Posts Tagged ‘text books’

A Little Here

August 23, 2017

A little there.

I got some more reading done today for school, which I find funny as it was the opening salvo in my therapy session this morning.

I’m behind on my reading, and school hasn’t started yet, and for the first time in the history of my grad school career I don’t give any of the fucks.

I mean.

A little.

Sort of.

But mostly.

Fuck no.

I have spent so much time now seeing clients and getting into the mix and showing up to be a therapist that school stuff seems to have lost a lot of its luster.

Oh sure.

I know I have so much to learn, there is always going to be learning, I will and have years of it to go.

Getting done with my third year of my Masters program is sort of the tip on the iceberg, I will still have to intern for years before I have enough hours accrued to get licensed.

That being said.

School seems to hold less gravitas for me.

I am excited to see my cohort, I have had a lot of them reach out to me in the last few days and it feels good to be getting reconnected.

Third year!

I am a third year.

This is the big push.

One more year of this program and then.

Well.

Probably more school.

Although I’m not 100% sure.

I have, at least it seems very likely, unless I win the lottery which would allow me to not work, about two and a half years of work to do before I have all my hours.

Give or take.

I might as well go for my PhD.

I will still have to work full time or damn close.

Although.

I’ll be dropping down my hours when I get back from Burning Man.

38 hours a week from 41.

This doesn’t count my supervision, therapy, or client hours.

Just plain work hours will go down three hours a week.

Which doesn’t seem like much, but will be a great big help.

I can get a lot read in three hours.

I can.

I ended up getting in four chapters of reading this evening, as a matter of fact, at the internship when my first client cancelled.

If only they would’ve coordinated!

My clients that is, so that I didn’t have to sit for an hour in the office waiting for my end of day client, but hey, I read for school and that was great.

I finished the reading for another one of my classes.

I don’t know that I have much more time to get anything else read.

Especially since most of it is online material and I’m loathe to bring my laptop with me to work to read.

On the off-chance that I might have some down time.

It’s generally not worth the risk of me taking it.

I’ll still bring one of my textbooks with me, get a little further ahead in the reading as the case may be, if there’s time.

Like I said, at this point in the game, there’s not much and my life priorities being what they are, I am completely fine with this.

“I’m sure you have much more read than most of your cohort,” my therapist said to me as I explained my school stuff, “I suspect, you have always been a bit more prepared than most of your cohort,” she concluded.

And.

Well.

Yes.

She’s right.

I am a horrid perfectionist.

But that has eased as I have gotten used to the program and having seen the few times when I wasn’t completely caught up with my reading that I still held my own.

I am smart, I know how to listen, and I know how to contribute.

The one class that I haven’t really touched into yet for the reading was the last class to post its syllabus.

But.

Heh.

Um.

It’s a Transpersonal Psychology class.

So.

Spirituality and spiritual practices.

Yeah.

I think I might have that one bagged.

We have to keep a journal.

Pardon me while I laugh into my sleeve.

That shouldn’t be hard.

Ahem.

And talk about our spiritual experiences.

That will be interesting.

Like.

I put a prayer in my God box today.

God box?

Yes.

I have this hot pink, magenta really, pylon bunny rabbit from Paris that is a piggy bank, and I use it as a “God Box” a sort of repository for “problems” or things that I need to let go of and that I want God to have, I write down what I need to give to God, on a post it note, this one was pink, and then I fold it up, and say a few prayers.

I believe in prayer.

And I have a God of my understanding.

It doesn’t much matter to me what you think of me writing that God notes to help alleviate my issues, whatever they may be.

It’s the action that counts.

I don’t have to know the end results, in fact, it’s generally better if I don’t, I just have to take actions and something happens.

The writing it down and giving it up is an action of humility.

I don’t know how to deal with this, I am not God, I need help, I asking for guidance.

I can’t really do anything alone or in isolation.

I am not built like that.

Oh.

Fuck.

I have so tried.

I so want to figure it out on my own, I don’t want help, or so I say, I want to be strong and mighty and fierce and get it done without your help.

But.

Then.

When I don’t ask for help or I eschew what is being offered out of a false sense of pride, I ultimately lose.

I isolate.

I am alone.

And lonely.

That is never a good place for me to be.

So, yeah.

Just taking the time to write a little note and pop it in the God box, it does wonders.

I suppose my practice may seem strange or funny and I don’t really care.

I also pray in the morning, on my knees, another act of humility, a supplication, please help me, help me be of service, help me be kind, compassionate, tolerant, loving and forgiving.

Help me forgive myself, love myself, be the best possible version of me I can be.

Which I am not always.

I can get caught up in all sorts of scattered thinking or being maudlin, or distracted.

But.

To circle back.

I can forgive myself.

I haven’t finished the reading.

I won’t finish it.

It’s ok.

All I really have to do is show up on time.

Participate.

And be myself.

The rest will follow.

It always.

Always.

Always.

Does.

Serendipitous

August 18, 2017

Cancellations.

Two.

I had two cancellations today.

I went into my internship after work, which I was allowed to scoot out from a little early, with the idea that I would pop over to Gus’s community market and pick up a few things for dinner and then I run into an old friend who I haven’t seen in seven months, maybe eight.

We talked about what I was doing, practicum with my internship, and that we both are located in the same building.

She is a licensed MFT with an office in the building, once a week I have walked past it thinking, one of these days I’m going to run into her.

Today was that day.

We both are going to Burning Man as well.

She was, in fact surprised to see me, “aren’t you supposed to already be up there?”

Common misconception amongst many of my friends, I have often been gone by this time, already landed and working the event.

But not this year.

This year will be my first year without a job to be tethered to.

I have some freedom that I’m not sure exactly how I will fill, but fill it I will, I’m sure.

She and I chatted, caught up, and I let her know what my schedule was at the internship and she asked how they, the institution I intern for, take referrals.

I explained it and she said, “great!  I have a referral specifically for you, I’ll make sure the client asks for you.”

Wow.

I was blown away.

It was such a nice complement.

Then.

