Posts Tagged ‘self-care’

Just Keep Writing

June 19, 2017

Very, very, very few hits on the blog yesterday and today.

Of course.

It is Father’s Day.

Folks have things to do, people to see, loved ones to celebrate.

I sent my dad warm thoughts, it’s how I can show up today, loving from a distance.

I did try last week on his birthday to call the cell phone number I have for him, but the call did not go through and I took that as the time is not now.

I may never have the time for my dad.

I have acceptance for that, some sorrow, but mostly acceptance and a kind of peace around it.

There are times that I have wished for more from my father, but I have always known, despite not having much contact with him through the years, that I was loved by him.

Who am I to say that how he expressed his love was not the right thing for me?

I cannot choose how people express their love.

I have a certain idea how it should look, but my ideas are often wrong.

So often wrong.

It’s rather ridiculous.

But hey, I’m trying.

I may fall, but at least I know that I am trying.

And I love.

So, so, so hard.

My God, I love hard.

And it may not be what someone wants either.

I have tried being softer and kinder and easier with my love, for myself, for others, to not squeeze too hard, to be gentle, to be flexible and have deeper perspective and appreciation for all forms of love.

I’m not sure where I am going with this ramble, just that I am glad for my father and I hope he is well and I love him.

I do.

So many kinds of love, so much vastness of feeling.

So many memories.

Some easier to recall than others.

Grateful for them all.

Grateful for today.

It was a good day.

I woke up earlier than I was planning, but then again, I hadn’t planned on staying up late last night, but the cup of coffee I gleefully, rebelliously drank with my friend at the anniversary party last night had its way with me.

I was going to let myself have eight hours of sleep.

But the light in my room woke me up and I knew I would feel better if I got up and got myself going.

So I hopped up, put on the yoga clothes and went to the studio down the block.

It was a great class and I was very happy with the teacher.

Then a nice mellow, slow morning.

Met with a lady, did the deal, did some laundry, did some shopping, did some cooking.

And.

Holy cats.

I read some fiction.

I read a book.

In the sun.

On the back porch.

It was sunny in San Francisco and the beach was packed and the parks were packed and it was Father’s Day all over the place.

I did go down to the beach for a little bit, but when it’s nice out, and it was, it was over 80 degrees, the beach gets really bombarded and add a national celebrate a parent holiday and the traffic and people were off the hook.

I sat in a dune for a while and enjoyed the sea and the sun, but after maybe twenty minutes I just decided to go back home and read on the back porch.

I knew it would be quiet.

And it was lovely.

I definitely got a few freckles today and I got warm in my bones.

It felt nice to put up my feet and relax a little.

The next week is a busy one.

Aren’t they all?

But.

It does make the time go faster and I’m excited to be seeing clients now at the internship.

I also peeped the weather for the next week and it looks gorgeous and sunny and the June gloom that is so often the weather in the city for the summer seems to have abated and I am grateful.

There is so much in my life to be grateful for.

So much learning.

As I navigate through my days I see where I have stumbled and where I have been selfish and when I am not being of good service to a situation.

I can make things about myself really fast.

I catch it more often than I have in the past, but I am always a bit chagrined when I do it.

I get to recall the feeling in my body when I hurt someone or make something about me when it really has nothing to do with me, out of fear, that’s usually where I am acting from, fear.

Fear that I won’t get what I want or I will lose what I have.

And the fear is baseless.

Groundless.

Silly.

I have been given so much and I have so much, that to live in any kind of fear is a kind of waste, a superfluous worry of time, when I could be enjoying the sunshine, the daydream, the revery of sitting still in the back yard and feeling the warmth on my skin where I am caught and held in perfection.

I am human, but that is an excuse.

I have to also change when I see things in myself that I don’t care for, I can’t wish them away.

I can, however, pray about it and hope to be of better service in the future.

Remembering how it feels when I have done something that doesn’t serve another because I am in fear of not getting what I want.

Ah growth.

Painful growth.

I heard it said once or twice, though, that pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I definitely grew a little today.

