Posts Tagged ‘scholarship’

Brain Break

December 4, 2018

My head just needs a serious break.

Today at work I was cussing out my classes, my computer, my head, the stack of books next to me and my notebook.

Fuck it all.

I was tired.

I am tired.

And it’s Monday.

It’s the god damn beginning of the week.

And I’m already tired.

oh well.

At least I got some discussion posts up, after much profanity, and I did some follow-up work on a discussion post I’d put up the day before yesterday and I checked in on the responses to my work and responded to a few people in my cohort.

But my brain just hurts.

My tooth is also a little tender tonight, not sure why, so I had oatmeal for dinner and I’m just taking it easy.

I’m not really behind on any of the work for school and my head really does feel like it’s been blown open.

Of course it doesn’t help that a TA and a professor from my most demanding class are demanding some more work in the discussion thread I have done the most work in.

I’m like motherfuckers, I have posted over 5,000 words in the damn thread in the past five or six days, I’m tired of the topics and the demands of the class and where the hell is everybody anyway?  I’m seeing a fuck load of people not even posting or discussing, so why ask me to do more?

Of course.

I will do some more, I just need to grouse a little bit about it.

And that is why I love my little blog and being back here again, I can’t exactly say “go fuck yourself” to my professor on my discussion threads.

I mean.

I did send him an e-mail near the beginning of the semester saying he was asking for an unreasonable amount of work and I still think he is.

And I also see that I am one of the few people keeping up with what he’s throwing at us.

I have to also see it from the standpoint, this is his program, he’s the person who started this PhD program at my school, he created it, he loves it, I know, I’ve read one of his books and enough of his articles to choke a horse.

Sigh.

But when I give it some space I also see that I am learning and learning at sometimes a terrifying pace.

Is there enough room up there in my head?

I don’t know if there is, maybe I’ll forget the things that aren’t so important like math.

Bwhahahaahha.

Anyway.

I’m also roasting a chicken, in hopes that tomorrow I will be able to eat some pretty close to solid food.  I mean, I love some good oatmeal, I know, crazy right, (with juicy, tart, sweet apples, persimmon, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie space, plus vanilla almond milk, come on, that’s some good shit), but a nice bit of roast chicken will be good for me.

I also know that though I am not burnt out, I am juggling a lot of stuff right now.

I almost screeched in joy when I found out that the trauma training I was mandated to go to this Sunday for my internship was cancelled as the trainer had a family emergency and won’t be available.

Holy fuck.

Thank God.

Not going to that training will save me five hours of time this weekend.

I can do a lot with five hours.

I am glad I didn’t know this information yesterday as I pushed myself to write my book review for my Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century paper.  I still have some editing to do for it, but I wanted to get it out-of-the-way because it’s due this upcoming Sunday and what with the trauma training it was going to be a tight push to do it.

Now I have a nice big chunk of time on Sunday to go get my Christmas tree!

I was planning on doing it on Sunday anyway, after the training and whatever work that there was to do for the book review.  But with the training cancelled and the book review pretty much done I can, oh my God.

I can sleep in!

I wasn’t able to yesterday, I had to get up early and run a bunch of errands that were on time constraints.

Sunday is my only day to sleep in and next Sunday if I was going to the trauma training I would be getting up really early to drive over to Berkeley for the three-hour training.

I get to sleep in!

My God that makes me happy.

Sleep.

It is such a nice thing.

I’m going to tell you a little secret.

That’s how I’m doing this PhD.

As much work as I can do during the day, thank God the baby took a big nap and the mom was out of the house at a meeting all day, then I come home and do a bit more and then.

Well.

I fucking stop.

I make sure that I am getting as close to eight hours of sleep as I can.

I don’t always succeed, Wednesday nights are notoriously hard for me to get more than five or six–I have group supervision for my private practice therapy internship in the morning before work and I have to be up by six am on Thursdays and since I have clients until 8:30p.m. I’m not home Wednesday night until a little after 9p.m.  By the time I get things sorted and have a bite of dinner it’s already time for bed and I find it pretty hard to wind it down fast enough to actually get the solid sleep I could use.

But that’s it, once a week I’m shy on sleep, the rest of the time I let myself rest.

My brain can’t hold all the information otherwise, there is just too much, I have to sleep.

Speaking of.

Time to wrap this up, make some tea and get ready for bed.

I have a lot to do tomorrow, therapy before work, work, and then seeing two clients in the evening after work.

Tuesday is a twelve-hour day for me.

So, yeah.

I’m going to let myself off the hook for the rest of tonight, call it a day.

And.

Sleep.

All the good, dreamy, yummy, sleep I can get.

 

I Didn’t Get It

April 7, 2018

And I can’t say I’m surprised.

Disappointed.

Yes.

Surprised.

No.

There was something about the email that I got last week letting me know that the decision regarding the Diversity Scholarship had not yet been made.

I immediately began to have doubts that I was going to get it.

I’m not sure why, but it felt like the flavor of what was to come.

I was told the final decision would be reached by today, April 6th.

And I spent all day long thinking, where’s the e-mail.

I didn’t get it, where’s the e-mail?

Maybe I got it.

When are they going to let me know?

I almost texted my best friend tonight in between seeing clients.

I don’t think I got the scholarship.