I ran into a fellow in my community that I haven’t seen since I started my school program, and he’s got a new office three doors down from me!

It was great getting caught up and he showed me his space and we chatted.

He told me he was really glad to see me, that I have “such great energy, I’m glad I’m going to see you a couple of times a week!”

Again.

Wow.

Nice, really, so sweet to be thought of that way.

That I have great energy, that there are therapists who want to refer clients to me, that I get to do this work.

Granted I didn’t do much work tonight, at least not direct face to face time with clients, but fuck, I did a lot of work today.

Up early and working on scheduling issues with clients and getting a transfer from another intern at the institute, e-mailing my assistant director and director, sending out clarification e-mails to clients and working on getting another of my syllabi printed off and sorted out.

Yes.

Finally.

All my classes are published online and I have all my syllabi printed.

I have all my books ordered.

I have a reader yet to pick up but I won’t deal with that until next weekend.

A week from tomorrow is my first weekend of my third and final year of this Masters in Counseling Psychology program.

One more year baby.

I know I can do it.

I did a bunch of reading today too.

Ok.

Well, not a bunch, but I got through all the reading, 171 pages, five chapters, in the Jungian Dream work book I have for my class and I got started on a homework assignment for the class.

Yeah.

I fucking did homework tonight and my classes haven’t yet started.

This happened to me last semester too, that I had a reflection paper due for one of my classes the first class of the weekend.

It’s not an accelerated program per se, but the month of classes a day time student would take, gets crammed into three days one weekend a month, so the amount of reading is huge and almost every class I have had has a lot of papers due in between the once a month meet up.

It’s a lot.

But.

Hey.

I can hold down a job while going to school full-time and, fingers crossed, while also doing an internship, which, I have to do, it’s a requirement for the school.

I must have a certain amount of hours to graduate the program.

It’s not horrendous, 255 I think.

Personally, I want to have a lot more than that, and originally I was gunning for the maximum amount of hours that I could acquire while in school.

Then I realized, fuck no.

I want a tiny bit of a life.

I’ve got slivers of time that are super precious to me and I’m not willing to go full whole hog, I need those small spots and spaces to keep myself from losing it while undertaking this endeavor.

So far.

Well, I like I said I don’t have the amount of hours I had thought I was going to accrue over the summer, I still have enough.

More than enough, really.

I have 124.50 hours logged.

Which is great.

I’m half way to where I need to be to graduate the program.

And.

I have two full semesters to get those hours.

I’m going to be just fine.

Things fall together.

Time is spacious and luscious and I don’t have to be anxious about it.

Just like I’m not going to be freaked out by not having all the reading done by next weekend.

I just won’t.

Oh.

I will have enough, and I suspect I will be far ahead of the majority of folks in m cohort, which seems to have been the precedent I have set for myself before even knowing I was doing it.

“I haven’t even ordered my books yet,” a friend in the cohort told me on Sunday over coffee.

I don’t roll like that.

As each syllabi was published I ordered the books necessary for the class.

Because a couple of my classes were not published expeditiously I haven’t got all my textbooks.

But.

I have enough.

And I’m doing enough.

Getting to have an unexpected cancellation tonight gave me a nice little cushion–finished the reading and the first assignment for one of my classes and roasted a chicken, got caught up with some more calendar stuff, went over the fall school schedule with my boss at work, and had a great phone check in with my person.

I will take the gift.

Grateful.

Really grateful.

And holy shit.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Yay!

Friday!

I can’t fucking wait.

SERIOUSLY.

Bring it on.

Calendar This

August 6, 2017

Bitches.

I updated my Google calendar today.

Just my personal one, not the one for my internship which feels like I am on it looking at it, figuring it out, all the time.

My personal one not so much.

But.

As days are getting filled I realized that it would be a smart idea to plug-in all my dates and look at my school weekends and get those all listed.

My last year of my Masters program.

Hard to fucking fathom it.

But.

It is.

I started my reading today for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I had a full day, it felt, just working on my calendar, I might have put in an hour on it.

I mean.

I really did do it up, putting in dates all the way up until the Aids LifeCycle ride in June of next year, June 3rd-9th.

I don’t know when graduation will be for school, that will be in May, I know that, but not necessarily when.

I won’t have to do summer school or summer practicum, since I did it this summer, so I’ll be able to walk free and clear and at the rate I’m collecting hours I will have more than double, perhaps triple the hours I need to graduate my program.

They will be just a drop in the bucket of what I have to accomplish overall, but I’ll be able to graduate with no sweat at the rate I am going.

I got to have my first experience with a couple today.

Which is awesome.

And.

Terrifying.

And amazing.

And.

A lot to hold.

I mean, it’s two people and I’m just one, staying in tune with everything that is in the room and it’s not to one person or the other that I need to attend, although I feel like I did a pretty decent job being balanced in my session.

Ultimately, though, the client is the relationship.

That means doing therapy in a different manner and it didn’t feel like there was enough time to get to everything that was happening, but then again, it was an initial consult and I may not be assigned this particular couple.

It was, however, a great learning experience, and as it was a couple the hour counts as two hours for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) who require at least 500 hours of Couples, Children, or Family Therapy.

It doesn’t matter if I want to be a therapist who works one on one with clients, the BBS requires me to do some hours of work with a family unit.

A couple is a great way to get those kinds of hours.

From what I can tell at my internship there are not a lot of Family hours available.

Nor child hours, but they do both and I have been assigned a child client, same client I did an intake with a few weeks ago, so there is that opportunity to pick up hours there.

Still.

500 hours.

That’s a lot.

Fuck.

3,000 hours ultimately is what I must have.

I’ve got 107.50 currently.

A drop in the bucket.

I know, though, I know it so well, that these things add up.

I just need to keep trudging the road and I’ll get there.

And there is plenty to keep me busy in the mean time.

It looks pretty damn good that I will not be going back to 35 hours a week at my nanny gig when school starts.

The mom and I had a very brief discussion about that, that the family wants me to stay at my current iteration of hours.

Which is 42 hours a week.

Sigh.