And the pain is not as tender as it has been in the past, but it is there so I chose now, in this moment, to remember what I felt and what I was feeling and to not let those fears get in the way of enjoying my day.

The sun.

The soft warmth.

The dreamy.

I do like the dreamy.

Please God.

Don’t let me fuck up the dreamy.

 

Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu

You Look Radiant!

June 13, 2017

My neighbor said to me as I was parking my scooter and securing her for the night.

He’d just open the door to the fenced gate and perhaps it was the sunlight hitting my face, or the big smile on it, but it was sweet to be acknowledged and I smiled harder.

I’m happy.

I feel really good.

Today was a good day.

Most days are, let me be honest, but I had just secured a new person to work with this evening after work and I feel like she and I are going to be a really great fit and I was relieved and happy and felt like I was being carried and taken care of.

“God has not brought me this far to be dropped,” I told myself this past weekend when I was still processing all that had happened, the what’s and whereof’s and why’s of being let go when you have been told that you’re the perfect, well fill in the blank.

When someone tells you you’re doing it perfectly and then let’s you go, it stings a little.

Be that as it may.

I am not perfect.

I fuck up all the time.

I’m human.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

And humans are messy and silly and stupid and hard-headed and stubborn and crazy, at least this human is.

I’m grateful for all the messy and the learning, especially learning how to communicate and not to take myself too seriously.

I heard something amazing today.

AMAZING.

From my supervisor while we were in session.

Slight sidebar.

Nothing says starting a busy week at work and internship better than getting up extra early to go to school to get that one piece of paper that the supervisor has to sign so that I can be registered for another class this fall semester.

And I went back to school after meeting with my supervisor to make sure it was filed correctly before I went into work and did my full shift.

Yeah.

Like that.

Anyway.

We were talking about communication and how a client communicates with us and my supervisor quoted Lacan to me.

It just about fell off the couch.

My supervisor quoted, “every time we speak we communicate less than we want and more than we know.”

Holy shit.

Story of my life.

I had never heard that before and it resonated with me on a very deep level.

I am communicating all the time and most of the time I’m not saying what I want.

I have spent years, decades probably, trying to say what I want and so often I am not getting it all out.

I am afraid to say what I want for fear of not getting it, so I’m not going to ask.

That, however, presumes that the person whom I’m engaged with can read my mind and well, that maybe magical thinking, but it’s certainly not logical thinking.

No one can read my mind.

And yet.

There are clues.

There are clues in my voice, in my body, in the way I respond to someone.

It’s pretty obvious if I don’t like you and I want to say it’s very obvious if I do.

There are grey areas and I have found that when I don’t like someone it often times has to do with seeing some characteristic in the person which reminds me of something I don’t like about myself.

Which, I just realized, makes me realize what I do like about myself when I think about people in my life whom I do like, they must represent parts of me that I like.

I have smart, capable, hard-working, brilliant, funny, loving friends.

I must have some of those qualities myself or I wouldn’t be involved with such high-caliber people.

I just wouldn’t.

Like attracts like.

So I was happy, so happy, to get to hear this woman tonight who has what I want and is smart and busy and educated, grateful and full of solution.

I’ll take some of that please.

And then happily pass it on.

That’s what I do best.

Share my experience, strength and hope with another person so that they may do the same and the learning deepens and the love grows and my life expands and grows and it is extraordinary.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I also have an awesome job.

It was so good to see the family I work for today, I missed them and was grateful that everyone was feeling much better.

I got lots and lots and lots of hugs and I got lots of compliments on the food I cooked and loads of snuggles and it just filled me right up.

So much love.

I am loved.

And I get to love right back.

It’s a pretty amazing job.

So.

Yeah.

Radiant.

Full of light.

Oft times full of bullshit too and perhaps a touch of crazy, but for the most part, I really do feel the grace rather than the drama.

Grace over drama is one of my favorite acronyms for God.

Great out doors is another.

And.

Good orderly direction.

There’s a few more, but those are my tops.

I feel grace.

I feel full of grace.

