Posts Tagged ‘solution’

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

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You Look Radiant!

June 13, 2017

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

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

I’m happy.

I feel really good.

Today was a good day.

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

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

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

Be that as it may.

I am not perfect.

I fuck up all the time.

I’m human.

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

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

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

I heard something amazing today.

AMAZING.

From my supervisor while we were in session.

Slight sidebar.

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

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

Yeah.

Like that.

Anyway.

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

It just about fell off the couch.

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

Holy shit.

Story of my life.

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

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

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

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

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

No one can read my mind.

And yet.

There are clues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just wouldn’t.

Like attracts like.

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

I’ll take some of that please.

And then happily pass it on.

That’s what I do best.

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

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I also have an awesome job.

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

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

So much love.

I am loved.

And I get to love right back.

It’s a pretty amazing job.

So.

Yeah.

Radiant.

Full of light.

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

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

Great out doors is another.

And.

Good orderly direction.

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

I feel grace.

I feel full of grace.

I feel graced.

And am.

I’ve not been dropped.

I have just been carried somewhere unexpected.

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

But.

I am happy.

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

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Grind It Out

October 11, 2016

Although I say that, it really wasn’t that bad, but I was afraid it was going to be a very long day.

Normally on Mondays, normal, fuck me, what the hell is “normal” in my life at the moment?

Ahem.

Over the last couple of weeks on Mondays, let me rephrase, I have been working with this second family of three–6 1/2 year old, 4 year old, and a very adorable 20 month old–I normally see the boys for a bout 10 minutes in the morning, then they are off to school and I have the baby all day.

Wednesday I have all three, but Mondays, I’m just supposed to have the one.

Except.

Fuck.

Today was a holiday.

No school.

I had all three to start and boy howdy is it different to run with that much energy that fast.

I kept up, but I have to say I was extraordinarily relieved when I got a text from one of the moms saying that the grandma was going to swing by and pick up the boys for some grandma time.

Thank you God.

I needed that break.

I got about an hour without the boys during the baby’s nap time and was not only able to kick out a couple pages, four, of writing, but also do about a 1/2 hour of reading for school.

Not nearly as much as I was planning, ah, how God does laugh when I make plans, but it was enough.

I felt like I was making some head way, and I read a little bit after work as well before going to do the deal and get right with God.

It was a good getting right too, so grateful to have seen some folks and heard some things and exchanged hugs with folks I haven’t seen in a little while.

I’m liking getting done with work at a more sane hour and getting out to meet my fellows at a more reasonable time.

I’m not certain what the hours will be at the new job, but I suspect that they will also be on the earlier side as well.

And of course, as the boys I take care of tomorrow are also off from school for the holiday–except in San Francisco, god bless you SF, it’s called Indigenous People’s Day–I’ll be going in early to help the family cover that school time.

I am actually working closer to 40 hours and that’s a bit more than I have expected to be doing this semester, but fuck it.

The ticket to Paris ate my prudent reserve, so it feels nice to be putting some, even if it’s only a little, back into my savings.

And.

I am also navigating a trip back to Wisconsin for Christmas.

I haven’t seen my best friend from back home in a couple of years and that really is too long.

A ticket there is not as expensive as Paris, but it ain’t cheap either, especially around the holidays, but man, I could use some down time and some play time–she has three rambunctious, awesome, fun, smart boys, and I adore her hubbie as well.  All in all they are my favorite family and to be in Wisconsin with them and their boys at Christmas?

Well.

That would be a huge gift.

So pulling a few extra hours here and there is fine with me.

I’ll juggle it all.

I always manage to anyhow.

Despite what the crazy making brain tells me, things usually do work out just fine.

I have to take some action.

I have to have faith.

I have to let go of the results and show up.

That’s all.

Like it’s nothing.

But.

Really.

It’s everything.

And I’m super grateful, so grateful, that I have this solution thing.

I don’t have to focus on the “problem” the problem is always bullshit anyway, it’s like I have a pair of myopic glasses on that distort things and situations and blow them up really big.

The drama is usually just that, drama, not reality.

In the real, in the hear, in the now.

Well.

Shucks folks.

I’m fucking great.

Did I tell you that I just found out that I got my phone for free?

It turns out that my phone was a free promotional.

I had no idea.

I had thought that once I got my phone bill the new phone would be tacked onto the bill.

Nope.

It really was gratis, a promotional, a free fucking Iphone, for changing my plan.

And.

The best thing?

The bill was actually even cheaper than what the rep had told me it was going to be.

He basically knocked off $14 bucks a month and gave me a brand new phone.

Sure.

It’s a 5s and not the new 7, but who the fuck cares?

I certainly don’t, it does the deal and I’m super happy with it.

Life is good.

Busy, of course, but not impossible.

Hell.

I might even sneak in a date this week.

Yes!

I mean.

A girl needs to play a little you know?

Well.

This girl does anyway.

Heh.

Oh!

And hey!

Yes!!!

I just confirmed that I will be going to Wisconsin to see my friend.

I just need to figure out what is the last day I’m at work in my current job.

