Posts Tagged ‘tears’

Almost Got It

June 10, 2017

I thought I was social media dark on my blog last night when I posted.

Except.

Ha.

I was still linked to Twitter.

Figured it out pretty quick, went and deleted off Twitter, and it didn’t link to Facecrack and now, well, I’ve disconnected any sharing on the blog.

It’s just you and me and a couple of friends.

Shhhh.

Part of me want to let out some big scary secret.

But there’s no big scary thing to let out of the bag.

I am a pretty happy lady.

I had today off.

What?

I know.

A Friday.

Off.

My family that I work for is still super sick and I got the message last night after I logged off my blog that they thought it better for me to take off today as well and they’d see me Monday.

I have to say I was sorry for them, but also so grateful, I really don’t know what I would have done had I gotten a severe flu bug.

I hate vomiting.

I mean really bad.

So I’ll happily take my pass and take the day off.

I didn’t sleep in, I got up and went to an early yoga class.

But after that I did take a really mellow day for myself.

I balanced the check book, paid the phone bill, did lots of writing, got in some laundry.

Then I scooted over to Nordstrom Rack and spent a lot of time trying on clothes that didn’t work for me.

I had some high hopes, but the retail therapy was not to be had.

Then again, it wasn’t a total loss, I got a bra, two tank tops, two pairs of panties, some body lotion and some mascara.

It was worth the trip, just to pick up a couple of staples.

Sure.

I had hoped for a new summery dress or maybe a pair of pretty shoes, but fact is, I have bought myself some nice things recently and I don’t really need to do more shopping.

I was looking for something to keep my brain occupied.

It turns out that a woman I have been working with for the past three and a half years is no longer available to work with me and we had a long talk on the phone as I stood by my scooter in the parking lot at Nordstrom Rack.

The blue sky coming through the sky light, the cars parking, the sound of a shopping cart going by and someone who loves me saying, I have loved working with you but it’s time for you to find someone else.

I have never been let go quite like this.

In fact.

I have never been let go.

I have always been the one to find another person to work with.

It was definitely an experience.

Now.

The funny thing is, not funny haha, but interesting, odd, is it odd?

Or God?

I think.

Well.

I believe.

It was God.

As I have prayed a lot over the last week about the relationship.

Something was said to me last week when we met that hurt my feelings deeply and though there was some repair in the moment when she realized how hurt I was, there was still an underlying wounding that I carried with me for days.

I just didn’t know what to make of it.

It came out in my therapy session Tuesday morning.

And.

Well.

Yes.

As a matter of fact.

I bawled my damn eyes out.

Then I worked through it.

Then.

Later that day when I was checking in with someone else.

I got mad.

I mean.

ANGRY.

I was yelling cunt in a church courtyard, so yeah, maybe livid might even be an emotional marker.

I did calm down.

I did write a lot of inventory.

Then I sat on it for a couple of days and really just let myself calm the fuck down.

Thank God for getting to yoga three times in a row this week.

Totally took the edge off.

That praying and writing and more writing and then I did it.

I called, left a message, said what I was feeling and let go of the results.

The results?

I was let go.

And I have no regrets.

Not a one.

I was honest and I know that there was no bitterness in the parting and I’m grateful for the time we got to work together and I’m grateful that I get to have a new experience with another person.

Before it was happening I had felt this dread and sadness and overwhelm, how the fuck am I going to find another person to work with?

I’m too busy.

But.

When it happened.

I knew that it was right.

And I knew that I wasn’t being dropped.

If anything it was God doing for me what I could not do for myself.

I get to have a new experience with a new person and I will get to grow and find out new things and have a new perspective and until that person comes into my life, I’m held by my community and I am not worried.

I am loved.

I am enough.

And I learned a lot.

Some of which I can’t share here as it’s just not my place.

But.

Suffice to say there was deep learning here.

And a deep gratitude for my community and for the people I talked to over the last few days and today and for feeling held and loved and having that love reflected back to me.

I know that I’m still going to have some feelings.

Abandonment.

Not lovable.

Not enough.

Yada, yada, yada.

Victim.

Martyr.

But.

They will pass.

And I will come out the other side stronger and better and more graceful.

Whenever God has “taken” something or someone from me I have been given the gift that he was waiting to put into my hands but I was too busy holding onto something that didn’t work out of some misplaced idea that I could fix it and make it better.

Not realizing God had the solution right in front of me.

My hands are empty.

I am now able to receive.

My heart is ready.

I will walk through this.

I have to.

There is not another choice.

There is only the present.

And all the gifts inherent.

I am loved.

And that is enough.

It always is.

Sexy Got Her Homework On

March 27, 2017

And her yoga on.

But not her sex on.

Well.

Not true.

I took care of business after my second yoga class today.

Yes.

I said that, two yoga classes today.

I have never done that before.

It’s not that big a deal and at the same time, it sort of was.

I went to my normal 9 a.m. Sunday morning class and got a very good sweat on and proceeded to watch my entire day change in the span of a few text messages.

When I got back from my yoga class I got a cancellation then after I got out of my shower and was getting my breakfast ready, my coffee date cancelled.

So.

I sent a lover a message.

And.

Nope.

NO response.

That kind of day.

So.

I got to do extraordinary amounts of self-care.

Which was needed and much cleaning and house hold attending.

And.

Cooking and grocery shopping.

This next few weeks is going to be busy.

I will be working two weeks straight for the family, the dad will be leaving Thursday for a business trip out-of-town so I will be working next Saturday and Sunday.

It’s actually going to be three weeks of work and school before I have another weekend off.

It’s going to be intense.

So I’m grateful I had today all to myself.

I was good company.

I took some extra time this morning for my writing and I made myself the most delicious coconut/almond milk latte and decided to just let the day unfold and not worry about anything.

I knew I also had to get a paper written for my Trauma class, my step-father made it into a paper this go around, and do cooking and food prep.

But I didn’t force myself or stress.

I just took each moment as its own little exquisite experience.

I washed all my bedding and did two loads of laundry, even washed the rugs in the bathroom, and swept, vacuumed, washed, polished, and cleaned my whole house.

It looks so nice.

I also went grocery shopping for two weeks of food.

I will probably have to re-up on fresh fruit, but I have enough coffee, eggs, oatmeal, brown rice, almond milk, organic carrots, frozen blueberries, and prepared food to get me through the weeks to come.

I roasted a chicken today and I made jambalaya.

I froze the majority of it and canned the rest of the chicken soup I had leftover from last week.

I have meals for days and I feel happy to have dealt with it.

I didn’t leave the neighborhood.

Although I did take my scooter to the Safeway on Balboa to get my groceries.

