Posts Tagged ‘serenity’

Little Gold Star

January 20, 2019

Today I got my 14th star tattoo.

14 stars.

14 years of being sober.

I decided I need to give myself a gold star.

It’s been that kind of year.

When I reflected on all the things that I went through and all the places I’ve been, I think that I definitely earned it.

This past year I traveled to DC, New York, Paris, and Marseilles.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology.

I went through a buy out and moved.

That was some serious stress let me tell you.

I also started a private practice therapy business.

And.

A PhD program.

I also got my grades back from said program.

All “A”s.

ALL.

I was a little surprised to tell you the truth, I had an issue with a final paper I turned in for one of my classes and I didn’t think it was going to fly, the paper, that is–I digressed from the specific instructions the professor gave and did rather what I wanted to do.  It was the only paper for the class, although there were so many discussion posts that I feel like I actually wrote seven papers for the class, and I ran a huge risk doing it.

The risk paid off.

So, yeah, a gold star felt really appropriate.

2019-01-19 20.54.20-2

Yes.

It did hurt.

And it felt really right and I was, obviously, very happy with it.

Not only was I pleased with it, but it filled out the space perfect.  I am very satisfied with the way all my tattoos look and really have little desire to put anything else in that area.

Not sure where I’ll put the 15th, but let’s just let me focus on the 14th star.

It really was quite a year.

I walked through some really challenging things and came out the other side.

I reflected on a lot of that today as I went about my day.

I saw clients at my office, did lots of writing, read for one of my upcoming classes for this next semester (school starts next Thursday!), went to Let it Bleed on Polk Street, got an iced coffee for a treat, walked around the Tenderloin and took graffiti photographs, caught up with my friend DannyBoy at the shop, took myself out to lunch in Hayes Valley, had a coffee with a friend in the Mission at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine, went to Divisadero and got my nails done, and then hit my Saturday night commitment and did the deal.

It was a day.

I’m really happy with my life right now.

Oh, sure, romantically it’s strange, but you know, that will work itself out.

Or not.

I have ceased (fighting anyone or anything) trying to figure it out.

I’m just showing up every day and taking care of myself and I feel really good about what I did today for myself and my own care.

I also thought a lot about what I want to bring forward for this next year.

Get through the next semester of classes, add clients into my private practice, travel.

I also want to get through the Below Market Housing Homeowners workshop.

I really am going to go after buying a house in San Francisco.

My friend whom I met for coffee happens to be a realtor and we spent an hour going over what I need to do to get myself in line to actually do that.

She gave me a good idea of how much money I will need to have saved up, which will take some time (or not, who knows, money may fall out of the sky) to save, but I can do it.

Plus that I should get a credit card.

Which I’m not super stoked on the idea.

I had one that I’d gotten last year and then never used as it made me uncomfortable.

But.

My friend insisted I was really going to need a credit history that showed me paying off a card.

She said get one, pay it off every month and always pay more than the minimum payment.

If I do get another card, and that’s an if, I will definitely not let a balance roll over.

I just do not like the idea of having any credit card debt.

I do, however, like the idea of having a good credit score and something that shows I am a good risk for a home loan.

I shall take it under advisement.

I actually tried to re-open the credit card I had closed but I could not figure out how to do it and just sort of set it aside tonight when I got home.

I feel like I did a lot today just by sitting down and talking about it.

I will manifest a house in San Francisco.

See if I don’t.

In the mean time there is plenty of other things for me to do.

I do want to keep a soft focus on it though, always have it in my mind and see where I can expand my awareness of abundance.

I am continuing to practice that opening up to the universe, to the flow, to God, to abundance, I have continued to give away a little more than I typically do.

More tip in the tip jar, more money in the basket, continuing to pay my bills within 24 hours of getting them.

And!

Oh my gosh, this is definitely part of the gold star, I got approved to become an employee at my internship.

Which means that I will start bringing in more money.

I am so psyched about that.

I’m excited for this year.

I feel like all sorts of incredible things are going to happen.

I really do.

Faith.

I like that.

Faith, abundance, joy, honesty, integrity, serenity.

Words to live by.

Principles to underpin my gold star.

And!

Love.

Let me not forget that one.

Never forget that.

Seriously.

 

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Sold!

July 11, 2018

And bye-bye scooter.

I am no longer the scooter queen.

I took my scooter down to Scooter Centre today and sold her.

I knew once I had found out that they would sell used scooters that it was what I wanted to do.

No more mucking around with craigslist.

Then only inquiry I received via craigslist was actually someone trying to sell me a service.

No thanks.

This was just so much easier and I knew I didn’t have time to mess around with showing it off, talking about it, dicking around, making extra time for people to test drive it.

Nope.

I just wanted to turn over the keys and let it go.

Which is what I did.

We negotiated a price and I signed off the paperwork, the owner of the shop cut me a check and I was out the door.

I celebrated by depositing the check and taking myself out for a poke bowl for lunch.

Love some nice ahi tuna.

Especially on a warm day.

I decided to enjoy said warm day and I had packed up a book and a magazine that I planned on enjoying reading in the park that is close to my internship rather than taking a car share home and picking up my car.

I walked from Mission and 10th to Folsom and 14th, swung into Rainbow Foods, picked up some cherries and a Rau raw chocolate drink and meandered to the park.

I sat in the sun.

