Posts Tagged ‘self-acceptance’

Sashay

June 25, 2016

Ooh.

The good timing.

“Are you dressed up for Pride?” My friend asked as she stopped in front of the cafe on Church Street that I was hanging out at doing the deal with another lady before going to Our Lady of Safeway and doing that thing I do on Friday nights at that spot where they do those things.

Wink.

Wink.

Nudge.

Nudge.

I mean.

I always knew I would be a part of a “secret society” but not this one.

Ha.

Oh.

I love it.

“How come you know so many people?” One of my charges asked when we were walking around the Mission and I ran into a friend.

I get around kid.

And I digress.

Back to the original conversation.

“Nope.” I replied to the young woman, herself a portrait of fierceness, “I’m just dressed for me.”

And I was.

And I will continue to be.

Even when I wonder what the fuck people will think, then, I remember, oh yeah.

It’s none of my fucking business what people think of me.

Only what I think of me.

And I like the way I dress.

Twirl girl.

Oh my gosh.

I got two new dresses in the mail today.

I had a feeling they would arrive and I was super happy to see the box in the hallway when I got home tonight.

I ordered them thinking about New Orleans and wanting to have a couple of cute dresses to sashay around the French Quarter in.

Or just, you know, be dolled up in to sit around on the veranda at the HISTORIC MANSION I’m staying in.

I showed my person a photo of the Air BnB and she was like, “you have to take a bath in that tub! You just have to.”

Oh my God.

Yes, yes, I do.

In fact, I was thinking about doing a photo shoot in it.

I have a photo of myself from a few years back, must be six now, in Texas, at a wedding in a mansion in the Hill Country, outside of Austin.

I was wearing this navy blue retro vintage dress with small white polka dots and coral colored espadrille wedges.

I had short hair that was a little retro flip and I was wearing a white head band with a big flower in it.

I looked fabulous.

And skinny.

Fuck.

What was I doing?

Oh!

I must have just come off the AidsLifeCycle ride, yup, my calves look crazy.

Heh.

A good reason to do some bicycle training again.

Fuck.

I also look so young.

It was only six years ago.

Damn.

Time, it does fly.

So.

Maybe I’ll do another photo shoot with me in a dress in a bathtub in a mansion.

I mean.

Why not?

I’ll have to get someone to come back to the room with me and help me out with that though, not really able to do a full bodied selfie.

Not that I wouldn’t try.

Especially considering the two new dresses I got.

They are hella cute.

The first is not going to work for me right away.

The color does not quite work with my hair.

It will, the color just needs to soften a tiny bit.

Right now it has too many magenta pinks going on, it will fade off a little and be the perfect pastel pink in about a week I think.

Then the kelley green dress will look gorgeous with my hair.

Ooh.

I can’t wait.

Until then, though, the other dress works perfectly with my hair color right now and I believe with any and all colors I may do with my hair in the future.

It’s white, has a square cut bodice, A-line skirt, and a large cobalt blue rose pattern that is feminine and fabulous and all that.

Totally on point.

I tried it on and twirled and sashayed down my little hallway.

I threw on a black crinoline underneath.

Fuck.

Even more fabulous.

Added a black cardigan and it looks incredible.

Very cute.

Very sexy.

Very femme.

My curves look good and I didn’t have any sort of upset about that, that I have curves, that I’m not some skinny little thing.

I have been thinner, smaller, but not by much, but I don’t know that I have ever felt quite this relaxed and at ease in my body.

I love my body.

Nope.

It’s not perfect.

And thank God for that.

I would be boring.

I like my flair.

“Your hair looks even better in person,” he said to me tonight, “and the pink flower, you put flair in your hair.”

Yes.

Yes, honey I did.

Later tonight when my friend gave me a hug goodnight he whispered in my ear, “you looked beautiful tonight.”

Aw.

Thanks darling.

It was a nice thing to hear.