I wasn’t going to take it further, I knew there was going to be one more episode of rain and sure enough, there was, but not before I had run all the errands I needed to do and the next week and a half looks like sunshine.

That is going to be super helpful, I have my first therapy session with my new therapist Tuesday before work and I have an appointment to see my advisor at school Thursday before work.

The before work, work begins.

In actuality, I realize, it began already last week, I have been doing things before work for the last couple of weeks since the last school weekend.

Which reminds me, I need to swing by the post office before work in the morning and pick up a package.

I think work is going to be pretty busy, not just with working next weekend, but also, its Spring Break for the kiddos, which means I won’t have reading time for school work.

I feel like I’m ok though, I have done a lot of the Couple’s Therapy reading already, finished all my Trauma reading and I wrote my Trauma paper today.

I had some push back on it.

I realize I have been having some feelings of, “over it,” move along, I’m tired of this stuff.

It can get exhausting looking at the trauma minefields in my life history and how I got through some seemingly unscathed, but the patterns of the things I did to survive stay with me, little bombs of shrapnel on my psyche that explode without warning and leave me tired on the side of the road picking the stuff out of the pockets of my emotions.

“I feel brutalized,” I was telling my person yesterday at Tart to Tart, that place has seen a lot of my tears, about an incident that happen last week and how I felt and why I was angry.

We did a lot of work around it and I got some very good suggestions and I took them, I’m still taking them, I will keep taking them as the days move forward.

I hadn’t realized how much I was carrying until I said out loud that I felt brutalized and that it reminded me, I later saw, of my step-father and my mom and some stuff that happened to me growing up.

All the things that happened growing up.

Glad I start therapy on Tuesday, Jesus fuck.

Of course, under the lens of my graduate school work, of course, a lot of stuff is going to come up, the pot just keeps getting stirred and things pop to the surface, so when I sat down to write my paper I realized just how much I didn’t want to write it and I let myself start out that way.

And.

Five pages and 1,562 words later.

I was finished.

In fact.

I finished it so fast that I realized I could go to the restorative yoga class tonight at my studio.

Yes, I had already practiced today, but the restorative is really meditative and relaxing and it’s not about getting a work out, it’s about being in your body and supporting different parts of it that don’t typically get support or rest.

It was just so what I needed.

I came home, lit some candles, checked my messages, saw nothing from anyone, and said, well, I’ll just take care of me and took care of me.

I am actually a little surprised that I had so much sexual energy today, I just finished my period yesterday, but as I am getting older I can tell that sometimes it comes out in different ways energetically.

I also had some fodder for fantasy running around my head that I just let myself have.

I could say it was counter transference from the work I did today, which is another entire blog and far to clinical for me to delve into here.

Or.

I could just say.

After getting flowers, a home cooked dinner, and a restorative yoga class I was just in a yummy, dreamy space.

And I let myself go there too.

Yes.

Thank you self-care Sunday.

You rocked.

Ready for the next weeks work.

Bring it on.

Get Your Sexy On

March 26, 2017

That’s what it felt like today.

When I wasn’t in tears.

I was in this interesting back and forth between working it and being worked over.

I went to yoga and had a really great class, my favorite teacher was teaching and he may start offering some more classes at the studio, at times I could make, so I don’t have to obsess about doing more yoga while I’m doing yoga.

I felt soft and strong in my body and I had a very open moment as I was finishing the class in the final meditation where I just felt some heart opening and some letting go of old, old, old wounds.

I think I moved through the world with that awareness today, both tender and beautiful, open and sore, alive, and sad, awed and in wonder.

I felt in my body and confident and sexy.

And I found out today that a man who I have always found drop dead sexy gorgeous has found me attractive too.

What?

And.

Of course he’s not really available to me at the moment, but fuck, it was really awesome information to get.

It means that my instincts are pretty spot on.

In fact, my instincts are so much better than I give myself credit for that I am really seeing that I am, in fact, my problem.

I was talking with a friend earlier about a coffee date I have tomorrow and how I wasn’t sure if the guy was really interested, and where’s the follow through, and…

“You know, I hear you say that a lot, like, the guy is interested, wants to hang out but doesn’t set a time, I hear this a lot, and…”

Ugh.

And yeah, I know, I have to say something, I have to be the confident one.

And confidence is sexy and God only knows how badly I want to be sexy.

Psst.

Hey lady.

I hate to break it to you, but you are sexy, just stop shooting yourself in the foot.

Don’t bother with vague, be assertive, if someone says “hey, let’s hang out,” or “we should hang out sometime,” nail them to a time.

I don’t have the patience or bandwidth to dilly dally around.

I will always be busy, that is the nature of who I am.

There will always be something in my life, because I don’t wait around to live, I go out and do things.

Except date, I’m not so great at that and it’s because I am in fear.

Fear of not getting what I want and fear of getting what I want.

So.

I am vague, I don’t say what I need, I dance around.

Fuck that.

I am confident.

Well.

Ha.

Obviously not always, but thinking or acting like I’m not a hot tamale is asinine.

I am gorgeous, I sound like an asshole, but I don’t often affirm my attractiveness as I have been classically trained like many women, to deny myself, my beauty, my authority as a sexy creature, as someone worthy of being pursued.

When I down play myself, I actually de-value my worth and I wall up and I get cold and then, well, fuck, who would want to ask me out?

I remember an ex-boyfriend telling me once that he was very surprised by my lack of self-confidence, “I feel like I am constantly having to ‘piss on my tree’ you are always being stared at, and you have absolutely no clue.”

Of course not, because I won’t be safe then.

But I’m not safe anymore in my bubble of self-dom, dancing alone in my room when I should be, could be, ought to be dancing in someone’s arms.

So.

Fuck it.

Fake it until I make it.

I’m not going to get back on dating apps or sites or any of that happy horse shit.

But.

I am going to get a hell of a lot clearer and more direct with men.

The next time a man says we should hang out, I’m going to ask when, give a time I’m available and say let’s make a plan.

Because this sexy beast is worth making a plan for.

I have had a lot of friends advocate for this sexiness and God forbid I waste it, I only have this life to live and I am not going to live it with regrets.

I have made many leaps of faith in my life.

Moving to Paris to turn 40.

Quitting a highly paid nanny job to go work in a bike shop.

Traveling by myself to London, Rome, New York.

Moving to San Francisco with a 2 month sublet, $2,000 in savings and no job.

Fuck.

The biggest leap of all.

Getting sober.

If I can do that, I can ask for what I want from a man and a date.

Yes, yes I can.

I have the power.

It’s not mine.

It’s Gods

And if you think that’s crazy, that’s ok.