I read for two hours.

It was brilliant.

So to the sunburn on my feet.

Ugh.

I mean.

I wore sunblock everywhere else today but I did not think about the tops of my exposed feet.

Oops.

Oh well.

It was worth it.

To sit quietly.

To reflect.

Today was a super big day.

A lot of emotions.

A lot of movement through them.

Acceptance.

Sadness.

Joy.

Love.

So many things washing over me.

With big transitions thrown in.

Like.

The supervisor I want to work with underneath the umbrella of Grateful Heart Therapy replied back.

With a resounding yes!

Yes!

Yes!

She was super happy to work with me regarding supervision and she’s got the full supervisory accreditation completed.

All she has to do is some paperwork with the non-profit and she can supervise me and they can pay me out and do all the taxes and book-keeping for her.

Win freaking win!

And!

Oh the best, the best, the best!

She does have office space available for rent.

And she will rent to me!

So I have an office.

And.

Yes.

I received back the second letter of recommendation for the internship.

So, office secured, supervisor secured, letters of recommendation secured, updated resume.

All I have to do is fill out the rest of the application and submit it by August 11th.

I plan on having it done before I leave for Paris.

I want to be free and clear to enjoy my trip and leave everything in San Francisco for a while and give it all some breathing room.

Space.

Like the new space I will be moving into.

It’s officially unofficial.

I am moving out.

I accepted the terms of the buyout negotiations that I have been in with my landlady.

The paperwork is being drawn up and I will be signing it before I leave for Paris.

I am not quite ready to splash it about social media yet.

Until the paperwork is signed and I have the buyout money in my account it seems foolish to plaster it all over the place.

Suffice to say.

I am actively looking.

I messaged about a place earlier today while I was waiting for my office to open up at my current internship.

The one I had previously applied to turned out to be a scam.

If the price seems too good there’s probably a reason.

Not going to wire money anywhere before I see the place.

Anyway.

I am looking.

You know of something you let me know.

I have some buffer time, I don’t have to leap at the first thing that lands in my lap.

I can take some time to make sure wherever I go next is a good fit.

But.

Yeah.

I will be out by November 1st.

That’s the end date of my being here in my little studio by the sea.

I came home tonight and thanked her, my little spot, for all the lovely time I have had here.

I really am grateful for the five years I have gotten to spend here.

I have a few more months.

I don’t think anything will happen before I leave for Paris, aside from signing the paperwork and closing up the deal, but should it happen I would be happy to move on out when I get back.

Having space to do so is big.

It means I can be flexible, if someone says something great is opening up but not for a couple of months, I’m ok.

I am ok.

I keep reminding myself that.

It’s been a super stressful experience and the amount of anxiety and fear I have walked through is tremendous.

I am proud of myself for doing the work.

It was hard.

And I am very grateful to all the friends who I went to with questions, concerns, fears.

The shoulders I literally cried on.

I cried a lot this last month and a half.

It’s no joke out there.

I am hopeful though that the right place will come now that the wheels are in motion.

I doubt very much that I will need until November.

But.

If I do.

It’s ok.

I’m covered.

Taken care of.

Held.

Carried.

I always have been.

Even when I refused to see it.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Happy

May 26, 2018

It struck me as I was folding clothes and looking at my nice clean studio.

I’m happy.

I’m really happy.

My Master’s program is complete and I have graduated.

I made it through the week unscathed.

I had a light client load.

Two cancellations tonight meant I got to go to the Inner Sunset and do the deal and run into folks I haven’t seen in a while and get my head on straight.

My boss gave me flowers for all the extra help I did this week.

And honestly, it didn’t feel like it was all that extra, but I do not mind at all being appreciated.

I love flowers.

I wrote out thank you notes to the folks that gave me graduation presents and stuck them in the mail.

I did laundry.

I went grocery shopping.

I signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

I have plans to hang out with my best friend this weekend.

Life is really good.

I feel so content right now.

Very full of gratitude.

I even have a course of action for the reflux.

I went to the GI this week to do a follow-up with him from the endoscopy I had last week, as well as the results from the swallow test and the Ph wire test.

Never, ever, ever want to do that wire test again.

NEVER.

Gah.

It was bad.

Anyway.

Yes, I have reflux, but not apparently as bad as I think it is, I know that sounds weird, but the levels of reflux the test came back with were low.

I don’t have ulcers.

I don’t have cancer.

I didn’t have any damage to my esophagus.

I have a small hiatal hernia, which can cause some reflux.

But.

What the GI told me was that he suspects I got an infection months ago that damaged the nerves in my esophagus.

So a course of medication has been prescribed and I take three of the tiniest pills I have ever seen at night before bed as they may cause drowsiness.

I checked and double checked that the pills were non-habit forming or narcotic, and got great big negatives to the question.

They will, however, take some time to kick in.

And get this.

It’s an anti-depressant!

How freaking weird is that?

However, the dosage I’m taking is super small, wouldn’t affect mood at the dose I’m taking it and it isn’t very often used any more for depression as there are apparently more medications out there that work better.

But.

It also happens to work on the reflux.

According to Wikipedia: Desipramine at very low doses is also used to help reduce the pain associated with functional dyspepsia.

Reflux, ulcers, gastroenteritis.

Which is what the GI said I had, there was evidence of gastroenteritis from the endoscopy, infection of the stomach, symptoms are flu-like, including diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal pain.