I was wearing one of my favorite Modcloth numbers, a swing dress with heart shaped pockets, a heart shaped bodice, and behind the neck halter tie top, my hair, the mountainous pink of it, up off my neck, curls falling all over the place, bright pink rose clip and a sequined star in there too, and I felt really good.

I love being glamourous.

I love wearing makeup and being fabulous.

Sometimes it takes me a minute to get there.

But get there I do.

And I love that I don’t do it for anyone else.

Just myself.

I’m not doing it for Pride, although, I am more than happy to be thought of in that way, I’m doing it for myself.

I’m not dressing for a man.

Although, should I attract one, I’m not going to be upset with that.

As the case may be, tonight I thought I would probably have a date, and it didn’t happen.

But considering I was on three this past week, really not too upset about that, and the weekend is young and I have time.

Especially since the podcast canceled.

And I have a fabulous new dress to wear out and about.

Sashay.

Work, turn to the left / Work, now turn to the right / Work, sashay, shante / Work, turn to the left…

Happy Pride family.

I love you no matter what day of the year it is.

I mean.

Seriously.

xoxoxo

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It Took Almost

January 8, 2016

Eleven years.

But holy shit.

It happened.

I finally felt comfortable in the room.

There’s a room I found myself in about eleven years and 10 days ago.

I was profoundly uncomfortable.

I am not sure how the hell I stayed the whole hour.

I did, though.

And I kept coming back.

Even when my ass was falling off.

Even when I looked like hell.

Even when my best friend was dying in a hospital just down the road.

I laughed there.

I smoked a lot of cigarettes there, at least for a few months, the smoking ceased, the going there did not.

I felt not enough too often to recount.

I felt less then just about as often.

I was never a cool kid, I was never going to be a cool kid.

I don’t know that I was a cool kid tonight.

I’m too old to be a cool kid, but I tell you what, I felt fine.

I felt good.

I felt even and at peace and nothing was lacking or wrong in my life.

I was finally comfortable in that folding chair, underneath those ceiling fans.

I saw men I had crushes on.

Men who I had asked out on dates and was told no, thanks, or worse.

No response at all.

I saw a man  I had made out with the night the Giants won the last world series.

I saw women I hadn’t seen in years.

I got hugs and gave hugs.

I felt good to be the exact person I am today, strong, happy, secure, loved.

I laughed with a friend on the way home.

And marveled at my life.

I mean, I truly marveled.

I have come so far, so fucking far, it constantly blows my mind and when I think, “think,” things are not going my way or it could, should, or ought to be better, when I think, “I’ll be happy when…”

I know I am on the wrong track, off on the wrong foot, going in the wrong direction on the one way street.

I was riding my bicycle earlier today, heading into work, swooping along the paths on the Pan Handle and I was thinking about New York.

I was thinking about Paris.

I was thinking about what I want.

I was thinking about me.

I was telling God how it should be.

I was telling God how I wanted it to go down next.

Then I laughed the fuck out loud.

Who the hell was I to tell God what to do?

Who was I to complain that I wasn’t being loved the way that I thought I should be?

Hahahahaha.

Oh my God.

What a fool I am.

I made the decision right then and there to love and not be loved, as it says in this nice little prayer I read every morning, that I say, that I try to carry out the door with me into the wide world.

Although.

As it can be seen as evidenced above, I only made it a few miles down the road before I was telling God specifically what kind of love I deserved.

“Carmen, I love you, will you marry me,” my little five year old charge said to me tonight.

“You’re a little young for me,” I said and smiled.

“What if I was 51?” He said, dipping his buttered toast into a bowl of warm broccoli soup I had made.

“Can I have another bowl of soup?” He asked, mopping up the last of the bowl with the crust of bread.

“Of course,” I said and swooped in, picking up his bowl, kissing his head, ruffling the hair there.

“Well?  What if I was 51?” He asked me again as I set a fresh bowl of soup in front of him.

I already had the next piece of bread toasting in the oven.

“51 might be a little too old,” I said with a smile, and sipped my tea.

