Posts Tagged ‘self-sabbotage’

Carmen, Be Yourself

November 19, 2014

He leaned into whisper in my ear.

We both had some moisture in our eyes, kindness will do that to a person.

At least to this person.

I was thinking about that as I flew through the park on my bicycle this evening coming home from the Mission, the cool air rolling over my body, the press of the black sky a velvet glove stroking my face, the trees full of the sound of water and the stars beckoning over head, drawing me down to the ocean’s edge.

My heart felt wide open to this pressing of sky, standing still, though moving fast.

That has what this past few days has been for me.

High speed.

Then standing still.

Letting myself be seen and not stepping away from it.

It is far harder than I suspected, this letting of self out, despite fleeting stupid thoughts that I know aren’t really mine, but just seeds of discontent trying to get themselves sowed.

Or sabotage.

Which is more like it.

I am not running away from my situation.

I am standing still.

I am letting myself be approached and known.

It feels like my heart is a big tent that I have staked out under that blanket of stars, I watch comets streak by and planets revolve in the sky, I see the crush of the heavens above and feel the absolute wonder of it all.

I have been seeing how much I want to move out of the direct line of sight, even though I write about wanting to be my authentic self, there is a great deal at stake, or so it feels, when I do that.

Not for anyone else, but for my concept of myself.

I talk the talk.


How do I walk the walk?

When someone says that I am beautiful or loved do I accept the person and the compliment?

Of course I do.

However, the voice in the head says, lose that five pounds, or those flowers in your hair, too much.

Despite being told by men and women that when I allow myself to be authentically me, they are attracted to me.

It frees up others to be themselves too.

I know this is a service.

I know that I do it.

I know, because I have been told so by people who know better than I do how to tell the truth.

But it is there, the thoughts and the conversations don’t serve me, those doubts are not flattering, are not complimentary, are not of service.

So I ground myself.

I reach out to help some one else.

I take some rebar out of my back pocket and I stake down the corner of the tent and say I will stand here on this threshold with everything that I am and let you see me.

I raise my head.

I toss my hair off my face and I let you see me naked.

Flaws and imperfections.

Perfect and human.

This past few days that is what I feel like.

Very, very human.

Not unique at all.

In fact, I find myself doing, saying, and feeling things that I really thought would only be said, done, or felt in a movie.

It’s my story, but not the story line that I thought it would be.

It is better and scary and smashing and wonderful and intense and scary and oh, look, here’s some vulnerability.


She’ll do it to you.

I practiced the principle of love today.

After receiving the beautiful little pendant from my friend yesterday I resolved that today I would love as best as I could, as hard as I could.

I wore it all day long and would occasionally touch it and feel again that vulnerability that I was allowing myself to express and be.



When I was with the youngest boy today he had a small tantrum about something trivial and lost it and when he was done I asked if he wanted a story and some milk and he crawled into my lap and cuddled with me and I hug him with everything I had, without squishing him, mind you, and said, “I love you.”

He wrapped his small arms around me and butted his head under my chin, “love you too, Carmen.”

“Just be yourself, Carmen.”

I don’t have to be anyone else.

I get to be silly and sweet and glittery and I don’t have to change that one iota.

No matter what is happening in my life.

I used to think that be a messy emotional person was a weakness.

I learned the opposite is true, being open, being raw, letting people see the double chin in profile, who cares, if there is love shining in your eyes.

I felt the love today.

The Japanese sugar maples on the block I work on flaming their way through November, the neighbor stringing Christmas lights and admonishing me to make sure I come by and see them.

The Thanksgiving invitation from the family I work for, though I now have plans that I wasn’t expecting, to eat with them on their holiday.

The gifts I have received over the past week, the coffee mug from Kauai, the necklace from Wisconsin, the book from my dear friend in the Mission, a ride to the grocery store and back this weekend, a movie, a meal at Thai Cottage, all so lovely that I want to give it back twice as strong and as hard.

I just remind myself that when I feel naked and seen that I am clothed in more power than I can imagine, that the universe is behind me and I am lit in love, clothed in it and the imperfections and foibles, make the perfection that much more apparent.

Standing still as I am may be the hardest thing I have ever done.

But should I move.

It is not to run away.

But to move toward.

More and more.


The Week In Review

November 3, 2014

“Oh my gosh, I so relate to that,” she said, “I self-sabotage all the time.”


And then.

“Oh, I won’t date a woman who blogs,” said a friend today that I ended up hanging out on the beach with this afternoon, “too many people seeing my foibles, all one-sided, nope, I couldn’t do it.”

“You need to stop writing about dating.”

And I wonder.

Maybe I do.

It may be time to stop the self-sabotage, to not air the laundry, clean, dirty, or otherwise.