I can do it.

I know I can.

I can squeeze in the homework.

The baby will nap and I will read.

There may be times when that doesn’t happen, but I will get used to carrying my textbooks and reader with me and I will adjust to it.

School will be what school is.

Technically it should be easier than the first two years since part of my schedule is practicum, and well, I’m in it.

In fact.

I need to remember to pull my file on Monday when I go in and see my client.

I have a review and grade report from my supervisor waiting for me in the office.

I have to turn it into the school, which is basically turning in what ever grade my supervisor has given me and acknowledging that I am doing the work necessary for the school to pass me.

I don’t know if I get a letter grade for this or not.

I do know that it was more than just a page, more like three or possibly four pages of questions that the school needed my supervisor to weigh in on.

I currently have a 4.0.

I sure as shit hope I got an “A” if there is an assigned letter grade.

I can’t imagine that I would get less than that.

Which is not to be cocky, it’s just that I do show up, I do the work, I participate in my group supervision, I have clients who have rebooked with me.  I have clients that have requested to work with me after doing an initial consult.  I even received a very sweet thank you from one of my clients for the work we have been doing.

Unexpected and lovely that.

Anyway.

There are lots of things to juggle.

But I can do it.

And I am sure that I will still have time to do the pleasurable things that I need to do in my life and fingers crossed I’ll still be able to keep my blog practice happening.

I say that every semester and every semester I have managed to keep putting my paws on my keyboard and click clacking away.

It’s also one day at a time.

All I have to do today is what is in front of me.

I have to live in 24 hour increments or I will lose my mind.

And well.

That might suck for my burgeoning career as a psychotherapist.

Ha.

I can do it one little day at a time.

There is time for it all.

There really is.

And knowing that.

Well.

That’s a power I can’t quite fathom.

But I know without a single doubt.

I am being taken care of.

Completely.

Every single day.

With great love and compassion.

Which is more than I ever hoped for.

Life is full.

And.

Amazing.

Beyond my wildest dreams.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Push Button Baby

August 1, 2017

I saw a couple on the side of the road as I zoomed down Lincoln Way frantically trying to kick over the starter on a vintage Vespa.

I chuckled to myself.

The old Vespas look so fucking cool.

I know.

I used to have one.

It was such a pretty girl.

But.

Man.

It was such a hassle to get it started or it would conk out on me out of the blue.

Like coming down Laguna Honda in the fog going 40 miles an hour.

I got tired of that really fast.

That.

And the freaking horrifying sprained ankle that I got when the kick starter jammed and I folded my ankle in half.

That was no fun.

Months, years really, of healing.

The doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken and then told me it was too bad it wasn’t since the sprain is slower to heal and how badly I had injured it I would be lucky if it was healed fully in a year and a half.

He was right.

It took that much time to heal.

Actually closer to two years, if I’m honest, I had to be really careful and there were times when I could feel it was still injured.

It put a bad taste in my mouth for every having something vintage like that again.

Truth too.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of maintenance and well, it turned out it was a knock off Vespa, despite the registration issued from the DMV, it was a knock off Vietnam Vespa and no body in town would touch it to repair it.

So.

I got rid of it.

I had it recycled.

I got it off the road.

I wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else getting injured on it and when the mechanics at the shop told me all the issues with it I was shocked that I hadn’t hurt myself more on it, I could have easily crashed it out.

Granted.

There were some gleeful moments on it when someone would pull up to me on it at a light and chat with me about it, the scooter really was well done, no one had a clue it was fake.

Certainly not I.

I was a tiny bit bamboozled you could say.

Any way, that’s an old story and not the point.

The point is.

Thank fucking god for my scooter.

I live in the Outer Sunset.

I work in Glen Park.

My internship is in the Mission.

My school is in the SOMA.

I have supervision in Hayes Valley.

And.

Therapy in Noe Valley.

I have to get all over the city.

And the scooter is quick.

Of course, I do have some anxiety about what will happen when the fall comes and the rains that generally come with the fall.

I will either have to get used to wet weather riding or figure something else out.

I can ride in the rain.

I have done it.

I do not like it, but it’s doable.

I was talking to my friend yesterday as she was getting the last of her household packed up for travels back to France and she looked at me and said, “drive safe poulette (her term of endearment for me–sexy girl, although literal translation is chicken, I like to think of it as “chick” or chickadee), maybe it’s time you got a car.”

Yeah.

There’s that.

Aside from the fact that it would be handy to go to Burning Man.

Heh.

Still haven’t gotten a ride yet, still hedging my bets with a rental, but that too is beside the point.

I don’t know what exactly the point is.

I haven’t had a car for over a decade.

I got rid of mine two weeks after moving here in 2002.

Fuck.

Nearly fifteen years with no car.

Lots of bicycles.

And two scooters.

I do like my scooter and I do so appreciate getting around on it.

I just have time concerns now that I didn’t have before.

I mean.

My schedule has always been full, but then I added in graduate school and graduate school added in an internship and um, ha, since, I’m a therapist in training, I have to be on time for my clients.

I get done with work at 6p.m. and I have clients at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and I have been assigned a new client to see on Fridays now at 6:30p.m.

My first child client!

Bring on the child and family hours!

Ahem.

I digress.

This whole blog is a digression.

Sometimes when I don’t want to write about what I want to write about, I can go off on tangents.

Shadrach.

Scooter accident.

Dead.

Today.

10 years.

I had a little contact with his mom today after she posted a photo of visiting his grave.

Add onto that saying goodbye yesterday to my darling French friend.

Great recipe for sadness.

I felt heavy with it this morning when I left my house to go meet with my supervisor.

I got to Hayes Valley early and had a fifteen minute window so I called my person and shared about it and he said, “you sound sad,” and there it was, the sad, the heaviness in me, it was sadness.

Tears welled up and spilled down my face.

Yup.

Sad.

So we made a plan to meet at a church in the Inner Sunset after I got out of supervision.

It was so good.

I got right with God.

Then we went for tea at Tart to Tart and had a good session.