“What if I was your age!” He said, bright eyed, then, he smiled, “and a little taller?”

I laughed out loud.

“Why then of course! Yes, love, I would marry you.”

“Will we have kids?”

Oh my.

Ha.

I am loved.

Over and above and beyond what I deserve.

Love.

Everywhere.

A friend texting me to give me a lift home.

A friend texting to ask me out to a movie.

A hug.

A kiss.

A three year old, “Carmen, CARMEN, CARMEN!”

“Yes?”

“I love you!” Sotto voce.

Oh, my darling, I love you too.

I have so much love.

I prayed from my knees the other night.

(every night, every morning)

By my bedside and thanked my God for knowing the depth of love that I have gotten to know.

To find beauty and grace and above, gratitude, for a difficult situation and to realize that the experience has lead me to a greater depth of love, to know more love, to have a bigger bandwidth for love, that it does not matter that it was hard to go through, look at the amount of love I got to know by going through it.

Astounding.

And I don’t know if I loved as hard as I could today.

(I love pretty hard)

And I don’t know if I could have done it better or differently.

I feel like I did a pretty good job.

And I don’t know if I would have done any of it any other way but the way that I did it today.

I do know this.

I feel good.

I feel centered.

I feel enough.

I am loved.

I am lovable.

I am worthy of love.

The hubris of having humility is that I cannot say I have humility, I don’t, let’s be real, but I can recognize that I did not feel less than tonight.

I felt equal.

I felt apart of.

I felt like I belonged and.

Best of all.

I didn’t feel like I needed to change to make anyone happy.

I was.

I am.

Perfectly content.

To be the exact version of Carmen I am today.

I rock.

Let’s be frank.

Haha.

Nah.

I am not a rock star.

But I am a star in my own little way, a bit of old light from a source so far outside myself that I cannot fathom the power of it, a reflection of a love so big and grand and in-exhaustive that I know, without a doubt, that I am just exactly where I am supposed to be.

Raw.

Vulnerable.

Open.

And when I think I need it some other way, I just get to remind myself.

“Love, rather than be loved.”

Love.

Love.

Just.

Love.

I Am, Uh, Good?

October 3, 2013

Good.

Period.

Not question mark.

Too funny.

I just got off the phone and finished a good check in with one of my people and there was no drama to report, no anxiety, no fear of finance, or work, or food, or sex, or jesus, who the hell is this person?

We ended up talking about different styles of yoga.

I told her I was thinking of taking some yoga and I got the thumbs up.

Certain things I really need to run past others, I can get on the self-improvement kick real quick instead of the self-acceptance thing, and especially around exercise or body stuff, I need to run it past someone else.

And yes, the green light.

Tomorrow I will go to the yoga place and check it out.

I am meeting someone at Trouble Coffee at noon to do some reading and talk some life experience, and strength, and you know, stuff.

Then I figure after an hour of that I will be ready to walk into the yoga studio and say, sign me up.

I have tomorrow off.

I have a speaking engagement in the evening and there is the outside possibility that the Mister may have some time.

The message I received was, maybe Thursday, maybe Saturday.

Maybe I need to date someone else, or make it known to him that I want to date someone who I get to see more than every other week, maybe.

I like him.

I do.

But man, I am 40.

I ain’t saying let’s get married and pop out some kids, but I am saying, jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick, please, some more time together, and some like intimacy.

Like.

I am a dirty girl.

I want to get laid.

But I dont’ want to get laid out of a relationship, Burning Man’s over, ahem.

That being said, my friend on Sunday said something quite pithy about it and it’s been rattling around in my head for the whole three days since we sat down to tea.

Powerful, successful, busy people make time for people they are interested in.

I think he’s just not that into me.

If he were I would be getting some more attention.

I think.

I started scrolling through OkStupid a little again.

I got a few hits, some from guys I actually went on dates with years ago.

But, dude, I’m sorry, there was no chemistry the last time we went on a date, why would there be now?

Thanks.

But no thanks.

So, that’s the only thing I have any concern about?

