with people, with grace, with God, with service, with learning what I need to learn to better serve my community.

And.

Yes.

To have a fucking career where in I can make some money.

Oh.

I know, I’m not going to make a grand amount, but I am going to make so much more than what I make as a nanny, unless I get some super cush job, but the fact is, I’m ready to not be a nanny anymore.

I’ve a few more years and I’m fine with that, I still have miles and miles to go, but sure and steady, slow, one day at a time I am doing the work to get to the place.

And when I get there, well, there will be other places to go.

But.

For right now I am just really happy to be in my last year of the Masters program and to let myself be proud of what I have accomplished.

Showing up every weekend.

Turning in every assignment on time.

Straight A’s.

It’s awful nice to have a 4.0 average in grad school, just let me acknowledge that, I have a 4.0.

That’s something.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself.

I have made dear friends.

I have a cohort, a group of peers, a community where I wasn’t expecting to have one, I have people who see me and regard me as an equal and who I get great feedback and validation from.

And I’m doing something that I don’t think anyone in my family has done.

I’m getting a Master’s Degree.

I could be wrong about that, I may have a cousin somewhere with one, but I can’t think of any off-hand, I don’t believe most of the people in my family have a college degree, let a lone a Master’s degree.

I feel pretty lucky that I have achieved what I have achieved and that I have put in the work.

Sometimes the sacrifices have seemed really hard, I have been lonely, I have missed experiences, but I also know that I am making myself into a woman with great potential to help and heal and that I will be of service for so many years.

I think I’ll have much more longevity as a therapist than a nanny, I’ll be able to practice as a therapist many, many, many years past the time when I would want to be a nanny anymore.

Hell, I’m pretty done with it as it stands.

Oh, not that I hate my job, I love the family  work for and I am so happy to get to do the work with them.

No, what I meant, is that my body is about done with it, my back is sore from carrying the baby in a carrier, my knees hurt, I have spent so many years being on my feet, from all the years, decades really, working in the service industry–started at 12 ended at 32, so that’s twenty years, and now the past eleven years or so as a nanny.

I could use a sit down job, thank you very much.

I once was having some real problems with my knees and I was young, in my mid twenties, and the doctor told me at that time that I needed to get out of the service industry, that I needed a sit down job, “your knees are that bad,” he told me showing me x-rays and explaining what the problems were.

I didn’t really heed that advice.

And I have managed to get by, sometimes a bit painfully slow, and I have seen things that have slipped past me that I wish I could still do.

No more running.

Not that I was a great runner, but I thought once or twice that I would at least do one marathon in my life

And dancing.

Oh.

Man.

I can tell how bad my knees are when I go out dancing, they are just not what they used to be, not that they used to be great anyway, but fuck.

Anyway.

I will go on standing for a little while yet.

I’m not there yet.

But.

Damn.

I am one more step closer.

I’ll take it.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

One little baby step at a time.

I will get there.

You may be assured.

Long, Strange Day

October 13, 2017

But I am finally feeling better.

I just ate some dinner.

Roasted chicken with a baked Japanese sweet potato.

I needed some homey comfort food.

The air today had me down.

Granted.

I do not like to complain.

I know people who have lost their homes to the fires, lost everything.

I have friends who have evacuated and are waiting to see if they are going to be able to go back to a home or a charred piece of land.

So much has been destroyed.

It’s utter devastation.

I can’t comprehend it.

Therefor to complain about the air quality in the city seems weak and pansy ass, but, fuck, it’s been bad and I’ve had trouble today.

At first when the fires were just beginning, Sunday night, I thought, wow, there must be some folks having a big old bonfire on the beach, and it smelled good, and the weather that night was warm and I felt really soothed by it.

I have a favorite childhood memory of a bonfire at the beach from when I was four years old.

The next day was odd though, finding out about the fires, and then finding ash residue on my scooter and in my basket.

And each day, it’s been the same, although I think I’m used to the smell and the smell, well, it’s changed, it doesn’t smell like bonfire anymore.

It smells tainted and bad and oily and plastic and chemical.

It smells like bad drugs and sickness and I’ve began to feel off today, I suspect I’ve been a little off all week, but today it really hit home.

Last night when I was riding my scooter home I thought for a moment it was snowing and thought, wow, it’s cold, but not that cold.

Then I realized what I was seeing was ash falling from the sky.

Ash like snow.

Ash on my shoes, ash in my hair, ash on my jacket, ash stuck to my scooter.

Spooky.

Every day riding my scooter up and over Diamond Heights I have looked downtown to gauge how bad the air is.

And it’s bad.

Downtown swathed in smoke.

The haze so thick I can’t see the Bay Bridge, even the top of the new gigantic Sales Force tower is smudged out by the smoke.

