Posts Tagged ‘sober’

Not Sure Where to Begin

April 30, 2019

But apparently I’m ready for dating.

I wasn’t expecting that when I told my therapist last Tuesday about some recent experiences doing inventory work.

Man.

I did some self-searching, some fearless and deep, and thoughtful, insightful thinking and writing.

I saw my patterns.

Especially my patterns around dating.

My ex fell into my patterns and completely obliterated them too.

He was much more than just another guy.

He broke the pattern.

He didn’t break me.

Although he did absolutely break my heart.

I seem, however, to be healing and the writing helps.

And the longer days of sunshine help and being busy as fuck wrapping up this semester of school certainly keeps my brain occupied.

My brain would like to create some trouble.

Like, Friday night coming home after work and seeing therapy clients it starts telling me this story about this place I used to go to on Friday nights.

Our Lady of Safeway.

This church on Church Street and Market.

I spent many, many, many Friday nights in that church.

It is in fact where I met my ex.

Oh how he used to shine at me.

Still makes me quiver thinking about that.

Sometimes the thoughts slip in and I don’t try too hard to keep them at bay.

Sometimes they are just sweet and sad and nostalgic, I find myself thinking about him as I fall asleep, the first time he said he loved me, the first time he brought me flowers after he had said he loved me, his face over the bouquet of flowers, so open and vulnerable and full of love, his eyes.

Oof.

Yeah, I might be getting through all of this but I’m still not over you lover.

And that’s ok.

I have given up on trying to be over you.

And as I mentioned, apparently I might be ready to date.

It just sort of popped out in my therapy session last week, all about seeing the patterns and seeing where I need to look at myself and what I want.

I have some very specific needs and wants and really being open and honest about them to myself.

As I expressed all of it my therapist stopped me and said, “wait, are you saying you’re ready to date?!”

“Yes!” I said without a pause and holy shit, I felt it, I am ready to date.

Oh.

I suppose.

A little weirded out by it too.

I basically haven’t dated in two years and over these last two years there were more than a few moments of me thinking, this is it he’s the love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend, he’s going to be the one, I don’t have to think about dating again or finding love.

I had found it.

But.

Well.

Though the love didn’t leave me, he did.

And that was his choice and I won’t disparage him for it.

So now I have to get the fuck on with my life.

To that end.

I wrote up my sexual ideal and really dug into it, basically coming up with a three page essay on what I am looking for in a partner, mate, boyfriend.

I really want a monogamous, committed, romantic, sober, non-smoking relationship.

And yeah, three other pages of things.

I read them out loud in my parked car on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Noe Street this past Saturday night to my person after we had done the deal up in Potrero Hill.

He then suggested I go home and read it out loud in first person.

See what I had to grow towards.

And the really awesome thing, I already have the majority of qualities I’m looking for in a partner.

I’m quite happy about that.

The surprise that came up for me is that I want to cohabitate with a partner.

I haven’t lived with a boyfriend in, wait for it, twenty years.

I’m ready to live with someone again.

Yeah.

I also had hopes that the person I was going to be living with was my ex, but that was just fantasy, wasn’t it.

Everything was just fantasy, beautiful, romantic, lovely, fantasy.

Exquisite in the night, sweeping, and intoxicating, but in reality, the light of day, it fell short and left me with such a hurting heart all the time.

I want reality now.

I am ready for that.

And I’m not expecting a Knight on a white horse, I’ve never needed a man to rescue me, but I do want a partner to compliment me.

Someone to travel with!

My person really made a point of that, “I see you going to Paris and staying in that gorgeous apartment in the Marais with a boyfriend,” he told me after I had finished reading out my ideal.

Me too!

I booked it thinking about how romantic it was and yeah, I certainly have some big high hopes that I will be traveling with a partner this Christmas.

My birthday and Christmas in the City of Lights with my boyfriend.

I know it’s a little early to ask for a Christmas present, but well, when you know you know.

I can’t quite envision it, but I can feel it.

And I have done so much work.

God, I have worked through so much grief over this break up, I could use a break.

So.

Yeah.

Hey God, it’s me.

I’m ready to date again.

Really.

Advertisements

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.

 

Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.

You Look Much

December 31, 2017

“Better than when you came in!”