God is a sexy beast too.

Like to like.

I always say.

My instincts are just fine.

How could they not be?

They are God-given.

Seriously.

Time to unleash myself from my own fear and shame shackles and get the fuck on with my life.

God did not mean for me to be alone and it’s my own fear that’s keeping me that way.

I’m over it.

Ready for the next phase of my development.

Bring it the fuck on.

This PSA, FYI, is not brought to you by my hormones.

Thank you very much.

Just my own personal reality check.

With a little help from my friends.

Thank you friends.

I couldn’t do this without you.

Thanks for having my back when I was too afraid to.

My heart is open.

My eyes are clear.

My sexy is definitely back.

Watch out.

 

 

OW

February 26, 2017

Fuck that hurt.

That hurt more than I expected.

Hurt my face.

Face still hurts.

Hours later, my jaw is aching from having a weird rubber thingamabob in my mouth for too long.

No.

I was not at a sex play party.

I was at the dentist.

Yes.

I finally went.

Ten years later.

Pro tip.

When they say get a cleaning every six months.

Listen.

Walk through the fear, just go.

I am smacking myself for letting it lapse so long.

I can only beat myself up for so long though, I haven’t had dental insurance and it’s a pretty penny to get dental work done and you know, I have things to do, places to go, people to see, I’m busy.

Too busy.

But when my teeth felt.

Well.

Achey.

I guess is the word.

Back in December I made the decision to go back to the dentist and I used part of my Christmas bonus to buy dental insurance for the year.

It became activated in February, so as soon as I had the card I made the appointment and my dentist has Saturday hours, and voila, there I am sitting in a chair at Sunset Premier Dental at 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon listening to a child screaming.

This does not bode well, I can see in hindsight.

AND.

I do not joke, I thought I was hearing things, I really did, I thought, ladybug you are just anxious, they are not talking about you.

They were talking in rapid fire Chinese, Mandarin I believe, and occasionally in between the crying and the screaming of the little girl I could swear I heard my name, “Carmen” being spoken.

Turns out the little girl was named Carmen.

I was hearing things right.

The dental assistant was very sweet and kind and did my ex-rays, then I sat for a while, looking at flower decals on the wall and owls and clouds and soft pastel paintings, listening with half an ear to the easy listening on the radio.

I now will have Huey Lewis and The News imprinted in my mental memory of the dentist visit.

The dentist was super kind Chinese man, Vincent Leung, D.D.S. who made many nice jokes and patted me on my shoulder a lot and also, yes, I am not joking, wiped tears, the continual stream of tears, off my face as I cried in the chair with the big rubber block thing holding open my jaw.

He did the initial exam and looked over the ex-rays and then went and consulted on another client while the nurse came back, or dental assistant, not sure what the difference is exactly, to inform me that yes, my insurance did cover a good amount of the necessary care, but, I would still need to cover some out-of-pocket costs and she explained that I had to have some fillings, Doctor Leung had joked that I had a smattering of “baby cavities” and also, fuck me.

Gum Disease.

I have heard of it but I did not know what it was really.

The doctor came back, showed me my ex-rays, pointed out the baby cavities then pointed out what was happening with my gums, why ten years of not getting my teeth regularly cleaned was not the best idea for me, even with brushing three times a day and flossing once a day, for real, that’s my routine, my gums were receding and if I let it go too long I was going to start losing teeth.

Fuck no.

Do the damn cleaning and scrape the teeth, underneath the gum line.

The sound it made.

Like tiny high-powered squirrel robots screaming in my mouth.

Getting to that point though I skip the worst part.

The part that was the hardest to bear, the part that had me crying and scared and shook up.

Yes, it was painful.

Even though I was numbed out.

It was the pain of the numbing out that shook me up.

First, the local anesthesia.

So much of it and the taste, and then I ended up swallowing some and oh my god, so grateful I had a decent lunch, if I had gone in on an empty stomach I would have thrown up on nice Doctor Vincent.

Second.

I have not been on anything, nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, since I got sober.

Nothing.

NOTHING.

No pain relievers, no prescribed meds, I have not had any surgeries, although I have had some challenges, hello severe ankle sprain two years ago that still bothers me, but nothing stronger than ibuprofen in twelve years.

I had a physical reaction to the anesthesia and it felt awful to have something in my body, intrusive and I shook a bit and I got super cold and shivery.

Then the injections of Novocaine, super long thin scary needles, had my eyes shut, but still, super long thin scary needles, and even with the local, it still hurt to get the injections, the needle had to hit bone before it could be pulled out.

Six times.

Six injections.

I was destroyed.

Tears rolling down my face.

The doctor kept patting my shoulder and gently dabbing my closed eyes with tissues.

Probably not the doctor now that I think of it, the assistant, but yes, much was made of me crying.

I just oozed and leaked tears the entire time.

And prayed.

I prayed a lot.

I said the Serenity Prayer over and over and over again.

So many times.

I had a cute thought in there at one point.

“God wants me to have sexy teeth.”

Yup.

I thought that.

Made me smile on the inside.

I couldn’t smile for hours after, it was so disconcerting.

I had so much Novocaine in my face my ears had numbed out.

I am not kidding.

Afterwards I was told I needed to come back, I am going to need to come back for a while on the regular and get the deep cleanings.

The good news is that the biggest part of it was dealt with today and the maintenance cleaning though frequent, I have another appointment in May, it will only be $70 and not $1350 as today’s visit was.

Thank fucking God.

And I had the money in my account.

Thank God for that too.

I paid rent yesterday and bought groceries and after that I still had a good lump in my account for whatever today was going to cost.

I have $350 left in my checking account.

But.

Hey.

My teeth are hella clean, sexy and super fucking white.

And soon available for making out.

As soon as my jaw stops hurting.

Grateful it wasn’t worse, I didn’t have any teeth extractions, I don’t need a root canal, I don’t need crowns.

It was scary and hard to sit through, but I made it through and although the Novocaine was wildly uncomfortable and the injection process was painful, I got through.

I lived to tell my tale.

I will be able to do it again and I will know going into it.

It wasn’t exactly the Saturday I had planned.

But.

I am grateful for getting through with it, for showing up, and for taking care of it.

It could have been so much worse.

Frankly I’m not sure I could have handled much worse.

Grateful beyond words that I didn’t have to.

Seriously.

Gearing Up

January 7, 2017

For the weekend.

I got stuff to do people.

Places to go.

French friends to reconnect with.

Plans to make.

Plans that may be changing.

I may postpone my trip to Paris in May, my friend won’t be going back the time we had originally made plans on being there together, she’s made some suggestions and we are going to get together tomorrow in the afternoon and hash it out.