I should get that answer when I go into work tomorrow.

It feels good right now.

This life.

I am a very lucky girl.

I really am.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Cures For The Every Day

July 18, 2016

Emotional hang over.

Get eight hours of sleep.

Get up and drink cold brewed iced coffee from the last of the Mojo Coffee I brought back from New Orleans.

Go to yoga.

Cry on the mat.

A lot.

Then do the fucking pose.

Breathe.

Do it again.

Go home.

Shower.

Realize that it doesn’t matter that I am terrorized to have confrontation.

Will do it anyway.

Finding over the course of the day as I focus less and less on the “problem” and more and more on the solution, that it will work itself out.

Even though I am afraid.

That’s ok.

Be afraid.

Just don’t not take any action.

Today’s actions also included meeting with two ladies back to back and doing some reading and sharing experience, hope, strength, faith versus fear, and lots of letting go.

I had a nice breakfast too.

More coffee as well.

Did some writing.

Wrote a really long gratitude list in which I also expressed being grateful for the challenges in my life as I get to grow from them and through them.

Get my ducks in a row and then headed out to the MOMA to visit with a couple of friends and get a dual membership.

Seriously.

This is the way to go.

My friend and I split the dual membership which is $150 for the year.

So, $75 a piece and I can go any time I want for the next year.

Considering that a one time ticket to the museum is $25 I’ll pay it off in two more visits.

Plus.

I get to bring in 2 people with me as visitors.

So.

You want to get your MOMA on.

Let me know.

Even if I just go down and get you in and do a gallery or two, I figure that may happen once in a while, pop in, just see a few things and pop out.

Plus.

The place is huge.

They really added onto it and it’s now 7 floors of art.

So much scrumptious, delicious, devastating art.

I was so happy.

I got to see some of my favorites from the permanent collection that I always love to see–Warhol’s Triple Elvis, of course the various Marilyn’s, the Dolly Parton’s too, so good.

Rothko.

Gerhard Richter.

Hopper.

All the Calder pieces, so many!

Diane Arbus photographs.

And the Oculus bridge!

I was so happy to see that they kept that part of the museum.

It is one of my favorite bits and I walked across it happy in the moment and also softly aware of the moments prior when I walked it first.

That being back in 2000.

Wow.

Sixteen years of going to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

I have always had a membership since I moved here in 2002.

Excepting while it was closed for the renovation.

My information was still in their system and it was a lovely little trip down memory lane layered with so much gratitude.

See.

I used to work down town, at Hawthorne Lane, which is now Benu I believe, and I used to go to the MOMA cafe on my way into work and sit in front of the museum and smoke cigarettes and drink lattes and people watch.

A lot of times I was also recovering from a hang over.

Or I was still high from the night before.

I used the bathrooms all the time.

But.

I never used in them.

I couldn’t ever bring myself to.

It was sacrilegious.

It was my church.

Art still is my church.

Museums are where I go to commune with God.

Get high on art.

I just couldn’t do it.

I don’t recall a single time being able to allow myself to do it.

I didn’t have a problem using the bathrooms at the park across the street, or at Starbucks on 3rd and Howard, or at the Metreon.

Fuck.

I could get high all over the city.

The W Hotel bar right there on the corner.

Or.

Dave’s sports Bar on 3rd at Market.

But the MOMA?

Fuck no.

I just couldn’t do it.

And I was so grateful to know that my bastion of art and love was never tainted with that.

Granted I don’t have a problem going places I have used before, but I am quite grateful that I never did there.

It was sort of like how I felt about music.

When I first was in the club scene here in the city I was all about the ecstasy and the cocaine and the dancing and the getting out.

But.

Eventually I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

Spending too much time in the bathrooms and not enough time on the dance floor.

Or.

Just wanting, desperately to be home in my room before the sun came up so that I could use the way I wanted to use without anyone bearing witness to it.

It was not a good scene.

And.

Eventually I couldn’t even use at home with the music on.

It got real quiet.

And.

Real uncomfortable.

Real fucking fast.

All the small reminders as I was downtown, which is a different downtown than it was eleven and a half years ago, but still, plenty of sense memories to recall and remember and to get to be at the MOMA.

A place, one of the first places, I went to when I first came to SF in 2000, that I revered and loved and still do.

So much.

It was an honor and a privilege to buy my membership.

Despite my fears of financial insecurity.

Despite my over magnifying mind trying to blow up a simple boundary request at work into a scenario where I am homeless and alone living with a feral cat in the park.

I got to amend my behavior.

I got to drop a few bucks and make good on my promise to live this day fully, with love and presence and the gift of being there with friends and running into my sweet Parisian friend from school and her husband.

I am so graced.

And.

I don’t have an emotional hang over at all.

It dissipated in the groundswell of gratitude flooding my heart.

Happy.

Joyous.

And oh.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

 

A Possible Solution

July 13, 2016

Day by day.

One small action at a time.

Things are falling into place.

I bought my ticket last night.

I made some calls today.

And.

Ooh.

I got a message that will need some exploring, but it looks like I will have a fabulous friend’s set up at Burning Man.