I know exactly when this happened.

It caught me way off guard and I had woken up in the middle of the night with a fever, cramps, bad, bad, bad diarrhea, I was hot and cold and it was horrendous.

I thought I had food poisoning.

It might have been, but this makes more sense.

Especially since the reflux seemed to kick in a little after that incident.

Anyway.

The GI said what happens is the nerves in the esophagus get damaged and then everything is more sensitive.

So.

The low dosage of Desipramine is supposed to lessen the pain and also help the nerves regenerate and heal.

Fingers crossed.

I so much want to be back to normal.

I have had light reflux the last few days, but nothing full-blown.

I have a touch right now.

But I am hopeful that it will pass.

I have signed up for a yoga class tomorrow morning and also one for Sunday morning.

I am ready to get back into it.

Albeit nervous.

It’s been a couple of months and my attendance prior to that was thin as I was so busy with school and any time I had bad reflux I was skipping.

I am hopeful that this solution will work out and that I will feel better.

I am super freaking grateful that there was no damage to my esophagus, no cancer, no ulcers.

I have faith that my body will repair and regenerate.

And I also hope that after a three-month course of the medication I can be clear of it.

I am a touch leery of some of the side affects, which seem to be mostly from using it in much higher doses for depression, but still, I don’t like taking stuff, it makes me a little nervous.

Then again.

I have hated being in the pain I have been in.

I’m very grateful to have addressed it and thankful that there is something that I can do.

So all in all.

Content.

Serene.

And yes.

Happy.

Even joyous.

And most definitely.

Free.

 

Found Love Sonnet

August 18, 2017

This knowing, this love, love a binding

Force that restores my heart, an ache

Of time.  Deep, rich, like caramel and salt endings.

Also. Beginnings.  Substance in the wake

Of self-conceived drought.  A manna

From Heaven unexpected in its intensity.

The serenity of desire, the Eros, an honor

To know, a respite, the dreaming vivacity–

A brightness, a land mine painted blue

Electric this lusting becoming something more,

Greater an unexpected bequeathment, raw and true.

Fire in the gulch, timelessness no longer abhors

Me.  Rather, finds me safe, sound, mourning dove restored.

Completed.   Tethered to you and thus secured, a love moored.

It’s Official!

February 7, 2017

Hi Carmen,
It is my pleasure to officially offer you an internship at the Liberation Institute. It was wonderful meeting with you and I’ve no doubt that you’d be a great addition to our therapeutic community.
Next steps:
We need you to reply with one of the following answers:
– Yes, I officially accept! 

or

– No, I officially decline.

or

– I need more time to decide.

Please let me know if you’ll be joining us!
If you have questions or concerns, just let me know.
Thanks!
What do you think I said?
Ha.
Of course.
I said yes.
I said I “officially accept!”
And I did.
And it’s official.
I’m an intern.
Holy shit.
So nice to have this part of the journey out-of-the-way, I was much more anxious about it than I needed to be, so much more anxious, and for naught, it worked out perfect.
It was on God’s time.
Not mine.
In fact.
I hadn’t even had the Liberation Institute on my radar, I was going to go work for UCSF or one of the CIIS sites.
I had my plans.
God chuckled, and said, hey, what about over here?
I said, nah, I’ve got this.
Then I realized, as I do so often, that no, in fact, I do not have this and yes, actually, the Liberation Institute is indeed the place where I am supposed to be.
How may I fit myself to be of maximum service to my fellows?
And there it was.
After I responded yes and then text my two besties in the program and sharing the news, and yes, I did, I called my mom.
It’s nice to call your mom with the big news.
We had a good catch up chat and she asked when I was going to be graduating and I said May of 2018 and she’s going to come out and see me get my Masters degree.
I was so touched by that.
And grateful.
Then I got another message from my new supervisor, saying, “hooray!  Welcome aboard Carmen.”
How nice to have someone excited to work with me.
My supervisor outlined what I need to do next, basically get paperwork through my school and I’ll be able to attend to that this up coming weekend when I am in school for the second weekend of the semester.
I’ll pick up the paper work and then I’ll meet with my supervisor in March to do the next part.
And I will also do my interview of him for my Community Mental Health class at that time.
Yes, I will.
Two birds, one stone.
It feels really so nice to be here, to be taking these next steps.
I know there is still so much more work to do, but this just feels so good, so right, so affirming to have this happen, and I’ve been assured by many in my cohort that of course it was going to happen, but still.
When it does.
Oh.
That is a damn nice feeling.
Yes, yes it is.
And it was really swell, yeah, I said swell, to also relay the news to my employer who was happy for me and also relieved, even if she didn’t express that as much as the happy, that I won’t have to change-up my hours, that I will be with them, that we are on the same page, that I can do the internship and still be their nanny.
Yup.
The grad school nanny.
Not a role I ever thought I would be in.
Not a hat I thought I would wear.
But I’ll wear it.
Jaunty and slightly askew.
Rakish like.
Happy to be in said position.
I got such nice compliments from the mom today too, about how nice it was to come home and not have to make dinner and that they really liked my food so much and, well, that too makes me happy.
I do so enjoy cooking for others.
I made them two kinds of pasta tonight.
One a fusilli with fresh pesto.
And.
Spaghetti with meat sauce and herbed tomatoes.
Lots of fresh grated parmesan and a happy clan of people.
I was let go a few minutes early and hopped out the door and was able to catch my 6:30 pm regular get together and see some folks there.
I was invited to fellowship and I ended up going.
And then.
I ended up bailing.
I love my people.
But I can’t eat at Pasquale’s.
It’s all pizza and pasta and as I started to get a little panicky about eating and making something work when I had planned on eating at home and so I bounced.
I felt a little bad, but not too much.
Sometimes I need company.
And sometimes I just have to eat my own food.
I’ll make up for it this week.
I promise.
I have dinner plans to meet with my person tomorrow after work, so that will do as a start.
It was really nice to check in with him today and tick off the things that I had done, taking his suggestions around some stuff that came up for me yesterday, relating that I had put my big girl pants on and made an appointment at the dentist.
Yes.
An internship and an appointment to go to the dentist.
Adulting all over the place.
I also shared that I had gotten the news about the internship.
It was nice to share the news.
I mean, I had known, the interview went so well, but until one gets the official letter, well, it wasn’t official.
Now it is.
I really am so pleased.
Life continues to open up and bloom and it’s such a gift to be witnessing it.
I hadn’t expected to be on this path and I am blown away again and again at how right it is, how it feels to pursue, how competent I feel in moving forward and how humbled that yes, after all, I am supposed to help people.
That my main talent is to be a helper.
First and foremost.
To myself.
But then for so many others.
I am thrilled.
And.
Honored.
I am.
Grateful.
I am.
Graced.
I am.
All the things.