And.

“I remember you from 19th and Dolores, I mean it, you look amazing.”

He said to me with a big grin.

It’s nice to run into folks who remember me from when I first got sober.

I have changed quite a bit.

I mean.

So much.

It’s extraordinary.

Hell, I feel like I’ve changed a bunch in these last four years and certainly since I’ve been in my graduate program with school.

My life really blows my mind at times.

My great job.

My relationships.

My new car.

Um, hello.

I got her washed today.

First of all, fuck, it’s pricey in the city, but oh, man, she looks so pretty when she’s clean and I just know it will keep the life of the car up to take care of it.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go check out the place on Bayshore that you can get a membership to and get unlimited car washes for $29.99 a month.

I paid $33 today at the one on Divisadero.

I got a wash a few weeks back, my last weekend of classes, at the place on Van Ness and that was $30.

The one on Divisadero did a much better job.

However, $33 is a bunch of money.

If I can get unlimited washes at the place on Bayshore for $29.99 a month, I go once and it’s pretty much paid for itself.

It’s a place called Shine-N-Seal.

It’s a bit out of my way, but I was thinking today when I left my group supervision that it’s worth checking out on a day when I’m getting out of group since I’m in the Mission and the Bayshore is not so far away, maybe a ten minute drive.

And after dropping the $33 at the place on Divisadero I’m ready for something a little more economical, especially since I’m realizing how much I really like having my car and I like having her clean.

Like.

A lot.

It’s super nice.

Plus.

Grocery shopping today, being warm, being able to bring more back than when I’m on my scooter, listening to music in the car, I really dig on that.

Anyway.

I have reflected a lot today how good I have it and I’m super grateful for that perspective.

I also got hella sleep today.

I was up for a little while this morning but then decided screw it, back to bed.

I didn’t go to yoga, I have a hard time committing to the instructor for the class I could have gone today, I just do not like his classes and when the option to crawl back into bed was happening, well, I just rolled with it.

I mean.

Fuck.

I felt like a million bucks today.

Super rested.

I got lots of laundry done, all fresh linens on the bed, all my towels done, and a run to the grocery store before I left for supervision.

Which was so chill.

There were only two of us so I got to go over a load of my clients and also check in about some school stuff, intern stuff, applying for my intern number, which will happen after I graduate in May.

Some talk about the PhD program I’m considering going into.

Yeah.

I said that.

I am getting pretty serious about it.

My supervisor at my practicum site told me he would support me through the process, he did the same thing I’m considering, like almost to a “t.”

“Carmen I worked full-time, I ran this place, and I got my PhD at the same time, you can totally do it and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation for the program.”

He went to the same graduate school program that I am in.

He also remembers me from 19th and Dolores.

And basically I got, “baby you’ve come a long way,” in no uncertain terms.

I have done a hell of a lot since getting sober, it is incredible when I think about.

Super grateful.

Over the moon grateful.

Blessed.

Crazy graced.

Lucky as fuck.

I don’t know how else to express it, but that I want to keep doing the deal and staying in the boat and doing the work, man I want to live this life and keep getting to do all sorts of amazing things.

Like get my doctorate in psychology.

Because.

Why the fuck not?

I’m only going to get older.

Plus, I can put off my student loans for a while yet, I have a place to accrue my internship hours, I will go for my MFT license and I will be a licensed MFT with a PhD.

Yes, please.

Today I had a few moments before showing up for group supervision, I went to Gus’s Market and got a salad from the salad bar and some stupid expensive blackberries, but gosh they tasted so nice, and a bottle of bubbly water, because I roll like that, and when I was walking down the hall on the fifth floor to supervision there it was.

“Take a Peek!”

A sign on one of the offices.

Oh yes, yes please.

Let me take a peek.

Look at that.

It was a big office, bigger by far than most of the offices I work in out the building.

I totally took a moment today dream my private office.

The space smelled of fresh paint and had a big window, double the size of most of the offices I am in, and it got sunshine.

I envisioned book shelves and file cabinets and a couch and a therapist chair and a place to have a tea-pot and a little mini fridge and oh, I could put down a nice cozy rug and hang art on the walls.

I just got into it.

It’s years away yet, but it’s not that far down the road.

