Posts Tagged ‘STEP’

OUCHY

September 30, 2017

Ouch.

Damn it.

Fucking to all hell.

I have a tooth ache.

And.

Yes.

I suspect.

An infection.

Currently running a fever, experiencing some tenderness and swelling on the right side of my face.

The fever is recent.

Started about half hour, 45 minutes ago.

The swelling is also new.

But I suspect that the infection, because that’s what I think it is, started in the last day or two.

I have had some tooth pain, sharp, unexpected, piercing pain, on and off for a couple of weeks.

But nothing like this.

Nothing where I am gasping out loud when it hits.

I almost did so with a client tonight.

Thank God I only had one client.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty punked by the end of the day and I thought, though the tooth was hurting a bit, I just thought, I’m tired, it’s been a long week, I’m not feeling great, and I cancelled my 7:30p.m.

But today.

I woke up and everything was fine.

Until about 3:30p.m. maybe four p.m.

Then I started to feel weird and a couple of times on the walk up the hill on Chenery Street I had a quick, fast, stabbing, piercing, white hot siren of pain in my tooth.

When I got back to the house with my charges I took some ibuprofen and I called my dentist.

I had an appointment in early November, I think somewhere in the back of my head that I thought I could make it until then, grin and bear it so to speak, but after the walk up the hill and realizing that once again I felt exhausted and the idea of going to my friends birthday dinner and dance party made me want to cry, that something was seriously wrong.

My god.

I am fucking burning up.

Fevers are weird.

Anyway.

I called and the receptionist said they could see me on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

I took the appointment and when the mom got home I told her and when I was telling her I could feel tears, OUCH! OUCH! Oof, sorry, yikes, tooth said hello, in my eyes.

That is a huge sign for me.

I have learned that I am sick not necessarily from actually acknowledging the symptoms, but from being in enough pain that it solicits tears.

Then.

Well, then I know.

And that took me years to learn.

I got used to turning off the pain receptors, ignoring them, not letting myself feel the pain, emotional or physical, a long, long, long time ago.

It was not safe to express pain.

It was not safe to be vulnerable.

Not at all.

Never.

Never.

Never.

I got used to toughing it out without realizing I was toughing it out.

I recall being 17 years old and having gotten really sick, so sick that I was walking around the house in a nightgown hallucinating and in so much pain I could barely talk, the back of my throat was on fire and coated with white mucus and my tonsils were so big I could barely breathe.

I called my mom at work and she couldn’t come to get me, she couldn’t leave work.

I called in sick to my debate team, we had a meet that next morning.

It was the only one we lost that year and boy howdy did I never hear the freaking end of it, but hey, I was in the emergency room by that point, so whatever.

I don’t remember much of what happened.

Except that the doctor yelled, I mean, yelled, at my mom for not bringing me in sooner.

I overheard, “she could have died,” and drowned the rest of it out.

Severe tonsillitis and strep and yes, wait for it, MONO.

How the fuck I caught the kissing disease is beyond me, but I had the trifecta.

The doctors didn’t want to do a tonsillectomy because they felt I was too old, it was too risky.

They pumped me full of antibiotics and I think I slept a lot for a few days.

I was back at school Monday though, to hear all about how I had let down the team.

The funny thing.

I can remember a lot of, what to me were wonderful things, about that Saturday afternoon after we left the hospital.

My mom took us, to the Willy Street market and bought crab salad and croissants, they were a day old, but fuck, they were croissants.

And ice cream.

And she was really nice to me.

I remember the way that crab salad sandwich tasted and the bowl of ice cream, butter pecan, and falling asleep on the couch.

It was wonderful.

How crazy is that, that one of my fondest memories is of being terrifically sick.

Anyway.

I wasn’t allowed to feel sick or be sick or act sick, or sad or angry, or any emotions really.

Maybe happy was allowed.

I don’t recall.

So today I was pretty impressed with myself, even though, yes, it could be argued that I should have called in a few days ago.

Should, would, could.

Ways to beat myself up that right now I prefer to not do.

Instead.

I will celebrate the fact that I listened to someone admonish me to take care of myself and I heard my boss in my head saying, “call in the mornings, every morning and see if there are any cancellations.”

Because when I got off the phone with my best friend I felt the fever tick up a notch and I could feel an intense hotness in my cheek starting.

I called my dentist.

8:45 p.m. on a Friday.

Expecting to leave a message and hope that someone would cancel and they would call me in.

Except.

Holy shit!

Someone answered.

My dentist has an answering service!

After listening to what I said and pulling up my chart she said come in tomorrow at 9 a.m.

There’s already an appointment, but she’d make sure that the dentist would see me, it meant double booking and it means I might have to wait, but better to wait in the office and be ready to go than wait until Wednesday.

Because frankly.

I am not going to make it until Wednesday.

Super freaking grateful I know to take suggestions.

So grateful.

I won’t be going to yoga in the morning.

Nope.

I’m going to the dentist.

Wish me luck.

I am a little scared.

Just a little.

Ok.

A lot.

I am a lot scared.

And that’s ok.

I’m going anyway.

I will be taken care of.

I always am.

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And So It Begins

July 28, 2015

Not once.

But twice today.

Messages on social media from folks I don’t know.

“Hey, so and so mentioned I should talk to you about getting a ticket to Burning Man, it’s my first time!  I’m terribly excited, the Universe has conspired to get me to go and I need two tickets, can’t wait to meet you on playa!!!!!!”

Heart emoticon.

Smiley face.

Exclamation point.

People.

Come on.

I don’t have a special in.

I mean, I got one certain trick I can do, and that’s about getting myself a ticket.

Nobody else.

Now.

I won’t lie, I have facilitated a few people getting tickets to the event.

I tipped off a friend one year to the low-income ticket and she applied to it and got it.

But that really has nothing to do with me other than I passed on some information that might be considered pertinent.

This year I did actually help a friend by connecting him to a former camp mate of mine who had an extra ticket and it was such a random event of just happening to see via social media after having just talked to my friend who needed a ticket and I connected the two, but they did all the heavy lifting.

Note to general public.

Like you, mister, on my Instagram feed.

I don’t have access to tickets.

The box office at Burning Man does.

And the OH MY GOD sale is about to happen, so that’s like your best bet.

Get yourself a subscription to the Jack Rabbit Speaks, the Burning Man newsletter and find out how to get on the STEP program–the Secure Ticket Exchange Program–if you want to get access to kind souls who may have a spare.

That’s another way as well, but commenting on a photo from last years event wondering if perhaps I could, you know, help a brother out, is not how you’re going to get in.

I mean.

Maybe someone somewhere gets that kind of deal.

But I’m not your lady.

So just stop.

Funny thing, I could actually use a spare myself.

I have a friend whose birthday and anniversary are coming up and happen to fall during the event, I would love to get him out there.

But.

Just so you know, I’m not about to go search the web for hashtags with Burning Man in it and beg for special Universal dispensation.

In a way, that sort of mysterious gift has already been given to me when the mom and the little bug, not so little anymore, reached out and said, all that longing I had poured out into a blog was heard and they wanted me to join their camp before someone else cottoned onto the fact that my schedule had become open and I could go to the event.

I wasn’t sure until I found out what my graduate school schedule was going to be.

Aside.

I got four books in the mail today.

Three more to go.

And fortunately of the four that came today are the two that I must have done a bit of reading in for the retreat week.

One of the book in its entirety and the other about three chapters.

It’s an intense amount of reading, but as I look at the stack,  I know I can do it, just like I know when I sit down to the pair page, the words will come.

I don’t always know where they come from, they just come.

The reading will be the same.

I will find the pattern and the times that work best for me.

End aside.

And I am going to damn enjoy my Burning Man this year.

I ran into a dear friend today in the Mission who I have not seen since last year’s event, and we caught up and she met my charges, we were on our way to Boogaloos for lunch, and we dished about the event, when we were headed up, what we were doing–she’s going to be on Gate for the first time, me as a nanny.

“But I heard through the grapevine that you’re not working that much?”

Nope.

Four shifts.

And maybe there will be more, but it won’t be like it was last year.

I explained to my friend the 22 our of 23 days that I worked last year, plus, let me not put too fine a point on it, but I worked the full week before I left for the event as well.

In essence I worked a month with one day off.

And that day off was total emotional upheaval and the storm that froze up the playa for a full day and had me stuck in the commissary, worse places to be for sure, I know, for five hours while the rain poured and the lighting smashed and the thunder shook the air and yes, it did hail too.

But that emotional upheaval, well, fuck, it was so worth it.

I mean.

I am looking at a stack of graduate school readers and psychology texts.

It was at Burning Man last year that I had it tossed at me, “well, what’s your part, this same thing happened last year with these folks, who came back and worked for them again?  You did.  What are you going to do different?”

There was a lot more to it than this, but he ended the speech with, “you’re a child psychologist getting paid babysitter wages, what are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergraduate degree?”

I said I did.

I do.

“Well, go to grad school, kiddo, and find another job in the mean time, this one isn’t so good for you.”

And they are not bad people, the folks I was working for, we just weren’t the best match, and I wasn’t happy.

I gave notice, got a new job, and applied to graduate school.

I got accepted.

I got a $30,000 scholarship.

I got financial aid for the rest, $60,000, but who’s counting?

And I got a ticket to go to Burning Man.

But I don’t have one for you.

Just saying.

But should the Universe comply, happy face, smile, heart emoji, I’ll see you on playa!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem.

Reunion

May 3, 2015

Babies.

Burners.

Bounty.

Berkeley (North)

Boom.

The room was filled with the laughter and bouncing and the juggling of three babies between six adults who were also busy getting back in touch with one another whilst talking sleep schedules, breast feeding, nursing pads, cloth diapers, double strollers, swaddling blankets, burping, gas, and well, all that is baby and life and beauty.

It was something else to see my beautiful friends with their beautiful offspring.