Supposedly it’s supposed to get worse tomorrow and Saturday.

The kids I nanny for had their school cancel tomorrow and every day this week they’ve been forced to stay inside and not been allowed out for recess.

My little lady charge has had croup on top of it.

She’s been inside all week.

I can feel it in my chest.

And today I started to sneeze.

Not because I think I’m coming down with a cold, no, it’s just breathing the air.

I’ve not been outside much, but I’ve inhaled some yuck, riding on my scooter for sure, walking to the market this evening.

By the time I got home from grocery shopping and running a couple of errands I felt really out of it.

My clients cancelled tonight so I was free to go home after work and I planned on doing homework and getting the rest of my reading wrapped up, tomorrow I’m in school again.

Aside.

Tomorrow marks the half way point of the semester!

Half way!

I am very happy about that.

But I could barely concentrate on my work and reading felt challenging.

I’ve had a head ache all day.

I’m a pussy.

I admit it.

Can you believe I used to be a smoker!

Anyway.

I just reeled it back in and got right with myself and stopped having gigantic expectations about what I could do and just settled for what’s the best thing for me to do instead.

I roasted the chicken up.

I made some spiced brown rice for meals the rest of the week.

I did some laundry, it’s in the dryer now, fresh warm towels.

I drank lots of water.

I cut myself some slack.

I look over my syllabi and packed my school bags and I’ll probably roll up on class tomorrow and just be ok with what I have not done.

One class I’m completely caught up with, no need to worry about that one at all, it has the biggest brunt of reading and I’ve completed that.

I’ve nearly every thing else done for another class, just have to whip out a little paper tomorrow.

I was going to do it tonight.

But.

Um.

Nope.

I’ll get out of class tomorrow and have a few hours before I see my clients.

I was tempted to get ahold of them and say stay the fuck put, don’t come out, but I’ll go to my office and see them.

And before I see them I’ll do what ever reading I need to do and I’ll write-up the small paper I have to turn in Saturday.

I’m not beating myself up for not being 100% ready.

I had a hard week with the family, not that they were bad, they are super, super sweet, but when a four-year old and a seven-year old are cooped up all week-long it’s hard to keep things balanced.

Add the sick little monkey into the mix and it was a long week.

I’m grateful that I was able to keep myself pretty on keel with them, but I was feeling it today, the worrisome smoke, the quality of the air, seeing little kids in face masks, it reminded me of Burning Man in a rather sinister way.

Sigh.

I’m done complaining.

I am.

I just want my head ache to go away.

And my heart breaks for all the loss in the North Bay, it’s unfathomable.

Just going to be sweet to myself for the rest of the night, take it easy, drink some tea, get some rest.

Wishing for all those near and dear that this passes soon and we will all draw a collective deep breath of fresh, sweet air.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

 

 

Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.

Yes!

Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.

Violins.

Violas.

Stand up Bass.

Cellos.

Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.

Well.

I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.

Well.

I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.

Oof.

So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.

Anyway.

My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.

Nope.

There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.

But.

Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.

So.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.

Nope.

I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

And yes.

Proud.

 

 

 

 

You Are A Magician!

October 10, 2017

I got the sweetest text tonight as I was wrapping up at my internship.

My boss had sent me a message extolling my baking prowess.

I made the family an apple tart tonight.

It was going to be a pie, but they only had tart baking dishes so I changed up what I was doing and made a butter pastry, yes, by hand, it’s not that hard, and did my version of apple pie filling.

The nice thing about it too.

All the apples came from their tree in the front of their house.

It reminded me of when I learned how to make apple pies.

I was twelve, we had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Windsor, Wisconsin.

I went from being in an urban multi-cultural neighborhood and school to rural white country in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, the racial stuff, the class system and structure, I got lumped into the “farm kids” group even though we didn’t live on a farm.

And yes, I have drank milk straight from the pail underneath a cow’s udder, I remember very distinctly that it was warm, but I was no farm girl.

I can pass for one though.

I currently pass for very urban, the tattoos do that and my funky style of dressing, which has been evolving for years, but it is still quite urban.

However.

I can pass for a country girl too, not so much a farm girl, but I know a lot about living in the country and the seasons, canning and jarring, making preserves, putting up food for the winter.

We had a pantry in the cellar.

And it was a cellar.

Oh, sure, we had a basement, but we also had a cellar too, an unfinished one with a dirt floor, which was spooky as fuck and after one winter of storing stuff there I declined to ever go near it again.

Some places are just too goddamn creepy and I had a penchant for reading Stephen King in highschool, which did nothing to help matters.

Anyway.

This country girl can also jam and she can bake.