“You can write about me all you want,” my friend told me last night as we sipped lemon ginger tea and got caught up on each other’s lives–he’s back from the radical sabbatical and it was good, very good, to see him.

It’s hard to watch friends through struggles and he has been there for me through a lot of them.

There is a lot I don’t blog about, I think, I do keep some things, lots of things, to myself, for myself, by myself.

I could write all about my friend, but it is not my place, so perhaps, yes, I should not be writing about the dating too.

Not that I had a date today to write about.

I spent the day having Sunday service down by the sea.

It was so beautiful out today and I had a new white dress to wear.

I woke up earlier than I should have, all things considered, even with it being Daylight Savings time, I still was up late last night.

However, the sun was up and it was all blue skies and the brain started up and I just decided to get up and brave the day.

Even without having a thing planned, which can at times cause a kind of frantic feeling in me, I have a hard time sitting still and I have spent much of this past year trying to find that balance of not working too much and getting in some fun and some relaxation time to, because, ultimately, it does make me such a better worker and person in the end if I do.

Breakfast, coffee, hair in braids, new dress, flip-flops (which made me smile a bit, it’s November 2nd and I am in flip-flops), write for a while, sit for a while.

I went out into the back yard and sat in the big white Adirondack chair and the sun beamed benevolent and warm and the birds rustled over head, ravens, and songbirds chattered, gulls squawked, the ocean surf rumbled, and once in a while the N-Judah would grumble past.

I sat soaking in the warmth and the love and I got quiet.

The frazzle and dazzle of the week siphoned through me and I was still.

I realized I did a few things this week that I could regroup around and rethink, especially in regards to self-care, late nights, some really late nights for me, both Friday and Saturday, with early wake ups and no naps, a few nights when I did not get to my blog, which is like its own version of sunshine for me, I need to do it, it feeds the art monster in me, drinking an energy drink on Friday.


I know, I am so subversive, drinking a caffeine bomb.

However, it’s true, I don’t really drink them, I don’t do artificial sweeteners, I don’t chew gum, I don’t drink diet sodas, so what was I doing drinking a sugar-free Rockstar on Friday?

I knew, even as I said yes, I should have been saying no, or at least, yes, I’ll have a water, thank you.

But I did it anyway.  I want to keep up with the cool kids you know.

Then again.

I also did some spectacular self-care for me–went and got the mammogram done, which I was dreading and it wasn’t so bad, did grocery shopping, sent my mom a birthday card and got her birthday present, I need to drop it in the mail tomorrow.  Called mom, I try to call my mom on Sundays, it still amazes me that we have re-established a relationship, I feel ridiculously blessed by it.

I bought myself a new dress, I don’t clothes shop well, so this was really big self-care and as I took it out of my bag last night to hang in the closet my friend made a comment and I said, “I don’t even know why I bought it, I have no idea where I am going to wear it.”

“You’ll figure it out.”

And of course.

I did.

To the beach, to the beach, to the beachy, peachy keen, lovely beach, that place wild and wooly right out my back yard, just blocks away.

I packed a lunch up for myself–large kale salad with 1/2 an heirloom tomato, broccoli, carrots, 1/2 an organic Hass avocado, kalamata olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Bragg’s amino’s, 1/2 a tart apple, two hard-boiled eggs, and of course the ubiquitous persimmon (they won’t be in season much longer so I have stacks of them in my kitchen), a bottle of water, a blanket from the housemate, my camera, and off to the beach I went.

I climbed up and over the dune at the edge of Great Highway and Judah and walked down toward the sea.

I found my spot.

Spread out the blanket.

Sat down and breathed deeply all things good and salty and sea.

I felt it all loosen in me, the sun warmed me, I felt doused in love and light and I unpacked my lunch and ate it under bright cerulean skies, laughing at the confused sea-gull who was watching close by and was none to happy when after much patience he finally scavenged something from my lunch–the persimmon top, and disgusted with his findings, flapped off  in a huff to better pickings.

Beach Picnic






I took some photos and called a friend.

Who, as luck would have it, is it odd or is it God?

Was right down the beach at Noriega and Great Highway.

He made his way to me and we sat and talked about shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings, dating, family, recovery, Ocean Beach, life, travel, work.

It was so good.

He gave me some lovely perspective and I felt unburdened and lucky and blessed to again, come back to this simple, sweet, serene life I lead.

My Sunday sabbatical complete I was able to come back to the house, write some more, meet with a lady, do some reading, eat a wonderful dinner, sit in the last of the sun and drink copious amounts of cinnamon tea.

I downloaded my photographs and felt that despite a rather tumultuous week–all in my head, mind you–I had gotten what I needed and relaxed here, finally, at the end of the week, the edge of the world, down by the sea.


Sunshine Day Dream

Right exactly where I am supposed to be.

%d bloggers like this: