Posts Tagged ‘steps’

20,650 Steps

June 27, 2018

That’s how much I walked today.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to write this blog.

I just got out of a bath at the Air BnB I’m staying at in Brooklyn and I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes and I could have stayed there all night.

I mean.

I think I was lying there for at least five minutes, maybe more.

I got up though to put on lotion.

My skin has been changing a little, getting a little dryer as I get older and I don’t like how it feels, so I got up, slathered on some lotion and figured I would at least make an attempt at writing something.

I really did walk that many steps.

I actually walked more than that, I didn’t carry my phone with me all day, so there were a couple of flights of steps not counted and some pattering around the house exploring, but mainly, I was on the move today.

From flying out last night to landing here this early afternoon to strolling all over Brooklyn, I had quite a day.

I am pretty damn beat.

I got about three hours of sleep on the plane.

Not my best showing.

But I am sure I will catch up on that tonight.

And since I’m not on a schedule I can sleep as long as I like.

I have two plans for tomorrow.

The first is the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition and the Judy Chicago show.

The second is to see an old friend from SF who moved here years ago and go do the deal tomorrow night at 7:30p.m.

He and his girlfriend started something up a little while back that apparently is like what recovery is in San Francisco.

I had to laugh, since I’m a regular attendee at a spot that models itself after recovery in New York.

It’s always better where you got the message first.

So I will get a little piece of San Francisco tomorrow night, which is sweet.

It’s nice to still be connected to friends 13 years later.

I don’t foresee as much walking tomorrow as I did today.

The walking was actually not really planned.

I decided to walk around the neighborhood a little after I had gotten settled in and had taken a nice shower to wash off the airplane travel.

One block lead to another and another and another.

I like the neighborhood.

Very residential, lots of row houses.

God, I love the brown stones in Brooklyn.

And I love the culture of sitting on the stoop or in the front part of the brownstone, what would be a yard, but is just a square of cement patio.

I loved seeing so many people sitting out on the stoops and watching the neighborhood go by.

I felt like I fit in.

I could see living in Brooklyn, this part of Brooklyn anyway, I’m not quite as much of a fan of Williamsburg, which is quaint, but doesn’t have the row house appeal of this part of Brooklyn.

Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill.

Gorgeous houses.

They get fancier and fancier the closer to the water you get.

By the time I had walked to the Brooklyn Heights promenade I was pretty in awe of the houses.

So pretty.

Of course, I’ve only been here when it’s warm, I don’t know that I could deal with the winters, I know they are vicious.

I had enough winters being in Wisconsin as long as I was.

It’s warm, the day was warm, not too hot, it will get warmer as I stay.

Today was about 80 degrees, by Saturday it’s supposed to be low 90s.

It’s going to be hot, hot, hot.

But I will enjoy that too, when the sun goes down and I’m still outside walking around in a light weight dress.

I wore my bibs out today and got lots of compliments on them.

I also got lots of compliments on my tattoos.

I was actually surprised to not see more folks with tattoos, could just be the part of the city I’m in, who knows.

I had a conversation outside a coffee shop on Lafayette Avenue with a youngish girl who wanted to pick my brain as she was planning her first tattoo.

We had quite the conversation.

I like that I can just fall into talking with people, it feels nice.

I did have a moment of feeling a tiny bit lonely tonight when I was back at the Air BnB having procured food from the Whole Foods three miles away.

That was the last stop on my walk, and I have to say, I was a bit out of it by that point.

But.

I did manage to wrangle up breakfast food, coffee, snacks, cold brewed coffee, bottled water, and fruit for the rest of the week.

I plan on eating breakfast at the house and then other meals out.

Although I only ate one meal out today, and it wasn’t with much fan fare, though I have to say, it was nice to eat it outside on the patio at the joint I went to in Fort Greene.

Dinner I didn’t have it in me to plan, cook, or go out for, I was too tired after getting back from the grocery store.

I made oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg.

I’m sure I will eat out plenty the rest of the week.

Anyway.

I’m happy to be here and excited for sleep and to see what the rest of the week shall bring.

Here.

Let me at least leave you with a few photos:

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2018-06-26 15.03.36-2

And now.

Now.

It is time for the rest.

Seriously.

 

Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.

Nope.

I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?

Cuz.

That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.

Yet.

Utterly simple.

Easy?

No.

My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.

Well.

Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.

Shit.

I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.

Or.

Worse.

I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.

But.

I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.

Or.

Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.

Always.

Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.

This.

Overwhelming.

Overarching.

Expansive.

And.

Genuine.

Love.

 

Teeny, Tiny Steps

July 10, 2015

But forward movement.

Always.