My mom taught me.

We had an apple orchard on the property–4 Red Delicious Trees, 1 Golden Delicious, and 7 Cortland trees.

I don’t know that there are any Cortland apples in California, there might be, but I don’t recall seeing them in the stores.

I have dreamed once or twice about having my own apple orchard.

A modest one.

Maybe a hobby one.

I would be a famous writer.

Or better.

A writer who just made money writing.

I would have a big house and a small barn.

I would put up apples and preserves and make apple jelly and apple pies, apple sauce, and oh!

Apple butter.

So freaking good.

And of course.

Lots of apple cider.

I would write in my office in the barn and have a braided rug and a rocking chair, a big desk and a fireplace.

I would drink hot tea while the snow fell and be super content listening to the hush and crackle of snow falling.

I would fall asleep under large comforters.

I would have my bunny slippers of course.

It’s a sweet fantasy.

One I could imagine having here, partially, but it would be outside of the city, obviously.

Or.

Maybe I could just have my own house and I would have the trees that I like, a couple of apple trees, the Envy varietal or Pink Lady, I also really like the Mutsu apples.  And a persimmon tree.

Fuck I love persimmons.

And it’s persimmon season.

When I get done with my blog I will be having both and apple and a persimmon as my evening snack, I shall cut them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.

The best.

I might have a pear tree too.

And definitely a fig tree.

Then a little kitchen garden–tomatoes, lettuces, onions, herbs–rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, heck, maybe even some sweet corn.

But really I want tomatoes, like the ones my grandfather grew in his garden in Lodi.

My grandfather helped my mom quite a bit with the planning of our garden in Windsor, we had an acre of land and the back of it was a big sprawling yard, halved by a grape arbor and then the back was the orchard and the garden.

The garden wasn’t as big as my grandfathers and I remember my stepfather (step asshole, step asshat, step misogynist, oops, sorry, digression) got some weird ideas about what to grow.

One year it was a god awful amount of cabbage and he decided we were going to make sauerkraut.

We made so much sauerkraut that four years later I could still find it in the pantry in the basement, not the cellar mind you, but the basement.

Another year it was potatoes and broccoli.

There was also a small strawberry patch, some raspberries, and red currants as well as rhubarb.

One of my mom’s masterpieces was her strawberry rhubarb egg custard tart.

God damn it was a miracle.

And my mom taught me her pie crust recipe.

Which, to this day, I can see on its index card in her small recipe box, the way she wrote her letters and the fanciful swoops and curves of her lines and the flourishes.

When I think of my mom sometimes I think that her creative soul can be found in her cursive handwriting.

I didn’t even need to look at the recipe card after a few years, I had made so many pies that it was unnecessary.

I made apple pies, of course, until the cows came home.

This is a saying, not literal, although there was a farm just down the road that the dog liked to go occasion once in a while to piss off my mother by rolling in the cow manure.

There is nothing fouler to smell than a dirty dog in cow shit.

Anyway.

My mom taught me well and it was nice to dip back into those memories, to feel the seasons change, to think about fall abundance and harvest.

I miss baking sometimes and I’m a good baker, so it was super sweet and a bit special to make the tart for the family I work for.

I cooked a lot today for the family as it was a stay at home day for the kids, Columbus Day school observance, but the pie made me the happiest to make.

I didn’t need to taste it, I don’t eat sugar or flour, so that was out of the question.

But oh.

I smelled it.

And it was so good.

It reminded me of home, the days crisp and cool and the leaves turning and the grass still green but cold now on my feet when I was out picking through the windfall apples in the tall orchard grass.

I am so glad and grateful that I get to live in San Francisco.

But once in a while.

Yes.

I do get a touch nostalgic for the Midwest.

And baking today felt good.

Sweet.

Homey.

Cozy.

It stirred me and I was grateful for it.

And touched too, that the mom would send me such an effusive message.

I am glad they liked the pie.

I probably liked baking it more than they enjoyed eating it.

That might not seem possible.

But.

Well.

I think it is.

I Like Being A

October 7, 2017

Therapist.

I said it out loud in my empty office as I put my last client’s file away and locked the cabinet.

Then I laughed.

It’s true.

I do.

It was a good night.

Good sessions.

And it’s Friday.

So that’s always a bonus.

This was my first week running at full steam.

Eight clients=eight sessions.

Plus.

One hour of solo supervision.

Two hours of group supervision, which technically is tomorrow.

And.

One hour of my own therapy.

And so, this is what it feels like.

At the end of the week, to shut the file drawer and say that “I like being a therapist,” well, it feels really good.

Miraculous almost.

That I’m putting in the hours and I’m finding what I am doing fulfilling.