We sent my friend from Paris a good-bye photo of the two of us having tea, my face a little wet with tears, and my person smiling to beat the band, ugh, not all selfies are sexy.

Ha.

Oh.

Sadness.

I had my cry though and things began to shift.

I came home, made a nice lunch and then did some school work.

Because.

It’s that time.

I have two syllabi posted up and I checked them out and ordered books for class.

I sighed and realized I was pretty burnt out with the emotions.

And I decided.

You know what?

Nap.

I need a nap.

And that’s what I did.

It was perfect.

I had a little rest then got up, prepped some food for dinner and I could feel the sad had moved out of my body.

I got my things together and hopped back on my scooter, went to my internship, dealt with progress notes and paperwork and then saw a client.

By the time my session ended I was feeling great.

So nice that.

Go.

Be of service.

Feel better.

I scooted home.

Zipped by the park, rode the curves of Lincoln Way, smelled the bonfires at Ocean Beach and though it was cold and a bit foggy, I felt lifted, carried, loved.

I miss you Shadrach.

But.

You would be pretty proud of me.

Ten years.

You think the grief would have gone out of my body, but sometimes it is still there and needs expressing.

I’m grateful I didn’t squash it.

I just had it.

And I’m grateful for the emotions.

I get to have them.

Feelings.

It means I am alive.

And after all the death I have been witness to.

Well.

That’s a fucking miracle.

So glad I still get to be around.

Happy.

Joyous.

Alive.

And.

Free.

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

February 13, 2017

Like my bunny slippers.

Yes.

Baby.

Ooh.

That feels so good.

I wore my new Fluevogs today, my interview shoes, all day at school.

Loads of compliments, but they are not quite broke in yet and I realized when I got home, yeah, time to take them off, and slide into my slippers.

Happy feet.

Happy heart.

I got to see my cohort out in style today.

I gave everyone a Valentines Day card.

Felt really good and sweet and I love to spread the love.

I do.

It’s just who I am and I am glad to know it, to have it in my heart, to show it, to accept it when it comes back too.

I also got to have lunch with my friends in cohort, catch up, share stories, be together, be seen and after I got out I ran a quick errand then caught a late afternoon coffee, decaf thank you, with a lady and do some work showing up for each other in honesty and good faith.

Then.

Go speak.

And.

Do the deal.

Then have dinner with another friend who unexpectedly came to the spot and that was a gift, I am so grateful for my friends.

So grateful.

It was really good to catch up with my friend at dinner and we could have hung out for hours more, but ah yes, the work week calls, it’s not quite so siren song.

I mean, I suppose it is a siren song, I can’t ignore it, but I can lament, a tiny bit the end of the weekend the coming of the work.

Though.

I am grateful too for that.

I am.

I really like my new job and it feels good to look forward to work and to look forward to seeing the family, to look forward to helping them and seeing how big the baby has gotten over the weekend and to cook for them.

Such gifts.

So much life.

I am just in a super happy, serene place.

I am also well fed, hydrated, showered and have had sweet, smart company today.

Life.

You could say.

Is good.

Very good.

All life is good I am grateful to be alive.

Period.

If life were fair.

I have said many, many times.

I would be dead.

But.

I am still here, still making a go at it, still learning, and loving and changing.

I have plenty to get ready for this next week, school stuff mostly, I have to get my paper work in order for the next steps in my practicum process, but I talked to my advisor today and was very excited by his excitement for me and for getting placed.

I’m a little a head of the curve in regards to the rest of the cohort, and there is no judgment there, I just knew I needed to be in position to get what I needed to take care of myself.

But I must continue to be proactive and take the next small steps.

I will give myself a day or two to breathe and come down from the weekend of classes before I leap back into the work, at least tomorrow, at least one day of down time, not taking my books to work, just easing into the work week.

Which may not feel easy in my brain since I am going to ask off for Burning Man dates, but that too is just asking a question, I just have expectations.

When I can let go of the expectation though, and just know that I am going to be wherever God wants me to be, usually in a pace of maximum service then I know I am going to be ok.

I ask.

I let go of the results.

Of course.

I want to go so it feels loaded, when ever my wants are on the table it can bring up fear.

I’m not going to get what I want or I’m going to lose something I already have.

I’d rather ask in faith, knowing that whatever the outcome, I’m taken care of.

I’m going to Paris in May for fucks sake, I get to go on vacation, I’ll be starting my internship, I have a job, I have a home to live in, I have nice shoes and clothes, I have my scooter.

I am taken care of.

Heck.

I have a tax return returning.

It’s pretty good, this life of mine, really, superb.

I feel that my little blog is a bit rambling tonight, but I have to give myself some credit, I have gotten up early every day for the last three days, shown up prepared and did the work in my classes.

I did a lot of work.

Lots of emotional work.

Lots of staying in the moment work.

Lots of dyad work.

I may allow myself to be a little all over the place, I just feel so content and blissed out on having gotten to see my friends, both in school and out of school, to have had some social engagement, to feel like life is not just all work and recovery and school, there are these wonderful beings called friends that want to see me and spend time with me and how lucky am I?

Hella lucky.

Hella grateful.

And yes.

Hella tired.

My bed beckons.

I bid you adieu.

Bon nuit.

Bon soir.

Trop gros bisous pour toi.

A demain mes amies!

J’aime toi beaucoup.

xo

Get It Done

January 30, 2017

Until I can’t get it no more.

I have a head ache.

I read a lot today.

A fucking lot.

So much.

But that being said I am done with all my Trauma reading for class as well as having listened to an hour-long This American Life segment, and I did all my Couples Therapy reading.

Holy shit.

There was so much of that.

I find it on again, off again, hilarious that I am doing all this work for my Couples Therapy class.

Irony, no?

I’m not in a relationship.

I have never been married.

Half-assed proposed to twice.

Oops.

Ha.

Make that three times, I forgot one of them until I wrote that sentence.

However, so much of Couples Therapy seems to be understanding what the individual wants and is feeling, I can get behind that.

I have done loads of work finding my emotions.

