Posts Tagged ‘take action’

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture

November 1, 2017

Holy crow.

They picked me!

I am so blown away and honored.

And nervous, fuck, if I think about it too long I might get myself in trouble, but overall, wow, wow, wow, just amazed.

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture is a lecture series that is a kind of anti-TEd Talk where the focus is on people’s personal stories and journeys.  They were given my name by my mentor and friend who commissioned some sonnets from me after a chance (chance, my ass, that was grace, God, the universe if you will) encounter at Burning Man.

They have been doing the series in Tel Aviv for the last four years or so and have gone global this year.

There will be shows in New York, Buenos Aries and, yes, here in San Francisco.

I interviewed with them today before I went into work.

I wasn’t even sure what the hell I was going to talk about, and if I think on it real hard I know that I told a good bit of my personal story, my journey, how I got from here to there and back again, but I didn’t choose my word so much as just let them come out, I just asked to be a channel and let what needed to come out come out.

I’m not sure how I got to be so lucky to be a story-teller, but I did.

I do think it has something to do with remembering to say yes to things.

When my friend had first mentioned it I was intrigued, but really had no clue what was being talked about and I sort of forgot.

Then we had lunch this past Sunday in North Beach and I got a bit more of the back story.

It sounded fascinating.

So, yes I was nervous taking my scooter up into the hills over Dolores Park to meet with the people who run the show.

But, well, you know me, half the battle, three-quarters, 7/8’s haha, of the whole deal is just showing up.

Take the action.

Let go of the results.

The results are God’s anyway.

They really seemed to like my story and I saw one of them was moved to tears, more than once and it was amazing to watch their reactions and then to hear them say they could listen longer and wanted to know more and that they didn’t usually offer a spot the day of the interview to a lecturer.

But.

Well.

They did to me.

Oh my God.

I’m going to do a lecture!

It will be short, ten minutes, and I will be speaking with others in the community, I believe my friend will be one of the lecturers as well.

And when I had mentioned our poetry project and creativity and my experiences I actually got a soft, but firm, no, that’s not what we want, we want your story.

They talked to me about what they had heard and themes that came up in my telling my personal journey, I think I talked for about twenty minutes or so, straight before they started asking questions and collaborating with me about what they would like me to focus on in my story.

I will be covering the thematic of resilience and gratitude.

Two things I have in spades.

Oh.

Do I ever.

I have to write-up my narrative for them to go over by Monday morning.

I will go in and speak with them again and they will go over my story and give me pointers on what they want me to focus on.

I have to write-up the piece and get it to them by Monday a.m.

I will go in at noon next Monday and see them again.

I have the rest of the week to think about it and then to write it out.

They asked me to give them a ten minute piece.

It will be off book as well, so even though I will have a narrative to hand into them so that they can help me polish and pull out the tasty bits, I will be on my own up on that stage.

Just me, myself, and I telling a little story about how I got where I am today.

I am so honored and a bit in awe.

A bit in wonder.

I’m grateful, so grateful I get to do stuff like this.

It will just be ten minutes of my life, but I suspect it will be a lot more, it will be a gift to my community, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today and certainly not fucking asked to give a lecture before hundreds of people.

The lecture series will be held at The Chapel on Valencia Street in the Mission, Tuesday, December 5th.

I’m not sure of the time yet, but in the evening.

I’ll have a dress rehearsal there on December 3rd and then do the deal on the 5th.

I’m really over the moon.

And though I, of course, it is my story after all, know what I’m going to write about, I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about.

Which is fine.

I’m ok with extemporaneous speaking I did it through high school as well as debate, as well as doing French forensics and poetry.

I’ve spoken in front of loads of people, I will be able to do this too.

It’s a little scary, it’s on stage and I know there will be a lot people there.

But.

Really.

I just need to show up and open my mouth, just show up and ask to carry the message, my journey, my story, my resiliency, and not the mess.

I’m good at the mess, I want to carry the message.

Which is often that, if I can make it through the terrors and traumas of my life, then so can you.

And.

Not only that, I can share how, I can share my experience, I can share my hope, and that I did it and how I’m happy now, have been happy now for some years, and I’m loved and my life is fulfilling, rewarding, and full of service.

Life is not a vale of tears and when it is, well, it is gold, a kind of coin I can spend helping another in their struggle by sharing how I got through.

Which is the greatest gift, after all, isn’t it?

Having experiences to share with others.

Love and gratitude tonight.

So very much.

I’ll keep you posted.

Night all.

Sweetest dreams.