Life, yeah, is good.

Work has been lovely.

The boys have been just peaches and the days at the park have been so lovely.

Today we went to Kids Kingdom in the Panhandle and there were musicians playing on the benches by the basketball court and not your usual buskers that hang out around the Haight trying to make spare scratch for a hot meal and a pack of cigarettes, an eighth and a bottle of rot gut.

Nope.

I think, I mean, maybe they weren’t but, they were musicians in town for Hardly Strictly Blue Grass, which is this weekend, they were so good.

I have never heard someone play banjo the way this man was.

It blew my hair back.

It was the perfect soundtrack to hang out in the park.

Sunny Indian Summer in the PanHandle.

Lead the Way

Lead the Way

I let my older charge out of the stroller and walked behind him as he toddled toward the play area, enjoying the music, the sun, the dappling shadows on the grass.

The baby was in the Snugli happily chewing on my sweatshirt drawstring, teething he is, and I felt just a sense of everything being exactly how it is supposed to be.

The entire day.

The entire eveing.

Everything.

Even the Mister.

You know, there’s nothing wrong with anything that is happening.

I am getting to learn what I need to learn and I am absurdly grateful for that.

I also made some phone calls today.

Leaving messages with most, but finally getting back to some of the messages that have accrued over the last few days.

One of which was a message from someone I used to work with a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Wisconsin.

His father had passed a few weeks back and he discovered a load of photographs from the time we worked together, some of which his parents were in.

I remember them well, sweet, and supportive of their son and his, strange decision to move to San Francisco.

Anyone moving to San Francisco from Wisconsin has to be strange you know.

Why would you leave?

He and I caught up and made tentative plans to have coffee next weekend.

I haven’t sat and had coffee with him in over 8 years.

That is a long time to not see someone who was a huge part of my life when I first moved to San Francisco.

I paved the way for him into a job at the Angelic Brewing Company.

He introduced me to San Francisco’s Mission District.

Vouching for me to my first room mates at 805 York Street.

He was at my first Thanksgiving that I cooked in San Francisco.

A meal that was supposed to be him and two other old co-workers from the Angelic and ended up becoming this epic dinner of 13 orphans.

I have so many fond memories of him.

And some fear too.

I acted badly toward then end of the time I was friends with him and for a long time it was suggested that I not reach out, that my motives may have not been the best.

Sometimes when you are a certain age you play hard and then you grow up.

I just played hard and ran away.

I ran away to the place I needed to be, but I abandoned a lot of friendships along the way.

It was nice to hear his voice and know that the fear is silly and that he probably has no judgements about me.

I am usually the only one really judging me anyhow.

But as of the last few hours, well, I haven’t got a thing to judge.

Oh, I am certain I’ll shake something up.

But right now?

I am just fine.

I am good.

I am perfect.

I always have been.

I just haven’t always allowed myself to see it.

Perfectly flawed.

Perfectly, deliciously, human.

Perfect me.

I Am Lost Already

April 15, 2013

Well, Rome and navigation will start off with a bang.

Not excited to find out tonight that my host will be unable to meet me at the airport.  I will be left to my own devices to make my way into the city.

I already feel lost.

I had to get off the chat and take a deep breath and go put the kettle on the stove.

I dislike being lost.

And being lost in a country that I do not speak the language.

Fuck my mother.

Sounds horrid.

She is busy typing instructions and I will go back and read them in a moment when my brain settles down.  Yeah, I will probably get lost.

What else is new?

I feel like I am finally getting my bearings here, only to be leaving and having to figure out another city.  Despite having been in Oakland before I left for Paris, I only went so far, mainly on my bike back and forth to BART.

I learned quickly that there were only a couple of routes that made sense to me and I stuck to them.  I did no real exploring of the neighborhood, it did not feel safe to do so, however, I am sure I will have to do more when I get there.

I really do not want to navigate around a new city and meet someone at a hotel somewhere in Rome.

Argh.

I am getting way ahead of myself.