It feels really fucking good, who am I kidding.

I’m not sure like is a strong enough word.

Although, I’m not sure a stronger word is there to replace it, love seems too committed, there’s a lot of stuff that I find challenging and there’s a learning curve and I have loads of challenges.

But.

Then again.

It may become love, I certainly love my clients.

In an empathetic therapeutic way.

What I am hearing, from my clients now, too, is that they are hearing me, there is a symbiosis, a back a forth, there is a relationship that is being created.

All my clients are rebooked for their next sessions.

Oh.

I won’t meet with all eight next week, I have a client on vacation, but that client has rescheduled.

And when clients have to reschedule I am being asked if they can make up the time.

That is so validating I can hardly bear it.

I feel like I am doing a good job.

And yes, there is a better job I am sure that I could do, but considering where I am at in my burgeoning career I’m doing pretty damn good.

I’m also making sure that I follow what I speak.

That I do what I suggest or reflect back to my clients.

Granted.

I did not tell any of my clients to go home and slide into a pair of bunny slippers, which I just did and damn it feels good.

But I do make self-care suggestions and that is what I got to do when I came home.

Open mail.

I don’t ever leave mail to be un-opened, I learned a long time ago when I first got into recovery how important it was to respond to my mail.

And.

Yes.

It was a bill.

For my scooter insurance.

And.

I have paid it.

That’s another thing that I was taught, pay your bills within 24 hours of receiving them.

I usually pay it immediately, I don’t even let 24 hours lapse, I get the bill I pay the bill.

Then I balance my checkbook so that I know exactly to the penny what I can spend.

That feels good to know that, to know exactly how much is in my account and what I can do with that money.

Then, after paying my bill.

I did my laundry.

I put fresh sheets on my bed this morning and wanted to wash all my linens and do a few loads of laundry, lots of nice fresh towels and sheets, thank you very much.

And.

I don’t want to have to think about doing laundry over the weekend, I just want the weekend to be mine

Oh my God.

Yes.

I made it to the weekend.

Sweet.

I am so happy.

So excited.

I have been looking forward to the weekend for a while now, let me tell you, it’s going to be fucking amazing, I just know it.

After laundry I opened up my package, I got my light box.

I haven’t set it up yet, but I have it and I’m happy that I was proactive, the light fades so fast and it used to be that I was riding my scooter home into the sunset, now I’m still riding into The Sunset, but it’s dark.

I live in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco if that above made no sense.

I amuse the hell out of myself.

And digress much?

After package opening, bill paying, folding laundry, and getting myself sorted I made myself a nice hot dinner, roasted chicken and brown rice with peas and corn.

So freaking good.

I was hungry and nothing like a nice hot meal at the end of a long week and a long day.

I am very happy to say that I am doing what I would suggest to anyone I work with.

Self-care.

It’s so where it’s at.

I can’t help anyone at all unless I can take care of myself first.

But when I do, watch out!

I am able to do so much.

It’s amazing.

This, my blog, also counts as self-care, the writing a practice that never fails to sustain and fulfill me, allowing me to process emotions and thoughts and work through whatever needs to be worked through, I get it all out here and my head is clear.

I go to bed with a clear conscious and not a lot of chatter.

Oh.

There’s occasionally noise in there, but the other thing about my long day, well, I generally fall asleep pretty quick and that’s nice too.

When I am tired the last thing I need is a racing brain.

I like quiet.

And yes, there are things I think about, lovely things, but I feel like I am holding them next to me, sleeping with my arm wrapped about them in a loving way.

I awoke this morning early.

I had to pee.

Happens.

I tend to drink tea before going to bed it’s a ritual and it too calms me down and mellows me out, warms me up and makes me sleepy and cozy.

I like being cozy.

So.

I generally do get up once in the night to use the bathroom.

And oh!

The moon!

It was full, so full, amazing, bright white light shining through the blinds on my back studio door.

So powerful.

When I woke up proper, it was still there, just at the horizon, riding low in the pinks and soft lavender of early sunrise, just over the ocean.

I stood and stared at it and welcomed it.

I felt blessed in seeing the beauty and it reminding me of love.

How I can see it, acknowledge it, hold it, and be so aware of its beauty.

It made for quite the start to my day.

And now, here at the end, as I’m sleepy and warm, I suspect, it will carry me through my night and into the light of a brand new day.

Saturday.

Oh how I have been waiting for you my friend.

Stupid with excitement.

And no little love.

Nope

October 5, 2017

My homework is not done.

I have been hoping to have time to read all week at work and I have had the baby non-stop.

Which is great, but no down time.

The baby also really likes napping on me.

Which I love, my God, I love it, but no reading is happening.

Instead.