Like yesterday when I was feeling “fat.”

First, fat is not a feeling.

I was feeling sad and a bit disgruntled that it was harder to find what I wanted than I had imagined.  I was feeling overwhelmed by the options, none of which felt like they were good options for me.  I was feeling that I was not enough, not good enough to be shopping and spending money on myself or my pursuits.  I was also feeling a little guilty, like should I even be buying new clothes?  A touch of survivor guilt there.

And underneath all of that.

I was feeling really vulnerable and that I needed to have a nice protective shell around me and I wasn’t able to locate one.

That I was embarking on a new journey into some sort of professional type career and I’ve never done this before and I am feeling not enough and scared.

Ah.

There you are fear.

Always at the root of I’m feeling “fat.”

Thanks for sharing.

Heh.

So, yeah, I have some ideas about how to navigate feelings, I’ve been practicing.

What was interesting in the reading for me as well was to find some of my own patterns in past relationships, places I had lost my voice and instead of trying to share and be vulnerable I got shut in or I shut up.

I let the other persons needs completely supersede mine until I couldn’t stand it any longer and I had to get the hell out.

I’d love to not do that again, but the chances are I probably will.

The thing is not to not do the thing, but to be compassionate with myself when I do and also, to allow myself to be open and vulnerable.

Relationships will have conflict.

It’s how I navigate the conflict.

It’s allowing myself to navigate the conflict.

And to ask for what I need without expecting the other person to fulfill my needs.

I’m definitely learning some nice little tidbits, almost makes a lady want a relationship to practice on.

As though I don’t have plenty, work, school, personal friendships, family.

Loads of relationships.

I meant romantic, since I’m studying Couples Therapy this semester.

Anyway.

The reading.

It got done.

I did some other things today and when I stop to think about them, I realize that it was more than enough, but I did have a moment when I thought, I have to get out and do something, I have to.

So I rode up to the Inner Sunset on my scooter to get a manicure.

But the shop was swamped and the other place I sometimes go to was closed.

I got a little frustrated, there was nothing for me to do, I suppose I could have done more grocery shopping, but I wasn’t feeling it, I had done a little run to my co-op and didn’t really feel like doing more.

I didn’t need to cook more, I had done my food prep for the week earlier today.

I didn’t really need to buy anything.

I didn’t have a place to go or be.

It was an odd time of late afternoon, almost early evening and I realized that the best thing to do would be to just come home and do the reading I had somewhat handily denied to myself that I needed to do (a bit of, I’ll just read at work, or on the train, going on in my brain) and thank God I did.

I don’t think I realized how long the reading was going to be.

I read for at least three hours.

My brain feels a little soggy right now.

I have read for longer than that, pleasure reading, but scholarly work is different and requires a different kind of attention and focus.

Plus, the This American Life segment, which was an hour, reviewing syllabi, going over the practicum stuff for this week, and getting ready for the next open house on Wednesday and my interview on Thursday.

So.

Um, yeah.

A lot of time devoted to school today.

I did not write my Trauma paper, but I’ll be able to knock it out next weekend and it’s just 3-6 pages.

I’ll get it done in an hour.

It’s not a research paper, it’s a reflection paper, so I can just write about what I felt going over the first weekend of material, class, and the readings.

The rest of the week, when I have time to, I will be doing the reading for my Community Mental Health class.

I do not like the readings at all for this class, too much policy reading, stale, governmental readings with no soul or poetry or elegance to them.

Thank God the teacher has plenty of soul and poetry and elegance to him, otherwise I’d be dead in the water.

Public policy is not my milieu.

Nope.

I got done what I needed to get done and I’m happy with that.

Plus.

Two loads of laundry and a spotless, and I do mean spotless, house.

I cleaned.

I always clean before I need to do homework.

Nothing says procrastination like house cleaning over homework.

But.

My little space looks like a shining jewel box.

I was reflecting with much pleasure as I sat on the chaise in the corner underneath a big reading lamp, my home, so warm and clean and pretty.

Smelling homey and comfy.

I roasted a chicken.

Little Sunday rituals, self-care, and yoga in the morning.

It was not a bad day at all.

And though I did not manage to get my nails done, I did end up taking a scenic detour home from the Inner to Outer Sunset, through Golden Gate Park on my scooter as the sun was setting through the Truffula trees (what I call the Monterey Pines, I swear I think that’s the tree species that Seuss was referencing in his drawings), the washes of light blues and the underlining golden colors of sunset, the hydrangea blooming, Stow Lake, the water reflecting the last of the sun, the end of the day, golden and washed with glimmer.

It was a lovely reminder of where I get to live.

And when I got home and walked into my jewel box of a home I was glad.

Glad to be home.

Grateful to have time to devote to my studies.

And content with myself and my efforts.

I am enough.

I have enough.

I do.

I really do.

Choices, Options, Decisions

January 28, 2017

Home.

It was just to come home.

And I was very much ok with the coming home.

In fact.

I danced around my home feeling pretty happy and complete.

I had a good day at work.

I had a great meeting of the minds after work.

I got asked out to dinner.

And this time I got the feeling it was more than for just fellowship.

I said yes.

I don’t know when we’re going to go, but I feel like we will be going soon.

He had a cold or we might have grabbed a bite tonight.

I decided to opt out of going to my friend’s birthday dinner.

I was already half way towards home and super hungry.

I just couldn’t fathom turning my scooter back around, going the other direction into Friday night end of the week cocktail traffic and doing a late sushi dinner.

I was too hungry.

I figured the best thing to do was ping my friend, extend my happy birthday wishes and head home to eat some tasty dinner here.

I just did and I am quite pleased.

I am also pleased as I have paid my rent for February and I bought myself a few things online from ModCloth for new interview clothes.

Why?

Because I’ll be interviewing soon.

How do I know that?

I got a response to my resume and cover letter this morning!