I feel graced.

And am.

I’ve not been dropped.

I have just been carried somewhere unexpected.

It’s so lovely I don’t always know what to do with it.

But.

I am happy.

And that, in the end, is all that matters.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

No One Is Reading

June 12, 2017

Two days in a row.

Not a single hit to the blog.

Wow.

Taking it off social media certainly did the trick and since I will be starting with two new clients this upcoming week I am grateful that I have cleaned things out.

I also winnowed out a lot of other “friends” on facecrack and my social media has come down to me checking into restaurants and yoga.

Yeah.

I did another day of yoga today.

I wasn’t planning on it, although I knew it was an option, I sort of played today by ear.

I didn’t want to stress myself out but I also wanted to make sure that I was prepped for the upcoming week since it will be long and busy and full.

I had a speaking engagement this morning so I got up early on my Sunday and did my morning routine and wrote a bunch and then headed to the Mission.

Sometimes I miss the Mission.

I will have nostalgia for it, especially when the Outer Sunset gets socked in with fog, but this morning I didn’t have that much nostalgia and by the time I was done with my engagement I was really quite happy to get out of the fray and head back out to the ocean.

I could actually feel it in my body when I crested the hill that starts the downward roll to the sea and I could see the ocean and it just soothed me and I felt calm and nurtured and happy to be heading home and not have a lot of responsibility to the day.

I met with a new lady I just started working with and we did some reading and talked, a lot, there was lots of talking and it was good.

It is so good to be able to pass on what I have been given so freely and for it to be accepted so open armed.

I just felt blessed and grateful and by the time she had left I was ready to do the first round of food prep.

I made a shredded chicken hash with Andouille sausage, corn, carmelized onions, and crimini mushrooms.

Instead of potatoes I used brown rice.

No peppers though, peppers give me indigestion.

Which always bums me out.

I have super fond memories of my mom’s stuffed bell peppers from when I was a kid and I crave them once in a while, but all peppers, especially the green ones, tend to give me acid indigestion.

Anyway, so I cooked and had a nice lunch.

And.

Well.

It’s my fathers birthday today and I decided to call him.

Except that the call didn’t go through and the phone isn’t set up to receive voicemail and I took that as a sign, it wasn’t time to talk to my father.

But I could wish him a happy birthday from my heart and remember the last time I saw him and how his skin felt so warm against my lips when I kissed his cheek goodbye.

I hope you’re well papa.

Always, I hope this for you.

I settled my heart and decided to get out of the house and do a little self-care and get a manicure.

I had already done a great big cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming and dusting as well as laundry and putting my kitchen back together once I knew for certain the paint had dried on the cupboards, so I wasn’t slacking in the doing things department.

But.

I figure I’m going to either need to take good nail care maintenance for myself or get a manicure once a week rather than the every other I have been doing.

I want to show up well-groomed for my clients.

I want to be a demonstration of good self-care.

So.

I went up to the Inner Sunset and got the nails did and then I scooted over to Noriega Produce on Noriega and 46th and picked up a few last-minute groceries to have at the house.

And then back home to unpack, fold laundry, and figure out if I was going to the restorative yoga class or not.

I decided to go.

And.

It was so good.

So stretchy and relaxing and I just felt held and coddled and like I was taking super good care of my body and I could feel where I had worked my muscles this past week with all the yoga I had done.

I wish I could go more often, but I’m always down to take advantage of the studio when I can get into a class.

Next week I’ll probably only be able to go on Saturday and Sunday.

Maybe only Sunday.

So getting it in this week was good for me.

It was also super dreamy.

I was in deep revery the majority of the time.

I felt wrapped up in golden sunshine and I went to the meadow.

There is a place, I don’t know how or where it comes from, but I get the image off and on when I am in a certain kind of open body space in yoga class.

I remember the first time I had it and it was with a specific teacher and it happened during a certain time in class and it was accompanied by a bit of music that I never did find out who the artist was, but it was bluesy folk and guitar and achy and melancholic and sweet and reminded me of high mountain meadows and tall grass and long-stemmed wild flowers and I just spun out tonight in the meadow and danced and I was accompanied.