Oh.

I’m still going.

There is absolutely no doubt about that.

Just that the timing may be different, more toward late summer or fall.

The entire point of the trip was for us to spend time together, she’s from Paris and has spoken often and passionately about a Paris I have had glimpses of but not quite gotten to see.

She wants to show me and I am all in.

We just have to push it back a little bit.

Once we have figured that out I will look at making my other travel plans, Puerto Rico.

I may take a few days and go there in May, swap out the timing on the two trips.

There will be travel.

And tomorrow there will be much get about on the train.

I have parked my scooter and covered her up.

It’s going to rain.

And it’s going to rain a fucking lot.

For over a week.

Oh well.

Before the train I will be going to yoga, I haven’t been all week trying to navigate my new schedule with the new job, but I signed up for the 9 a.m. class tomorrow and I will squeeze in a class on Sunday as well and perhaps one on Thursday, help me get mellowed out before I have my first weekend of classes.

Yup.

That’s next weekend.

I got my second text-book in the mail today.

The stack of notebooks and text books begins to grow once again.

So this weekend will be getting as much stuff as I can done before next weekend’s first classes.

I will do the deal at Tart to Tart with my person tomorrow at noon.

Then a manicure.

Then lunch with my friend.

I’ll probably find a cafe to hole up in for a few hours and crank out some reading.

I’m not going to bother coming home after I do the deal and meet my friend for lunch.

I’m gong to be heading over to the East Bay to a speaking engagement and I figure once I’m out, I’ll be out all day and just get it all in.

Sunday I’m having a lady over to do some work and then I’ll cook for the week and work on my practicum applications.

Because that shit has to get done.

And after next weekend I will be in the doing homework mode.

I mean.

Fuck.

I already am.

I have reading assigned for all my classes.

But after next weekend’s round of classes I will also have the papers and the projects that inevitably follow a weekend of classes and I have to get my practicum stuff together.

So yeah.

I’m almost, not quite, but almost, grateful for the rainy days.

I will not be out running amok.

Not that I tend to anyway when I’m getting prepared for the school weekend.

But you know.

Easier to sit still when it’s rainy and cold.

I do wish that it passes quickly and that it clears by the weekend so that I can ride my scooter to school or even to a day or two of work.

It is just so much faster than the trains.

I finally figured out the fastest way to work today.

I found the magic through streets that get me from Diamond Heights to my spot in Glen Park.

It’s a lot of hills and it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m getting used to the commute and it is intriguing to be in a part of the city that I haven’t had much experience with.

It’s funny how a little change in my work location opens up an entirely new part of the city and all the things that I had no clue where there are there.

It’s fun to discover stuff.

And the new job continues to be quite lovely.

I am really going to like it, I am liking it more and more every day.

Even though today was a little hard.

It wasn’t hard because of my current job, it was hard because of my previous job.

I saw the boys today.

Oh, hello tears.

I am super grateful I didn’t cry at the school, but it took some enormous draw of strength to not do so.

I saw the little guy first when I went to pick up my current charges from school.

He was out running around, he and the little girl in the family are in the same class and I figured I would see him, but I had no idea how hard it would be.

Which, you know, is a gift, when someone affects me like that, when I have that kind of depth of feeling, I don’t have to run from it, it’s a gift, it means he meant something to me.

He still does.

He means so much.

I said his name.

He looked at me, and for a moment he didn’t recognize me.

Then.

“CARMEN!”

He flew across the playground and threw himself in my arms (pausing to cry, I’ll be with you in just a moment) and hugged me so hard.

So very hard.

“I missed you,” he said and shuddered and then clung to me even harder, “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too sweet guy,” I said and squeezed him back.

I set him gently down and asked how his Christmas was and his first week back at school and then I took a few pictures of him with my little girl charge and there was another hug and then he raced off to the playground and that was that.

I hugged my new charge and we got her back pack and bag of stuff to take home and signed her out.

I saw the old mom.

We said “hi,” and she said, “did you see?”

I did.

I nodded.

She told me his older brother was coming out and very much wanted to see me as well.

Ugh.

Slight pause to clean off my glasses.

Tear splatters.

I girded myself for the emotions and took my little girl by her hand and asked her about her day and she showed me the drawing she had drawn for me and then I looked up.

And.

Oh.

God.

His face.

All the emotions dancing across his face.

Shyness, excitement, joy, sadness, he paused and looked at me.

I smiled.

He smiled back.

Then he grinned.

Then he ran to me.

I caught him and lifted him up and hugged him and smelled his sweet neck and tried very hard, very, very, very hard, to not cry.

Saved that all for right now.

Ha.

“I missed you Carmen,” he whispered into my ear, “it’s been two weeks, it’s been too long, when are you coming back?”

“Oh bunny,” I said, and set him down, then I knelt down next to him.

“I missed you too,” I said and brushed his hair from his face and touched his soft cheek, how pale he looked, how sad and sweet and sincere.

“When are you coming back?” He asked me again.

I didn’t get a chance to say anything, the mom came and scooped him up, “we got to go ____________”

“I have to get them to the dentist,” she said, “sorry to rush off!”

“No worries, it was wonderful to see them, have a great weekend,” I said and smiled.

He looked at me, ugh, that look, then walked away with his mom.

I signed out my other charge and gave him a big hug.

“Guess what?!” I said and shook the sads out of my coat sleeves.

“What?” He asked very solemn.

“ICE CREAM,” his sister yelled, “ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, we’re going to go get ice cream.”

And we did and it was jolly fun and it helped soothe the ache in my chest to be with them and giggle and laugh and taste, them, not me, the different flavors at BiRite Creamery, and then sit and watch them devour their cones and then say, hey, let me get a coffee and guess what else, we got time for the park before we catch the train.

It was a good day.

A little sad.

A lot tender.

But a good day.

And I’m grateful for all the feelings.

“It must be hard,” my new mom said to me, when I mentioned that I saw the boys.

“For them, but also for you,” she said.

She’s an insightful person.

We get along quite well, I have to say.

“It was, but it was also good to see them,” I said, I might have been trying to gloss it over a tiny bit to keep myself together as I got my stuff to leave for the weekend.

“You must feel pretty tender, it might be harder than if you had just had a complete end with them,” she added.

“Maybe,” I said, looking at her deep blue-green sea glass eyes.

“But I’ll be ok, and I am so grateful to have made the transition to be with you,” I smiled, “thank you and please let me know how I can help next week, I’m very happy to be here.”

“Mom!” The little girl came running, “come eat dinner.”

Saved by the dinner time bell.