In fact.

It may work out really well for both of us.

I have to go early and leave early.

She won’t be able to get there until the day or the day after I need to leave.

I can go, take her gear, tent, sleeping mattress, etc, and get her tent set up, have it for the first part of the event, then leave it there, all nice and set up for her to take over for the second part of the weekend.

I mean.

Freaking fabulous.

I will be conferring with her this Thursday.

Last Thursday I had the heart to heart with me, myself, and I, did some inventory, got right with God and made the leap to go to Burning Man.

Less than a week later, ticket purchased and possible camp set up, well, set up.

Freaking amazing.

Rather like the show I just came from.

Diana Ross.

DIANA ROSS!

So freaking good.

The woman is what, 72 years old?

And she can still sing.

I mean sing.

Here’s the set list from the show, In The Name of Love Tour:

  1. “Overture”
  2. I’m Coming Out
  3. More Today Than Yesterday
  4. My World Is Empty Without You” / “Baby Love” / “Stop! In the Name of Love” / “You Can’t Hurry Love
  5. Love Child
  6. “Instrumental Sequence”
  7. The Boss
  8. Touch Me in the Morning
  9. Upside Down
  10. Love Hangover” / “Take Me Higher” / “Ease on Down the Road
  11. “Instrumental Sequence”
  12. The Look of Love
  13. Don’t Explain
  14. Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  15. Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
  16. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  17. “Instrumental Sequence”
  18. I Will Survive
Encore
19. “I Will Survive” (Reprise)

 

The encore was actually shorter than I thought it would be, but her voice, by the end of the show was tight, it was just starting to get a little noticeable in her last two songs, but her energy was super high.

I was hella impressed.

And quite happy to see so many friends in the audience and to be there with my friend from school.

I felt super happy to be there and to see an icon and be in the theater with so many people who obviously just adored her.

So much joy.

“You are hitting musical jackpots,” my person texted me this morning.

She had asked what my principle was for today and I responded happy since I didn’t think fabulous was a spiritual principle, though, I could be wrong, it seems to fall under “joy of living.”

And she’s right.

I got to see Paul Simon at the Greek.

I have gotten to see Diana Ross at the Orpheum.

I am going to get to see Mike Doughty in somebody’s living room in Burlingame in September.

And who the hell knows who I will see at Burning Man.

Odds are generally good that I will see some good music.

The dj set I caught last year on top of the Mayan art car deep in the playa was astounding.

And since I won’t have to work, I will be able to go play and dance and not worry about getting “home” at a reasonable hour.

More like getting home, to San Francisco in time to see Mike Doughty play and get myself ready for the first weekend of my second year of school.

I had a moment of thinking about going to Outside Lands, but one, it’s sold out, and two, it’s sold out, and three, I’m not always great at great big festival thingy’s.

Too many people.

Yeah.

I know.

I’m going to Burning Man, but it’s pretty spread out.

It’s about as big as San Francisco in circumference.

It covers about seven square miles.

That’s a lot of space.

Outside Lands happens in Golden Gate Park and it has about oh 40-50 thousand people.

Per day.

That’s a lot of freaking people in a space that is not all that big.

I should know too, I live by the park and it is always a bit of a shit show the weekend of the festival.

I have only been once and that was almost three years ago when I first moved into this studio.

I had been given VIP passes by my employer for the last day of the event.

It was actually really a lot of fun to see Hall and Oates from VIP.

I saw a dj, who I can’t remember now, who was really good, and some fun people watching but I was pretty over it, pretty quick.

Too many people.

I did resolve though, tonight, watching Lady Diana Ross up on that stage, girl, she changed three, no, four times!  That I should make an effort to keep going to live music shows.

There is something about it that just fills me up.

And I love music.

Radio Head will be at Outside Lands, that might be fun to see, and Grimes.

But yeah, not too worried about missing the shows.

I will be busy with plenty of other things.

My weekend is getting a tiny bit booked up already and it’s just Tuesday.

A tentative MOMA date with a friend in the afternoon on Sunday.

A blind coffee date on Saturday in the early afternoon.

Doing the deal with the ladies.

Doing some yoga.

Really glad I got up this morning and went.

I will definitely be hitting the yoga again a few times this week.

Not tomorrow though, early to work and a longer day for me, it’s the dad’s birthday.

Ah.

Anyway.

Happy feet.

Sore feet.

Busy feet.

One step at a time.

Doing a little happy dance of joy.

Getting my diva on.

Diana Ross.

Getting my Burning Man.

Fuck yeah.

One foot in front of the other.

Life is fucking fabulous.

Seriously.

 

 

 

What’s Up Sexy?

June 23, 2016

Who the fuck doesn’t want to be greeted like that?

I know I do.

I smiled.

What’s up?

Indeed.

All the things.

Lots of work.

Lots of doing the deal.

Lots of love.

Lots of self-care.

And just a kiss of poetry.

I had a friend reach out to me as I was getting ready to wrap up at work and he offered to hear me practice my poems in between the here and the there.

I said hell yes.

I was quite flattered and very happy to have my silly little request to get some help coalesce.

Ask for what you want, you might get it.

In fact.

In my experience I often times get what I ask for.

It may not come in the package I was expecting, but I generally am heard.

Except when I ask for a boyfriend.

Ha.

Not that I am lacking any sort of attention.

I’m pretty taken care of and that’s a nice thing, and I have options, and time and I’m allowing myself to have fun and be present and show up without expectations.

I still have expectations, but the faster I see them for what they are, the faster I get to let go of them and see what is really going to work for me.

Not obsessing about those who can’t show up for me or who have chosen to withdraw in ways I don’t approve of.

Like anyone needs my approval.

Nope.

Just me and my God, that’s it, and I get to do whatever I want, as long as I accept the consequences of those actions.

Like.

I’ll be up a little late tonight.

I’m jazzed over how the poetry practice went and my friend’s very insightful way of looking at the experience of how I wrote the pieces and I loved getting to speak them out loud to an audience.

Even though it is nerve wracking and I wanted to sound better and realize that no matter how good I sound I will always want to be better.

And that’s ok.

That’s something to shoot for, just being a little bit better.

There will never be perfection.

Well, in the idea that I am perfect in my imperfections.

But.

That there will always be progress.

That’s what I get to strive for and I am grateful for that.

Wildly grateful.

Full of heart and heat and desire to do more, be more, be of service, to surrender, let go, give in.

There is great beauty in that surrender.

And sexiness too, I think, anyway, a kind of beauty in that letting go that when done without thought for how it will be received is a kind of extraordinary thing.

I might have been feeling a little bit of that when I saw my friend just a little bit ago up at the spot.

And.

I also have to say.

I am grateful I was feeling sexy and saucy and sassy.

As I ran into a gentleman I had a brief intense date with back in February who completely ghosted me so bad that it was a touch disgruntling to be played so hot and cold.

I got to do some work around that, oh yes I did.

So.

Completely feeling my swagger, my messy pink hair in braids, my lipgloss freshly applied, my hips swinging as I dance down the block.

Oh.

And hey.

Ha.

What’s up mister walking your dog by the 7-11.

I got a “hey” and “it’s cold” and a quick sliding glance and a scurry by.

Yeah.

Scurry baby.

I ain’t got time for that shit.

You have yourself a nice ass night.

I smiled and wandered up the street, seeing all my friends coming towards the place and happy to walk into the warm glowing room and get greeted by my fellows, my family, my friends.

Fuck me.

I am such a lucky girl.

Really.

The luckiest girl in the world.

I get to do so much.

I get to be so much.

I get to feel so much.

“The good news,” she said, “is that you get to have feelings.”

Pause.

“The bad news,” she continued, “is that you get to have feelings.”

Right now.

I’m in the good parts of that.

I feel fucking fabulous.

The hair is on point.

Summer is starting out as something fun.

I get to go to New Orleans next weekend, I leave a week from tomorrow, for three days.

I get to hang out with people I like and love and care about.

I have friends.

I have a life.

I have a place to live.

Fuck.

I get to live in San Francisco.

That is amazing.

Especially on a nanny salary.

I get to write and dance and blog and be out in the world and seen.

I am seen.

I am known.

I am accountable.

I like these things.

I can isolate too easily and with no regards to the world and what is happening if I don’t take care of the basic things in my life and recovery.

I have to put the horse first.

Sometimes I have to put that so first, always really, I could do or have what I have if i didn’t, that I can’t even see how I will get through a situation.

I just know that I will if I focus on solution.

I focus on problem.

It only gets bigger.

I focus on doing the next action, getting into solution, loving, being of service, why the problem fucking takes care of itself.

And I didn’t do anything.

See.

My best ideas are ass.

I’m not capable of making great decisions for myself.

I have no perspective.

So I get out of my way, out of my blinders, if I can shift my perspective just a tiny amount, man, it’s amazing.

Transformation.

Utter and complete and astounding.

Magic.

Poetry.

Sex.

Sugar.

Love.

Music.

Star shine.

God’s kiss freckling my upturned face.

All the things.

Baby.

All the fucking things.

Amazing.

I can’t explain it, I don’t want to, I don’t need to.

I think that’s called faith.

Or.

Grace.

Shall we just agree to agree?

It’s love.

And it’s everywhere.

Just look.

I promise.

It is here.

It is there.

It is.

Right now.

It is always.

Love.

The new sexy.

 

Replace A Permit

April 28, 2016

But let me start the blog by saying.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.

Good lord.

I had this odd feeling to read that little bit in my favorite book, not a book that I talk about much, well, here, but I do talk about it a lot, I read it daily, I have a sort of morning routine and it was suggested to me last time I met with my person that I read it.

“Ugh,” I said, “I just read that, I mean, literally, I just read that.”

“Read it again,” she said and continued on making the suggestions.

Of course I totally didn’t read it, I already have my morning routine, I don’t need another thing in it, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know how fucking busy I am?

Don’t you.

Um.

Heh.

Shut the fuck up, Martines, and take the suggestion.

And I remember to do so this morning, it was just the oddest little reminder, hey you, remember that thing that was suggested to you?