I have never been met there before.

I remember once being in that same space and it was beautiful and I saw myself as myself now holding the hand of a younger woman who held the hand of a younger girl and we walked towards a woman, who was I also, long flowing grey hair and I saw myself.

Girl.

Maid.

Woman.

Crone.

And I was awed by the beauty and the image.

But.

Also sad.

There was no one but I in the meadow and it seemed that I was waiting.

There was a fire to be lit.

Enchantments and witchery and strawberry full moon light and warm night air and yes, bonfires.

Dancing.

And I was met and I saw a long line of faces and stories and I danced and was held and turned and it was extraordinary.

I won’t analyze for you what I saw.

I just had a dream.

On a golden lit early Sunday evening in the Outer Sunset.

I drifted off, buoyant and aglow.

Wrapped in soft butter cream light and warmth.

So much warmth.

As though cocooned in a silk hammock on a summer day nestled into the strong arms of another.

Swaying in the wind.

A swooning melting and then.

Softly the bells chimed pulling back to earth and back to hearth and back home.

To the smell of dinner.

Chicken roasting in the oven and the warm embrace of my clean sweet space.

Happy Sunday.

Sweet dreams.

Good rest.

And.

Godspeed into this hazy night of dreams and revery.

Unexpected Days Off

June 8, 2017

I had today off and as of an hour and a half ago, I will have tomorrow off too.

My employers are all very sick.

Sad face.

But.

I am super grateful, wildly grateful, that they told me not to come in.

Flu with severe vomiting is not my gig.

Although I had a friend joke that it would be a great way to work on my abs.

Nah, I’ll pass.

I went to yoga instead.

In fact, holy shit, I can go tomorrow too, I am going to go see about signing up for a morning class.

Hang on I’ll be right back.

Nice!

I got into a 10a.m. class.

I went to a 9:30 a.m. this morning.

The instructor spoke about setting an intention.

Mine was loving self-care.

I did pretty well.

I went to yoga, did my laundry, had a super hot shower, had a fantastic breakfast and a big latte, did lots of writing and then made some phone calls to folks and did some check ins.

I talked with a friend for an hour on the phone.

God damn that was good.

When was the last time I had the time to take an hour-long phone call in the middle of the day?

I cannot remember.

It was delicious.

I went grocery shopping and really loaded up.

I came home and cooked.

I made homemade chicken soup with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, Andouille sausage and the remains of chicken I had made last weekend.  Mixed it up with some brown rice and froze the entire batch of it.

Meals for a week of work and then some.

I also roasted another chicken, because, well, it’s nice to have roast chicken on hand.

I made another pot of brown rice.

It’s the simplest meal to have and super tasty–brown rice with roasted salt and pepper encrusted chicken and tarragon butter.

Yummy.

Then I just stick everything in the fridge so when I get home from work or my internship or doing the deal I just take some olive oil, heat it up in the pan, add some garlic, slice up a few brown mushrooms, add a cup of brown rice and pull chicken off the roast chicken I made and literally in five minutes I have a hot, super tasty meal and I can kick back and write my blog.

I’m also starting to think about some meal prep for Burning Man, I have grabbed a couple of small things–green drink vitamin mix, a couple of containers of unsweetened chocolate almond milk, and I’m starting to stock pile my beverages.

There’s only so much I can get back on my scooter, so every time I go shopping I grab a bottle or two of sparkling beverages I like to have on playa and start sticking them away.

It’s fun to go grocery shopping.

I like food.

I like cooking.

I like making food for people I care about.

There is something so soothing about making a meal for someone you love.

I love cooking for my employers.

I miss cooking for friends like I used to back in Madison, I used to have some seriously ridiculous dinner parties.

Since I abstain from a lot of the foods I used to so gleefully cook, I don’t as often have dinner parties, but folks are often surprised by what I put together and that it tastes pretty damn good.