I find myself sitting and looking at things.

Yes.

Some of those things are social media.

But mostly.

I find myself looking at nature.

Today he napped on me up at Douglas park.

The grounds crew for SF Parks and Rec had just gone through and mowed the grass.

It was a gorgeous high, tight, bright blue sky kind of San Francisco day.

The park is on top of the city way up in the hills towards Diamond Heights on Douglas at Clipper.

It’s flat, but surrounded by a steep cliff and towering trees.

I stood in the open field of grass gently rubbing the baby’s back and humming to him and looking at the grass.

When was the last time I sat, well stood really, and looked at grass?

It was gorgeous.

So green.

And wet.

There was dew and the sunlight sparkled and the sky was blue, blue, blue, and the air smelled so good and I was alone with the baby in a field of grass surrounded by sky and trees.

Who the fuck gives a good god damn about school work.

It will get done when it needs to get done.

Being with the baby is actually the kind of break that I need when I let myself acknowledge it.

He slows me down, I have to be very present and then once he’s asleep, which today took a bit, he’s also teething, so yeah, the bad part of trying to get a baby to sleep who’s teething.

Screaming.

A screaming baby strapped to one’s chest is not the most relaxing thing.

I over heard someone say once, “I’d rather have a bomb strapped to my chest, at least it would be quiet.”

But then.

The exquisite relief when he stops crying, when he lays his heavy warm head on my chest and sighs really big and just drops into the sleep, secure, safe, held.

It is bliss.

And I got to have the experience twice today.

Once at Douglas park and once at the home.

When he naps on me at the house I tend to sequester myself in a corner of the house where the mom won’t be so that she has a moment to be baby free and work on her own work for a while.

Today I was in the play room.

For a while I was on the back porch, next to the gigantic avocado tree, overlooking the city, which still strikes me with its loveliness, which still floors me with its beauty and that I still get to live here.

Such a huge gift.

May I always.

I love to travel.

But having San Francisco as my home is so important to me.

I have created such a life for myself here I cannot imagine making it elsewhere.

And you know.

I did try.

Paris.

But here, San Francisco, is home and I had left my heart here and back I came and the city opened wide its arms and said welcome back, prodigal daughter, now don’t do that again.

And I know its crazy and techy and millienially and weird and there are places where kombucha is on tap and there are lots of Tesla’s on the road and privilege and segregation and racism, covert, and more privilege and holy shit the rent and the cost of anything.

But.

Oh.

The beauty.

The houses, the bay, the bridges, the islands, the restaurants, the smell of delicious things being made everywhere, the farmers markets in all the neighborhoods, the Victorians, the colorful paint, the fog, Ocean Beach, Sea Cliff, The MOMA, The Legion of Honor, The DeYoung.

The smell of eucalyptus.

The sound of fog horns in the morning.

Riding my scooter up and over Laguna Honda and onto Clipper Street today, the view, my god, I live in a literal movie set.

It is magic.

And it is where I feel myself, who I am with no apology, with pink pom poms on my shoes, or a flower in my hair, not that I wear them so much anymore since I have been taking clients, but I still have them, and the art, the street art in particular, I love it, so, so, so much.

And coffee.

Oh coffee.

So much good coffee.

So much.

I am a spoiled brat.

I love my city, I love San Francisco, I love that I go to school here, that I live here, that I chose it as much as it chose me.

I know plenty of people who have had to move away and I have gotten to stay and it boggles the mind sometimes.

I make less than the median income.

Way less.

Like I make half the median income.

But.

I make it work and I don’t feel deprived.

I mean.

I bought prosciutto today at a new butcher shop in Noe Valley.

And duck sausages.

I eat organic foods and I have a scooter.

I have a job, I get to go to graduate school, I have music, a Macbook Air, I have an Iphone.

I have.

Better yet.

Better than stuff and things.

I have happiness.

I have joy.

I have freedom.

I have perspective.

I am of service.

I am loved.

And that.

More than anything.

Means more than anything.

I have love.

Love.

I have you.

Sleep

September 29, 2017

It does wonders.

I still could have slept another hour or fifteen, or so it felt, when I woke up, but I had gotten nearly 7 hours and that was miraculous after a long slog of a day with little sleep.

I am super grateful that tomorrow is Friday.

And that the mom had gotten mixed up with dates and I don’t have to come in early tomorrow.

I will next week.

But tomorrow.

Fuck.

I might even get eight hours of sleep.

It sounds so sexy it makes me shiver in delicious anticipation.

And just being the end of the week brings me some relief.

I’m almost there.

I still have a rather long day tomorrow, full day of work, client at my internship, but I don’t have a second client in the evening until next Friday, so I’ll be out by 7:30p.m. and able to make a friend’s birthday dinner at Fang on Howard Street.