I got another hug from the little girl and a blown kiss from the boy and big, hearty, heart-felt thank you’s from the parents.

It was a good week.

I am glad.

My tears have dried.

And I am glad for both the expression of the emotion and that I can hold a vast amount of love and joy and emotions all at the same time.

I can love and miss the boys.

And.

I can be excited and happy for the new job.

And grateful for all of it.

All the feels.

All the things.

All the love.

Yes, love.

All the love.

It is so very, very good.

Even when it hurts.

Even then.

Seriously.

I Can’t Quite Believe

December 23, 2016

That.

Tomorrow is my last day with the boys.

I only cried three times today.

Grateful for that.

I didn’t need to stuff my feelings.

It was a challenge.

I cried when I wasn’t expecting it.

I felt a bit blown out and a bit tired and a lot sad.

The boys also had great big screaming tantrums, so that was fun, albeit completely understandable.

The tantrums didn’t, of course, start until after we had gotten back to the house and I needed to get them ready for A Charlie Brown Christmas at the San Francisco Symphony.

I mean, really, sort of figured it would happen.

Just needed to have the monkeys fed and changed into their navy velvet blazers and bow ties by 1 p.m.

No biggie.

Except they were emotional too.

They know.

They know I’m going to be gone tomorrow.

That’s it.

No more nanny.

“Carmen, please visit us,” the older boy stopped, took my hand, tugged on it, as we rounded the corner from the park to the house, literally stopping me in my tracks as I pushed his brother in the stroller.

“________________, I’m right here, right now, with you, and,” I paused, reached down, hefted his 6.5 year old body up, great work out, being a nanny in case you’re ever wanting to switch careers, “I love you and I promise tomorrow is not the last time you will see, I promise.”

I had lifted him so that he was eye level with me, we rubbed noses, he wrapped his arms around me, and we just stood and hugged it out on the corner.

Oof.

It was like that all day.

The park was barely the park.

Mostly the park was both boys trying to sit in my lap at the same time.

They eventually did get up and play and run around and chase pigeons, but all they wanted to do was sit with me, on my lap, or leaned against me.

The youngest gets me the most, or at my heart the most, his small face this plate of silence and sadness.  He just oozes it, it breaks my heart to look at his face and every time, like, um now, fuck, I see his little face in my head, I just start crying.

Which is challenging to do when writing a blog, the screen gets blurry.

Ugh.

Oof.

I am super grateful I have the feels, it means the boys mean something to me and it’s important I grieve the loss and the moving on and yeah, I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like but I did make sure to have plans to have dinner with a friend and maybe I’ll go get a mani/pedi afterward and just take it really sweet and easy.

I got a nice Christmas bonus.

Slight aside.

SERIOUS ADULTING.

I got my Christmas bonus yesterday and I couldn’t open the card until I had been home for hours, there was something daunting about it, and I realized later that I was loath to open it because it really would signal the end of days and I can’t quite seem to wrap my mind around not going in to work next week and seeing my little guys.

But.

I did open it and I was quite grateful for the gift, really.

And then.

I did the adulting.

The first thing I bought with my bonus?

Dental insurance.

Then I put a little in savings.

I met with my person after work today and she plunked the kleenex box down in front of me, “today the last day or tomorrow,” she asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said and reached for a tissue.

We had tea we talked all things recovery, it was really good.

Then she said, “that’s great about the dental insurance, that’s a beautiful gift to give yourself, but get something fun for you too.”

I took her suggestion.

It took me a hot minute though.

I was going to go book a massage and when I went they place was closed for the holidays!

Ugh.

So I went to Rainbow and bought some, for me, expensive body lotion I really like by Pure Organics and a Rau raw chocolate drink.

Then I pondered where I was going to go.

There was a little voice in my head that said, go home, hide, stick your head in the sand, get all isolated and shit, watch some videos and let the squirrels in your head run amok.

I was like, ooh yeah, I’ll catch up on Black Mirror.

But.

Well.

That sounds fucking depressing.

Jesus, Martines, that’s not a good idea.

I just about laughed out loud.

So.

I rode my scooter over to the Inner Sunset and I made myself park close to a spot that would pretty much guarantee me doing the deal, then I went and cashed my Christmas bonus check and went to Green Apple Books.

I had not bought anything when I was there the other day, I was just browsing to kill time until I met my date at Park Chow.

This time I let myself buy.

God  damn do I love buying books.

And pleasure books, oh lord, I get to do some pleasure reading.

Not much, just a week, so what ever I knock through between now and New Years is what I get.  Maybe even a little less, I’m going to need to order my books for the upcoming semester sooner than I realize, I know it.  But.  I’ll have seven days of freedom, I think, where I can read.

I bought three books.

The new Don DeLillo, Zero K.

Cormac McCarthy, Child of God.

And.

Irvine Welsh, The Bedroom Secrets of The Master Chefs.

I’m drooling just typing out the names and looking at them on top of my stack of notebooks makes me very happy.

After I had satiated my book desires I went to dinner.

I treated myself to Marnee Thai and fuck am I glad I did, it was awesome.  I took the suggestion of the waitress and had a red curry with duck and plantains and brown rice.

Swoon.

It was good.

A bit pricier than I would have typically spent at my little secret spot out here in my hood, but Thai Cottage is closed for the next few weeks for the holidays and I smelled goodness wafting from the restaurant when I passed it on the way to the bookstore.

My nose knew.

After the dinner I still had some time and I popped into Ambiance.

And yes.

l bought myself a pretty dress for New Year’s Eve and decided that I would commit to going to a New Year’s Eve party some friends of mine are throwing in the Mission.

Yup.

I’ll be going stag to a New Year’s Eve party, and I don’t fucking care, I’m going to dance and wear platforms and my new dress and be pretty and not give a damn about being single, because I’m allowed to have fun and be happy.

I don’t need to be partnered up on the holidays.

That’s not worked out so well for me the last few years.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, not well at all.

No.

And tomorrow.

Well.

It will be here soon and I’m sure I will have all the feels about it and just breathe in and out and hug my boys tight and smell the napes of their necks and kiss their faces and it will be alright.

It will.

I am lucky to get this opportunity.

I am literally paid to love.

Not a bad job if you can get it.

Seriously.

 

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.

But.

I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

“What are you going to do?” She asked me two years ago this July, we were just pulling into the Caribou Coffee shack on my way to the airport in Minneapolis.

I had been having a rough couple of months.

I had a severe, like ridiculously severe, in an air cast, out of work, in bed, crying like a baby, unable to do anything for myself, except put on funny stripe socks to bolster my mood, ankle injury and I was heading back to precarious work and the not knowing.