I don’t keep any sugar or flour in my house, so that may make having a dinner party a bit of a challenge, or that my space is so tiny, but there was once a friend who defaulted her birthday party to my house and I found myself serving up 6 ladies lunch.

Homemade soup, I think.

And cheese and fruit and I don’t recall a single person complaining, in fact, I ran out of food.

It was all eaten.

But.

When I do have access to other ingredients, like when I cook for my employers, I can have such fun.

Anyway.

There was cooking and shopping and I really enjoyed doing that.

Sometimes I can be very domestic.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

I also did some more work cleaning out my social media.

I deleted a bunch more folks off Facebook and I dropped a couple of groups and deleted a blog or two.

I started going over my Facebook page with a fine tooth comb and removed a few things here and there and I have made it through posts up until 2013.

I still have a bit to weed through and this will be my last publicly posted blog.

And I have a little trepidation about even posting this to social media.

I was assigned two more clients.

One of whom I will start with next week, already talked on the phone and set up our initial session.

Tomorrow is my first session with my first client.

I am going to pull all blogs off social media starting around lunch time I think.

I’m going to go to yoga in the morning and do my morning routine and write and check in with my people about a few things and keep my fingers crossed that the rain doesn’t last too long.

Stupid rain.

Oh well.

At least I won’t have to scooter to work in it.

And hopefully it will pass by the time I have to leave to meet with my client.

I will be giving myself loads of time to get there and get myself situated and feel settled in.

I’m excited.

I’m happy that my time has come that the work is going to be used that I get to do this.

I really do feel so honored and grateful.

I feel really happy that I got to do yoga today and that I get to go tomorrow, that I did so much grocery shopping and cooking and just loving on myself.

I need to take good care of myself so that I may in turn, do the same for others.

And.

Be a model for what that looks like.

Oh.

I know.

I won’t always succeed.

But today.

Well, today I did good.

Yes.

I fucking did.

 

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

The Not A Date

May 29, 2017

Date.

I mean.

Fuck.

I thought it was a date.

But.

In the end it just seemed to be hanging out as friends.

Note to self.

Clarify.

44 fucking years old and still learning how to communicate.

Ah well.

I had a nice time going to the Summer of Love exhibit and my friend was a good friend, just not the experience I thought I was having.

I didn’t have expectations about it, in fact, when he’d asked me out I was surprised, but I had said yes, trying to keep my word, promising that I would date, I would try.

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of dating.

I don’t want to do it.

And yet.

Here I am trying.

Frustrated pacing the walls of my head, the walls of my room, and just trying each moment to be as honest and upfront as I can.

I can’t have what I want.

I get what I need.

Isn’t that the trope?

Learning, always this learning, this experiencing and I’m not mad or curious or, what resigned, resigned isn’t the right word either.

Acceptance tastes like it.

Humility, most likely that, a tasty snack, a tidbit of humility, mmmm, here, wait, have another helping.

I made my friend feel bad, well, take that back, I’m not that powerful, I can’t claim to be responsible for anyone’s feelings, but I was surprised at the laissez-faire approach to us hanging out together, which clued me into it not being a date.

I expected to be picked up at noon.

I was picked up at 1:45p.m.

UGH.

I have a life, I have things to do, I am important, don’t you know who I am, I don’t want to go on this date.

Oh.

Hahahahhaahahahahahaha.

Joke’s on you lady.

It’s not a date.

My brain.

Oh how it likes to tell me some stories.

I have another “date” tomorrow, but let me tell you, I bet it’s just to have coffee and go do the deal.

It’s not a date either.

Clarity.

I have to ask for clarity.

I have to know that I am beautiful and worthy, that my time is valuable, that I am worth making the attempt for.

I fucking deserve to be courted.

I mean.

That’s what I believe, but maybe that’s a fallacy too, an expectation that I am to be pursued in a certain way by a certain type of man, it just doesn’t seem, after many years of trying to figure this out, ahhaha, ugh, I have not done it any favors, my romantic state or lack there of.

I am still just bumble fucking along.

I get to change.

That’s the only thing I can do.