I am also supposed to go dancing with the posse of ladies afterward at Public Works for Afrolicious.

I’m on the fence about that.

Originally I wasn’t going to be able to do dinner and felt an obligation to make a commitment to my friend and say yes to the dancing.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s been a long week.

I mean.

It really has.

And I’m still not in the clear.

I don’t have a day off until Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

I’m keeping the door wide open to just doing dinner and saying, love you, but I can’t make the dancing.

And.

I love dancing.

I haven’t really danced since Burning Man and god only knows when before that.

But, yes, I do like to dance.

And the music is sure to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I’m not committing though, not yet, I just need to see how I feel and not try to be a hero and push too hard.

If I have the energy, I’ll go for it and bounce home by midnight so that I can still get up and go to yoga in the morning on Saturday before I go into my internship.

I do know this much.

I am getting a god damn mani/pedi/waxing on Saturday.

I hate looking sloppy and my nails look like ass.

It’s always an indication to me that I am busy when my manicure looks bad.

It’s a time suck, an enjoyable one, but it takes time and when I have a school weekend, like I did last weekend, I don’t have the time.

Oh.

I tried.

I had a little tiny window Saturday between my last class and my first client, but the salon was full and couldn’t get me in for even just a manicure.

Note to self.

Make an appointment so I can get a spot.

I can’t go another week without doing the nails.

It’s a part of my self-care and it’s something I very much like to do for myself.

It’s a couple of hours of sitting still, flipping through magazines, letting someone pamper me, relaxing, using the massage buttons on the chair.

Yeah.

Definitely making some time to do that.

Then my normal Saturday night get together with my fellows over in the NOPA.

I might go out to dinner that night too, but not certain.

I also have homework to attend to, I do need to do some reading.

I actually got in a couple of articles yesterday evening, despite the fact that I had such a long day, I did a 45 minute stretch and got my CBT reading done so that I can actually know what the fuck is being talked about in my webinar on Sunday and I knocked out an article in my Child and Elderly Abuse class.

Little bits and pieces as I go.

It will get done.

I didn’t have much down time at work this week to address homework, but I have brought a book with me every day, just in case.

I never know what the time will bring, just that it’s important to utilize it when it occurs.

I hope to let myself have a little down time too.

I do what I can.

When I can.

I believe in abundance, my time is expansive.

I also acknowledge that my schedule is fucking full and it’s a lot when I step back and look at it.

But boy.

The time goes by.

And.

It won’t always be like this.

It just won’t.

It’s part of what I have to do right now.

Get the degree, get the degree, get the degree.

Eye on the prize.

Eyes softly on the prize.

I don’t want it to be the sole focus of my life.

I have people in my life who are my life and I can’t just be a soul hiding in a room studying all the time.

Or working all the time.

I need connection.

I need love

I need sunshine.

I need star shine.

I need love.

Oh.

I already said that.

But.

For the sake of telling myself that I am allowed.

I need love.

I can’t just send it out, to my clients, my family, my friends, to my job, without getting some back.

And thank God.

I am getting it back.

I am so grateful for that love.

Beyond words.

I realize that I have strength.

But I cannot be strong in a vacuum.

So.

I will do my best this weekend to let myself balance all my commitments and comings and goings and be nice to myself and maybe, I’ll get some flowers, or something else sweet for myself, be romantic, woo my heart, be gentle.

Heh.

See.

I’m making an opportunity to go shopping.

I see myself here.

Oh.

But.

It’s allowed.

Let me allow myself some sweetness for all the hard work I put in.

It’s allowed.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

And.

Maybe.

Yes.

A new pair of shoes too.

Heh.

 

It’s A Matter Of Safety

September 20, 2017

He said to me on the phone.

Sigh.

I know he’s right.

He also said, “I feel it in my bones, it’s going to be a heavy rain season again.”

Ugh.

Yeah.

It feels like that to me too.

And so.

The ruminating has been happening around getting myself a car.

I have some hesitation.

Money.

But.

I also have.

For the first time in 13 years, a credit card.

And.

I have a desire to not be wet.

I don’t want to be wet at work from riding my bicycle in the rain.

I did that for ten years commuting around the city, every rainy season, months of being wet and cold.

Then not quite two years ago, in November, I bought a scooter.

It’s been revelatory.

It has gotten me all over the city faster and quicker and easier than hill climbing on my one speed.

It has saved me a lot of time.

It also has given me small heart attacks as I have to be super aggressive in my riding and also super defensive.

It’s like I have to be a mind reader on the road.

I’m not as visible, people don’t look, cars merge without checking, I’m on a scooter and I’m not as noticeable as a car.