Hi Carmen!
Thank you so much for your resume and info. I recall meeting you at the practicum fair.
It does look like you might be a great match for our therapeutic community here. I’d like to invite you in for a casual interview.
Please let me know some days and time-frames that would work for you and we’ll schedule a casual interview.
Thanks! 
Whoa.
I had completely forgotten I had even applied.
Hahaha.
The e-mail this morning caught me off guard.
I was not looking for it, just checking my e-mail as I had breakfast and was enjoying some coffee, thinking about what I might me doing this weekend and my plans had changed when I discovered I had gotten my period.
Yeah.
TMI.
Fuck you.
But no, there will be no fucking me.
Canoodle session canceled.
Which I am alright with.
I realized after I had gotten this e-mail.
I am going to need to do some shopping for some interview clothes tomorrow!
Yippee!
I like clothes shopping when I’m in the mood and I have to say, I’m in the mood now.
Hehe.
Super excited.
And fingers crossed we will be doing the interview soon as I would really love to nail down my practicum site and not proceed forward with more open houses and more applications and more interviews.
I responded with times and days and fingers crossed I’ll hear back soon.
I also contacted the third year student in my program, he’s the person who recommended the place to me, and said, I got asked in for a casual interview, any suggestions?
He said, “just go in and be your fabulous self.”
Well fuck.
I can do that.
And though it will be casual, whatever that means, I do feel like I want to show up nicely dressed and coiffed.
Really what it comes down to is that I need a pair of nice flats.
I don’t have a single pair of flats.
Oh.
I have tennis shoes.
Converse and a pair of Saucony.
And I have my boots.
But I don’t see wearing rain boots.
Or.
My Burning Man boots.
Um no.
Then I have a couple of pairs of heels, but I don’t have the appropriate interview attire to go with them, they were bought for dresses which I feel are too dressy for the interview.
And I have plenty of wedges and platforms.
But walking into an interview in 4 inch Mary Jane black suede platforms might be just a bit too much fabulous.
I figure I need to hop over to Macy’s downtown and grab a pair of D’Orsay flats from Nine West, they carry my size and they’re not super expensive, plus they’re cute and I can wear them with other outfits.
Then maybe I pop into Banana Republic and grab a nice pair of slacks or a long skirt, a simple button down and maybe a blazer jacket.
Nothing too fancy, but clean, simple, pulled together.
The site is in the Mission and it’s a Community Therapy model, so I don’t think any one is going to be over concerned with my outfit, but I know that it’s better to come in looking tidy then roll up in jeans and Converse.
Even if I end up doing the practicum hours in jeans and Converse, which is a likelihood, I will feel better being well suited for the first get together.
I’m going to get up, go to a 9 a.m. yoga class.
Shower.
Breakfast.
Coffee.
Scooter up to 7th and Irving, meet my person at Tart to Tart at 12:15p.m.
Then another lady at 1:15p.m.
Lunch.
Then a manicure and some lunch.
After lunch I’ll head downtown and do the shopping.
Hopefully it won’t take too long and then I’ll head to the NOPA do the deal and maybe if I’m feeling it, hang out and do some fellowship, grab dinner at Brenda’s if folks are going out.
Sunday will be yoga, taxes, homework, cooking for the week, reading, write a paper.
And if I get it all done I will be taking the suggestion to go see a movie.
I may not though.
And I’ll be ok with that.
I did promise myself that since I wasn’t going out tonight to my friend’s birthday gig I would try to get out tomorrow and connect with people.
Keep myself from isolating and be in the stream of life.
Because I suspect I’ll be starting practicum soon and I want to have some fun to balance out all the school stuff.
And though there is more work to do.
I am excited.
I am happy I got a response to my resume.
And.
I’m happy I got asked out to dinner.
Yes.
Yes I am.

Once More Into

January 18, 2017

The breach, my friends.

Once more, into the.

Oops.

Ha.

I meant, books, once more into the books.

Yes.

I have started in on the reading that will need to be done for the next weekend of classes.

I got a new trauma book in the mail today and that has been cracked, as well as getting into the next chapter in one of my couples therapy books.

There is so much reading.

But.

It is so much better than the reading I was doing last semester, the DSM V is a little, ahem, dry.

I just knocked through a chapter and a half in “The Body Keeps the Score,” which is a book about healing trauma.

I am all down for that.

Yes.

Yes I am.

It’s fascinating reading and I’m a little surprised it’s just now that I am getting into it, but as I know so well, my past experiences will guide me and though I may not have much experience with healing trauma, although that could be argued I tried a lot of different things, I do have plenty of experience with having been exposed to trauma.

“Like to like,” I said in class as we were setting up the parameters for how we as a class were going to move forward.

I meant, that like attracts like.

I reflect that I don’t know exactly, consciously, why, but there is something there, I have worked with too many women who have had identical if not highly similar trauma stories as I have.

I have sought out to work, like wise, with women that I have found out later, had the same experience or sets of traumatic experiences that I had as well.

It’s shocking.

And it’s not, all at the same time.

I am grateful to be doing the work now as a student and I have always had an inkling that what and where I land will have a great deal to do with how I have walked through my own trauma spaces.

And not walked through.

There are spots and things and big old cheesy holes in my memory.

But.

The body remembers.

And that’s what I find fascinating and curative in its own way.

I have done an extraordinary amount of self-work and I wonder how much I saved myself without even realizing that I was saving myself.

And I wonder how much more saving there is to do.

Plenty I am sure.

I can often see when a behavior is not serving me, for instance, but it takes a great deal of effort to not continue to engage with something that isn’t good for me.

Men who are not divorced, emotionally available, or hmm, live in another part of the country.

So sexy.

I mean.

Even a novice in psychology would say, oh, I bet her dad wasn’t around when she was a kid.

I mean.

Duh.

And perhaps I am dumbing it down a little, but it’s a cliché because there’s some truth there.

The child like need to reconstruct the past in my present circumstances so that I may resolve an old psychological wounding.

I had nothing to do with the break up of my parents marriage, I gather it was breaking apart before it had really solidified.

Yet, how many times have I been involved with a man who is going through a bad divorce or break up with children of certain age?

And better yet, with those children being girls?

Ack.

It’s embarrassing.