That was what I promised myself when I checked in with my person yesterday and we talked about my fear around the process of getting my course work and reading materials to begin the work outlined in my syllabi for the graduate program.

Holy cats kids.

It’s happening.

It’s coming up.

I have the retreat, which is a part of my first semester of school, in one month.

It is August 9th-16th in Petaluma and I will have my reading done by then.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes I will.

I haven’t purchased any readings yet, although on a complete side note I did find a fantastic shoulder holster on Etsy that I bought for Burning Man.

I have a hip holster and I use it frequently, but there are times when I want something smaller and I have been eyeing up a shoulder holster for a while now.

I found one I like.

I have the money in my spending plan.

And voila.

One more little thing taken care of.

It wasn’t too expensive and it will come out of my clothing allowance for the month, so I don’t even feel like it was a splurge, just something nice to have for myself that I will use and re-use.

I don’t believe this will be my last Burning Man.

I also had the pleasure of being reached out from of all places the Tales from The Playa blog post I submitted a while back that was published on the Burning Man website.

A husband and wife with a two-year old daughter, artists from Paris of all places, are coming for their second burn and wanted tips and suggested for how to burn with their daughter.

It’s nice to know that I can help others with taking their kids to Burning Man and be of service by sharing my experience.

Anyway, aside from the small Burning Man prep that I did, I also investigated deferring my student loan while I am in school.

I realized that with the retreat being in a month, this would be the last month that I make a student loan payment on my undergrad loans.

Which are just slightly less than I thought they were, I just checked, they are still hefty and I have often despaired of every paying them off, but I will, I know I will, I have faith, they currently stand at $31.000 and change.

I don’t pay a whole lot on the monthly, but as my employment will drop down to part-time and I still got to figure out how to pay for my general everyday costs of living in San Francisco, I will need every single spare cent I can spare.

There’s a small part of me that actually wanted to not defer the payment and I may opt to at least continue to make small payments on the interest, but I don’t want to burden myself with extra financial worry when I can with all credibility defer due to being in school full-time.

The paperwork is a bit onerous and it looks like I am going to have to down load it, print it, fill it out by hand, then take it to a person in the financial aid office at CIIS and have them put the official stamp of approval on the request.

One tiny step.

Go to my student loan services website, log in, and look at the paperwork.

That’s all I have to do.

I don’t have to do it perfect, I don’t have to do it all today, I don’t have to figure it out.

One small action taken.

Tomorrow when I go to work I will ask if I may borrow the printer in the office, I’ll print off  the form and then I will fill it out on my lunch break.

I will then call the financial aid office and ask when I can come in and have the form signed so that I may send it out in the mails and have it all set up before August rolls around.

I have a month.

I will get the things done.

And tomorrow I can also find out about meeting with my advisor.

I can e-mail the department.

I may just do that tonight and see about killing two birds with one stone and make an appointment to meet with my advisor and go to the financial aid office and get them to fill out the paperwork.

I can also find out what’s going on with my awards package.

I have yet to receive it in the mail.

I have been watching the mail like a hawk.

I did get my postcard from Atlanta though!

That was fast.

I wasn’t expecting to already get it, postcards seem to take a while to get to me when I mail them out.  And as I had forgotten that I mailed it, I had a nice surprise when I looked in my mail box this evening.

A little reminder of what happens when I take those baby steps.

I wrote about wanting to go to Atlanta long before I took any real “actions” the writing was the first part.

Then more writing, some affirmations, some I am a world traveler writing and the destination I plugged in was Atlanta (since having done this many times before and it always seems to work out–I have written about traveling to Paris, lived there six months, going to London, to Rome, to Burning Man, travel to San Diego, I am writing now about the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Paia, Maui–where my grandmother was born) and eventually I took another action.

I registered for the conference.

Then another action.

I started looking for flights.

Then for lodging.

And eventually, without having to make a huge deal out of it, I got to Atlanta and went and now I am back.

Getting ready to do the graduate school thing and get into those books and do the fully self-supporting financial actions that I have also been writing about.

One of which is: I am financially successful and self-supporting, I have paid my student loans in full.  I have paid my graduate school tuition in full (when I started writing that I had no clue I was even going to apply for a scholarship, let alone win two.).  And this last one, which cracks me up, but is true, I own a new Casper mattress.

I want a new bed.

Sleep is going to be very important to my graduate school endeavors, I know it.

So.

One little baby step today.

And the ball starts rolling and the next thing you know I’ll be putting my name plate above the door of my own private practice.

Well.

Let me not get too far ahead of myself.

I know what I need to do next.

And I know that as long as I stay focused on the small actions in front of me, the rest will follow.

It always does.

You Need To Celebrate!