Well, That Was No Fun

October 28, 2016

I knew, sort of, but not really, that I might be courting disaster by making the decision I made this morning.

And I made it anyway.

The good news is that I did not get hurt.

But man.

It was an uncomfortable ride home.

I decided to not take my scooter in to work.

I had planned on taking MUNI.

Then.

I don’t know what happened, but I got a wild hair up my ass and decided I was going to take my one speed.

Now.

I love my bicycle and its true I have done tons of wet weather riding in San Francisco.

However.

It’s been a minute since I’ve done any commuting on it and I was seriously regretting it as I sloshed through puddles and got soaked, seriously drowned rat soaked on my way home tonight.

The one upside is that I stripped down completely, threw all my clothes in the wash–prompting an early start to the weekend laundry and also giving the excuse to crawl into my pajamas and put on my very cozy bunny slippers.

I mean a wet, rainy ride home in the rain should be rewarded with fluffy bunny slippers.

Just sayin’.

I’m glad I did it, the bike ride in was actually really nice.

I had forgotten how much I love the smell of clover blooming in Kezar Triangle or the smell of the eucalyptus in the Pan Handle.

So good.

It was also a nice ride as I made it in before the rain began to fall.

I even popped over to Valencia Cyclery and got a detachable fender for the rainy ride home.

And it fell off.

I don’t even know where.

But it fell off and I got drenched.

Soaked.

I was wearing a rain jacket so my body was dry, just from the waist down got wet.

Anyhow.

I won’t be doing that again.

Sometimes memory can play tricks on me.

Like.

Oh, it’s not that bad, riding in the rain, at night, in San Francisco, where I swear people lose their minds when it rains and they drive.

I don’t understand it.

Especially since I learned how to drive in Wisconsin, meaning ice, snow, sleet, horrible driving conditions, I know it’s a little challenging when the weather changes, but it’s crazy out there.

Tomorrow I’ll take the MUNI train in, good old N-Judah line.

It’ll be too long, which is what prompted me to do the bicycle today too, it just takes such a long time to get to work on the train–it’s triple to quadruple the time it takes in comparison to my scooter and about twice as long as me riding in on my bike.

I have a thing for efficiency and using my time well.

I just didn’t want to waste time today.

And.

I needed the exercise, let me also put that out there.

I sort of fell off the beam with the yoga and I haven’t been in about two months.

Well.

Maybe not quite that long, but a month and a half?

Yeah.

That seems about right.

And I will get revved up and say to myself, tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll go back to the studio and I just can’t get my ass to do it.

I have been praying for willingness, I have put that shit in my God box, I have told my people, both of whom were like, girl get yourself back into that.

I know.

I know.

I am being stubborn.

I’m holding a lot of excess emotions and it’s not fun.

I need to exercise, I’m an active person and when I transitioned from riding my bicycle 15 miles a day five days a week to riding my scooter almost every day, well, the yoga was a huge deal.

I also.

Fuck I don’t want to say it, but it’s on my mind.

I’ve gained a few pounds.

Not a lot.

I’d say three to five pounds.

So either I start working out again or I have to cut down on my food intake.

I don’t eat sugar or flour, I don’t eat processed foods, I don’t eat nut butters, I don’t eat white potatoes, very infrequently do I eat any kind of potato.

I eat hella healthy, but I like to have a snack at night and since I stopped riding my bike and doing the yoga I really don’t need it, but the habit, is well, a habit.

I’ve been telling myself for the last couple of weeks, the snack has to go and/or you have to go back to yoga.

Ugh.

I hate this stuff.

I feel like I am always working to maintain and sometimes I have to work harder to maintain than the majority of people I interact with.

Then I think.

Compare and despair.

And I think about how much work I have done, which shows me that I am capable of doing it now.

I just don’t want to.

Yet.