Yeah, that, read it.

It will come in handy today.

I did my regular readings and then I flipped open the book to that part and I read it again, for the who knows, 100th time, at least, and of course.

I got something from it.

“There are absolutely no mistakes in God’s world.”

Oh yeah.

Thank you.

Yes.

Exactly!

I promptly forgot that, but it came back to me as I prepared to launch out into my day.

Already feeling like I had had quite a day.

Morning routine, little kneel down, say the good words, get the acceptance on, ask for some guidance, ask to be of service, help me get to work safely and home safely on my scooter, be patient, kind, tolerant and loving, you know, the basics.

Breakfast.

Coffee.

More coffee.

God damn I love coffee.

Thank you God for coffee.

I digress.

Writing.

Face Time with Saturday’s date.

Slightly awkward, bad connection, he caught a screen shot of me with my mouth wide open in what looks like a classic horror movie still.

Or.

A really bad blow job face.

Ugh.

Erase that now, I asked.

I don’t think he erased it.

We chatted, it was a bad connection, so phone check in re all the things.

Then off to scooter to the optometrist to pick up my fancy schmancy new prescription sunglasses.

My first ever pair of prescriptions and I spent a pretty penny on them, most expensive pair of glasses I have ever bought, but the frames are gorgeous (I actually rued not getting them as a straight up pair of frames with my regular prescription, I think they may look better as just plain glasses, but oh well, I got them now) and I was absolutely astounded by how good everything looked.

Like.

Man.

I should have done this sooner.

They are fantastic.

I could see everything clear and crisp and there’s not glare on the road and whoa.

Plus, it’s nice to have sunglasses, I haven’t really worn a pair of them, outside of that thing in the desert, since I started wearing glasses again right before my 40th birthday.

Yes.

So lovely to see.

Even though.

Sometimes.

I see things I don’t want to see.

Or I see things that are missing.

LITERALLY.

Fuck me.

My child care parking permit was not on my scooter this morning.

Really?

REALLY?!

Where the fuck is it?

I’m not going to be able to park on the block at work without the permit, I’m going to get tickets, I’m going to have to ride my bike again, I’m so used to the scooter, I don’t want to.

I.

Shhh.

Acceptance.

Ah.

Big old sigh.

It’s not like I got hurt or lost something that can’t be replaced.

Even though when I told my employers, the mom acted like I wasn’t going to be able to get another until the permit expired in November.

Well.

I guess I’m getting back on the bicycle and bike commuting again.

Grrr.

I have to meet my person in the Castro tomorrow night at 18th and Diamond.

I hate that hill on a one speed.

Frogs.

Except.

Hmmm.

I bet I can still ride my scooter in.

I did today and the parking meter dude zipped right past me without bothering to stop and he did not chalk my tire.

“I bet they’re used to seeing your scooter and they know that it’s got a permit,” the mom said.

“You could park it in front of the garage if you think you’ll feel better about it there,” the dad said.

“I think it’s ok and I’ll figure out what I can do to replace it, if I can replace it, and if I can’t, I’ll be riding my bicycle back to work again,” I said, thanking them and getting on with the work that needed to be done.

Run to the market, get fixings, run to Lucca Ravioli, get tortellini and pesto for dinner, make a vat of broccoli soup, cook up some rice, make snacks for the boys, God, they were adorable today.

“I’m going to marry Carmen when I grow up,” the youngest said today.

Now that’s a first, it’s always been the six year old who has said I was his betrothed.

Then.

“No, you can’t, she’s too old for you,” his brother said.

Ouch.

I mean, yes, of course.

“Besides, I’m marrying Carmen, you can marry somebody else,” he finished.

Oh my God.

The cuteness.

He tugged on my hand later as we were walking to the park.

“Yes pie,” I asked looking at him, “what do you need?  Do you need a snack?”

“Nothing,” he replied, “I just need to kiss you.”

Oh.

Heart melting into puddle on sidewalk.

Then he kissed my hand.

Love my job.

Sometimes it just astounds me that I get to do this job, that I am entrusted with these two children, that I have gotten to have a little hand in raising them, loving them, being there for them.

And I have loved all the children I have nannied.

They have all left a little impression of themselves on my heart.

Some bigger than others.

Fingerprints smudged with childish laughter, the first I love you’s, the first smiles, the first hugs, the moments when they fall asleep on my shoulder, soft and heavy and luscious with the smell of sleep.

Luckiest girl in the world.

My little love bunnies.

My heart is full.

Deep and satiated with happy.

And it turns out the I can get a replacement permit from the SFMTA for the small fee of $18.

Although I will have to show up at their office, to do so, it has to be done in person.

Fine.

I can spend a morning doing that.

I think that’s called “adulting” or something like that.

I can accept that.

I was primed to do so this morning.

May I always be so flexible.

It really is the easier, softer way.

Something like this would have wrecked me for weeks, now, today.

Not so much.

I have other things to think about.

Dream about.

Plan for.

Papers to write.

Articles to read.