 

 

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Hello Monday

February 28, 2017

Let’s be friends.

Today was not a bad day to start the week.

It was sunny.

Hello.

No rain.

So grateful to ride my scooter to and from work, such a gift.

I heard someone complaining, “yeah, it’s sunny, but it’s freezing.”

Shut the fuck up bitch.

It’s NOT raining.

I will take sunny and cold over rain any damn day.

Grateful the drought is finally over, but I think we are amply replenished and the weather can just give it a rest for a minute.

Plus.

I had a really nice leisurely morning with no homework.

I got it done this past weekend, the reading, so my normal go to reading time I spent on doing some extra personal writing and yes, I cleaned the house before I left for work, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, swept the floors.

It was super nice to come home to.

I came home to some nice roast chicken dinner too.

Very glad I had done the food prep this weekend, it was super easy to come home, peel a couple of carrots to nosh on and heat up my turmeric and garlic brown rice and a roast chicken breast and have a hot, homemade dinner.

I love self-care.

I’ve gotten better and better at it.

From going to the dentist and paying for it all up front.

To paying my rent and utilities early for March.

To going to yoga.

To having extra boxes of my favorite tea in the house.

To lighting up the candles when I get home.

It really helps me to be able to navigate the world with kindness and love when I have first taken care of myself.

And I needed that good self-care today.

Both my charges were home.

I had expected that they would be in school, ski week vacation is over and school is back in.

But.

It was grandma’s last day before flying back home so both of the older kids stayed home to see her off.

We had a very sweet day.

Built a Lego model, colored, watched a Cat in The Hat video, and read a lot of books.

I also cooked lunch and dinner for them.

I love cooking.

It is such a nice thing that it is part of my job.

Tonight for dinner I made sautéed ground chicken with onions and garlic in a rosemary infused bechamel sauce and served it over penne pasta.   I made a side of regular mac and cheese, albeit the fancy kind for the kids, as well as maple and soy glazed Julienne carrots and zucchini.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My little lady charge told me, “it is so yummy!”

She likes to sit with me when I have my lunch and nibble whatever I’m having as well as her own meals.

It’s rather endearing.

“More of the corn,” she told me today with these big saucer blue eyes full of merriment and mischievousness.

I was eating a bowl of homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

“I’ll have a carrot now,” she said next, pointing to the one in the bowl she wanted.

I just laughed and spooned it into her mouth.

When I got home tonight after work and doing the deal over at 7th and Irving, I had a very kind text message from the dad too, saying basically how grateful he was to come home from a hard day at work to a really nice dinner.

That too makes my day.

I don’t need to be validated, but damn, it is nice to get it, especially from new employers.

I really am quite happy to be with them and so grateful to be in an environment where I feel like I’m totally being of service and also that I am really appreciated for my skills and the job I do.

Usefulness makes for happiness.

I am happy.

I am happy too that I spent some time before work crunching my numbers and saw quite clearly that despite the unexpected out go of the money for the dental stuff, I will be quite fine this upcoming month.

My costs will be covered and I shouldn’t have any problems with making ends meet.

It helps that I have some cash in savings, so I don’t feel stressed out.

I put 3/4s of my tax return straight into savings.

So even though it feels like I don’t have any money, I in fact, do.

I just don’t want to touch it.

I have one savings account that is for travel and I have one that is the meager beginnings of a prudent reserve.

Plus.

The month of March, five weeks.

So I’ll get a little extra there and although I’m not big on working extra hours past 40, I will one week in March as the dad will be on a business trip and I’m going to help out the family more that week.

I’m not quite sure what that looks like, but I said I would help and I am happy to do so.

A lot of that comes from feeling on top of my school work and my next action steps around my practicum placement and my internship.

I have a workshop that I will be attending the next weekend of school to acquire all the paperwork and take the next steps and then that following week I’ll be going to my supervisor with the paperwork and starting the next phase of the practicum.

So exciting.

There are lots of things happening.

But I don’t feel overwhelmed and I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I just keep showing up day-to-day.

Taking whatever next action is in front of me and letting go of the results.

Because the results are not mine anyway.

They never have been.

I can’t control the outcome of anything.

I can just take some simple actions and love myself for trying.

That’s it.

Pretty damn simple.

It is.

Seriously.

 

Break My Heart

July 8, 2016

Oh.

I got a little verklempt tonight and it was  so unexpected.

It breaks my heart.

I hear in my mind all of these voices.

I hear in my mind all of these words.

I hear in my mind all of this music.

Oh Regina.

You have all the clues.

I had to put the Spektor on.