But I got caught up doing paperwork and then my next client was in and therapy.

I drove home, really bad traffic, rain does that in San Francisco, the weather ups the idiot ante pretty quick, finally found parking and walked home to my little studio to make some dinner.

When I sat down to eat I got the bing that I had a new e-mail.

And there it was.

The notification letter.

I can’t tell you what it said exactly as I already trashed it, but it didn’t surprise me.

Disappointment though, I could have used that $5,000 per year.

I don’t even know how much my tuition is going to be for my PhD program, but I do know that having had some scholarship money for my Master’s program was really integral to helping me do some things.

Like buy my car.

Travel.

And, you know, pay rent.

I have steadily, over the last few years acquired expenditures that I never used to have.

My scooter, scooter insurance, my car, car insurance, dental insurance, health insurance (although that’s felt like a colossal joke), renter’s insurance, monthly yoga, and a lot of those things I helped pay for with my financial aid and my scholarship money.

And of course.

Tuition.

I’m not going to be too upset though.

It doesn’t do me well to dwell on it and although it’s a disappointment, how could it not be, I know that the money will be there.

Maybe another scholarship.

Maybe I win the lottery.

Maybe I come into money.

Maybe I just take out more student loans.

As long as tuition gets paid and I don’t have to supplement tuition with my own money, not right now, my own money goes to rent, groceries, phone, yoga, car, scooter, clothes, travel, cost of living in San Francisco.

If I get enough money to cover tuition I can cover my cost of living on what I make.

I will be ok.

I always am.

Sigh.

I don’t like the idea of taking out more student loans, but I don’t like the idea of not going after my PhD even less.

The education is important to me and the work is important and I’m doing it.

The money will come.

It will.

And before I know it, I’ll be attending my first intensive for the program.

I received an e-mail yesterday letting me know what courses I need to register for.

I will be taking five classes my first semester.

Three are credited courses and two are not.

The intensive is counted as a course and there is an online class forum that is counted as a course.

Neither of those will really affect me time wise.

Money wise.

Yeah.

The intensive runs I think at least $1800.

And typically what I have seen is that each credit of course work is about $1200.

So three, three credit courses will cost me about 10,800.

Tuition is going to probably be about $22,000 per year.

I think.

I am not 100% sure, but that was pretty close to what the Master’s Degree cost me.

I could probably look it all up at this point, and maybe I should, but it’s late, I had a long day, good, but long.

I had the first day of my fourth weekend of the program.

I did my case presentation.

I was the first to go and it felt really good to get up there in front of the class and share about my work.

I got some really nice feedback.

It felt really good to hear and it really made me reflect on how far I have come and how much I bring to my clients.

My teacher said, and I quote, “_____________ is really lucky to have you.”

Wow.

That was fucking nice to hear.

As were many of the other responses I got from my cohort.

I felt very much like a therapist as I sat there.

I also felt very much the therapist as I was working with a new client tonight in our first session.

I was marveling at how I have really learned how to listen, to reflect, to mirror, to validate and to re-frame what the client says.

I had a moment afterward when I compared how I felt taking on a new client now versus how I felt when I first started.

So different.

I really feel like I am doing a good job.

And that.

Just that.

I need to recognize.

I am a good therapist.

I am in the right field.

I am doing the right thing.

I am on the path.

I have a career.

I am a therapist.

Granted.

Unlicensed as of yet, with loads of work to be done, but I am firmly situated on this path and I am so grateful for having a purpose in my career and a career that will support me and one in which I will have great longevity.

I will get to practice for a long time.

So.

Yeah.

Bummed about not getting the scholarship, but it’s not going to slow me down from doing what I am supposed to be doing.

And for that.

Well.

I have only gratitude.

 

Time To Take A Break

March 12, 2018

I should have just skipped it.

Trying to do more work after wrapping up a fairly exhausting weekend of classes, but no, I tried to do more.

But my brain was not working and as I was getting teary eyed in the Pete’s Coffee across the street from my school I knew it was time to concede and throw in the towel.

I was done.

I was a burnt little piece of toast.

Instead I had a really good talk with my best friend who bolstered my spirits and kept me on the phone out the door of the cafe, into my car and up to the Castro where I had to go for my next round of commitments for the day.

Man.

It was a long day.

And of course, I’m just now remembering that it was Daylight Savings so I was on one less hour of sleep.

I got up at 6:30 p.m. which felt like 5:30 a.m.

In fact, I got up right before my alarm went off to use the bathroom, crawled back into bed thinking I had another hour of rest and then the alarm went off and reminded me, that no, nope, no way, it was time to get up and start my day.

It was a hard day and I did a lot of work to stay with it and I am proud of myself for showing up the way I did.

There is a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed before I graduate and the final projects are coming together and I need to be doing more work around those, but for today, well.

I’m fucking done.

It’s ten minutes to 10 p.m. and I have to be up early again tomorrow to go to supervision before work.

I will say, however, that I figured out one small part of the Diversity Scholarship Application that I needed to do and the problem that was so insurmountable at the coffee shop was quickly remedied when I got home.

Some fellowship, some recovery, some doing the deal, meeting with my person and getting right with God, and voila!

Computer stuff is a walk in the park.

I’m still not doing it quite correct, but I don’t give a good god damn, I did what I needed to do and its enough, I have to remind myself that all that time, the work I do is enough.