June 5, 2015

She told me tonight.

She hugged me hard.

“You show up, I just want to let you know how grateful I am that you do the work!” She shined up at me, she’s shorter than me.

I wiped away some tears, I was sharing about the past weekend and what it felt like to make amends and how sometimes I just feel like I’m not doing enough, and how I have worked really hard to sustain the abstinence I have and the 90 lb plus weight loss and how, nothing tastes as good as abstinence.

Also that it’s challenging repeating, again and again that I don’t eat sugar and flour and that it makes me sick.

I can’t just have one cookie.

If I could have just one fucking cookie I’d have one fucking cookie.

Or beer.

Or line of blow.

Or cigarette.

I can’t have just one.

That is not in my make up.

So to go and reconnect and make amends and walk into a new situation that I had heretofore ever had with my father’s side of the family and NOT eat the “better than sex cake” (which, I’m sorry, but after not having sex for the last six months, there is no cake that is fucking better than sex, bring on the sex! Damn it) is a big deal.

“It’s not about the food, though,” she said, quietly, sweetly.

“You show up, lady, you are amazing, you do a good job,” she hugged me again.

Oh yeah.

I do a good job.

I did good today at my job job.

And I do damn good at my other job, the more important one, the keeping it sober and together and real one.

Which allows for all the other work to happen.

So.

Yeah.

I need to celebrate.

Yes, yes I do.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

I signed up for Match.com.

Bahahahahaha.

Oh.

I kill myself.

But serious.

I did.

I am taking suggestions and as I have posited before I don’t have to know which ones are going to work, I really don’t, but I do have to take actions.

I can’t bemoan not going out on dates and being single if I’m not willing to take any actions.

Thus I took some actions.

I finished the profile last night and hooked up some photos and decided I would sit on it over night.  I’m still not a huge fan of the having to pay for the website.

When I was on my bike riding home, thinking about what I had shared and the feedback, and there was more, a bit more really, but nothing that is appropriate to put on the blog, some things I will share only face to face and what I talked about tonight in the back room of Our Lady of Safeway was really only for the ears within that space.

That being said, it made an impression on me how much grief I can still carry in my body over something that happened so long ago and despite having done a lot of work.

A LOT.

I still have grief there and there are still things to work out and let go of.

One of them is that I do not and will not ever have the body that I wish I had.

It does not matter that I have sustained the weight loss, although it really does, to my mind, when I have excess loose skin and like Caitlyn Jenner hiding her hands in that Vanity Fair cover, there is no amount of work that is going to cover it up when I am not wearing long sleeves and a sweatshirt.

I can’t just photo shop my sagging arm skin off my body.

It’s there.

“What’s that?” The eldest boy said to me tonight, feeling the soft folds of skin hanging loosely from my under arm, “it’s squishy.”

“That is what happens,” I said, after taking a deep breath (nobody wants their fat poked, or in my case, my sagging arm skin prodded) and knowing that he wasn’t being hurtful, he was just curios, “is what happens to your body when you lose a lot of weight.”  I continued, “my skin is not as supple and elastic as yours is and when I lost a bunch of weight, that’s what happened.”

“Oh,” he said and went back to eating his apple sauce.

Like it’s no big deal lady.

“I love you, Carmen,” he said, out of no where.

See.

It doesn’t matter how much excess skin you got, you’re loved.

This is the body God has given to me and when I criticize it I am criticizing the greatest artist ever.

I mean really.

Who am I to tell God how to make me look?

Not I.

And when my friend shared with me, when she thanked me for doing the work, taking the steps to do the amends, to go and show  up and be my authentic self (who happened to look very cute today in spite of upper arm skin sag, thank you very much), that she was so grateful for my example.

Well.

I am celebrating.

I paid for three months on Match.com.

And.

I bought two orchestra seats for “In Our Own Words” in Atlanta for myself and my darling friend who is coming with me to Atlanta in July.

Because sometimes I have to celebrate.

I’m also being treated to a dinner on Saturday by my friend, who confirmed with me that we were going early (to accommodate my dietary stuff) and bring on the raw fish!

We’re going to Liholiho Yaht Club on Sutter Street.

Hawaiian, how apropos, and contemporary Indian/Asian fare.

Bring me some Poke please.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Another reason to celebrate.

Besides the fact that I am seeing the promises in my life-like nobody’s business.

All that hard work praying off.

I mean.

Paying off.

Yeah.

That’s worth celebrating.

Indeed.

You Can Write

January 4, 2015

But you can’t edit.

Edit.

Edit.

It’s the small things.

The little things that I don’t let get in my way until they are overwhelmingly in my way and then the solution.