When I think of all the things I “don’t want to do” and that I do them anyway as they are good for me, I realize again that I don’t know what’s best for me.

I have the feeling I will get back on the mat and I will cry my eyes out.

It’s been leaking out.

I cried a bit today.

Earlier this morning.

When I met with my person tonight at Church Street Cafe.

Now.

I’m just grieving some more.

And it comes and goes and I get angry and then that too passes and I’m just sorrowful.

I am not wallowing in it, which is good, I just don’t want to feel it either.

Yoga breaks me down and gives me access to a lot of those emotions and also it allows me to let go of things that aren’t mine to carry too.

Sometimes I will carry other people’s stuff without even realizing it.

I’m feeling it in my body, there’s stuff there that’s not mine, doesn’t actually matter whose stuff it is, just that it’s not mine, and I need to work it out of my system.

Riding my bicycle today helped with that.

Also talking to my person.

“Girl, get back to yoga, you need to get your ya ya’s out, you have too much energy,” he concluded, looking at me from under the brim of his yellow slicker.

“I know,” I said and ducked my head down, damn you tears.

It was just the rain on my face, I swear.

And I do know.

And when I write it down here, things change, I change.

It’s a step in the direction I need to more towards.

I don’t know that I’ll get my ass in tomorrow.

But I’m going to shoot for Saturday.

My favorite teacher is there and though he has a challenging class, he also has a kind heart and I know he’ll just be happy to see me there again.

He always is.

So.

There.

Committed.

You read it here first.

Yoga.

9 a.m. Saturday.

It’s a date.

 

Balance

January 28, 2016

I didn’t have it this morning.

I recognized that pretty much after telling God to fuck off in my morning prayers.

God can take it.

God’s a good bitch like that.

I was mad.

I have been annoyed and I didn’t even realize it until I was kneeling next to my freshly made bed, with my freshly shaved and showered self, my wild mane of curly “bronde” hair and my attitude, which, was yes, bigger than my hair.

I was hearing my Applied Spirituality professor’s voice in my head.

And it just popped out.

“Fuck you.”

Then.

I felt the fear and it was a surprise, I mean, I didn’t honestly realize that I was this afraid of this class, that I am holding on this tightly to my routine.

I wrote some inventory after I finished my breakfast.

God.

It really works.

Amazing.

How it works.

Once again it boils down to a fear of not having enough time and also that if I monkey with something that has worked so well for me for the last 11 years that I may not have the next 11 years.

Which is just bullshit and distracting and I can’t tell what’s going to happen in the next 11 days, let alone years.

Fuck.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 11 minutes.

Things.

They could switch on a dime.

The thing is I am able to roll with it.

But mess with my morning routine and I get a bit fractious.

Suggest that you want me to implement on a daily basis something that requires a half hour more of my day and I am all up in arms.

All up in that shit.

So I wrote it down and got it off my chest and made a phone call and told on myself and then got to focus on being of service where I was off to next.

Work.

And I did.

I did a good job at work, I had fun with the boys, I got to go outside and be in the sun.

Oh, delicious sunshine, how I have missed you.

I took the boys out to the grand re-opening of Dolores Park.

It was something else.

And I’m not talking about the flood of Millenials with their sacks of burritos and sandwiches from Rhea and the hipsters with their micro-brewed six packs, the bike messengers with their Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Or the floods of pot smoke.

Jesus.

I suppose the park was officially christened with weed when it gets right down to it.

No, what I’m talking about is the park.

The glorious, full tilt boogie that is Dolores Park at its delirious best.

The grass was green, the sun shone benevolently, it’s a week day and the opening of the park, but it wasn’t obscenely packed.

It will be.

It looks so nice.

I am so grateful I got to be around to see it re-open.

The renovation has been a long one, and it reminded me of the first time I saw the park and dreams I would have of it, flying, I remember a flying dream I had about Dolores Park back in 2001 before I moved here to the city I had visited–the park made an impression.

I got to review the last 13 1/2 years that I have lived in San Francisco.

“Where are you from?” The driver asked me yesterday.

I internally sighed, not interested in having this conversation, but I’ll play along.

To a point.

“Here,” I said bluntly.

“Oh, well, you know, your name,” the driver tried.

I decided I would help a little, but I wasn’t going to go into the whole saga, the moving from here to there, the growing up in Wisconsin, the no I don’t speak Spanish conversation.

“I was born in San Jose,” I said.

I had a sudden realization of not having to be wrapped up in my own story.

It’s just a story after all.

The only reason it’s special is because it’s mine.

All stories ares special, I just know the details to mine rather well, it’s familiar you could say.

What is not familiar is this feeling of balance and serenity that has come from doing so much work and also from being able to acknowledge and recognize my feelings a lot faster.

The faster I notice that I am out of whack.

The faster I can get back on the beam.

I am a sensitive lady.

I used to think that I had a really high threshold for pain and that this was something to be proud of.

Not so much.

I don’t need to suffer.

The more I allow my feelings, the less I suffer, and that less I actually attach true meaning to them.

Feelings are valid, but feelings aren’t facts.

Plus feelings are super transient.

They come and go.

And I can hold more than one at a time.

That was a revelation when I realized it was ok to be happy when I was sad.

That it wasn’t all so black and white.

Lovely little shades of grey, nuances of emotions.

I have a palette.