I did a lot of work this weekend, I participated in every class, I brought myself forward, I was vulnerable with personal experiences and I used that vulnerability to show resilience and to model how my experiences can be of service to my cohort.

At least that’s what I hope I did.

It seemed as though it landed well, my efforts this week, and I’m happy with how I showed up, although, frankly, exhausted, it’s work, this school program and a lot of that work is process work, processing the experience of being in school, the psychological fallout of my own issues and my own work and then watching the interplay of what is happening with others in my cohort and what they are working with.

It was a lot.

And I’m tuckered out.

I don’t even feel much like writing more.

I sort of just want a snack and a cup of tea and a little video to chill out to.

I have a big full week, of course I do, seven clients this week, supervision, therapy, yoga if I can muster the energy before therapy and work on Tuesday, plans to see my best friend, work, as always, and getting my scholarship application filled out and sent in.

I will finish the rest of the work on the application tomorrow.

Now that I have figured out my technical issues it shouldn’t take more than a half hour, 45 minutes tops, to get everything done and turned in.

Fingers crossed.

The scholarship is worth $5,000.

It is applied directly to tuition.

And I don’t even know what the tuition is yet for the program I applied to.

Hopefully I will be hearing back from the program in the next couple of weeks.

I will either get called in for an interview, or I won’t.

I suspect I will.

The dean of the program had related to me that they generally decide within two weeks of the application deadline who they are going to call in for interviews.

I was told that they’ll make the decision very quickly after the interviews are done and that the entire process is typically done by the end of March.

Today’s the 11th.

I am assuming I’ll get the phone call this week.

That’s the thought, anyway.

And then interview. and then go get my PhD.

Of course.

There will be lots of work between here and there.

I can’t quite hold it all right now though, my head is too full and I am too tired.

So with that.

I bid you a wonderful good night.

And sweet dreamy dreams.

The sweetest.

Taking Care of Business

September 26, 2017

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

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

I didn’t get a thing.

In fact.

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

How the hell was that possible?

I mean.

I was counting on getting some money.

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

So.

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

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

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

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

And as such.

Don’t freaking bill me!

I’ve made phone calls.

Left messages.

Gone to the office in person.

I was told to send an e-mail.

Did that.

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

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

I have things to buy.

Like a car!

I really have decided to do it.

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

Here’s the one I’m looking at.

I can swing the $150 a month payment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glad I trusted my gut!

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

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

I have six thousand in savings.

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

I could, technically, buy the car outright.

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

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

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

I don’t want to max that out either.

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

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

That’s the idea.

I think it’s pretty sound.

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

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

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

And I agree with him.

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

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

I think that’s about the only thing.

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

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

And I really do feel like I can do it.

Fun.

A car.

It’s only been fifteen years!

I think it’s time.

 

Don’t Tell Me How To Do My Job!

September 22, 2015

Or anything else either.

I am feeling a touch overwhelmed.

Can you tell?

First, I had too many people, two, but who’s counting, tell me what to do today while I was working.

Hey, you know what?

I didn’t fucking ask.

Further.

I don’t want your opinion.

And lastly.

Yes.

I did some spot check inventory and some checking in with myself and I understood pretty damn quick as I cramped up in KidPower Park (crack power now!) that I had just ovulated.

Great.

I’ll be getting that friendly reminder in the next day or two.

Which is fine.

It’s on time, it’s doing what it does, the body.

I just knew there was something up with me when I got overly sensitive to the three-year old throwing a temper tantrum on the sidewalk as I pushed the stroller through La Mission, the great gentrification thereof, and it’s nearby environs.

People do not always like kids in the Mission.

The hipsters don’t want to get out-of-the-way of the stroller and no one wants a screaming three-year old disturbing them while they taste artisanal chocolates at Dandelion or while they are getting their haircut at Fellow Barber, or god forbid while they are on a sneaky Tinder date early happy hour at Bar Tartine.

No.

And nothing says good times like a three-year old screaming at the top of his lungs while flailing his feet in the stroller.

“IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

Sorry kiddo.

No bagels to be had at 4:30 p.m. on a Monday afternoon in the Mission.

Oh.

I know i could have gotten him a “special treat” at the coffee shop, but I was just stopping in to grab a thank you card for someone who had sent me a Bicycle Coalition Membership!

That was a nice thing to get in the mail.

Especially since I have no extra money and I apparently, I will get to the bottom of this later, I owe money on my account with school?

Anyway.

I had not found out that information and I am not certain to the credibility of it and I am trying to not panic at the thought of owing $3,478.

I mean, huh?

Oh.

Fuck.

I don’t want to write about this right now.

I am still writing about a bagel.

“Honey, I’m not getting you a bagel right now, we’re going to have dinner in a half hour,” I said as I paid for the card.

“IWANTASPECIALSNACK!”

“I made you a special dinner,” I cajoled, accepting the change and rapidly wheeling the stroller out the door and over to the park.

I had agreed to go to KidPower Park as the boys also wanted to stop by the Eco Center on 17th between Valencia and Hoff.

“She made chicken pot pie!” The five-year old gleefully jumped up and down.

“IDONTWANTCHICKENPOTPIE!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

UGH.

I had made chicken pot pie.

And roasted cauliflower.