A tiny little step out into discomfort and the whole world opens up.

I’m being a bit oblique, I know.

Silly, isn’t it when I can’t speak my mind open and honest.

Ashamed, in fear, what will people think, like it’s any of my business, the process, showing up for it, doing it, living outside the vacuum of my room and my little wee laptop.

Not so wee, it’s obsolete as of oh, five minutes ago.

When this little lady dies, this is laptop is going to be buried lovingly and with ceremony in a special spot.

But until then, I’m going to ramble along on my keyboard, in my spot, with my music, yes, oh yes, my music.

I finally got that little cable thingy ma bob that connects my new iphone to my old ihome stereo box, you know, that other bit of technology that is obsolete–the ipod player.

I have been listening to the same 937 ish songs on that little machine for years now and for a while also on my iphone 4, but then, yes, I went where the cool kids go and I upgraded and now the little jack doesn’t fit the player.

But.

Yes.

I did it.

I got that cable and now, I’ve got my music on my phone, which is my music on my laptop which is a vast and theatrical compilation of many more songs and compilations and albums, and oh, Regina Spektor, you make my night, my lovely girl you.

I am distracted from the writing by the music which inspires the writing, which is, ah well, you perhaps know what I am saying, is distracting to the process because I am enjoying the music so much.

Ask.

Write.

Be the artist.

Find your way back in my dear, dear friend.

I’m writing my way back in.

I finding my still point again and realizing that I have to commit to re-commit to the process of the writing and that I am not only allowed to do so, but I expect that have to do so.

“Write, Martines, write, write or you’re going to die,” he told me, oh, oh so many years ago.

So I picked up my pen with renewed vigor today and I said, fuck the audience, fuck the ideas, fuck the need to know why I am doing this, perpetually human, take it, take the gift and eat the fuck out of it.

I don’t know why I write.

Only that I have to.

Only that when I am doing so I am alive, I am the fulcrum, I am the glowing bunny night-light from the shop on Valencia street that the owner found in a boutique in the Marais district in Paris and that I have to spend $5.37 about every three weeks to replace the batteries too.

What am I saying?

I am a glowing night-light.

A bunny rabbit.

A light of creativity.

I am not grey.

I am not black.

I am a prospectus of light and color and I cannot deny that the color and light and the music rolls in the worlds of words that I live in.

I could be lonely and open and not alone, no, never alone, just open to the process.

The music, it almost drowns out the clack and click of my fingers on the keyboard and I break my own heart, yet again, to sieve through the painful remnants therein and see what it is that I need to pierce myself with so that I may once again bleed art.

I almost took out the pad and pen today and wrote the opening salvo to my letter of application to the graduate school I intend to be attending in the fall.

I end up writing about pain instead.

I took one of those tiny steps on the thousand mile journey, not toward graduate school, but toward this life, this path of life.

I strew the petty jealousy across the page.

I inventoried.

I wrote supplication prayers.

I wrote about humility.

Love.

I saw myself in a new light of clarity and asked for more, more perspective and light and growth.

And what do you know.

I got it.

It’s not pleasant to cry in front of people, nor is it exactly soul-stirring to let loose the waterworks in the front window of the Starbucks in Noe Valley at 24th and Sanchez, but I don’t get to choose where I cry.

I cry in bed.

I cry in the street.

I cry on my bicycle.

The tears they flow when I least expect or desire or want.

I fall asleep with the pillow wet and the darkness rides over the moon lit dunes and the light, so bright, wakes me, and I am awake to feel the ache, and I fall into prayer like a bumble bee heavy with pollen tumbling from the mouth of a Marguerite daisy.

Until I fall asleep again.

The circle continues, the cycle spins anew and I take a knee or two and I pray more and sing more under my breath the soft hum of love a kissing moth in my heart a flutter with dusty motes of sunshine breaking through the bamboo window shades on the back door of my studio.

The silvers of blue sky, the flash of raven wings over the back yard, the cut of the houses roofs and the smash of the waves on the sand, muffled by the pillow on my face and then, I move forward again.

I don’t know where this goes.

I don’t know the changes that need to be made, but they are being made for me, I just follow, follow, those tiny steps shown to me, outlined clear and dappled.

It’s like I am on the same fair ground ride again.

I just dropped another quarter in the rocket ship mouth and the sun sets over the Calliope and I tip my cap to the moon rising above the fairway.

And maybe the Myna Birds come on my little stereo now.

Or Tom Waits and the mood will shift.

To another track.

But not off the track.

No.

I’m on track.

I’m writing.

I’m all in bitches.

I’m back.

I also have no idea what the hell I just wrote.

And it doesn’t matter.

I wrote.

That is all.

She wrote.


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