My own private office, my own private practice.

I’ll be Dr. Martines licensed MFT and psychotherapist.

I’ll set my own hours, so that I can go to yoga in the morning and do the deal whenever I fucking want, I’ll make good money, I will have great health insurance and I will take nice vacations, I’ll have parking in the private garage in the building and live in a home that’s not next to the garage and below a barky dog, oh, man, I can see it.

It’s really not that far off.

It was super sweet to just have that moment in the office and I know that I might not be in that office space, but I will be in one, and I’ll be taken care of as long as I keep doing the things that I need to do to stay in recovery.

My life is fucking amazing.

REALLY.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Taking the Damn Day Off

November 28, 2017

Well.

I’m not sure if I’m going to take the entire day off.

But.

I’m considering it.

My birthday is three weeks from today.

It’s a Monday, so it’s not a night I’d be out swinging a big stick and having a huge party.

But after some discussion with my solo supervisor today, I realized, which I had been feeling in the back of my head and in my heart, that I don’t want to see clients on my birthday.

In fact.

It sounds just atrocious.

Nothing sounds like a bigger bowl of self-pity to me.

I just don’t want to go there, self-pity it’s just not for dessert any more.

I told one of my clients tonight that I would be unavailable and she took it just fine, and I did not disclose it was my birthday, just simply stated I would be out of office.

No freaking big deal.

My other client cancelled tonight.

Because.

Hahahaha.

It’s her birthday.

So.

I will take her cue and not see clients on my special day either.

I’m tempted to take the whole day off, but I’ve not any vacation time left and I think it might actually be sweet to work with my charges that day, my little lady bug turned five yesterday and I got to have a sweet afternoon with her at school pick up and beyond and giving her the birthday present I had gotten her.

She loved it.

We had a tea party and wore princess crowns.

Although she looked at me when and said out of nowhere, “you’re not really a princess,” she cocked her head and paused, then added, “you’re really a queen.”

Oh my god little girl, make my heart just melt.

I must know how to carry a crown!

In fact, ha, I am remembering now what my best friend back in Wisconsin told me once, “You have a really regal way of carrying your face.”

Royalty.

I’ll take it.

Anyway.

I just know that it will better for me to not take clients that night and who knows, maybe take myself out to dinner and a movie or just dinner, it is a Monday night after all, or to the Imperial Day Spa or Kabuki.

Just not to my internship.

I have supervision in the morning, I can’t get out of that, work I’m 50/50 on taking off the day, but the night, damn straight, I’m going to do it.

Nothing about it feels wrong.

What, I realize, was feeling wrong was the idea of seeing clients on my birthday, I’m in an unpaid internship seeing 8 clients a week, it’s ok to take my fucking birthday off.

My clients will live.

And.

I won’t be pissy and sad and in self-pity and be upset with myself.

That might be the best birthday present I can give myself.

Although I could give myself a tattoo.

Heh.

I’m always angling for a little more ink it seems.

I’ll definitely be getting one in January, another birthday, or more of anniversary you could say, I’ll be turning 13 (years sober), so definitely I’ll be adding another star to the entourage I have.

I’ve also been thinking that I would get it as a “Lucky 13” star.

A big star with “Lucky 13” written through it.

Not sure yet, and still plenty of time to figure that out.

But yeah, the birthday in three weeks.

“You’re going to be 45!” She said, to me as she sipped her tea, “I know that because you’re the same age as me except with a four in front of it.”

God I love this little girl.

She is something else.

I’m so lucky to work with this family.

I’ll be renegotiating my contract with them next month as well, signing up for another year with them.

I’m hoping that they will offer me a raise, I’m pretty sure they will, and if not, I’ll negotiate a cost of living wage, which is appropriate for living in San Francisco, that’s for sure.

They are great people to work for and really do appreciate me, I got the nicest text from the mom today after work when I was doing some client advocacy work at my internship.

It’s good to be appreciated.

I do like hearing.

I do not need the validation, I know I do a good job, but it’s still nice to hear, it’s always nice to hear.

It’s like when someone you know loves you says they love you, you know they do, but it feels special anyway, no matter how many times it’s been said before, it’s still sweet to hear.

Oof.

I just got hit witht the tired.