I know when I’m in someone’s blind spot and that makes me feel freaked out, I do my best to stay far away from that.

Don’t get me started on Uber and Lyft drivers, especially the ones that don’t live in the city.

And.

The rain.

Last year I took a lot of cars during the rainy season.

That could still be an option for me.

Although I hate waiting for them and I don’t like the car share, although I opt for it most often when I do take a car.

I do like staying dry though.

And I was nervous about riding to Glen Park on my scooter when it rained.

I take Lincoln Avenue from 46th to 7th, up 7th Avenue until it becomes Laguna Honda, then I cut over towards Diamond Heights and take a bunch of little roads up and over.

The hills can be steep and slippery and I have had moments when the fog has been super dense where the roads are slick and I’ve slipped.

I haven’t gone down.

But I have felt that horrible slide of my back wheel on wet paint.

That’s what freaks me out the most and when there was that big rain and thunderstorm I was not a happy camper coming home on my scooter.

I know I would be safer in a car.

And.

Well, dryer.

It’s a big change for me, and even though it could be a great change, I get nervous, will I have enough?

And I think I do.

I mean.

Yes, the money I have in savings is ear marked for travel and yes, the reason, a big part of why I have money in savings is from my student loans.

So.

On one hand I fucking owe that money back to Sally Mae anyhow.

What would it look like if I got a car?

Cons.

Taxes, license, insurance.

Cons.

Parking.

Although, I could swing it.

And here’s why–I live in the Outer Sunset, it’s still a challenge to park out here but it’s not the Mission.

Also.

I work in Glen Park and the street that my family lives on who I nanny for is not a horribly busy street.  It doesn’t have parking restrictions, no hourly restraints, just a no parking the 2nd Friday of the month for Street cleaning.  And the street cleaning hours are typically over by the time I get to work.

There’s plenty of street parking at work.

And.

By the time I get to my internship, most days, business hours are over and there’s parking on the block that my internship is on.

So.

In actuality, the parking, though an issue, is not as bad as it would be elsewhere in the city.

Cons.

It might take longer to get to work.

I lane split on my scooter.

Hell.

I speed on my scooter.

Not a lot, but enough, usually it’s to get me out in front of traffic so that I’m moving in the clear.

One can’t lane split in a car, even if it’s a tiny car.

I’m thinking Fiat at the moment.

Which is a smaller car, but not as small as a scooter.

So.

If I took the car to work or to my internship I would probably have to pad extra time into my commute.

Not impossible, just a small draw back.

Con.

The cost of gas will be higher, insurance will go up, maintenance on the car will be more than for my scooter.

Ok.

Now.

The Pros.

I wouldn’t be wet at work, or cold.

I wouldn’t worry about the slippery roads.

Visibility would be much, much, much better.

Riding in a helmet that fogs up or gets rain splatter on it makes visibility super hard, there are no windshield wipers on my helmet.

It would be a huge pro to not have to ride in the rain or the cold for that matter, the wind chill on my scooter when the temperatures go down in the winter is no joke, I get fucking cold.

Pro.

I could go over the bridges, I can’t go over any of the bridges on my scooter.

I could go to Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, the East Bay.

I could take road trips.

Man.

I love a good road trip.

I mean.

Bring that shit on.

Pro.

More independence, be able to carry more groceries home from the store, and music.

Music is definitely a pro, I can’t listen to music on my scooter.

Oh.

I suppose I could.

If I wanted to die.

Pro.

I could carry home my own Christmas tree instead of taking a taxi or shouldering it back to my house.

Pro.

I would feel safer getting into a car at night.

The neighborhood my internship is in is a bit sketchy, 18th and Treat, it’s pretty active during the day, lots of businesses and action going on, but at night, it gets a bit torrid.

I’ve had two times when I felt a bit exposed getting on my scooter, once where I was approached.

A car would feel more secure.

Pro.

Adulting.

It’s an adult thing, having a car, I sort of like the idea of it, I like the idea of driving, it’s been a long time.

Fifteen years, in fact, since I owned a car, maybe it’s time for a change.

And yes.

Change, even good change, is scary, so I might have to juggle all this stuff in my brain for a bit, but I know this much, I didn’t like hearing how my person wrapped up the “I might want to lease a car conversation” I had with him this afternoon.

“Well, doll, it’s only a matter of time,” he said and paused, meaning, I’m going to be hit on my scooter.  “I rather like the idea of you being in a car, you’re doing more and more and you’re on your scooter so much, really, it is only a matter of time.”

Um.

NO.

Knock on some motherfucking wood.

Felt like a black cat walked over my grave when he said that.

I shivered.

Ok.

Ok.