I will be going into therapy soon enough to deal with that, but I do wonder, sometimes more than I wish, wouldn’t it just be nice to get involved with a straight edge kind of guy, one with good morals, who’s single, not married, doesn’t have kids, isn’t an active drug addict, isn’t alcoholic, or, I don’t know, not a felon or a convict?

Fuck.

That sounds boring!

There is comfort in the known.

I once was told, “Honey, I know five things about the man you are dating without you having to tell me anything,” pause, “he’s homeless, jobless, he’s got less than thirty days sober, doesn’t have any money, and has holes in his socks.”

I was aghast.

It was like he’d just looked into my bedroom.

I’m not joking.

I was mortified to recall that the paramour at my apartment the night before had holes in his socks, I remember finding that distasteful and I was ashamed that my person knew me so well.

I have since had lovers who have stellar socks.

But occasionally I do fall for the emotionally unavailable man.

And boy howdy, they’re just like a big box of chocolates.

Another thing I can’t have.

But my mind has a sweet tooth for the emotionally unavailable man.

They are so tender and deletable.

And.

Safe.

Fuck me.

They are so safe.

They are not available for romantic, emotional commitment, and great!

Because.

Neither am I!

Or so the story goes and then I’ll be safe and not get my feelings hurt and not have all that past trauma drug up and tossed about.

Except.

Well.

None of that works for me.

And as I read more and more and go through more and more of my program I am in fact, looking to heal those places, to let in new scenarios.

To dump the box of temptation in the trash rather than fondly sift through the contents and ponder what it would be like if I just had a tiny little taste.

NO.

It’s just not good for me and I keep finding resolution in the way the material works on me and through me and I am excited and gratified to know that I can change, am changing, am growing.

That the trauma will get worked out, it’s been getting worked out, and that I am allowed to work it out.

Maybe my best efforts at keeping a true emotional and romantic and spiritual relationship with a man would have once been too threatening, that I kept going back to the known trauma of the relational field to keep some sort of fresh wounding intact.

I wouldn’t forget my father that way and I might somehow figure it out.

How to save him.

But.

Really.

I think.

Saving me at this point is more to the point.

And ultimately.

What my father would have wished for me if he could.

This I believe.

And in that knowing, which will sink from head to heart to gut, I will heal.

I will grow.

And I will let go of those old ideas that no longer serve.

For something new and wonderful.

I fucking deserve it.

I really.

Really.

REALLY.

Do.

Working Too Hard

January 15, 2017

To work too hard.

I realized this today.

Especially when I had a brief moment of actually contemplating, yes, yes I did, that I could just not sleep, then I’d be able to do the practicum hours at the site I was thinking about applying to.

Are you bonkers was the next thought.

Thank God that came faster than it typically does.

I mean what kind of fucking therapist would I be if I was advocating for someone to work without sleep?

Yeah.

Not so much.

I remind myself to treat myself like I would a client and do some real looking at my own outlandish expectations and what I can actually accomplish.

And.

That I don’t have to accomplish it all over night.

I mean.

I just don’t.

I’m doing pretty fucking good anyway.

What I am alluding to is that I am not going to apply to the UCSF Infant/Parent program.

They just want too many hours for me to be able to do it.

I like sleeping.

I mean, not like I’m checking out, but you know, 7-8 hours a night seems like a reasonable ask.

Heh.

I met with the professor that I was asking to write me a letter or recommendation for the practicum site and I told her that I had re-evaluated my thinking in regards to the problem and that when I was honest with myself there really was no way I could commit to 25 hours week at the site.

And she agreed.

She also expressed to me that it might be a super challenging site to leap into and that it would require me to make home visits and maybe that was something I might not want to do as I am currently working out of someone’s home as a nanny.

She also said that in a realistic world she believed that nannies should get credit for the hours that they spend working, that a nanny can actively be doing family therapy and she wished there was an acknowledgement of that as she had known a few other nannies come through the program and she really felt that we should get some credit.

If only.

My God would that be nice.

I discussed the fact that it’s just me and my own self, no family, no spouse, no other outside sources for income, not to paint a pity picture, but to be up front, rigorously honest and accepting of where I am.

Because I’m ok with that and I understand that it may necessitate some different actions than the ones I had originally formulated.

I wasn’t super set on the program anyway, I mean I love babies and kids and working with children, don’t get me wrong, but maybe, just maybe I could use a break from it and explore working with adults.

Just a thought.

We talked about the other programs and we had a really honest engagement and I also found out the sites affiliated with the school didn’t need me to provide a letter of recommendation.

Which was some big relief, as to the other program I was thinking about applying to.

If I could navigate around that and not have to worry about those things, well, less work would suit me just fine.

I mean.

I do a lot already.

I don’t need to add more in.

Besides I’ll be adding in plenty just with practicum no matter where I go, I’ll be working at least 10-15 hours more a week, possibly 20-25.

If I go somewhere that I can do nights and weekends.

So I took a little pressure off myself, I forget how easy it is to put myself through the additional wringer of must get it right.

All I have to do is keep showing up and I’m doing ok.

I really am.

Hell.

I’m doing better than ok.

I am a little tired.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, still a tiny bit on the sick side, but it does feel like the cold has predominately lifted.

I am just tired at this point.

Really.

That’s to be expected.

These are big, full, emotional days.

Long days.

Lots of reading and sitting and listening and attending.

Lots of fucking processing.

Jesus fuck.

I mean.

You want to hear process, just sit in on a psychotherapy class and watch them deal with conflict.

It is amazing and exhausting all at the same time.

I am learning a lot though.

And I realized that I can hold a lot more than I have been able to in previous semesters, my own container has grown bigger.

My heart has gotten stronger.

I can read my feelings a lot better and my capacity to express them has also grown.

I can also sit through other people having their process without freaking out or rolling my eyes.

Once today I caught myself having an expectation about how something was supposed to go and I realized that the learning was happening and I just reached inside and said, buckle up kiddo, learn, watch and learn.

When I wasn’t struggling with how I thought the class should go I was actually able to learn.