It reminds me of my second year at Burning Man and the first time I heard this album.

I was staying at camp watching my ten and a half month old charge while her parents were out going to Burning Man.

I was dancing on top of a wooden bench that was next to the burn barrel and I was sad and happy and full of this bright music that just caromed into my heart and burned itself there.

I recall another time, same album, a few years later, also at Burning Man, being told by an admirer, “I watched you dance by yourself, it was so beautiful I couldn’t help myself.”

I had been having my Regina Spektor moment, by myself I had thought, unaware of being observed.

I have Burning Man on the mind.

Burning Man in my heart.

I am heart sore and surprised by it.

Maybe I have just been whistling in the dark about the whole not going thing.

“You need to go up early and come home early,” a friend said to me weeks ago when I told her that my plans to go had collapsed when I got the word of my school schedule and the opening weekend being the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of September.

I couldn’t very well work.

I couldn’t take the ticket, the camp offer, the job offer, the ride, none of it if I wasn’t going to be able to do the job that I had been hired on to do.

I explained this to a dear friend of mine who saw my face fall when a mutual friend showed us a photograph of his tickets and the Survival Guide.

I teared up.

I got all emotional.

I am rather teary right now writing about it.

I guess I could feel some shame about that, but it means a lot to me.

It’s where I go to see so many friends that I would not otherwise see.

It is where I feel almost most whole and myself.

You are my sweetest downfall.

I went to bed last night and said my prayers and got into my bed and said, just an aside, hey God, I want to go to Burning Man.

I don’t know how.

I don’t know what I am going to do.

But.

Fuck it.

Fuck this.

I want to go.

It’s home.

It’s year ten in a row.

I can’t see myself not going and it hurts, like physically, to think about not being there.

I thought to myself.

I don’t have enough money.

Bullshit.

Then.

I can’t get the time off from work.

Again.

I call bullshit.

If my employers were willing to give me ten days off they’ll be willing to give me four days off.

I don’t have a ride.

So fucking what?

I am sure I can catch a ride with someone.

I travel small.

I travel light.

I don’t have a place to camp.

So fucking what?

I know enough people I’m sure I could bivouac with someone.

“Do you want me to ask her for a ticket?” My friend asked tonight.

I balked.

I hate asking.

I hate it.

But.

Yes.

Fuck.

Yes I do.

And so here we go world.

Interwebs.

Friends.

Family.

Burners.

I want to go.

I’m ready to do whatever needs to be done.

I don’t want to roll over like a dead mouse on this one.

Which means taking some actions.

I am going to ask some folks.

I’m going to see what I can see and do what I can do and if there’s a hot chance in hell that I can go, I’m going to go, if it’s only for a few days, fine.

I have had my three week stints out there.

And yeah, I love that shit.

But.

As a dear friend relayed to me via a message, that the playa Goddesses would understand, that the noble arts of healing and psychology were worthy pursuits.

He added that he thought coming up early was a good idea.

I do too.

So.

I have to do the asking.

I can’t just sit on my hands and hope that something will happen.

The man burns in like, I don’t know, 60 days?

Less maybe, I can get it all together quickly to do the deal.

I just have to do it.

I have to take the action.

I hate asking for help, but that’s what I have to do.

If I can get it together to get out the evening of the 26th, I could be there for four days.

That would be fine with me.

Better four days than no days.

God, what do you think?

I say yes.

I want to go and I am willing to be the beggar at this point.

I have some selling points, I’m good company on the ride, I’m good at taking people out on playa bike ride dates, I give a fantastic hand massage, face massage, back massage, I like to recite poetry, I love to be vulnerable and open and sunny and bright and I bring something to the event, I don’t just take.

I will go and be of service, even for a short time, there is service that can be done.

It’s late.

It’s late notice.

It’s short, short time, short notice.

But.

I am not afraid.

If I’m not supposed to go, it’ll be obvious real fast.

If I’m supposed to go, it’ll be easy and fall gently, beautifully, sweetly into place.

Now.

A big deep breath.

I’m willing to do the work.

And I am willing to let go of the results.

Come what may.

To Burn or not to burn is not the question.

I am always on fire.

Just get me to the church on time.

God.

I pray.

Just get me to the playa.

I’ve been a good girl this year.

Yeah.

I know.

God is not Santa Claus, but I also know that God knows what is in my heart and wants to give me those things.

I have faith.

Exuberant and raw.

I plant my rebar stake here.

Let’s go to Burning Man.

Let’s please.

Yes please.

Let’s go.

Go.

Go.

Go.


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