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

I do remember telling her, my friend who doesn’t have my disease but has some sense of it, she’s a smart cookie, that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

And as long as I take care of that I will be alright.

“I just really want to use heroin,” she wept into the phone.

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

And I feel like stellar motel in the sky with lucy and diamonds on the soles of my shoes.

I could dance party until dawn and work a full shift with my boys and be absolutely spot on.

It does not matter what I do.

Well.

Ok.

There are some things I need to do, help others, be a good friend, show up, share my experience, strength, hope, the good stuff, the what works for me stuff.

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

Sometimes it is heady and intellectual, but tonight, for me, it was all heart and love, unconditional love for a woman who’s name, ha, I just realized, I don’t know her last name.

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

I tiny bit ashamed of myself for not having his last name on the tip of my tongue.

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

What is important is that I made myself available and I mainly just listened.

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.

Yet.

But.

I have a special set of skills and with those and some experiences to share, some working knowledge of a basic text, I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I was just reflecting on this as I was looking over air fare to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend.

Yeah.

I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

And though they are more prolific in the Midwest than they used to be, I guess folks be watching LA Ink or something, there are still few women who have neck tattoos or chest tattoos or partial sleeves, let alone all three.

Plus.

Heh.

My hair will be pink.

Which.

Whatever.

The last time I was there it was half purple and blue.

I got a few looks.

I got proselytized to as well outside of the ice cream store in downtown scenic Hudson on the river.

Nothing like a young girl, a teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen I would guess, talking to me about God.

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?

Yup.

Do I need to know what God is or does or how God works or doesn’t work?

Nope.

I just have this deep, unshakeable belief in this entity that absolutely and completely loves the fuck out of me.

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.

And.

Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?

Never.

Has failed to take care of me.

Ever.

I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

I am surprised, blown away, beleaguered by the love I am given.

All I have to do is turn and shine that love on someone else.

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

Sometimes I imagine, my small, petty, limited mind.

That my God is a gigantic sunken living room with white fur carpet everywhere.

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

There are big, huge, gigantic floor to ceiling windows with let in oodles of warm gold light.

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

A swimming through the aqua blues and greens of the pool at the high school in DeForest, swimming laps back and forth in the last lane, the one by the windows, when on a quiet Sunday the pool was empty, the parking lot empty, and no one in the pool be me swimming in and out of patches of aquamarine love.

Held.

Perfect.

Serene.

A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.

Subsumed.

Taken.

Ravished.

Overtaken.

God is art.

God is standing love struck like a bulldozed girl on Valentines day who finally gets the red carnations call over the loud speakers in school from the principal’s office, come get your flowers at lunch break, to find out that it was her secret crush who had a secret crush on her too, in front of Kandinsky’s “Accent en Rose” at the Pompidou when I moved to Paris in my 40th year of life.

Cold.

Wet.

Miserable with the rain and the getting lost and the hungry but not sure for what.

The aching legs from walking lost in the Marais, the wet socks, the squish, so un melodious, of my Converse as I stepped onto the escalator up to the fifth floor.

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.

Montparnasse.

The sky mottled with grey, purpled, black, silver lined rain clouds, the bent heads scurrying through the courtyard underneath the flimsy arms of tourist stall umbrellas.

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

Then I turn and see the Kandinsky and I am rose flushed.

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.

Caught.

There.

High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.

God.

Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

In the pause before the eruption of fireworks after the rocket has launched into the sky.

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.

Love.

Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.

Love.

My love.

Just.

Love.

 

You’re Like A Female Version

June 7, 2016

Of Peewee Herman.

Um.

Thanks?

Hey, Carmen, Peewee Herman is hella cool.

I mean.

Hello.

I may get confused with a hipster at times, affinity for coffee with notes of butterscotch and stone fruit, the one speed whip in the garage, the numerous tattoos, the arty glasses with the wood frames.

But.

The fact is.

I like glitter way too much to ever be a hipster.

Unless they suddenly make glitter in aged wood paneling or something ironic like that.

I also have a pink riding jacket for my scooter and um, heh, my helmet has not only glitter but stars and yes, I did, I have appliqued star stickers on my scooter that I put on myself.

Shut up.

So.

Heh.

I could see what he meant.

And I was flattered.

I mean, really, I haven’t been compared to many famous people, although a legend in my own mind, I don’t have that much claim to fame.

I like to think that I am.

But really.

I am just crazy old me.

“Don’t forget me when you’re famous,” he said to me last week when I saw him and told him about the podcast.

I still don’t know what the hell that means.

I suppose that I will be recorded and to that extent I have been practicing a little.

I love the sound of my voice, except when I hear it recorded.

Ugh.

Then.

Seriously.

Ugh.

Although, I heard a friend’s little guitar riff on his facecrack page and found myself making up little lyrics to it.

I’m not a singer, but I can carry a little breathy tune.

I shared that with my friend who I went to the Paul Simon show with, my vocal abilities, or lack thereof and his response?

Fucking golden.

“That never stopped me,” he replied.

Dude.

That’s right.

But.

I don’t play an instrument, even though I did play cello once upon a time in a land far, far away.

Wisconsin.

And there are days when I think, I should pick that up again.

In what time, Martines, in what time?

But, I do.

I love the sonorous voice of the cello and the prickly velvet thrum in my heart when I have been with an instrument that I connect with.

I had a friend who once took me to the luthier that all the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra uses, he’s a cellist with the San Jose Symphony, and the smell.

Oh.

So delicious.

The wood and the rosin.

The sounds.

I remember, still, it’s been many, many years, picking up a cello and the feeling of it nestled between my thighs and the weight of the scroll against my neck.

I remembered the feeling of the strings under my finger pads.

I pulled the bow across the C string and hit an F# and just about cried with the pleasure of it.

Heh.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s been suggested to me a lot to pick it back up.

And I digress.

A lot.

The Peewee Herman thing had me pause though.

I look like an artist.

But often times feel like I’m not quite the potential I am supposed to be.

That I haven’t done enough, I’m not prolific enough.

Suffice to say, how many of these fucking blogs have I written?

Over 1800.

There’s something prolific happening here.

And maybe it’s just me being kooky and dressing funny.

But really.

It’s just me.

It’s just how I like to be.

The glitter, the heart on my sleeve, the poetry that falls out of my eyes.

I may not have the degree of fame or fortune or whatever it is that I think I’m supposed to have to be considered a successful artist.

But.

I create.

That’s the thing.

I was thinking of a shred of lyric from one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, and not one that most people would quote from either.

It’s from “Hurricane Eye,” from his album “You’re the One.”

You want to be a writer/but you don’t know how or when.