It was a good Monday, especially when I think about how nice it was to celebrate with my charge her birthday, and also to just make it through the beginning of the week.

It’s going to be a big one.

Therapy before work tomorrow, work, two clients in the evening.

Wednesday I just have work, but I’m hoping to get a good chunk  of homework done, I need to finish up the online portion of my Pharmacology and Human Sexuality class done.  I think I can get it done Wednesday between work and my evening commitment.

Thursday is work and two clients in the evening, Friday the same.

Saturday is maybe yoga if my ankle is feeling up to it, and group supervision and homework, I’ve got to start a paper if not get one completely finished.

Because Sunday I’m in dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

The show is one week from tomorrow!

My goodness, it’s sneaking up fast.

Ack.

That reminds me!

I have to ask out of work an hour early next Tuesday so I can be at the show when the producers want us there.

I think I may have figured out what I’m going to wear.

Heh.

Although, damn it, I’m going to have to sneak in a manicure and some eyebrow waxing.

Yikes.

Maybe Sunday in between the dress rehearsal and my last CBT Webinar.

Sigh.

Oh for fuck’s sake, I have a lot to do, not going to think about it anymore tonight.

I did enough for today.

The biggest being the decision to take my birthday night off.

Self-care.

Self-advocacy.

Shit.

I even sound like a therapist.

Ha.

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

No Date For You!

September 5, 2016

No soup either.

I chose a pork chop instead.

I was in the middle of class today and I received a text message from tonight’s date regarding where and when to meet.

Um

Uh oh.

Zeitgeist.

Now.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Zeitgeist, it’s great, lovely picnic tables, outdoor seating, lots of port-a-potties, good location, the Mission and all.

But.

Um.

Yeah.

The last time I was at Zeitgeist I was wasted in the beer garden and well on my way to scoring some blow from my dealer.

I was smoking cigarettes like there was no such thing as lung cancer, or a brighter tomorrow, and over tipping the bartender to over compensate for my lack of self-esteem.

And well.

He was hot, in a beer goggly kind of way.

I haven’t been to Zeitgeist in over a decade.

Seriously.

I am 11.5 years into recovery and I think the last time I was at that bar was a few months before I got sober and put it all down, thank you very much, the dancing on the picnic tables was fun when the weather was warm and the nights were boozy, but no thank you.

But thank you for the offer.

When I responded that Zeitgeist was not an option for me on a first date I got a long, drawn out pause.

I mean.

Let’s get something straight.

If I have a reason to be at a place serving liquor or where there’s drugs and extra curricular activity happening, Burning Man, a concert, a club with a good dj, then I’m all set, I have a reason to be there.

But a date.

Nah.

Meet me at the cafe s’il vous plait.

Bars ain’t no good for me and Zeitgeist doesn’t have any appeal either for music since they don’t do shows there, fuck they don’t need to, they have an outdoor beer garden and you can smoke.

Well, you could the last time I was there, who knows now, regardless, not the place for me.

My potential date quietly and vaguely backed away from the meet up.

I asked for some clarification, not that I gave a shit, you don’t want to hang because I don’t drink, no biggie, you got your heart set on a pitcher of pilsner and a smoke in the beer garden at Zeitgeist on a Labor Day weekend, do it.

He had made a soft ball pitch, underhand, slow pitch, not fast, that maybe he would consider hitting Dolores park.

Which didn’t have much appeal to me, but I could if enticed.

There was no enticement though, again a vague rather back out.

I finished up my day at school.

Hurray for getting through the first weekend intensive of the semester!

And.

I sent a text asking for clarification.

Did he want to meet or not?

The answer was a no.

And like that I was free to go about my day.

We were both congenial in our response and that felt rather adult.

It also reminded me of the things I have been writing about regarding the want to attract an adult male partner.

Sobriety is pretty high on that list, followed closely by not smoking, gainfully employed, self-supporting, age appropriate, local…

I was grateful to turn down the date and be honest about what I want and need.

The first step in manifesting a mate, yeah, I know, hocus pocus, but fuck you, I’m giving it the old college try, all things considered I have manifested stranger–hello three seater Cessna plane ride home from Burning Man this year (you do realize my stuff is still on playa gathering dust as I type), why not a sober mate; is to know what I don’t want.