I don’t have to make shit so hard.

I don’t have to over complicate.

I don’t have to manipulate.

I also trust my teachers much more this semester than I did last semester and I’m enjoying the showing up and being a part of.

I feel more a part of, more integrated, more appreciated.

I am sure I have always been appreciated I wasn’t always able to acknowledge that, and I did today, I accepted some compliments and I had some nice heart to hearts.

Not just with my professor but also with various members of my cohort.

A growing edge.

The constant letting down of my guard, the graceful surrender, the bent swan neck not acquiescing to the emotional demands of another, but gently bowing to hold the space being made, a flexing of feathers and a slow bending collapse into surrender.

I learn more there every day.

It is said that surrender means going over to the winning side.

I did that today.

I did.

It was glorious.

I teared up.

I let people in.

I reached out.

I listened.

I held my own council.

I learned.

Man.

Did I learn.

And that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?

Learning.

I’m in grad school for fucks sake.

That’s what I supposed to be doing.

I don’t have all the answers.

If I did.

Well.

That would be a different blog now, wouldn’t it.

Grateful for the flexibility and generosity of spirit from my class and cohort.

You, my classmates and cohort,  are an amazing and wonderful teacher.

I tip my hat.

And.

I hope I do your lessons justice.

I really.

Really.

Do.

 

One Dozen

January 14, 2017

Long stem blushing pink roses.

One for each year I’ve been doing the deal.

That was what greeted me this morning.

Actually.

The full moon setting this morning from my back door is what greeted me, all pearly and low hanging, incandescent in the first blush of morning.

I took out my camera and shot a few photographs.

I don’t believe that I did it any justice, that moon, that opal jewel in the dark indigo wash of sky over the ocean, but I gratefully pulled out my camera to give it a go.

That camera a gift.

Something that I can frame my world with, a poetic extension of my world view, a way to take the moment and hold it, like a poem in my mouth, a moment luxurious with depth and meaning and love.

I awoke to love.

Great love.

Outpourings of love.

Messages of gratitude and sweetness, kindness, reflection and beauty.

I felt blessed.

I felt more and more blessed as the day went on.

I had school today, my first day back in classes, first day, second semester, second year.

I had some trepidation after I was ensconced in all the readings prior to class, but by the time I was a quarter of the way into my first class I knew, this was going to be a different semester and yes, loads of work, every fucking semester has been so, it would be good, soul enriching, spirit broadening work.

I am looking forward to the semester and the learning in a way that I had felt disconnected from and dissatisfied with in my experience last semester.

Those cobwebs got blown away and I feel refreshed and re-invigorated by the work and reconnected with my cohort and really alive with the school.

Oh.

There’s still wonky crap, but what academic institution doesn’t have it’s foibles?

I had a surprising and wonderful discussion with my advisor and I have an appointment to talk to one of my professor’s about a letter of recommendation for practicum tomorrow after my morning class.

Things move a pace.

I made some executive decisions regarding where I am going to apply to practicum and I feel hopeful that those will suss out.

I had to face the fact that unless money suddenly falls the fuck out of the sky I’m probably not going to be able to do the UCSF practicum.

The program is looking for a 25-40 hour a week commitment.

And it’s not a paid internship.

Most aren’t.

But to work 25-40 hours a week on top of a full-time job and full time graduate school feels.

Well.

Fucked.

And impossible.

I had a chat with a third year student who is also in the weekend program and works full-time and he told me about where he was doing practicum.

The Liberation Institute.

Which is in the Mission and would be handy to my work and school commute.

Plus I found out after attending the workshop and practicum fair that the institute has weekend and evening hours available to interns.

Yes and yes please.

If I’m going to accrue hours and not get paid at least let them be during times that will facilitate me working full-time.

I live in San Francisco and I need to keep paying the bills.

And well, that would allow me to do it.

My current job is flexible with me having one Friday off a month to go to classes, but I can’t imagine that I would be able to work a job with benefits for less than full-time hours and the family needs me 35-40 hours a week.

There is a way forward and this may be the way.

Sure.

I’d love the acclaim of working for UCSF, but maybe this is better for me, not trying to cram so damn much into my schedule and still letting me do the deal.

Because doing the deal for the last twelve years is what has gotten me to where I am.

I would not be in graduate school if I was still out there using and drinking.

I’d be homeless.

You bet.

I’d be dirty and broken and soul less.

I might be dead.

If I were lucky I’d be dead.

But I’d probably drag along the bottom of the gutter terrorized and blank and shattered.

No thank you.

So a balance needs to be made.

I have always believed that it was of utmost importance to not put the life that I was given before the way of life that I had learned by taking the simple suggestions made to me in the very beginning of my recovery.

Simple, daily practices that keep me going one day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One fucking minute at a time sometimes.

And here.

Twelve years later.

Fierce and free and strong.

Joyful and happy.

Content and blessed.

So many gifts I have been given, so much life to live that I have been graced with.

It boggles my fucking mind.

Yes.

Yes it does.

Boggles I say.

And I know that as long as I put my recovery first.

Well.

Everything else will follow.

That’s been my experience.

When I didn’t know what to do or where to go.

I always knew where to go.

Church basements and funny rooms in the backs of odd buildings.

Holding hands with strangers that became family.

Sitting in cafes reading from blue bound books and sharing my experience, strength and hope.

How this works?

I can not tell you.

I don’t know.

I just do my best to take the suggestions given to me and to turn around and give it all away.

You can’t keep it without giving it away.

A crazy paradox of love and altruism that isn’t really so altruistic.

I mean.

I don’t want to fucking die in the gutter with a crack pipe in my hand sitting in between cars on Minna Alley on a piece of scavenged cardboard.

Been there.

Done that.

God’s got better plans.

Yes.

Thank God.

And thank you.

You know who you are and I love you more than I can possibly express here.

But when I see you on campus you know I will give you a hug and perhaps in the circle of my arms you feel just a small expression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.

I have so very much.

Yes, love.

Love.

For you.

Always.

Forever.


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