Find a quiet corner/use a humble pen.

And I tell myself that everyday.

I am a writer.

I have my quiet corner.

I use my humble pen.

Fuck.

Thank God I got to Walgreens today.

I was almost out of ink in my last couple of favorite pens.

The last couple of times I was in the store they were out of my favorite and man, it makes a difference, just like the quality of paper that I like when I am doing my morning pages.

I hate those decompostion notebooks with a fervor.

Yeah.

I know.

Ecologically friendly and all that.

But the quality of the paper is shit and it feels like crap when I write on them.

Nope.

No thanks.

I prefer Claire Fontaine notebooks from France.

Or.

When I can’t procure those.

The college ruled glitter notebooks in bright turquoise, silver, and hot pink from Safeway.

Heh.

Yeah.

I told you.

I can’t be a hipster.

I love glitter a little too much.

I don’t have to be anything, I don’t have to fit any category.

I can be the girl, or woman, should you so prefer, who wears flowers in her hair and cries a lot.

“Dude, that’s what you do,” my friend texted me back when I told him that I was in tears half the Paul Simon concert.

I do.

I do, do that.

I sort of leak with gratitude and happiness and joy.

Even when I experience shame over things I can’t control, at least I can forgive myself for that, or self-loathing or self-deprecation, I am learning, slowly, oh so fucking slow, that this is ok.

And after all.

These words are not my choice.

I am the conduit.

I am just dead light pushing crystal spun sugar into the veins of the universe.

I am just the channel through which the words move.

And I cannot tell you.

I cannot tell me.

Why this beleaguered life.

Why on my knees.

I still.

Love.

Love.

Love.

This tumult, this strife.

The promise of every day that breaks.

Across my face, the grey morning light.

The sun sequestered in fog.

The call of the day.

The fall of God.

Into my lap.

The kisses freckled on my skin.

The rapture of song.

The life within.

That small quiet voice.

Always there.

Even when I am hoarse with tears.

There are still flowers in my hair.

And my heart upon my sleeve.

It’s tattooed there.

Lined in the liminal.

Luminous.

Lustrous.

Love.

Of all that is.

Which.

Is.

In the end.

Just.

Love.

 

 

 

I Only Cried Once

June 1, 2016

Ok.

Fuck.

Twice.

And of course, I was wearing glitter eye shadow today.

ALOT.

Fuck me.

Oh well.

That’s what mirrors on my scooter are for.

They certainly were not for anything else tonight coming home.

Holy fog Batman.

I was pretty soaked when I got home.

I digress.

I got out of the house early today to go wait in a line at the SFMTA.

To get a number.

To wait to be seen.

Wait, what?

Yes.

That’s right.

I had to wait in a line to wait in another line.

Ugh.

Fortunately, I had given myself enough time and I was able to address the issue, although, damn it, yes, I did cry.

I got frustrated.

I had all the things, I mean all the things, that they could possibly require, plus photographs of the scooter with the Child Care Parking Permit and my proof of insurance, my license, my title, all of it.

However.

As the supervisor so nicely told me, after I was redirected from the counter to another counter, it was the way it was.

There was nothing she could do.

“Listen, this is just the way it is, I’m sorry that you have to go through this, but there’s no other way, you need to get this documentation every time you apply for a child care permit,” she said, kindly, she was kind.

“But, I’m not asking for a new year long permit, I’m just asking to get a replacement permit,” I said, “the permit is good until November of this year.”

“Doesn’t matter, the city requires certain documentation, here, these are the forms, have your employer fill it out and then she has to come here in person and….”she paused.

I had started to cry.

I can ask for certain things from my employers, I know I can, and I have when I have needed to, but I knew, I mean, I really knew, she was not going to spend any time in the SFMTA to help me get the parking permit.

No way.

No how.

“Please, is there no other way,” I asked, “I just can’t see her coming down to do this, anything, please.”

We worked it out.

I got a sheaf of paperwork my employer will fill out and then she can mail it back to the SFMTA.

Ugh.

So I’ll get to wait another month or so and pay for parking out of my pocket, but better that than the sore knees I have had from riding my bicycle to and from work.

Plus.

Starting next week.

My work schedule will change.

10a.m.-6p.m.

This is my last week, that is, until school starts back up in the fall, with the 1p.m. to 8p.m. schedule.

The boys will be out of school as of Friday.

Which means my yoga schedule will change too.

No more yoga before work.

But.

For this week, I still have the late start and for that I am grateful as it facilitated me getting to the SFMTA and dealing with the standing in line and the paper shuffling.

And yes.

The tears.

There are just somethings that I get worked up about and I knew, I mean, knew, before going in, to not have any expectations.

Still had them.

Surprise.

Fuck.

God only knows what the fuck will happen when I am on jury duty.

Sigh.

Yup.

Got nailed with that too.

My service week is the week of June 13th.

I suspect I won’t get called, but I had to let the family know and the mom was none too pleased about that too.

I can’t delay it.

I did that already.

I was initially called up while I was in the throws of my last round of papers and projects for my first semester of grad school.

There was no fucking way I could do it.

I applied for the six month deferral.

Got it.

And then completely forgot that six months later they were going to cheerfully pull my card and call me in.

Oh well.

Civic responsibility.

“Adulting.”

All that jazz.

I do know that it won’t be as horrid as it could be, schedule wise, the family will be going back to the mom’s side of the family for a little while and I will not have them that Friday, Monday deal.

Of course, I will get to be there to open up the house for the house keeper and do some cooking and take care of things like I do.

This time, though, no locking myself the fuck out of the house.

Not playing that shit again.

My schedule has been a little wonky this week already.

I normally meet with some ladies on the weekend, all of them got rescheduled, and normally, I meet with another lady tonight, but she had work stuff.

I found myself in a part of town I don’t normally get to.

And for an hour.

I had some reprieve from the fog, the parking, the SFMTA, the work, the schedule, the juggling of folks.

It was nice.

I saw some folks I don’t see often.

And though I wasn’t pleased to get out to see how thick the fog had become, holy Moses, it was soup, I was centered and calm and happy to get home safe and sound.

To light up some candles.

To turn on the heat in my studio.

Yeah.

It really is like that.

It’s cold out here.

The fog is something serious.

And I don’t recall it being this dense already at this time last year.

I think I’m in for a pretty fogged out summer.

Grateful I work in the Mission.

I did get to see sun today.

The mom was incredulous that there was anything but sun at the beach this weekend, but I assured her, it really was dreary.

Although.

It is a cozy sort of thing.

Wrapping up the neighborhood.

Softening the edges of things.

The transformers sparking in the moisture.