And I was not about to bend on the bagel.

Once in a while a bagel is great, but not right before dinner and I knew I couldn’t justify it and I headed off to the park with a wailing, flailing, screaming child.

“He needs to get out and walk,” a man told me, who was also trying to hand me some sample of something in front of a store.

“No thank you,” I said as I went past.

“He needs to get out and walk,” the man said again, louder, stepping up to me.

I wheeled around with fire in my eyes, “I’ll thank you to NOT tell me how to do my job.”

And I walked away.

Grr.

I hate responding to people like that.

I don’t like being mean and I don’t like it when people assume I don’t know what I am doing, or try to offer help and I realized by the time I got to the park as was booting a homeless man out of the playground who was digging through the trash with a stray dog running around him, that I was about to go on a tear.

I asked the man to leave the play area and was told, “get a job!”

“I have a job, this is my job, you are in the way of me doing my job, get out of the children’s playground with the dog or I call the cops.”

I didn’t raise my voice, but I was dead serious.

He left.

He muttered some things best left unsaid.

I have called the cops three times in the year that I have nannied the boys.

Addict shooting up in the playground.

Pack of adolescents smoking pot and crack in the playground.

Homeless deranged man masturbating on the corner, I mean full on pants around his ankles, dick out and in hand.

Oh my fucking god I did not need to see that.

I got myself under control and then bent over double.

Ouch.

Oh?

Oh really.

Sigh.

Well, that makes more sense.

And I didn’t even need a third person to get pissed off at.

Generally I find that if I call three people an asshole in one day, I’m the asshole.

I got there a little faster today.

Hello.

And.

Happy Monday.

Happy anniversary to me too.

Well.

Almost.

Tomorrow makes one year with the family.

I mentioned it tonight before I left.

Which means tomorrow I ask for the pay raise.

I’m going to need it if I owe money on my tuition bill.

I can’t imagine why I have an outstanding balance and I can see that, obviously, something has been applied to it, since it would be a lot more than $3,478.

But.

I thought I was actually getting back some money.

That once my scholarship and subsequent loans were applied there was going to be an offset of about $2700 to my bank account.

I guess I need to call the financial aid office tomorrow and find out what is happening.

Perhaps my loans have been applied, but not yet the scholarship?

I know that the disbursement was to happen this Friday, although I received the letter from my federal student loan lender that my financial aid loan was applied to my school.

That must be it.

That is the only thing that makes sense.

The loans were applied, but my scholarship won’t be disbursed until Friday when the school disburses funds.

Whew.

That’s a relief.

Anyway.

There is nothing wrong.

Even if I do owe money.

It will come from somewhere.

I have a month’s rent in the savings and that will cover some costs and I suspect I will be taken care of anyway.

I always am.

I do the work.

I show up.

Even when someone tells me how to do me how to do my job, I know that I am doing a damn fine one indeed.

I have nothing to worry about.

Not at all.

Life is good.

Really.

I insist.

I don’t even need a special snack to know that.

Thanks Wendell

August 5, 2015

I really needed to hear that.

I checked my phone this afternoon while I was on my lunch break and saw a voicemail from a number I did not recognize.

This happens more frequently than one may suspect, I give out my number fairly often to complete strangers.

Women.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

In my community there is a conscious effort to extend the hand so that another may receive the help that I was so freely given.

It was a 415 area code so I supposed it was indeed the fore mentioned.

But it was not.

It was Wendell.

From CIIS.

The school I will be attending in oh, eek, five days from now.

Oh jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

This is really happening.

Wendell was calling to congratulate me personally on being awarded the Diversity in Leadership scholarship.

It was the sweetest message and he asked that I return the call, he would like to speak with me.

I felt griped momentarily by emotion, fear, trepidation, they’re going to change their minds, I haven’t won a thing, then I laughed out loud, made a cup of tea and returned the phone call.

It was one of the sweetest conversations I have had with a complete stranger ever.

He congratulated me.

He said he was really excited to meet me.

He continued to say that the department was looking forward to working with me and that he had heard wonderful things from Pauline Reif, the contact for the program, and the woman who approached me at the interview and said, you should apply for this scholarship, I think you may qualify for it.

Wendell finished by offering me any assistance I many need in getting acquainted with the program and that he would be attending the retreat for a day and looked forward to meeting me in person.

Why Wendell.

You made me feel like a celebrity.

You made me get excited instead and grateful and you reminded me what an honor it is to have won the scholarship, to have been offered a place on the cohort, to have been accepted into the program.

It came at a really opportune time for me too.

I asked off for another day today at work that was unexpected and I now have no more days of sick leave or vacation to take.

This will be a day without pay is what I am saying.

I have a student orientation, that was not listed on my student class calendar, on Tuesday the 25th of this month.

I did not want to ask for it off, it’s a full day of being at school.

I got a little pissy about it and I told myself, screw this, I’m not going.

Then I realized what an idiot I was being.

There’s a way to self-sabotage, Martines, not go in, not do the orientation, focus on your job, your job that you are probably going to have to supplement with another job, that’s another story in just a moment, out of what?

Fear.

Fear that I would have one day of work that I wasn’t getting paid for.

Ugh.

I hate that I still experience financial insecurity at the drop of a hat.

However.

I have solution and I went to it really quick.