Ships to sail, tattoos to get, check books to balance, kissing to be had, dancing to be done, bills to be paid, life to be lived.

One beautiful.

Infatuating.

Glorious.

Day at a time.

 

I Need To Make An Amends

March 18, 2016

Actually I need to fill out an amended tax form.

“You’re making an amends to yourself,” he told me, leaning into the table and looking at me with his bright eyes.

Indeed.

I had not even thought of it like that.

In fact, up until yesterday I hadn’t told anyone what was going on.

In the crazy.

In the head.

All by itself, the I’m not worthy drum still tries to sound a rhythm.

Fortunately, I told on myself yesterday and that opened me up to being able to find some recourse around a tax penalty I received for not having health insurance.

Because that’s what our country does to its people who can’t afford insurance, they slap you on the wrist and kick you when you’re down–like giving a homeless person a ticket for loitering.

And I understand it to a point, it’s to help prod people into having some sort of coverage, but I think about all the people that are getting screwed because they are neither here nor there.

I make just enough money now that next year I am going to have cover all my health insurance through a private insurance plan.

No more Healthy San Francisco for me.

Not that they have covered my grossest costs regarding health care–my glasses–but they certainly had me covered when I had my scooter accident and I had to go to the ER.

A visit that could have cost me thousands of dollars but in the end was  a $100 co-pay.

So whatever, I figured, when the penalty was leveed on my taxes that there was nothing I could do about it and that was just the cost of doing business.

That is until oh, around the 24th or 25th of last month when I received an interesting piece of paperwork from Kaiser Permanente–the provider that Healthy SF has me paired with–it was my IRS 1095-B form.

In lay man terms.

It was my out for the tax penalty.

Dear Carmen ______________

The affordable Care ACT (ACA) requires taxpayers to prove they had health coverage in 2015 when they file their taxes for 2015.  The enclosed IRS Form 1095-B reports proof of coverage.

Well fuck me.

I paid that fine.

It was taken out of my tax refund.

It was about $850.

That’s a nice little chunk of money I want back.

Especially since, well, that’s going to cover my new glasses, both pairs.

Well, not quite, but it’s damn close and what’s funny.

I wasn’t going to do anything about it.

I just sort of chalked it up to I made a mistake and now I’m going to pay for it and next year, well, now I know and I won’t make that mistake again.

Except well.

Dang it.

$850.

That’s a little bit of money.

That’s more than I make after taxes for a week’s worth of work.

That’s a ticket to Maui and back.

Plus some.

But.

Well, I fucked up, so I have to pay for the price.

I stuck the papers in my little file in and let it go.

Except.

Well, it sort of stuck.

And yesterday when I told my friend it was a relief to let it out.

It sort of took the starch out of it.

It had been weighing on my mind and although I kept telling myself I was ok with it, I obviously was not.

“Why don’t you call the IRS?”  My friend asked over the phone.

Oh.

My.

God.

Like actually call the IRS?

Are you nuts?

But.

Um.

Maybe that’s not a bad place to start.

“I’m sure there is something you can do, you should call, if you owed them $850, you know they’d be calling you.” She concluded.

True that.

So this morning I climbed into my big girl pants and I opened my laptop, after doing my morning routine, I logged onto the IRS website.

And wouldn’t you fucking know it!

There’s a tab that says: “make a mistake on your filed taxes?”

Oh.

Ha!

I’m not the only one who fucks up.

In fact, there are so many folks that mess up filing their taxes there is a form that they have so that you can fix your mistakes.

How freaking easy is that?

I was a bit chagrinned.

But also really grateful that I didn’t keep this to myself.

The fear is idiotic, but it was there and it was also an old way of living, a way of being that doesn’t work for me, that I get punished when I do something wrong, that I am a bad girl.

You know sometimes I am a bad girl.

Ahem.

But not in this case.

No.

In this case I made a mistake and I filled out my taxes and filed them to the best of my ability.

I used the information that I had and I made a decision.

So the decision was incorrect.

The thing about mistakes is that I’m not going to be punished, there is no need to be pilloried, I can just be a human and try to fix it.

Again.

To the best of my ability with the information I have.

I have the form to amend my taxes and I have the form that proves I had health coverage that is adequate for me to prove to the federal government that I was complying with the Affordable Care Act.

Oh.

This again.

“Adulting.”

I am acting the grown up.

I am growing up.

Grateful I also got transparent with my person at the cafe tonight.

It’s nice to be accountable to someone and to someone who is not going to judge me.

We read a big chapter and talked about acceptance being the answer to all my problems and how focusing on the problem only makes it bigger, but the more I focus on the solution, well, that problem just takes care of itself.

Thank God for solution.

Seriously.

So, so grateful that I don’t have to do this alone.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Ah.

So nice to be making it through the week and being accountable and showing up and also amending my behavior when and where it is appropriate with love and guidance that comes from outside myself.

What a gift, this life.

Grateful.

To be so constantly.

And.

Continuously.

Graced.

 

Punked

May 2, 2015

But not for long.

I made it through the week and that is saying something.

I changed or something changed and it all changed.