It’s time.

Not to get hit, thank you very much.

But.

Yeah.

I think.

It might just be time.

To yes.

Get a car.

The pros outweigh the cons.

I can’t even believe I’m writing this.

But yeah.

I think I want a car.

Who knew!?

Almost There

September 19, 2017

And it was a full day.

But almost there.

Almost done.

Full of work and writing and reading and clients and my supervisor.

Who never fails to astound me with his breadth of knowledge and insight.

I was flummoxed by a new client and he sketched it out in three sentences.

Blew my mind.

Of course he’s got years of being a therapist on me, but still, he’s so damn good and also it’s refreshing to be under the tutelage of someone who is so in tune with his work and knows really deeply how to talk about clients.

I bring a lot to him.

I am very observant and there are things that I know he’s surprised that I catch.

But man, he takes them and runs with them and sees the things that aren’t so obvious to me.

Of course.

They’re obvious as soon as they come out of his mouth and his explanations make so much sense.

Again and again I am so pleased to be allowed to work with him.

I got very lucky.

One of my friends in my cohort argues that my supervisor got lucky with me.

That was nice to hear, but I do feel that I’m the lucky one in the deal.

I do think he finds me interesting to work with though, and for that I am grateful and I’m an intelligent woman, I think that helps a lot, I get where he’s going with things and I am able more and more, to articulate what I am seeing in the sessions and relaying it well enough to him that I am getting a lot of help with my cases.

More so, by far, than I get in group supervision.

Sometimes I feel like my group supervision is just there to help me see how good I have it, not just with my supervisor, who is not affiliated with my group or my internship, but also with my school.

I have gotten a much better education, it feels, than many of the other interns that I see in my group.

I could be wrong, but it feels like I’m getting more from my school program than I am seeing with the other interns that I have worked with.

And though my group supervisor is a nice woman, she’s not as intuitive as my solo supervisor not as academically rigorous.

Not complaining, just observing.

So.

Yeah.

I saw my solo supervisor before work today.

The hour always flies by, then I usually pop over to Rainbow Grocery and pick up a few things, things that I can only get there, it’s sort of like my treat.

Go to supervision, get Rau Chocolate drink.

Ok!

Then I scootered to work.

Where it was quiet and I was able to take care of the household business and then take some time to do some homework and have a nice lunch.

I don’t normally sit at the dining room table, but there was no one home, and the view, oh, my God the view is crazy good.

A gigantic sweep from floor to ceiling of glass and the sprawl of the city, the Bay Bridge, downtown, it’s amazing.

And there are plum trees in the back yard.

With blossoms on them!

I was so startled to see that.

Not a lot, not heavy like in spring, but there were blossoms and the beauty of them caught me so off guard.

I was inspired and wrote some poetry.

I like to write a poem now and again.

Makes me happy.

Makes me happy too when the work resonates with the reader.

Very happy.

I write poetry because I can’t help myself.

I really can’t.

It’s a part of me.

And a part of me that takes precedent over homework.

I still did homework though.

I still read.

I took my reader with me on the train to pick up my charges from school.

I took my reader with me to my internship.

I read when there is down time.

The only issue I have at the moment that I’m a little put off by is that my reader for my class that I need to wrap up for the upcoming weekend got fucked up at the printer.

So all sorts of my reading is not available to me.

Except.

Online.

Thankfully the professor was alerted and posted the readings up, but I dislike reading online when I am studying, I like to outline and write notes and underline passages.

I also like having a reader or a book that I can throw in my bag and read when I have a spare minute.

It looks like I will have time the next few days at work to attend to my readings as my work load is slightly lighter with the mom away on business with the baby.

So.

I guess I’m bringing my laptop to work tomorrow so I can do some of the reading I wasn’t able to yet get to.

Luxury problems.

I flipped through a bit of it already when I got home from seeing my clients and having a bite of dinner.

I may even be able to finish up the reading tomorrow at work.

Thereby leaving the rest of the week for just work and clients.

And.

Yes.

School.

I’ll be in classes again Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Friday: 9a.m. to 4 p.m.

Client at 6:30p.m.

Home by 8p.m.

Saturday: 9a.m. to 8 p.m.

And.

Sunday: 9a.m. to noon.

It’s nice having shorter class days, last two years I was in class until 8p.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. on Sundays.

My internship, or practicum as it’s referred to while I am still in school, is considered a class.

Of course I spend a far greater amount of time and effort on my internship, it’s a different kind of learning too, and I’m actively doing therapy.

Whew.

It is a lot.

But I suspect.

I will have some nice times in there too.

I don’t suspect it.

I know it.

That’s the kind of life I live.

Work hard.

Play harder.

 

 

 


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