The smell of the sea.

The call of the fog horn.

Just calls for cozy company.

Which shall happen this weekend.

Despite the tears.

I’m just a girl, you know.

Life is lovely.

It really is.

Fog and all.

Happy.

Joyous.

Foggy.

And.

Free.

 

Home Free

January 1, 2016

Happy.

And.

Alone.

But.

Oh.

So not lonely.

No.

I am not at all.

I had a wonderful day, despite there being some unexpected hiccups and some tears at the start of the day.

Sometimes I wake up sad.

Makes sense.

I was sad when I went to bed last night.

The nice thing.

I noted this morning as I was writing and it overcame me again, a wave of it, that if I let it happen, not stifle it, not restrain it, just let it happen, it passes rather fast.

I had my cry.

I wrote my heart out.

Then I got on my day.

Important thing to get on in my day.

A scarf.

I texted my friend who had stashed my scarf in his carry on and then I totally forgot it.

“Oh shit, I’m going to need my scarf today,” I said, out loud, because yes, I do talk to myself.

I randomly shot out a text, figured I would have to make a special trip, only to receive, in short notice, a message that he was in the hood on the way to the store, five minutes.

Perfection.

And that might have been the only perfect thing in my day.

At least this morning.

Really.

It all was perfection.

Even down to this, quietly sitting in my in-law while the neighbors pop champagne and holler and the horns are blowing.

Hello 2016.

Nice to meet you.

Let’s be friends.

I am not ashamed, upset, or annoyed.

I am at perfect calm and ease.

Again.

The far cry from where I was when I got up.

I think part of my issue was, not that I admitted it right away, that I was planning on doing homework all weekend and I was feeling that I was isolating myself before it had even begun.

Turns out God had different plans for me.

After I had my cry, my oatmeal, my coffee, and lots of writing and getting right with God.

I had some perspective and some honest gratitude.

Then.

I got online and got annoyed.

The syllabi for my classes were incomplete, the readers were confusing me, what books do I need to buy, how much is that going to cost me, why isn’t there an easier way to do this?

I commiserated via text with one of my cohort and between the two of us, we made some good leeway.

Enough so that I was able to order all, I believe, although I am not entirely sure, my texts for the semester at a nice tidy sum of $198 on Amazon.

It would have been double, perhaps triple that had I ordered new texts, but I got all used, so that was helpful.

Then I got myself bundled up.

I mean bundled.

Tank top, long sleeve undershirt, light sweatshirt, heavy sweatshirt, scarf.

On top off all that, my motorcycle jacket.

The helmet, the riding gloves, and off into the cold breezy San Francisco afternoon, on down Lincoln, around the park, past the Pan Handle up and over the hills to downtown, then onto Mission Street, past the bums and crack heads, the junkies and whores, the party people, the homeless, the twisted, the crazy, then, onto the pretty and the shopping district, the Metreon, Yerba Buena, the high end hotels, the MOMA, and all the little haunts and spots I used to know of so very, very well, once upon a time in a land far, far away during my brief and almost fatal stay to Cokelandia.

On down to Copy Central between New Montgomery and 2nd street on Mission.

I used to buy Van Heusen work shirts just a few doors down from there.

I used to do a lot of things in that neighborhood.

Today, I just wanted my readers for my Multi-Cultural class and my second semester of Dubitzky and Psychoanalytic’s.

And guess what?

They weren’t ready.

I got the text seconds after I was standing in line from my friend, who had called, smart lady, to check on the status of the readers to find out that they weren’t done and wouldn’t be done until Monday.

Well fuck me.

I was pissed.

But.

It passed quick.

Really quick.

I also received another text almost directly on top of that inviting me over to a friends house for New Year’s Eve dinner.

Yes.

Lovely.

I’m in.

I am not going to be doing homework after all.

I got over the angry right quick and as I walked out of the shop I noticed I still had time on the meter so I popped into Walgreens and bought a bunch of pens and post-it notes.

Then I had a moment.

A perspective change.

What if the only reason, really, was that I was downtown to see how far I had come.

From being a scared, coke head, struggling waitress–yes it was fancy, but so too was my habit–trying to figure out how to use and make rent in San Francisco.

To being a successful graduate school student–I got back my first grade from last semester–A–riding her own scooter (paid in full in cash) who had just gotten back from an amazing week in Paris with a dear friend, who has an awesome in-law in the city, with rent paid in full and a week early (thank you very much I want to stay in my sweet little in-law), with a good paying job (one that I will have my raise go into affect on January 1st) with children I love.

What if that was the only reason?

It was enough.

It was an amazing little piece of insight.

I took it with me to see my person.

I also got a manicure, because, hello, I can.

We had a lovely lunch where the was much hot soup and hot tea and yes, some hot mess tears, but so much growth, love, and perspective for myself.

“You see the lows, you see the challenges, but you need to acknowledge the good stuff too,” he said peering at me to make sure I understood.

“I suggest you write some of that down tonight when you take stock on what your year has been like.”

Well, when it’s put like that.

Best break up ever, kindest, gentlest, tears on both sides, and hugs.  Yeah, I still had to do a lot of work and I cried my head off, but I also did an immense amount of writing and grew so much and threw myself into what was next.

I also applied to graduate school.

I got into graduate school.

I won a scholarship for $30,000 to go to said graduate school program.

I met and made amazing new friends.

I was flown to LA first class to visit the MOMA and ogle art for a weekend.

I went to Atlanta and ran into old friends and made a lot of new ones.

I went to Burning Man for my 9th year in a row.

I dyed my hair pink, a couple of times, and got awesome new glasses.

I bought a brand new scooter all in cash.

I wrote a lot of poetry–some of which I got paid for!  Making it my second time receiving $1,000 for a series of poems (the first was for a manuscript award I got in undergrad).

I went to Paris.

I mean.

Come on.

For a week and saw friends and places and things from before and also did things that I had not done before (the Jeu de Paume, the Roue de Paris), and bought lots of notebooks and got an awesome tattoo, and ate nice food, and walked everywhere, and practiced my French, and got lost and got found.

I got a raise at work, a great year end review, and an extension on my nanny contract for another six months.

And best and most important.

I stayed sober.

Nothing was more important or significant than that.

So.

When folks ask if I have a resolution.

If I have a wish.

If there is something in my “bucket list” that I need to do.

It’s just that.

Stay sober.

And what ever happens.

I will be ok.

And it will be lovely.

Like the dinner tonight with new friends and old, a sweet cat rubbing her face on my hand, the laughter until crying, the warmth and good food.

The simple things.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

I can’t think of a better start to 2016.

Happy New Year!


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