The directions will be clear and easy and I will do the opposite of what my brain tells me, turning left when I feel that I really should turn right.

I always turn the wrong direction.

Do not tell me to go East either, where the hell is that?

Left, right, up, down.

If it could all only be in just a straight line, then the world would be such an easier place to navigate.  As it stands it never is a straight line.

But the path can be pretty when I let it be.

I felt pretty today.

It did not hurt to be told by two different people who I adore that I looked pretty as well.

I was so complimented earlier that I carried it with me the entire day.

I was easy in my body, light in my skin, I felt aglow and a loft and scattered before myself with my own external lamp of good being and wellness.

There are times when I struggle with this body I have been given and it feels unwieldy and unforgiving and just not graced at all.

I remember when I was filling out the application to the martial arts studio that I trained with for four and a half years, leaving right before I moved to San Francisco with a black belt amongst the few possessions I had decided to take with me, there was one question that stuck out to me.

It had something to do with my desires to study, what was I looking for.

I answered with a much higher degree of honesty than I suspected I was capable of.

First, I wanted to lose weight.

Second, and more importantly, I wanted to be graceful.

One can be graceful and heavy and I was just that.

In fact, despite becoming quite good at martial arts, I mean I did earn that black belt, that was not something that came all together that easy.  I will never forget Mister Kessel spending a good solid hour showing me blocks one and two.

An hour.

I was so frustrated, left and right, left and right, left and right, that I was in tears.

I eventually got it.

But man, it took a long while.

I never lost all that much weight.

Oh I did, I dropped about thirty, maybe thirty-five pounds over the course of the four and a half years, but I am easily 60 lbs lighter than when I got my black belt.

Sometimes I wonder about that, what it would have been like, how fast I would have been without the weight holding me down.

I mean, you go do a five-hour black belt test with an additional 60 lbs on you, that’s like having a third grader strapped to your body, do anything with extra weight after being lighter, and see how it feels.

Of course, I never knew what being lighter was until fairly recently.

I did put on some Paris pounds when I first arrived, trying to juggle the change in food styles and eating eighteen times as many french fries as I did in the states–really I cannot remember eating french fries at all when I was in the Bay area, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes with Earth Balance and fresh tomatoes from the garden at Graceland, but not french fries.

I have since dropped the Paris pounds, sort of like the freshman 20, although I am doubtful I put on that much, enough that there was a week or two when I wanted to wear tights all the time instead of my jeans which felt a little too tight, but not enough that I need to go up a dress size.

And since the house sitting gig in Chambourcy I have been vegan.

Whether or not it sticks I am not going to promise, but I will say once the dairy detox was done (head aches, mucus–where the hell did that all come from–I mean I know they say not to drink milk when you have a cold, but I had no idea, mild body aches, and some irritability), it took about a week and a half, I am at day fifteen today,  I have been feeling good.

Really good.

Sassy.

Could be that it is Spring.

Could be that I am wearing pink.

Who knows.

But I do know this, I am pretty, even when I am lost, and I am graced.

Despite what size I am.

Despite what pants size I am.

I am graced.

The kung fu training was not what did it, although it did not hurt, I still tend to carry myself a bit like a stalking lion, but it was the acceptance of my body being what it is, how it is, beautiful despite the sagging arms and loose belly skin.

That, hate to break it too you, is what happens when you lose a lot of weight and don’t do the cosmetic surgery bit.

Which I may somewhere down the line, but probably won’t, as I have more important things to spend my money on.

Self-love, self-acceptance, forgiveness.

Time and patience.

Fortunately, they came before I got too many grey hairs.

“You are NOT 40,” she said to me Saturday.

Yes, I am, just talk to the varicose veins on my thighs, but they lay over some strong muscles and some graceful moves, and once in while the day conspires to tell me I am pretty and I actually believe to my core I am totally one with myself.

That is damn fine.

Lost or not lost.

Utterly graced.

Here in Paris.

Or.

Lost in Rome.

Graced.


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