I can change.

Or not.

I mean.

What is wrong with my life?

Do I need to be in a romantic relationship?

Throat strangles with sadness writing last line, note to self, write about that tomorrow morning.

Fuck.

I wrote a lot this morning.

Eight pages?

Yes.

Eight.

Just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Had a nice breakfast, drank some good coffee, wrote, and waited for the date not date to show up.

And the thing that happened is that I got work done that I needed to do.

So.

A gift, the tardiness of another, my powerlessness over others and their actions held true.

What can I do, how can I use my time and not be mad, not be pissed at my friend who was just taking care of stuff that he had to do.

I set up my voicemail for my internship.

I activated my e-mail account.

I set up my phone line.

I read through the employee hand book.

I discovered I have to also pay to get liability insurance, another unknown out-of-pocket school cost, which makes sense, but was a cost I wasn’t expecting.

Anyway.

I’ll be getting a little bit of money back from the financial aid I applied for, most of it goes to paying for my practicum supervisor, but I’ll get a smidgen that will help with my out-of-pocket therapy costs and this insurance and whatever else comes up.

I still have secrets thoughts and desires about getting out-of-town sometime during the three weeks my family I nanny for will be traveling.

I have a $480 ticket voucher and if I hold steady with my expenditures I might be able to pull off a short vacation, four or five days, somewhere the airlines fly.

I had been thinking San Juan Puerto Rico as a friend does a lot of business there, but I’m not sure I can make Puerto Rico work, maybe.

I don’t know.

I do know I have to use the voucher by October.

I also don’t know when I will get the opportunity outside the three weeks in July.

I guess that’s what bothered me the most.

Having set time aside to go on a date, ok, not a date, I wanted it to go my way, on my schedule, so that I could do all the other things I was going to do, like I totally fucking skipped yoga to get ready.

Note to self.

Don’t do that.

Gratefully.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I’m not working and I will go to yoga in the morning and then to lunch with my person and dump my stupid emotional juju ass baggage about dating and being stupid and annoyed with myself and get it off my chest and then go on another date not date for coffee and laugh at myself.

LOUDLY.

Because I am funny and my little plans and designs get nowhere.

Show up, be of service, stop thinking about myself.

And life will be just fine.

It already is.

I have fucking luxury problems.

Dating is a total luxury problem, I am alive, sober, housed, clothed, fed.

In other words, totally fucking taken care of.

So what?

I have problems in areas I used to never have.

I am lucky.

I am graced.

I am happy, motherfucking free, and joyous.

Most of the time.

And when I am sad or in self-pity or whatever it is, I’m more important than you and your agenda and needs, I see that I am not in humility and gratitude and I can change.

I can awaken.

I can say.

How may I serve, how may I help.

And take the motherfucking focus off myself.

That usually does the trick.

So me and my luxury problems are going to have a nice fucking day tomorrow going to yoga, getting to go to lunch with one of my most loved humans in the entire world, coffee with a friend, a gathering of fellows, some get right with God, and that’s my day.

Or not.

I can’t make plans to save my life.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I certainly don’t.

Obviously.

 

Wanted Woman

May 27, 2017

It’s nice to be wanted.

It really is.

It’s nice to be pursued.

It’s nice to be courted.

But.

To a point.

Today I was asked to nanny by four different people.

Four.

Three separate families apart from the one I work for, and all from the same spot.

I was a little overwhelmed by it, I was also very tentative about saying anything about my availability.

What availability?

I mean.

Yikes.

One mom who asked has asked before and it has always felt a little like I was getting manipulated into doing something even though I was fairly closed mouth about being able to do anything, I also feel like I must be circumspect and respect that the families are all after one thing, that which will work well for them and their children.

And I know from over a decade of being a nanny that it’s hard to find a good fit for your child, I am asked for referrals all the time.

All the time.

It takes a lot of showing up to be good.

And.

I have a lot to give, but let’s be honest.

There is only so much Carmen-nanny to go around.

Word has gotten out that my family will be gone for a few weeks in July and that I might be helping out my previous family.