I don’t want an active drinker, drug user, or cigarette smoker.

I do want someone who is emotionally available, strong, powerful in themselves, aware, intelligent, creative, funny, affectionate, will bring me flowers…

I could go into further detail, but suffice to say, said partner is not going to want to take me to Zeitgeist for my first date.

Nope.

Truth be told, it was nice to have the afternoon to look after myself once school had wrapped up.

I took my time, chatted with a few friends in my cohort–man, I am liking how well I have been getting on with everyone–and slowly took my leave of campus, tucking my books and notebooks into my scooter basket and zoom zipping to the Outer Sunset.

I dropped off my school bag at home and headed back out on my scooter to do some grocery shopping.

I decided to cook myself a nice meal: boneless pork tenderloin pan sauteed in orange and rosemary infused olive oil with tarragon, garlic, sea salt and pepper; accompanied by thinly slice brown butter (ok, ok, it was Earth Balance, but brown butter sounds so much nicer) brussels sprouts, brown mushrooms, and white corn.  I served it over a little bed of brown rice and happily tucked into the deliciousness with some sparkling water.

After that I was a good school girl and read for about an hour and a half.

There is a lot of reading this semester.

A LOT.

And despite wanting to sit it out for a minute, I knew that it would be a better use of my time while I was freshly fed and hydrated and relaxed in my cozy little home, to get in a little reading time.

I do better with retaining the material if I do a half hour to an hour and a half at a time.

More than that and my eyes cross.

I read for a bit over an hour, took a break, then went back and picked up a different book and read for another 30 minutes.

Perfect.

Some hot tea, some blogging, some relaxing.

I’ll watch a little Mr. Robot, have a little snack, a cup of tea, and sleep in tomorrow.

I won’t be setting my alarm for 6:30 a.m.

I will be resting.

I don’t have plans for tomorrow.

Like none.

I suspect I will spend most of my time in the neighborhood.

A walk down to the beach, perhaps.

A long sit in the sun, if the fog lifts, in the back yard.

And.

Yes.

Very likely.

More grad school reading.

But.

Hey.

If you’re a sober male, appropriate age and local.

(non-smoker)

Let me know.

I’m around.

And.

I like coffee.

You?

You Got Some ‘Splain’in

September 3, 2016

To do.

I have not told you guys something!

I’m off Tinder.

Yup.

It’s official.

I cancelled the app and deleted it off my phone.

Now comes the hard part.

The sit and wait part, the let it happen without looking for it part, the re-integration of lost things and places and experiences, the growing up part.

The.

Oh, dare I say it.

The adulting part.

I did some work at Burning Man and not all of it was fluffing, a lot of it was spiritual work, growth, therapeutic work, allowing myself to look at it like a dusty spa of spirituality and a sort of recovery conference in the desert.

I got my God on.

Heck, I even did a shaman journey.

Yeah, I know, shush.

I have been living in California for 14 years, please, it rubs off.

And I was ready for it.

Especially.

When I ran into my friend who was at the first camp I stayed with ten burns ago.  We hugged and reconnected and talked and I shared my experiences being in graduate school for therapy and psychology and that I want to pursue a doctorate now, I mean, really, it might be time for a new playa name, Dr. Carmen has a nice ring to it you know.

Anyway.

We chatted, he’s a therapist and he also does shaman work and I recalled a time when he had offered to take me on a spirit journey and how I sort of pooh poohed it.

Then.

I found myself wanting to ask when I saw him this past week at the burn.

And.

I found a great big lump of fear on my chest.

Oh.

How interesting.

When I feel that much resistance to something it is rather indicative to me that it’s time to do some work on something.

So.

I asked, and I admitted my fear and then we laughed and he said, of course and then asked me to ponder a question or to sit and be with what it was that I wanted to address.

What popped into my head?

Sober boyfriend.

Yeah, like that.

We met the next day in the heat of the afternoon, in the middle of a white out dust storm.

Things were said, deals were done, navigation of emotions, experiences, lots and lots of therapeutic theory.

He knows his stuff and I recognized a lot of the techniques he used and I wasn’t uncomfortable with the way it went, despite, yes, there being some fear there too, but mostly a curiosity to see what would arrive and an eagerness to address these baffling relationship issues that seem to crop up for me often when I am least expecting or most wanting to have a relationship.