It was still a tiring week though and I am grateful that I have the weekend off and although a bit disappointed to find out that my person is not available to meet again this week, I will get to see some friends and head over to the East Bay to see my dear heart who just had a baby a few weeks back.

I still get to be of service and I get to hang out with friends.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

I’m not 100% sure how things are going to fall out tomorrow.

Suffice to say that I’m going to get picked up either here or in the Inner Sunset around 2p.m. and then accompany my friend to North Berkeley where we will be seeing the mama and the baby with a few other friends and doing the deal.

It’s nice to take the deal over to the new mom.

I feel very grateful that I get to help out.

In whatever small way I can, which was really, just making the time to do so and contacting a few people on the phone.

You know, that thing that everyone stares at but rarely seems to talk on anymore.

I saw someone make texting motions to indicate a letter she recently wrote someone and I had to take a pause.

First.

How long can the letter be if you are typing it out with your thumbs?

Second.

That I even knew what she was referring to.

“Oh, you’re one of those people now,” an old friend said to me when I flipped open my new cell phone and took her number.

I was very proud of my old Sprint flip phone and I had it for quite some time.

Until I dropped it in the toilet at Tosca.

Oops.

No need to really elaborate on what I was doing in the stall, it was not peeing, I assure you, and how flummoxed I was when I fished it out.

I had just placed a call and my dealer would be rapidly swinging through North Beach to make his delivery.

He always rang me and I would come out from where ever I was and hop in the passenger side door and we would chit-chat for a few minutes as he drove around the block.

Catch up.

You know.

Like friends do.

Friends who deal drugs to you at any hour of day or night and make a nice fat income off you.

“I don’t know why he’s calling me,” I told her frantic on the phone.

“I don’t owe him any money,” I continued.

I always find myself grateful for that, I never asked for fronted drugs and I never copped unless I had money.

Which was part of the problem at the end.

“I don’t have a problem with cocaine,” I told my room-mate in a huff.

I had overheard him explaining to a friend of his who was visiting (who had happened to get me mighty high at the End Up the prior weekend) that I had a problem.

They were smoking cigarettes in the kitchen, adjacent to my room, and whispering in gossipy undertones about why I was still in my room at four in the afternoon.

You would be too if you hadn’t gone to bed for three days.

Please.

When I next saw him I had my words, “I don’t have a problem,” I continued, zooming into his space as he was frothing milk for a cappuccino, “my problem is that I don’t have enough money to afford doing the amount I want to do.”

Um.

Yeah.

Mission Control.

We have a problem.

But I did quit.

And I was shocked to get the message from my dealer.

He wanted to “talk” to me about something.

I was walking up Valencia Street where it ends at Mission and heading home towards my new little tiny rented room at the foot of Bernal Hill on Kingston at 30th.

And I was freaking out.

“First,” she said on the phone, “you don’t have to call him back.”

“But what does he want?” I cried, “I don’t get it, why is he calling me?”

She laughed uproariously.

I did not know what was so funny.

“Carmen, honey, he probably wants to know if you want any blow, he’s probably wondering where his good customer has gone off to.”

The rooms and I ain’t never going back.

“Oh,’ I said.

“OH!” I cried out, “of course, that makes perfect sense.”

I never did call him back.

I realize tonight that yes I am tired.

But not that kind of tired.

Not the kind of tired that was soaked into my bones.

The constant repetition of I’m not going to do it, I’m doing it, I don’t want to be doing this, why am I doing this, please stop doing this, I’m killing myself, don’t do it anymore, I’m not going to do it anymore, it wasn’t that bad, I can do it just this weekend, it’s a three-day holiday, I’ll just get a couple of grams, it’s not a problem, I don’t have a problem.

Fuck me.

I have a problem.

And I am ok with it.

I have a solution today.

So, tired.

Yeah, sure, it was a long week, but it was a week full of joy, yes some exhaustion and some tears, and some frustration, but also a burgeoning of flexibility in my schedule, an unleashing of wild pink hair, a happiness to have rent paid, my student loans paid off for the month, and friends that I get to see and a new baby in the mix.

I don’t mind getting a little tired to have that.

As well as reconnecting with an old friend.

Who was swell when I said, I got to go, friend, I’m beat, the groceries in the bag got to get in the fridge and I have to get on my bicycle and pedal out to the beach.

And that is alright too.

A quiet Friday night in is not a bad thing at all.

I’ll be ready for the rest of the weekend and refreshed.

Because tomorrow.

I’m sleeping in!

Perfection Is Not An Option

April 22, 2015

Well damn it.

Now you tell me.

I wanted to throw in the towel a few times today, and it had a lot to do with wanting perfection.

The great thing?

I wasn’t even aware that I was seeking perfection, that is how ingrained in my being seeing said state is.

I never was nor will I ever be perfect.

I can end up waiting for the day to come and before you know it I will be dead.

But at least I will know why my knees hurt so damn much.

I have Patello-femoral Syndrome.

Yippee!

Gah.

Irritation of the knee cap (my poor Patellas–both the suckers have it, although my left is slightly more out of whack then my right) and the surrounding tissue due to increased compression.  There can be pain around or under the kneecap and sometimes in back of the knee.

Check.

Check.

And check.

Painful activities may include:

Running.

Ayup. Hurts like a bitch to run.

Walking when it is flared up.

Yup again, which is why I finally made the appointment to see my primary doctor, despite visions of knee surgery dancing fearfully though my head.  When the walking got too painful I knew the gig was up.  I am a professional nanny, it’s bad enough when my shoulder flares up from pushing the stroller, not walking is out of the question.

Please.

What else hurts?

Going up and down flights of stairs.

Oh yeah.

Horribly so.

I don’t talk about it, but it sucks, and ironically, which the physical therapist that I worked with today told me, it’s actually worse going down stairs.  And yes, the family I work for has a two story house and steps leading up to the front door as well.  I go up and down those steps more often than I can count.

I did a stair test and she showed me where my knees are pulled out of alignment.

Driving hurts, after a while, but yes it does, and the best, since I live in San Francisco, walking  up or down hills.

Bahahahahaha.

Oh good grief.

What contributes to PFS?

Tight hip or knee muscles; weak hip or knee muscles; flat feet (oh man, have you seen my feet?  Flat as pancakes, thanks dad. Plus my arches fell in my early twenties from all the food service work I was doing waiting tables, catering, bartending, hostessing, cocktail waitressing, expediting food (my best friend and I met at the Essen Haus and amongst many of my “fond” memories of the establishment was her strapping an ice pack to my knee to get me through the night’s shift, with, yes duct tape); and lastly, repetitive or excessive amounts of activity.

Can anyone say bicycling in San Francisco (and Paris and Oakland) for the last 9 years, 5-6 time a week, an average of 12-15 miles per day.

And that’s not including the year I trained and rode the AidsLifeCycle Ride from San Francisco to LA.

I started the training for that November of 2009 and trained every weekend up until the week before the ride in June 2010.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

A LOT of repetitive activity.

And it’s not what you would think, or I would think, it’s not the movement of the knees that the problem.

It’s the sitting in the saddle, the excessive sitting is tightening my hips which have pulled my knees completely out of alignment.

It turns out that not only are my hips extremely tight, they are also excessively weak.

Great.

They’re wide too.

My sister used to joke that our family hips were meant to birth a 10 lb baby without breaking a sweat.

When the physical therapist asked to test my knee strength I was afraid what the pain was going to be like, and was a bit surprised that there wasn’t really pain.

My knees are strong–thank you bicycling.

But my hips, oh, man.

As soon as she started manipulating my hips, my knees started to hurt.

I was shocked.

But I could feel the IT Band (Iliotibial band, which is a tough group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh, the top part is attached to the glutes and the bottom to  the shin bone just below, yes, you guessed it, the knee) pulling my tight as she moved my hips and tested them for flexibility and strength.

“Your hips are so tight, your knees are going to hurt just from this,” she adjusted me on my back and then showed me a stretch and then had me roll over on my other side.

“Both hips are extraordinarily tight and weak, resist the pressure as I push down,” she said.

It was like a soft pat but I couldn’t hold my leg up as soon as she pushed down on a hip.

I was again shocked.

And also relieved.

There is something that I can do about it, I don’t have to have surgery and I don’t have to stop riding my bicycle.

“You may at some point down the line have to have surgery, but certainly not at this time, there’s a lot of strengthening and stretching to do before that even becomes an issue,” she reassured me as I relayed my mom’s double hip and double knee replacement surgeries.

I also spoke with my mom recently and found out that there is high cholesterol on her side of the family, both she and my grandmother and probably others in the family.

Great.

Well, at least I know it’s not from my diet, which is really quite impeccable, if I do say so myself, though not perfect, since I’m still taking iron supplements like they’re going out-of-town.

I’m wondering what else can fall apart on my body.

Please, hold on a little longer.

I want to have sex again.

I bet that will stretch my hips.

Ha.

The physical therapist gave me sheets of exercises and stretches to be done, not once, not twice, but three times a day, plus icing my knees (where are those frozen peas?) two to three times a day as well.

“When your charges nap, stretch, do the clam shell one especially,” she directed me.

Sure.

Let me just lie down on the floor and do the clam while the mom and dad walk around me on their way to their home office.

I negotiated doing them after work when I got home on my bike, which is not a negotiation, my knees hurt like whiny little bitches by the time the day was done and I knew I had to stretch and strength train.

Good thing no body was around to see me floundering and trying to not cry in frustration doing said clam strengthening exercise–two sets of ten twice a day; the bridge, 2 sets of ten, twice a day; top leg lifts, 2 sets of 10 reps, twice a day; standing squats, two sets of ten twice a day; and then a bunch of hip flexor stretches.

Ugh.

But I did them.

And though I am sore, it’s a good kind of sore and I am grateful to have a solution that is not surgery.

Despite not wanting to do the work, which is always the case, I get to do it anyway.

And if I follow her suggestions,which I am good at doing, following suggestions, I should have no knee pain in a bout a month.

Considering it’s been years now, I’m cool with that.


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