And it’s true.

My current family will be leaving for a few weeks, but my internship won’t be going anywhere.

And yes.

I did tell my previous family I would love to help them out with a date night, I miss the boys and it would be sweet to have a night with them.

But.

I am in no place to suddenly pick up a lot of hours.

I will say, though, it is flattering.

I also got to see the another family I briefly worked for end of last year and get a lot of hugs and how are you’s and catch up.

Part of me wants to say yes, of course I will help, I love your kids, I like you.

But.

I love me to.

And Carmen has needs.

I want to make sure my needs are getting met before I go off and make promises to help when I will just get resentful.

No.

I don’t want my summer to be a resentful making time.

I would rather do a lot of yoga, hang out with friends, go on dates, get some extra hours in at my internship and maybe take a long weekend somewhere.

Maybe not even all that far away.

Somewhere by the sea.

Somewhere closer by then Paris.

Somewhere I just lay around in a big hotel bed for a weekend.

I still have my flight voucher for $480 to use before October.

And.

I just had a moment today, not a big one, but a kind of soft warning bell, oh hey, don’t forget, you’re also going to Burning Man and I haven’t done any prep around that.

I still need to replace my playa bike.

I need to find a ride there and back as well.

I have some supplies that I need to replace, a battery charged air pump for my blow up mattress, and of course since I’m not working at all this event I will need to probably procure another cooler for a longer run on my food and figure out a shade structure.

I didn’t have a shade structure last year, I figured, four days in and out, I’ll deal, but this year I’ll be there for the full event and I want to be in a nice space for myself.

Also.

Since school starts for me the weekend prior to Burning Man starting, literally my fall school semester will start and I will leave class and head straight to the playa.

That night.

If not that afternoon.

Depending on who I ride with.

Anyone want to give me a ride to Burning Man this year?

Yeah, seriously, hit me up.

I suppose I will put my name on the ride share board again and see if that pans anything out.

I don’t have to know all the details yet, but there’s planning that needs to be done for that and May is almost over, June will be really rolling into being at my internship and taking clients and July, the family is gone for three weeks.

That three weeks feels like the golden times.

I could not work at all.

I am getting paid for the time the family is away.

I could just do my internship and hide from all forms of nannying.

I don’t want to let myself get bogged down in helping out too many people.

Even if all I do is yoga and take long walks on the beach, just some good solid self-care.

Ah.

I am done with the worrying.

Tomorrow has a lot going on and I want to get up early and go to yoga, stretch out as much as possible and get in my body, meeting with my person at Tart to Tart, grocery shopping–the cupboards are pretty bare, and a dentist appointment to deal with before I try to figure out what July looks like.

I have today.

I got through the week, the jet lag seems to have faded off.

I got to see some friends and fellows tonight.

I had a great day at work.

I was pursued and though I couldn’t respond in the manner that was being asked after, I gave no promises as to my availability, only confirmed that the family will be out for a few weeks in July, I could thank those that asked after me.

And.

I can appreciate that I am appreciated.

That people want me to work for them.

That I am wanted is a gift.

A gift that I do not take lightly.

So with much gratitude.

I bid adieu to Friday and hello to my three-day weekend!

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

No, Not Yet

May 25, 2017

I’m not ready.

And.

It doesn’t matter.

Because.

Tomorrow I start my internship.

Fuck me.

I am still jet lagged, I still keep waking up too early and then rolling around in bed in a half dream state, fantasies and revery keeping me company, but not compelling rest.

So, I got up, sprung up, got ready to go, cleaned my house, striped the bed, washed everything, sheets, pillowcases, duvet cover, swept the floors, swiffered the fuck out of everything, dusted, tidied, wrote, had coffee and still had time before heading to work.

When I got to work I had a full tilt boogie sort of day and I utterly forgot that I had agreed to stay an hour later.

Ugh.

Four o’clock the jet lag hit, would be 1 a.m. in Paris, makes total sense, and I have another coffee and rally and do the nanny dance and I am helpful, but my God, tired.

I had so hoped to be out of it at this point.

I am making myself stay up a little later tonight, even though I am tired, to balance myself back out.

I wasn’t incompacitated, I was just softly out of it.

I got home later than I wanted threw a half assed dinner together as I didn’t have enough time to really heat up the dinner I had planned, and ran back out the door to my Wednesday night commitment.

In between all the coming and going and work and doing the deal I checked my e-mail, maybe mid to late afternoon, I had my phone all day, but not much access to it, I had the baby a lot today at work and the mom worked from home today, then the 7-year-old and the four-year old and the cooking dinner (brown butter poached chicken breasts with tarragon and herbe de Provence, pan sauteed asparagus and zucchini with roasted garlic, quinoa fusili with parmesan and olive oil, baby spinach and strawberry salad with red wine balsamic and crushed almonds) and helping put the kids to bed and nighttime routine and story time and toothbrushing and snuggles and hugs and wait, didn’t I have a big important e-mail to look at?

I did.

And I just can’t even process the e-mail.

I have to be at work early tomorrow.

ARGH.

I can’t hate on it though, the mom gave me Monday off to recuperate and I just get to suck it up and show up and it will be ok.

I just start my internship tomorrow and that was what the e-mail was about.

My key codes, my telephone extension, my keys, my e-mail address.

Holy shit.

People.

I have an office, a key card, key codes, keys, e-mail address.

I am going to be seeing clients.

In my own office.

Starting tomorrow.

Ok.

That’s not true, tomorrow I start, but I won’t have a client, I will have a training and a sit down and a schedule that will be mapped out.

I glanced at the e-mail, I couldn’t give it my full attention at work, there was too much to do, and I didn’t have time to look at it in between getting home from work, throwing some food in my mouth and hustling back out the door.

I just know the gist of it, a new e-mail for clients to get a hold of me, a phone number and extension to my office, that I will get a set of keys and a key card to get into the building.

I will sit down with my supervisor a half hour after I get done with work and hash out my training schedule and when I will start seeing clients.

I know that next Saturday, not this Saturday, I have it off, thank God, I will start my group supervision training although I don’t know exactly what it will entail.

Originally my supervisor broke it down like this: M, TU, 6:30-9p.m. Thurs, Frid, 6:30-9pm. Saturday 2pm-7pm.  I am hoping, however, to get out of Saturdays a little earlier than 7p.m.  Either that or start a little earlier.

I will be switching up my work hours soon too, the kids will be finishing up school in two weeks.

I will start going in earlier and I will work an extra hour, so I will be fully 40 hours instead of the 35 I am now.

And.

Breathe.

And focus on this moment.

I am listening to The Orb.

I am drinking hot Bengal Spice tea.

My house is clean and I get to crawl into fresh sheets.

There is nothing like getting completely naked and slipping into clean, soft, cotton sheets.

Exquisite.

Fresh sheets always make my gratitude list.

I have my candles lit.

There is just this moment, this now, there is nothing wrong, nowhere to go.

Well.

In the next hour I will be going to bed.

But.

I have done all that I possibly could today and I won’t beat myself up for not being able to look at all the details in the three big welcome abroad e-mails I got from my internship.

I will review them in the morning when I have my breakfast and coffee.

After I good full night sleep.

I feel easier for just having written all this out and for knowing that I made it through today and that as long as I take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time, doing the best I can in each moment, then I am taken care of.

I always have been.

God has not brought me this far to be dropped on my ass now.

Suit up.

Show up.

And it will all be fine.

And I have a nice weekend planned.

I’ll do the deal, meet with my people, hang with friends, go to yoga, go to the DeYoung on Sunday and catch the Summer of Love exhibit.

And now.

A spot more tea.

A bit more music.

A winding down.

Brush my teeth, wash my face, tell myself a sweet bedtime story about love and wrap my arms above my head, close my eyes, face in the soft pillow, head turned towards where the moon will set in the morning.

Good night.

Sweetest dreams my friends.

Sweetest dreams.


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