It’s like a wall, glass, that I can feel, that I can see through, but can’t quite figure out how to get to the other side.

We talked and talked and got down to some root things, which when expressed from his perspective was obvious, so obvious, it made me feel a bit baffled then I realized how I am most often unable to see what others see so clearly, I have no perspective on my own life or abilities.

None.

Hearing all the things come out of my friends mouth, with a broader perspective of my history, trauma, and adult male patterning that I did when I was a little girl.

Well.

Fuck.

Of course I tend toward being single.

Hello safety.

I am either chasing after the unavailable boy or I am being the mother to said boy.

I don’t date adult men.

I don’t know how since I hadn’t seen healthy adult relationships growing up as a little girl.

I often tend toward two ways of being in relation to men I want to date.

I have been the mother–my longest lasting relationship was five years and I was definitely the care taker.

And then.

A long series of men, boys, that I chased, who were not often, or ever really interested in dating me romantically.

These paradigms made a lot of sense to me and I think I have been dancing around this knowledge for such a long time that when it was finally revealed it was less a great big aha moment, but more of a softening and relaxing into myself.

I had a lot of compassion for myself and a gentleness that I found so tender that I was in tears just from the relief of that.

So.

My friend made some suggestions.

Stop chasing.

Stop being the mother.

Write it out.

What does an adult man look like, what qualities do I want?

And lastly.

Be patient.

Don’t expect it overnight and stop looking for it.

It won’t be the impetuous passion of a sixteen year old in a romantic crush.

It will probably not be someone I’m crazy wild about at first glance, it will be softer, and I will be pursued and I will be seen and my power, who I am will be my calling card.

He will be strong.

He will not complete me.

I won’t have to mother, and I will not chase.

What a relief.

At first when I deleted Tinder I was pretty ok with it.

Then.

Yes.

I did re-install the app for a half day.

But.

I realized.

Nope.

It doesn’t serve, not after the experience in the dome, in the dust, in the heat, my heart opened, the little girl response to dating laid to rest in the resplendent gold dust light.

My friend said write about it, at least once a day, a paragraph, what my adult man looks like, what I want.

And.

Then.

Heh.

Text him when I start dating.

It won’t be long.

I’m ready.

I am happy, healthy, smart, employed, in graduate school, sober, loving, lovable, funny.

It’s on.

And I’m done with the dating apps and the chase.

I am here and available.

And I don’t need to chase.

I am fucking awesome.

I would date me in a heart beat.

I don’t need fireworks, although passion is lovely, I’m not going to try to make anything happen.

I don’t need to.

It already is.

 

 

Sorted, Satiated, Seduced

July 5, 2016

By my sweet foggy city.

Home.

It is such a nice place to be.

I am so grateful I put it all back in place to when I got home last night.

I unpacked and put away all my little treasures from the trip.

Some flower hair clips.

Two vintage cardigans.

A couple pairs of cheap earrings.

Some stickers.

Two pounds of locally roasted coffee, one from Mojo and other from Hey Cafe and Coffee.

Two pairs of new sandals.

And the little bit of swag from the conference.

I was a little wound up from getting home.

I got the butterflies and the happy sparklers of joy in my belly as the plane flew in over SFO International Airport.

It is this way every time I fly into the airport.

This feeling of happiness and glee.

This recurring knowing of being home, even before I called San Francisco home, it was home.

I still remember, sixteen years later, how it felt the first time I flew in over the city and how giddy I was with it.

Anticipatory joy and love and awe.

Awe that I was coming and getting to see the friend, a man I was in love with, romantically crushed out on, a man that though I did eventually get to have for one one night, was not the man for me.

But.

I will always be grateful for that unrequited love song that yearned in my heart for it led me to this city, this amazing space and land and confluence of fog and love and flowers in my hair and self-discovery.

And.

Of course.

No matter what.

No matter where.

It will always be home because it is where I got sober.

No other place can lay claim to that piece of my history.

So on top of the general body and soul and heart knowing, there is this deep pocket of grace that I am here.

I leave and return.

I tried to move to Paris.

That didn’t work.