I also have a memory and I realized that I was probably also a little extra sensitive when I got teary reading some inspirational quote on my Facecrack feed.

I went back and re-read it to get the full gist and a tear actually did fall.

Oh.

Fuck.

I’m getting my period.

I haven’t ovulated yet, but it’s getting ready.

Which would also explain the super sensitive nose I had yesterday.

My sense of smell goes through the roof when I am close to my period.

I think my body is busy sniffing out a male with some juice to get busy with, that’s the instinctual thing I think, pheromones and what have you.

I may be 43, but the body is still not done with that part.

Yet.

I figure I am almost close to that chapter ending too, but who knows.

Not here to think about that.

Grateful for self-awareness and self-acceptance.

And.

Spiritual solutions.

To my.

Applied Spirituality class.

I get to remind myself.

God’s plan is better than mine.

Just get out the way, Martines.

God wants better for you than you want for yourself.

Drop the rock.

And open your arms to the flowers being held out to you instead.

I like flowers.

 

Bulldoze My Heart

October 13, 2015

Ugh.

Sometimes meeting your person means don’t wear the eyeliner.

Although it was not as messy as I feared when I got home and wiped down my face.

“Girl, you can’t just achievement bulldoze your way through all your feelings.”

Well damn it man, I”m gonna try.

It doesn’t serve me very well and when I was induced to sit down and have a full hour check in I just about passed out from relief.

“We are not reading tonight,” he took one look at me, “sit down, check in, that’s all we’re going to do.”

And he took the book off the table and put it back in his bag.

I got my check in.

I can’t remember the last time I just got an hour to talk all about me.

Of course there were tears.

There usually are when things are not going the way I planned.

Funny thing that.

Plans.

Sometimes I don’t even know I have them and then, bang!

Plans.

And disappointment.

And assessing.

And realizing.

All is good.

I just had an angle on things, thought I had things “figured” out, and well, I don’t.

It’s ok.

It’s how it is and it just means continuing to keep the focus on me, what I need, how I need to be in this world and when I obviously need to slow down, sit down, pray, meditate, take it easy, and relax.

Relax.

Bah.

What is that?

I have sonnets to write.

(Only two left!  I wrote another this morning and I am really happy how it came out, although, for a minute it was like pulling teeth.  Then I found the right word for the rhyme scheme and it flowed delicious and easy.)

Text books to read.

Thanks.

But screw the relaxing.

“Since I have been working with you, you’ve been on this achievement track, and although it serves to a certain point, it’s not serving you now.”

God damn it man.

I looked over the table at him and the tears leaked out of the sides of my eyes.

“I’m afraid if I stop I’ll die,” I whispered.

It’s true.

I’m like a shark, I have to be in constant motion or I’ll sink.

There is no one to catch me.

That’s a fallacy, but it’s where the brain goes.

I do have a net.

I do have a community.

I have nothing to be in fear of.

Slight anxiety about getting all the reading done for the next weekend of classes, not withstanding, I don’t have much to be worried about.

My rent is paid.

I just paid my phone bill.

I am in graduate school.

My job is stable and in fact, I’ll have a couple of extra hours on the next paycheck–which is nice since it negates the small one I got last Friday (every third one is going to be smaller I remind myself, they are shorter weeks when I am in school and I navigated that reality yesterday when I did my spending plan for October.  Grateful that there is an extra week in October for getting a paycheck, that will help lots).

I have lots of friends.

I even have a friend who I was dating who is now a friend again.

Le sigh.

We had a great, sweet, open-hearted conversation last night and it’s back to being non-physically intimate.

At least for right now.

Which is fine.

It’s what has to happen and I have no expectations of when or if or whatever it will happen again.

He is a dear man, he is my friend, I don’t see him being less in my life, just not physically available.

I have a wonderful friend.

So lucky to be loving you, my friend, so lucky.

Relationships are amazing, communication is extraordinary, and I feel lucky to have had so many great friends in my life.

I checked in with one of them today and we had a really good catch up, I so wish she was in the city, but like so many of my friends, she’s been priced out of living in San Francisco.

I’m lucky to still be here.

Now I just need to learn, yet again, how to relax and enjoy it.

So lucky that I don’t have to navigate my own brain by myself, I get so lost in all the dishonesty and crazy that my brain shovels out.

I got a lot of perspective this evening and when I was told to go home and take it easy, I decided to do just that.

I lit my candles, I put some Chet Baker on the stereo.

Why is it that a soft brush on the top of drum kit can soothe me so fast, the cool moan of a coronet, or the fingering of the ivories makes me just mellow out?

I do not know where or how I came to appreciate jazz, but my God, I am so glad I did.

Next up, perhaps some Art Tatum.

Jazz piano.

Yum.

I digress.

I had my feels about my friend.

I had my feels about my job.

It was a little weird today, the schedule thrown off with the holiday, but the boys were so, so, so sweet with me, and goofy and happy to see me and I them.

I got the best good night hugs tonight too, so much goodness.

We also got outside this afternoon and went hiking with mom and the pup up around McClaren Park.

It’s been years since i have been to McClaren.

It’s just off my radar, not really a good park to bicycle to, at least not on a one speed.

But I realized I hadn’t been to McClaren since I had house sat for an old friend who used to live by the park, 8 years ago.

So strange to realize there are parts of this city that I have not been to in that long, or really, to be honest, parts of the city that I have never been to at all.  I’m still often a tourist in my own city.

Thirteen years in and still grateful to be living here.

A decade of doing the deal.

Eight years of serenity, mostly.

And a few doing that other thing I do as well, no sugar, no flour.

When I take them out and lay them on the table and see the history of my life and my recovery I am overwhelmed with what I have.

My heart opens and it’s in the opening that I realize, once again, how much emotion is there and how sometimes just feeling all of them is overwhelming.

No wonder I want to go fast.

No wonder I feel constant need to strive.

The busier I am, the less I will feel, and the more I think I am in control.

But.

As is evidenced in my daily day-to-day.

I have no control.

I am powerless over everything.

And.

Everyone.

Surrender.

That’s the best I can do.

And perhaps a little more sitting still.

Just a little.

Inbound to Richmond District

May 4, 2015

You got to love NextBus.

I don’t often ride the MUNI trains or the bus, but when I do, this is the best app ever.

EVER.

I can sit in my house, noodle around, and when I have about three minutes, maybe four, if I’m feeling anxious, walk out the door, walk to the end of the block, and voila!

Bus arriving.

So nice.

Remember when you just sat and waited?

Forever.

It would say bus every ten to fifteen minutes in the schedule, but it was 49 minutes later and you’ve seen 18 buses headed the other direction and yet, here you are, alone, cold, shivering in the fog, waiting for the fucking bus to come.

Not waiting for Godot.

No never.

Waiting for the 22.

Or the infamous 24.

Or the 33.

Oh how I have waited for the buses.

Today, I just scrolled my finger on my phone, popped open the app and saw when the next one was coming and even better.

The app also has the time that the bus behind it is coming.

Brilliant.

Therefore allowing me time to do what ever I need to do at the house before leaving the house.

I got up early and got my errands, chores, and laundry on.

I still got a good night’s sleep, just a touch over eight hours, and I took a friend’s suggestion and silenced my phone last night.

I will forget and be pinged awake at all hours of the night, texts from my sister in Florida, which is three, no, four hours ahead, at 6:30 a.m.; messages from friends, Twitter alerts, Facebook messages, all manner of social media pings and beeps and boops.

Plus, of course the occasional text and what have you.

It’s nice on one hand to be in the mix.

But sometimes I don’t want to know who has like my Instagram feed.

I want to sleep.

It is with that in mind that I also do not look at my phone, I am not always successful, or respond to messages until after I have done my morning routine.

I can’t flip on my phone and lie in bed and scroll the internet universe.

I will be a grumpy toad before even having tossed aside the sheets.

I love my world, I love my friends, I love, love, love that I am in contact with so many of them through so many different places.

Case in point: having a conversation on the ride back from North Berkeley with my friend about not having a ticket, yet, to Burning Man, this conversation happened about oh, 24 hours ago, slightly less.  Fast forward to a few minutes ago when I saw a post on a private Facebook page for a group I belong to for a camp at Burning Man that I have dear friends camping at.  The post featured a link to another post saying, hey friends, I have two tickets, who wants them?

I see lots of people want them.

Lots.

However, I look closer, oh!!

It’s my good friend from my first year at the burn when I camped with Camp Stella and he gave me my first playa name: Ophelia and has a photo of me hanging in his office from the dust storm I fell asleep in (I got covered in dust, head to toe, had my hands crossed over my chest and was wearing a tutu, face mask, bandana, and goggles, I looked dead).

I have to hook my friends up!

I message both, get a text from both, exchange phone numbers and they just got off the phone with each other and my friend who didn’t have a ticket.

Well.

Now he does!

Fabulous.

It can happen like that.

Sometimes, though, I do need to slow down, take it easy, turn off the technology and rest.

It helps me get clear with the things I do need to do and a lot of that has to do with taking extremely good care of myself.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, composting, taking out the trash, meeting with the ladies and doing the deal.

I had two ladies back to back from noon to 2p.m.

But before that.

I did all of those things above.

Plus my own writing and having a nice breakfast (hot oatmeal with diced pear and blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, raw cocoa, one organic hard-boiled egg, lots of coffee w/unsweetened vanilla almond milk) of my own.

Then later after my last lady bug had left.

I got to have lunch from what I had cooked earlier, dinner too, and I had time to do a field trip.

So.

I opened my NextBus app and saw when the 18 was heading my way.

Richmond bound.

Legion of Honor.

That’s right.

I finally got myself in to see the Brooklyn Museum’s Costume Collection: High Style.

Oh my.

It was so good.

I got all sorts of art high.

House of Worth, Roger Worth evening dresses.

Edward Molyneux evening dresses.

Vionnet.

Givenchy.

Dior.

Yves St. Laurent.

Charles James and the muslims for his ball gowns, breath-taking.

Steven Arpad, for Delman, Inc evening shoes.

Elsa Schiaparelli butterfly day dress and parasol.

I’ll take two please!

Oh fashion, how I do love you.

Plus, you know, the normal galleries with their Monet’s and Pissarro’s, the Rodin sculptures everywhere, the Renoir’s and Manet’s (I like the Impressionists a bit you could say), it was just scrumptious.

The museum was a bit busy, there was also a concert happening–an organ concert by David Hegarty–which I thought about staying for, but it was standing room only and it felt nicer to just wander through the galleries with the sound of the Skinner Organ drifting around me.

I’m ever so grateful for all the tech that this world has, I mean, I am writing a blog and posting it online and sending it out into the inter webs, but I am also a Mensch for the classic, time-worn, much beloved wander through a museum, sit on a bench and listen to an organ concert, admire art, slow and delicious, taking the bus and not riding my bike willy nilly though the park and over the hills.

I believe this is what’s called balance.

Serenity.

It’s a nice place to be in my life.

More please.

Another Day

June 21, 2014

Another bag of peas.

Actually, it’s the same bag of peas, constantly recycled back to the freezer to get good and cold again.

Peas porridge hot.

Peas porridge cold.

Peas porridge in a pot.

Nine days old.

Some like it hot.

Some like it cold.

Some like it in the freezer.

Fourteen more days to go.

Ugh.

Midway between crazy and crazier.

But grateful for the care and support I have been getting.

So many wonderful folks who have helped with the group funding–people I barely know, to people I love and respect and know well, to anonymous donors, so much help–so much so that my rent is nearly covered.

That’s what the amount was for–rent, phone, utilities, and the gentleman who set it up added a little extra to cover the costs of the platform.

Today he asked me if he could swing by and have a cup of tea with me this weekend.

“You’ve got some awesome friends, and clearly lead an interesting life, I’ve gotten responses from Paris, from Iceland, wow!”

Then he said I would like to find out more about you, let’s hang out.

And it’s not in a seedy kind of way.

He’s gay, folks, and older.

Not that either of those things have stopped me in the past.

Ahem.

However, he’s just being of service.

To the point that he has also asked me to keep him anonymous, except for a few close friends who helped him organize the funding site, I have told no one.

It’s not my place, and again, I am so glad I am not doing it, I would muck it up, or make it out to be something more, or less than it is.

I explained to a lovely lady who was here this afternoon doing some work with me that I can’t even go on the site, it makes me feel crazy and uncomfortable–clear signs that it is the right thing to be doing–and that it is still hard to accept that so many people want to help.

I really am so blessed.

The least I can do is entertain my support network with a cup of tea and tell him of hijinks in the desert, Burning Man, or on the Continent, Paris, London, Rome, or just about Wisconsin, which is another world in and of itself.

“Let me know what you can do, or can’t do, if you can walk, or if you have any interest in doing, this, this, or this,” my best friend said in a voicemail to me.

My fervent hope is that I will be out of the boot, and though not running, I will be mobile and able to walk without it.

I am looking forward to seeing my friend and her family and having some Wisconsin summer, although, the weather here has been pretty lovely, truth be told, night-time in the Midwest is an amazing experience.

As long as I can out run the mosquitoes, I should be alright.

And of course everything she said sounded fantastic, mostly just because I will get to hang out with her, wherever we go, whether it is to traipse, slowly, about the Twin Cities, or it’s a trip up to her family cabin on Mud Lake.

Or Lake 19 or 7 or what ever lake number it is.

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes.

Wisconsin is home to 15,000.

So, yeah, lots of bodies of water.

I wouldn’t mind going for a dip.

I don’t believe I will be pulling out my butterfly stroke, too much effort involved in the dolphin kicking, believe me, but I wouldn’t mind a lazy float in the water, that would be spectacular.

And silly as it sounds.

I am looking forward to Hudson, Booster Days.

Carnival.

I can get behind that.

Fireworks, Midway rides, Tilt-a-Whirl, the smell of popcorn and cotton candy, the lights, the Zipper, and most important of all small town carnivals, the ferris wheel.

I’d like a ride on a ferris wheel, in the warm summer night with the Midway lights below flashing and the air busking me with kisses, the smells, buttery, salty, hot, sweet billowing underneath the carriage, the wheel of love spinning against the horizon.

Something beyond romance in the archetypical wheel at the carnival, a kind of Americana mythic symbol all of its own.

I also never, my one regret, really, did go on the gigantic ferris wheel at the end of the Tuileries in Paris, by Place de la Concord.

I wanted to go, but I wanted to go during the summer and with someone, you know, not alone, not by myself.

There goes that old romantic fantasy again.

Sigh.

She still pops her head up now and again, and you know, darling girl, Paris, well she’s not going anywhere and we can go back, ok.

Ah.

Well.

Paris is another day-dream, another time.

For the being, time being, I am here, in San Francisco, getting very intimate with my room, with the back porch, with the sounds of the birds at different times of the day and the ocean.

How during the day I don’t hear it, but now and again, and then as the light fades, the traffic slows, the time between MUNI trains barreling down Judah eases up, I suddenly hear it more and more, until the whole studio seems engulfed in the thrush of sound and I am swaddled in the waves.

Sound waves.

During the day it is the warm sun that draw me to it and at night it is the cool rushing sound that assures me that every thing is fine, easy does it lady, you’re taken care of.

“Now that your rent is being taken care of,” she said to me, mocking with love, “what do you have to worry about, quick let’s manufacture something!”

Exactly.

There is nothing to worry about.

There is nowhere to go.

That might be the most exciting trip indeed.

Not to the playa.

Not to Paris.

Not to LA, Rome, or London.

But inside.

Inside to that cool, calm place of serenity that beckons with the lush seductions of ocean waves and steadfast compassion.

Sigh.

That’s the real journey.

The one to the interior.

My own little heart of lightness.

 


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