I did a little inventory, saw the fear just staring me in the face, “I dare you, go on, don’t ask off for it, what’s more important?  This temporary job or your Master’s Degree in Psychology?”

Well duh.

The job.

Hello.

Thanks for playing brain, but no.

That is actually not the correct answer.

The answer is, “fuck you fear.”

I’ll go to the damn orientation and I will get oriented, I will see where I need to go and who I need to talk to and I will meet my classmates and my teachers and the dean of students and I will get situated, so that when I do attend I will not be walking around in self-made terror because I don’t know what I am doing and decided to self-will myself into submission because I was afraid of missing one day of work.

ONE.

Ah.

So.

This morning I bit the bullet, forwarded the e-mail from the school and notified my employers that I needed another day off.

Yesterday, though I suspected they knew (I’m on camera at work and I sobbed like a fool when I got the information that I had not indeed won a full ride to school, oops, my bad, I didn’t read the fine print, while I was at work on my lunch break) I informed my employers that my financial aid package was not what I had originally thought, I had misconstrued my awards package and I was going to have to work as close to full-time as possible.

The family isn’t going to need me full-time.

Although the mom did say pretty out right when we were in Sonoma that they would want me full-time whenever the boys were on vacation from school.

The school actually takes some pretty big chunks of vacation too, so that’s a big commitment.

I don’t want to have to find outside work, but that too is fear.

First of all, I don’t have to worry about it all quite so soon.

I’ll have full-time work for this month.

I did my spending plan for August and I will cut it close, but everything will be paid for and accounted for and when my loans go into deferment I will have a tiny bit of wiggle room, which will probably go directly toward rent.

My student aid will be disbursed September 25th.

Which means I will have October rent and my living expenses met for that month.

After I pay for my tuition and fees I will have $2700.

I can get by on $2850 per month and make it work.

I’ve got a budget for the next month of $2835 and expected income coming in, after taxes of $2880.

So, I will cover October.

That puts me into November and I and the family will know how much work they want or need from me.

I suspect that they could come up with more hours for me, if only to cook and market for them, but I’m not going to worry.

This is happening.

This is happening!

And the school can’t wait to meet me.

This is happening and as long as I show up for it.

I will be taken care of.

Half the battle is showing up.

So.

Wendell.

Thanks for the call.

It meant a lot.

I’ll see you soon.

Like really soon.

It’s Starting to Look A Lot Like Graduate School

July 22, 2015

Despite the curt, not too pleasant, and dare I say, preachy e-mail I received today from the financial aid department in regards to the inquiry I sent out yesterday.

I got your point lady.

You could perhaps not be so rude.

But then, what is that?

Me, being the director.

Me, wanting things my way.

Me, me, me.

It’s all about me.

How funny that I am going to get a Masters in Psychology so that I can become an MFT and help others.

Or not funny.

The only way through, I feel, so often, is by helping others.

I popped a resentment when I read the e-mail which basically set me straight with no shortness of sharpness, again, I remind myself, no need to shoot the messenger, restraint of pen and tongue and e-mail.

I restrained myself.

Instead I did a quick spot check inventory and made some calls and when I heard myself checking in with a friend over the phone while I was out with the boys at the park kicking around a bunch of soccer balls on the courts at Mission Playground, I heard it.

I was whining.

It wasn’t blatant, but I could hear it in the playback of the conversation, we were cut off and I’m actually rather glad I didn’t continue to hold my friend hostage to my whiny pants.

I got right with God instead.

I did the rest of the work and I called a bunch of ladies and asked how they were doing and I listened and, why yes, my perspective changed.

How very nice it is.

To take contrary action.

That the solution is not focusing on my problem, but helping someone else.

Duh.

I do have to ask for help too, it seems, despite wanting desperately to not have to rely on others, I do have to get help.

And apparently I have to get professional help.

Yikes.

I sort of recalled that being a requirement of the course, and of course, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

If I want to be a good therapist, I should go to therapy.

I have to accrue 50 sessions of therapy.

I am not cognizant if I have to do this on my own dime or if it’s part of the tuition package.

It is, however, a requirement.

I found the document when I was printing out my syllabi for school today on the printer at work.

I joked with my employer that I may have to forgo the extra money for the hour of overtime I have worked this week to pay for the paper.

But.

Honestly.

It was a relief to have made some forward movement.

I can see that I need to continue to take further action, there’s always going to be an action to take, just the ordering of the books, getting the syllabi, the interaction with the financial aid department, the humbling of myself to ask for more help, the acknowledgement of the lack in my upbringing when it comes to things of this nature.

Hell.

I’ve been in school already and it’s not even started.

I’ve learned a shocking amount about myself, my fears, my desires, my hopes and how to continually let go of shame and reach out when help is offered and accept it gratefully.

Not always gracefully.

But gratefully, yes.

I, of course, did not print out all of the syllabi, I realized later as I sat in The Church Street Cafe before heading over to Our Lady of Safeway at 7:15p.m.

I had missed two of them.

However, the printing of them and seeing them in front of me and opening up my laptop, I took it to work today, was all the action that I needed to get started.

I booted up Amazon and I started plugging in the books in the search engine.

I bought all used.

I bought 7 total.

Cost?

$171.21

Not too bad.

I paid it out of my own pocket instead of stressing about getting down to the financial aid office and asking for a book voucher to buy them.

I still need to acquire the readers for all my courses.

Every course has an additional reader included in the materials.

I am going to head down to Copy Central on Saturday and get the class readers and get going on the reading.

I also forwarded the Master Promissory note signature and paperwork to the financial aid department, nicely, oh so nicely worded that e-mail was, burn ’em with kindness.

I suspect one day I’m going to go into the financial aid office and have myself a good chuckle when I meet the woman I’ve been interacting with the last couple of days.

I am certain she is harmless and frankly I cannot imagine a more thankless job than being an administrative assistant in a financial aid office at a college.

I am certainly no the only loony student who has cornered her on the phone or via e-mail I am sure.

I can’t think of a worse job, maybe meter maid.

Anyway.

Things they move a pace and it’s nice to see it coming together.

And I may still get to go camping next week.

I had thought I would be leaving for the Grand Canyon on a long road trip on Saturday, but as it turns out, the family I work for had a change of plans and won’t be leaving for their vacation to Lake Tahoe until Tuesday.

My friend asked if I could play hooky on Friday.

God, don’t I wish.

I can’t call in sick though, or ask for a private day off.

I haven’t any more sick days and my vacation days are all lined up.

One week for the retreat for school.

One week for the “retreat” out in the desert in the High Black Rock Desert.

It’s a spiritual event.

Please.

Ahem.

It is.

Stop.

Instead of viewing the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I’ll be visiting Mission and 2nd Street to pick up my course readers and getting a jump on the reading.

Fingers crossed all my books for the courses come in by the retreat.

I realized that because I choose regular shipping I’m going to be cutting it close.

But.

I’m ok.

The books are ordered, the course readers exist and I know where to get them–thank God the copy store is open on the weekend, and I have an idea of what action to do next.

I’m going to school, yo.

This is really happening.

I’ll probably keep saying that until I’m in my second semester, just FYI.

Ha.

Procrastination Is Not An Option

July 7, 2015

I can only sit for so long on amazon.com trying to figure out what bicycle lights I should buy for Burning Man before I get disgusted with myself and have to start writing.

I opened my blog page up and drank an entire cup of tea trying to figure out what I was going to write about.

Some days are like that.

I just have to show up to the page and I know something will come out.

I was thinking about my spending plan and realized now there’s a scintillating topic, I am sure everyone is going to be dying to read about that.

However.

That’s what was up for me today.

Doing my numbers for June, which I should have done sooner, but as I was out-of-town on the great Atlanta, Georgia adventure, it never came to pass.

So in between rescuing the small monkey of a boy from the top bunk bed where he got stuck at quiet time and running up and down the stairs at work after he hollered, “I want milky!” and knocked over a table in his room, I did my numbers for June.

And felt much better for it.

I did damn good.

I was within $30 of what I had projected I was going to spend.

I did spend over the amount that I had put into my plan, but I also had an unexpected expense when I had to upgrade the security on my computer, but that was offset by a small bonus my employers gave me when I won one of the scholarships to graduate school.

Graduate school.

That was what got me going.

I realized as I was adding up my numbers and laying out my spending plan for July that I would have to have a school supplies category in my new plan.

That and I am going to get to take my student loan payment off the plan for the next three years.

I have to contact my student loan company and let them know to stop pulling from my bank account on the 28th of the month since in about a month I will be in graduate school.

Despite it feeling like I’m going to be in graduate school, like, oh, by next weekend.

I read over the syllabus and I have some reading to do.

A lot of reading to do.

A lot.

All to be read before I go on the week-long retreat up in Petaluma.

I was messaging a friend of mine in Wisconsin and he made some great suggestions about how to approach the reading and it became very clear that one of the things that I need to do in the next couple of weeks, if not sooner, like this week, is contact my advisor.

I need to sit down with my advisor and well, get some advice.

I need to know where to buy all my books, how to gather all the articles, where to go, what to look for, and yes, most importantly, how to pay for it.

I haven’t received my awards letter yet, so I am uncertain when I will receive the money for school or how that will look.

I know that one of the scholarships will be applied directly to tuition, I don’t have to think about it, it will pay my tuition and then, done.

The other, the Diversity in Leadership scholarship, the $10,000 per year award, how is that dispersed?

When will I get it?

Will I get it in time to purchase my books and get the reading on?

Or.

And this was my assumption as I sat at the dining table at work while the boys were in quiet time and I was crunching numbers, will I need to put a category in this month to pay for my books and course work so that I can get on it, the reading and prep for the class.

My friend said, a month?

That’s plenty of time.

Read everything twice.

And that was actually what I had thought as well, the e-mail outlining the retreat and the information therein made it quiet clear that the material was not only to be read, but comprehended.

Comprehension, for me at least, takes more than one read.

I often glean things after I have read them more than once, most likely twice, and sometimes I have to read things three times.

I get it.

The information is absorbed and I am a quick read, but I have to acknowledge, to myself, that the way I read is for pleasure and this is not going to be exactly pleasure reading.

It’s school work and I am certain there will be moments when I am intrigued and enthralled with the work and there will also be moments when I am not interested in what I am reading or it is a challenging concept and I will have to be studious, I will have to read the material regardless of how I feel about it.

It’s all a process and I am grateful that I am going through it.

Even though, yes, I am scared.

I am scared to fuck up the gift of the financial aid being awarded me.

I am afraid to be stupid.

I am afraid I won’t get it.

And those are just baseless, groundless fears.

I am more afraid that I will lose time with people who I am just getting to spend time with and I want to have this next month to play as much as possible.

I realized today in doing the spending plan that I was more upset about having to budget the money towards school materials because I was going to have to start the work before I was actually in class.

I want every drop of my summer before I go to work.

And.

Well.

I don’t always get what I want.

Though, yes, I do always get what I need.

And there will be time.

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create

There will be time for play.

There will be time for love.

There will be time for travel.

And time for all the works and days of hands

That lift and drop a question on your plate;

Time for you and time for me

Yes.

There will be time.

For you and me.

I promise.

There Is No Dress Rehearsal

July 4, 2015

The tears pricked my eyes as I heard the slow Texas drawl of the man standing in front of the room.

“So live your life now, today, go, do it, what ever it is that you want to do, do it now, don’t wait.”

The tears slid down my face and puddled in my cleavage.

Fortunately I have a bit of cleavage, it can hold a few tears.

It was not the only time today that I shed tears, but it was the most profound and poignant share I heard today.  There were many great and marvelous things I heard today, miracles, and sweetness, and grace.

So much grace.

I happened upon the man with the Southwestern accent completely on accident and I was happy to sit and listen for his entire story.

To bear witness to another person’s life, to grow from their experience, to enrich my own and to understand completely that the things I have done, the risks taken, even when I fell completely flat on my face, were all so worth it.

He spoke of wanting to live in New York, so he and his wife just up and sold all there things and moved to New York for six months.

And he spoke of service and showing up and what that looks like.

It is such a small thing, this showing up, to the page, to the screen, to my words, to my experience, to my life, to show up, be present and accounted for, such a gift.

I don’t always like who I am or what I see, but I am no fool, I see the value of my worth, though I deign to accept much by way of accolades.

“You so, so, so deserve this,” she said to me tonight as we sat in the Georgia Dome counting down the minutes and waving at folks and sitting in awe of the vast number of people present.

She was talking about my graduate school program and my scholarships, my friend has just finished her 3,000 hours required for her MFT liscence and passed all her tests and went to the same school as I am going to for my graduate degree.

She admitted to me that she had wondered what I was going to do and how I was going to handle the financial burden and whether it was the best choice for me.

She and others.

Others who I love and admire and I knew the financial burden going in, but there, underneath it all, was a still quiet, sure voice, that said, do it anyway, the money will come.

And it has.

And that scares me, but also shows me that I am on the right track, walking through the wide open door and walking towards that sunlight I know so well which fills my spirit and leads me forward.

It’s bright walking into this light and I cannot see what it holds, everything is backlit and the screen is dark, I can only see vague outlines, but I can feel the warmth and I know that I am going in the right direction.

I am living my life unafraid, well, mostly unafraid.

I do a lot of acting as if.

Act as if your student loan will get paid off from your undergrad degree.

Act as if you will be able to pay for graduate school tuition.

Act as if you will be able to afford living in San Francisco while going to graduate school.

Faith.

I have faith.

In more and more areas of my life, I have faith.

It astounds me and as I hugged my dear, dear, sweet friend I knew that she was right, I do deserve these things, I do deserve abundance and joy and prosperity, and love.

I do.

I also know that I have to play it forward, I have to be of service, I have to continue to grow and change.

And live.

Because there really is no dress rehearsal, there is only this day, only this life, only this moment.

I got to talk to a friend tonight and share how much I wished he was here, even when I have thousands of people around me I can get lonely, though it was good to have some alone time today, some quiet time just for myself.

Again.

How grateful I am to have my own hotel room.

When this thing goes to Detroit I am booking my own room again, unless I am sharing it with a partner, I want to have my own space, it has been saving my butt.

I slept in today and when I did wake up it was raining, big thunderstorm, flashes of lighting, rain pelting the windows.

It felt so nice to lie in bed and listen to the rain.

I fell back asleep and let myself get the rest my body needed.

Then a nice bit of time sitting and being still and taking a knee and doing that thing and writing, doing the things that anchor me to my day, so that I can go out and experience my life.

This has been quite the experience and I am so grateful to have had it and to have another day of it.

Though, I will be playing hooky a little tomorrow and heading into another part of Atlanta.

I need to get out of the downtown area and get some fresh fruit for myself and wander around a little on my own, do my own exploring and have my own little adventure, maybe go meander around an art gallery, and hit a farmers market.  I looked up a few possibilities and I want to do that for a couple of hours before going back into the fray.

A wonderful, marvelous fray, no doubt of that at all, but a fray nonetheless.

I am glad that I can see that I live my life and take myself places and let myself explore things just a little off the beaten path.

I found a wonderful shop today in my neighborhood and they helped me take care of my humidity hair, homemade pomade with fresh lemons in it, my hair looks amazing and I smell like lemon merengue pie.

I bought a tiny jar of it and a pretty ring as a souvenir of my trip.

A little bauble, but sweet, and it matched my pants–I wore my safety orange cords and took advantage of the warm weather to wear platform sandals all day.

I had a great little conversation with the ladies there and got a great tip on a BBQ joint in the neighborhood and had an amazing lunch, yes by myself, dining alone, but smiling, enjoying the view, enjoying the continual adventure of my life.

More adventures to follow tomorrow.

More adventures every day.

I got a second chance at my life.

I get to live.

And I am going to squeeze as much from this life as I can.

Do as much as I can.

Be as present as I can.

It’s the least I can do.

Considering the gifts I have been given.

So many gifts.

So much.

Love.

A Full And Grateful Heart

June 25, 2015

I got off campus!

I was able to scoot out tonight for a much-needed hour of reprieve.

I read some stuff.

Some things were said.

The deal was done.

Then a woman there gave me a great big hug and said, “here, take these, there’s a woman in the fellowship who brings them fresh every day, they’re obviously for you.”

“They” were a big bunch of Shasta daisies and pink freesia and Echinacea, stunning and sweet and my favorite flowers are daisies, I was so pleased, so warmed, so right exactly where I was supposed to be.

Then  a lady bug pulled up in her truck, she splits time between Sonoma and San Francisco and typically we meet in the city on Friday nights after I get done with work at the Church Street Cafe on Church and Market.

The sunset was happening.

The soft evening breeze caressed my face.

I had left the flowers on the hood of the car in parking lot and she had no clue that a gorgeous bouquet was waiting for her after we checked in and did our reading in the last golden rays of the sun setting in the West, just over Sonoma Mountain.

There was also a, I am not kidding, I do not jest, I couldn’t make this up if I had tried to, a choir practicing hymns in the Community Center behind which were we sat at the picnic table and read from the literature.

She underlined sentences.

I tried to not get choked up.

Watching her young face, framed with long sheaves of strawberry blond hair, catch the last drops of sun from the sky and glow ethereally in the light.

I was stunned

My life is stunning.

My joy and love know no bounds.

I can not believe that this is the life I am leading.

I drove back to Stone Tree with the fullest heart and the utmost gratitude for the sky, for the silhouettes of trees against the indigo dusk, for the navigation on my iPhone telling me where to turn in 1.2 miles turn left.

Thank God for navigation.

I would still be out there back tracking.

I kept telling myself that I should not listen to the voices in my head which said, “you just missed the turn!”

Shush voices.

You’ve never done me right and being directionally retarded, I was more than happy to rely on the navigation system on the phone.

I will be relying on it again as I leave Sonoma and drive straight to SFO on Friday.

I will leave here at 3 p.m.

The drive is 1.38 hours according to the navigation app and I shall drop the rental car at the place on 710 McDonnell road, where I was assured it would only take me 15 minutes to drop of the car and for them to revert the deposit of $150 back to my account.

$150 which I had to deposit since I used my debit card.

$150 which may take two weeks to get back to my account.

Whatever.

Small price to pay to have some autonomy here in Sonoma and how fortuitous when I was offered the trip down to LA that I would have a rental car under my care and all I would have to do is drive straight to the airport.

Is it odd?

Or is it God?

That is a rhetorical question, I know what it is.

I can see this beautiful design for living that I have been granted and I am charmed and loved, graced, and so blessed to have the things in my life that I have.

I mean.

I got some huge news with the scholarships.

Plural, remember.

Not one, but two.

I sent a thank you note to the head of the department letting her know how grateful I was that she had referred me to the scholarship opportunity that has been afforded me and was there any further action that I need to do.

She replied how pleased she was that I was awarded the scholarship and how much they are looking forward to working with me and that all I had to do was accept my financial aid package when it is sent to me.

Done and done.

I accept!

Then I have some one amazing and new, but not new, just never quite seen before, there all along, there doing the deal, just on the outskirts, just beyond my periphery, present in my life.

Such a gift.

This person.

Who is flying me down to Los Angeles to celebrate my success and joy and to accompany me about the museums and to look at the art and to do the deal and have some fun and then road trip it back to San Francisco.

He’ll be picking me up at LAX and we’ll be staying at an Air BnB in Santa Monica.

I think I have a date to go down to the boardwalk and ride the ferris wheel.

I have never been to the boardwalk.

I haven’t really been to LA.

I did ride into it on the Aids LifeCycle ride in 2010, but frankly by the time that adventure was done, I couldn’t care less what city I was in, I just wanted to go home.

The next time I went was about six years ago when I was in a production of Jackie B’s and I travelled down to do a show in Santa Monica.

I got done with work at 6:30p.m. on Friday, got picked up by a friend, and we drove through the night to get into Santa Monica and stay at a tiny house with 9 other people.

I got no sleep.

Did the dress rehearsal.

Wandered around in a sleep deprived haze and ate lunch at an old-fashioned diner on Santa Monica Boulevard.

I remember seeing a lot of tourists and being hot.

That’s it.

The show went off and I spent the night back in that same house, cramped, and dirty and tired and then my ride went and hooked up with someone and left me to my own defenses, leaving me to ride around in the back of someone’s camper with no concept of when I would get back to San Francisco.

I feel that this trip will be far different.

And I am so looking forward to it.

The museums.

The company.

To get to share my celebration and joy with another person and go to museums?

Please.

Who am I to say there is no God?

Or love.

If you will.

I am loved.

I am so loved.

My heart is full of daisies.

Sunshine.

And bright sweet love.

And with that.

I am.

Back on the beam.


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