I could see living in New York, it has it’s energy and allure and spark.

But.

Yet.

I am here.

And I continue to return and be soaked with gratitude every time.

I could live in New Orleans.

Oh, the hot humid sexy of it.

The big lushness of it, the flowers and trees, the moss in the trees, the drawl of the voices, the funky, bluesy, jazzy’ness of it, the art and the creative.

And also the underground dark scary spooky.

I suppose everywhere has pockets of wildness and dark.

But I could sense it closer to the surface there than a lot of places, maybe any other place I have been.

Death and sex and hot damp over abundant wildness.

It is there just skimming along below the pulse of warm air on your skin.

I can’t quite describe it, it is intense and dark and surreal and powerful and made my skin feel electric at times, the small hairs on the back of my neck rising in silent acknowledgement of the old the, wild, the barbaric yawp.

I feel it at times, in a different kind of way, but a dark wild way, in pockets of Golden Gate park when I would ride my bike through it at night.

Not always, but often, and though a different kind of energy then what I felt in New Orleans which was at once languid and violent, it too has a dark windy animal howl.

I am compelled by both those energies, softly drawn and also quite aware and wary that it is not my space to wander through.

I get to give it a wide berth.

The other thing about New Orleans was the architecture that was so heavily French influenced.

I do have a thing for all thing Francophile.

It is a definite and well defined influence that I really felt drawn too.

Plus, the colors.

Oh, so bright and many.

And that too, is something I find wonderful and compelling about San Francisco–the Victorians and the architecture here, gorgeous and bright and colorful as well.

I also recognized a kind of art and brightness that I normally associate with San Francisco and the Burning Man culture here.

In fact, at one point when I was in a little store on Magazine Street, I recall thinking to myself that I didn’t know New Orleans was such a Burner’s city.

Then I realized that it was Burning Man influenced, though, there may be some of that too–I know Burner’s Without Borders did a lot of work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina–it was Mardi Gras.

The store was full of costumes and feather boas and masks and at first I thought it was a store like you might find in the Haight that specializes in festival gear and clothing.

Nope.

Mardi Gras.

Either way, it’s dress up.

For me, though, although I flew my personal little self-expression flag high, I was not as comfortable with it in New Orleans as I am in San Francisco.

I felt at times, if I were to live there, I would tone it down a bit.

Then.

I realized.

Nope.

I am not toning it down for anyone.

I am wild and free and wonderful and live a happy, joyous, compelling life.

And so far.

That life has been focused and centered around living in San Francisco.

Even when the fog, Karl, sweetheart I did miss you, is so thick you can’t see the fireworks display in the sky on the fourth of July.

Even when I needed to unearth the heavy sweatshirt today.

Even with the tech kids and the Millennials and the people getting pushed out and the high cost of living.

Even with the extra traffic and the gentrification.

I still love it so.

I still get feathering tickles in my body of joy co-mingled with electric blue sparkles of anticipation and awe, the wonder of it all.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I.

So.

Am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

And We Have A Winner

April 7, 2016

Finally.

Thanks Tinder.

That took a hot minute.

But fuck me.

Ha.

It was worth the wait.

Oh my.

Was it ever worth the wait.

And.

Whelp.

I’m for sure ready for the school weekend now.

I  printed off my last paper this morning and did my references and took a hot shower, cleaned up the house, did some laundry, ate a nice breakfast and had a lot of coffee.

Not much sleep you know.

Mwahahahaha.

“I told you, you got to go younger, that’s the way,” my friend, a bit smug, even via text, I could tell he was being a bit smug, having been the younger one to my older once upon a time in a land far, far away, the Mission District, before I moved to Paris and all that jazz.

It was fun.

I’ll just leave it at that and delicious and completely made up for the other three bad Tinder dates and the one that cancelled–who still once in a while sends me some weirdo message.

Time to block that shit.

I see it and just delete, but really, why even accept any incoming message?

(Side bar, he just messaged and I just blocked)

That is where I am beginning to see how this app works a little bit.

Oh.

And my paramour gave me the best new word.

“Techtard.”

I am a total techtard!

I was trying to put my address into his phone as we stood next to my scooter after having just had a really, really, really good kiss, and well I couldn’t figure it out.  Could have been the kiss, could have been I’m a “techtard.”