I did not feel left out or unnecessary or unloved, abandoned, alone, without.

I did not compare and despair.

That was nice.

I just got to look around the room with all my friends and have an afternoon of doing the deal and helping one another out and being of service.

Really, not much, but just the showing up, the making a few phone calls and the gathering of folks, friends from the city, from Castro Valley, from North Berkeley and from the fellowship.

It was amazing.

Nice is not doing it justice.

There was nothing special going on, but at the same time it was so special it made my heart ache.

In a very good way.

And also to know that I am not left behind, despite not being coupled up, married, or with baby, or twins as was the case with one or my friends.

I had to say it is astounding how a dad can get used to carrying small cargo.

He picked them up and carried them like he was holding footballs, tucked them under his arms and moseyed about.

I had never thought of my friend as a dad, but there he was, going to the next level, doing the next thing, giving mom a break and hanging out with us for the afternoon to help our friend who’s little one is now two weeks old.

And so big!

Of course, the last time I saw him he was just 18 or 19 hours old, so the growth is perhaps not that startling, but when you see them just a few weeks later, huge.

And healthy and gorgeous.

The blue eyes in the room were enough to make me gush and coo.

What I noticed too, is that my body did not react the same way it has in the past.

There was a time, around 37/38 when my body would respond, ache, with chemical need for a baby.

I noticed it.

My friends noticed it.

It’s hard to not when you see me flirting with a 2 and a 1/2 year old tow headed boy.

Or making goo goo eyes at a little girl with curly brown hair and soulful, deep brown eyes and a little bow mouth.

I would feel wracked with it sometimes.

I had the whole biological clock thing bad.

But today.

Not so much.

And for perhaps the first time I was completely and totally fine with I’m not having children.

It doesn’t make me feel weepy or weird or alone.

I felt pretty at peace with it.

Which was sweet and not something I was too sure about sharing.

I did think and have thought about having children, and I have had so many people tell me what a good mom I would make, that in a certain kind of way, I just suspected it would happen.

But as I am 42, single, and there has not been anyone since my ex, and the urge seems to be lessening, I am content to bask in the bounty of my friends and their broods.

And.

It was also a Burning Man reunion.

All six of us were at the event last year.

Although only two or us are going for sure this year and only one of us currently has a ticket.

“Listen, just keep talking action and seeing what you can bring and just plan on going, the Universe will get you a ticket, you will go,” I assured my friend as he told me about not having gotten a ticket the first round of sales and how he had registered for the Secured Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) and of course there is also the OMG sale, where a limited, but still significant number of tickets become available, 1,000, are released in early August.

“You’ll get a ticket, you will,” I said emphatically.

Then we talked about what service we were going to be doing and what we wanted to bring to the playa and how it’s changed both or our lives.

This event will make number 9 for me and there have been significant milestones in all of them.

Highlights that come up in my brain without much thought:

-putting Shadrach’s ashes in the Temple my first year

-a woman holding my hand at the Temple burn the next year while I sobbed (I hadn’t been able to stay and watch the burn the year before and it all came right back up)

-fighting in Thunder Dome

-the first time I went to the hot springs pre-event and the stars, shooting stars over head, no land light, just hot pools of water and black inky stars and a meteor shower

-putting make up on my friend the first night of her first burn and then taking her up to Gate when they opened it and cheering in the stands

-flying over the event in a small 4 seater Cessna airplane (I’ve gone up three times now, it’s astounding every time)

-being gifted Inner Circle passes five times for the night of the Man Burn

-seeing my face one of those years from the Burn get transposed in the final minutes of Spark: A Burning Man Story

-holding hands with Junebug and walking around the outskirts of Center Camp Cafe and she stops me abruptly, “Carmen, I love you.”  OH MY GOD.  I love you too, bunny, just a tiny, teeny, HUGE, bit.

-helping plaster the Narwhal at night it’s inaugural run on playa

-reciting poetry into a friends ear and the way his eyes bled blue into the high dusty sky

-being strapped into a huge tractor tire, pre-event, and getting the tire swing ride of a lifetime–lifted by a giant crane and swung around the air.

-rolling around the open playa in a golf cart and taking photographs

-meeting Duane with El Pulpo Mechanico and having a wonderful heart to heart with him

-all the tears, the discoveries, the revelations, the solo bicycle rides deep into the playa accompanied only by the imperial violet of the sky and the sunset, the solo naps out at Starfuckers before the event, the dancing, alone and in mobs of people, the shared coffees and dance offs when I volunteered with the Cafe my first year, the subsequent jobs, duties, and work, the art.

-OH, the art

I could go on for sometime.

There is so much there for me to remember and so much to look forward to and as I see my friends and their babies and I see me and my own endeavors I can only be more grateful that I get to keep doing this way of life and showing up and seeing what I can put into it.

Rather than take from it.

Please help me give rather than take.

I end up receiving so much more that way anyway.

Love.

Peace.

Fellowship.

Happiness.

Joy.

Freedom.

Basically.

All the things.


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