I may go with it was the kiss.

Whew.

That was the best make out.

We had met a cafe I felt comfortable with.

I held firm to meeting where I wanted to meet.

No bars.

I’m not dating anyone, at least not yet, just out there having fun.

Though, truth be told, said gentleman from last night wants to hang out again I am on it.

Seriously.

SERIOUSLY.

Um yeah.

Any way.

I had suggested a cafe close to where I work, but it had closed early and he suggested a bar and I said no, I’m sober, I’m not interested in meeting in a bar, even if I have a good reason to be there.

Somehow a Tinder date does not seem like a good idea for me to go to a bar.

Um, yeah, not so much.

First rule.

Go where I want to go.

Second.

The ball is always in my court.

Always.

I’m not feeling it.

Leave.

There’s no chemistry.

Get the fuck out.

Schedule only on my time frame.

Remember.

I’m not dating.

I don’t have to be flexible, I mean, really, though, I was totally.

I couldn’t do a thing this weekend, school and all, and we seemed to hit it off, via text anyway, so it was worth the investment in time.

Plus.

I had finished the bulk of the paper yesterday morning before I went to work, I didn’t feel any kind of bad about taking the evening off to meet and connect with someone.

Whatever happens it’s an experience.

I am living.

I am not crying my tea cup alone wondering why I’m not out there grooving and shaking.

And.

Hey.

Lest you think this is easy, I had to talk myself into the date.

The man was hot.

HOT.

Ten years younger than me and by the end of my nanny shift, hello, what is that on my shirt?  Don’t think, just brush it off.  I was pretty wiped out.

You know, I only wrote a five page paper before work, then worked a long shift, then yeah, I’m going to go out on a date with someone I have never met before and the last three in person Tinder dates I had were ass, so yeah, you’re tired.

Go home.

Except.

Well.

I knew that resistance feeling.

I recognized it.

There’s a big difference between I need to practice some self care and go home and chill and read and write.

It’s another to self-isolate.

And this, the nagging thought, to cancel the date, was self-isolation.

I could feel it.

So.

I showed up.

Holy shit when he walked in the cafe.

I almost left anyhow.

This guy is not going to see anything in me.

And he’s tall?

Jesus God, thank you, I have been a very good girl, I promise.

Heh.

While he was getting a cup of tea I snagged the two front leather chairs in the front of the cafe and snuggled in.

I was tempted to text a girl friend.

But.

I kept my phone in my purse and promised myself I would stay present.

It was a little awkward at first.

First dates always are.

Then something shifted.

He shifted, I shifted, the conversation deepened.

We talked a lot.

Shoes and ships and sealing wax.

Cabbages and kings.

Family, work, school, Albert Einstein, intelligence, travel, life, experiences, Burning Man.

He shared some music with me.

I pulled out headphones from my bag and plugged into the song, watching the video on the screen, Listener–Wooden Heart.

Holy shit.

I was mesmerized.

I got the tears standing in my eyes.

Then one slipped down my face.

I think I was pretty hidden in my hair, it had fallen across my eyes as I listened to the music and I was just spellbound, heart open and beating and kaboom, kaboom, kaboom.

I remember thinking, well if nothing else, I learned about this incredible new music and I am happy girl for new music to put into my heart.

“I cried too, the first time I heard it,” he said and smiled when I handed back his phone.

“I sort of wear my heart on my sleeve,” I said and wiped my eyes.

Sort of.

Understatement of the fucking year.

The conversation continued.

I don’t even recall what we were talking about but suddenly there was this completely goofy conversation about Muppets and I am laughing so hard in my chair I am snorting and tearing up.

Complete belly laugh.

Now that’s been a while for a first date.

“Come on, let’s get out of here,” he said.

We got up, used the loo, and walked around the Mission taking photographs and talking this and that until we got back to my scooter.

And how we got the topic of the last Pee Wee Herman movie and bicycles I have no idea.

But suddenly.

He was there, leaning into me.

“Shhh,” he said, taking my face into his hands.

He kissed me.

And um.

Yeah.

The rest is my history to relish privately.

Suffice to say.

I’m a happy lady.

And I have new music to listen to.

#Winning.

 


%d bloggers like this: