Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

How The Hell

January 19, 2018

Did that happen?

I’m back in school tomorrow.

I just printed off my syllabus for a class.

I haven’t read a thing, not that there was a thing to read, not that I’m aware of, there probably is a thing or fifteen that I’m supposed to read, but the syllabus that was up for the class I printed off doesn’t technically have text books that I have to buy.

I’ll be using materials from previous classes.

It’s called Integrative Seminar and it’s like a master’s thesis class in which I will expound upon all the learning I have done in the past years of work.

I have learned a lot.

A lot.

“Carmen, sometimes that’s the hardest thing,” my therapist said recently, “you have done the emotional work and you are aware and you are educated and it can be really hard to see things that other people haven’t seen for themselves.”

Ayup.

I mean.

Then again, it’s always easier to see someone else’s problems, they’re not yours, so you’re not invested, it’s a different perspective.

My “problems” are mine and special.

I mean, hello, they’re mine, of course they’re special.

But.

The learning, it has been a lot and I have become very self-aware.

What works for me, what doesn’t, how my emotions are not something to be afraid of but signs to point me in the way I need to be going.

I don’t always care for emotions.

Oh.

That’s not true.

I like some of them a lot.

A LOT.

Happiness.

Love.

Although love has a wicked back-handed sting of pain to it at times that will throttle the breath right out of my body and make me feel like my heart is on fire.

But, um, yeah, love.

It’s so good, it’s so delicious, I want more and more and more.

I usually have to really cultivate it in myself though, how I take care of myself, how I am gentle with myself (not always so good at that, work in progress, you know), how I feed myself, or let myself rest or be kind, like say nice things about myself and acknowledge the work I do.

I mean.

The work.

A lot of that.

Other emotions I like.

Joy.

Excitement.

Affection.

Awe.

Love me some awe.

Hope is a good one too.

Elation.

I like to be elated.

Euphoria.

That one’s super fun.

Wonder.

Ecstasy.

Ooh, yeah, I like that.

I mean.

Those are fantastic emotions, I’m all over those.

But some others.

Meh.

Not so much.

Jealousy.

Anger.

Fear.

Worry.

Sadness.

Oh woe is me, I do not like the sads.

Melancholia, which is just sadness with a fancy name.

Frustration.

Envy.

Lust.

Well, heh, maybe I do like some lust.

It’s well.

Lusty.

Ahem.

Humiliation.

Pity.

Fear.

I do not like the fear thing not a bit, not at all.

Yet.

I have all of those emotions too.

The nice thing is knowing that I am allowed to hold more than one emotion at a time, in fact I can hold many and do at any given minute or moment of the day.

Sadness and love and fear and lust and anxiety today.

As well as happiness and contentment and sorrow and grief.

A great big mixing bowl of feelings.

Hey there, look at that, I’m in psychology, the “science” of soul suffering.

What is it about the soul and the suffering and the journey of it all?

I suspect it’s about love and whether or not I let myself have it, let it in, allow myself to be loved, to accept I’m lovable, enough, that I deserve all the best and most wonderful things and to act in those interests.

Not something I have always been able to do so well.

The neat thing, yes, I said neat, about all this learning to become a therapist is that I get to work on myself, so this Integrative Seminar class should be a good way for me to look back over the last few years and measure, really see, how much I have grown.

The other class.

Well.

The syllabus was not up so I am not worried about having to have read anything for the class.

I have gotten one of the books the professor e-mailed the class about and I’ll bring that with.

I’ve got class from 9a.m. to 4p.m. then I’ll be heading off to my internship at seeing a consultation for therapy and a doing a phone session with a client.

Then.

It’s officially Friday.

Dinner with my best friend and connection, conversation, life, goals, love, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

All the things.

It’s a full and busy weekend for me.

I also have to go into the dentist on Saturday and get my permanent crown put in.

I’ll be leaving school a little early on Saturday to get to my dentist appointment by 4p.m.

And I just realized.

Sigh.

That I won’t really have a day off until next Saturday, which isn’t necessarily true either, I’ll have group supervision that day, but it will feel like a day off.

It’s always a long run of days when I’m in a weekend of school.

But this is it.

The last semester to my Masters program.

The final push!

I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow at lunch to talk about graduation and also to get my letter of recommendation for the PhD program in Transformative Psychology.

That is still definitely on the burner for me.

Whew.

Glad I’ve got my books and folders and notebooks and syllabi all set.

Lunch is packed too.

I just need to figure out what to wear.

First day of school fashion crisis.

I suspect, though, that as long as I show up, it will all be fine.

That’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Just showing up.

Super grateful to be walking into this last semester with a full and thankful heart for the process that has brought me here to where I am today.

I’ve come a long way.

Baby.

I really fucking have.

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Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.

Tooth Ache

January 12, 2018

My tooth hurts.

Achy.

I’m hoping it’s temporary.

I’m one week and two days away from getting the permanent crown put in.

I’m not in severe pain, it’s just there and a touch disconcerting.

I got notice today that my dental insurance is about to end, as though it was much good, and I’ve looked up on my PPO to see if there is dental available through my plan.

It looks like there might be.

Then again.

Who the fuck knows.

I had made a opthamology appointment four months ago.

Yes.

I said four.

And today I got a message to call the office.

They weren’t sure if my insurance covers the visit.

I gave them all my information and am awaiting details.

It’s so frustrating.

I have not had this experience before.

Having to wait such long times to be seen, not being able to be seen, having to figure it all out on my own.

I had Kaiser for such a long time I got super spoiled by their facilities and the easiness of booking appointments.

I wish the school hadn’t changed over to this health plan, but it’s what I have and until I can afford something different, it’s what I’ll be using.

I do get a stipend from my family, so there’s that, it’s just the inability to be seen that has me really flustered.

I didn’t go bananas on the woman who called me but I did question why the hell it took so long to be contacted if there was a question in regards to the coverage.

I mean.

I just would have kept my October appointment with my ophthalmologist on Irving street.

Really nice guy, Dr. Kurtzbay.

I liked going there, although I did not like paying out-of-pocket for the services.

The last two pairs of glasses I got were both over $450.

Plus I was a little flush, for me, and I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Which I managed to hold onto for about four months before losing them.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When I got this new insurance I was excited that there was ophthalmology and dental included.

Of course.

I haven’t been able to use the services, I haven’t been able to get in to a dentist or an eye doctor, so in a sense it feels useless.

I have used the insurance once to be seen by a new primary care physician in an Outer Sunset facility that reminded me of a bad made movie scene in a third world country.

I have the number for the only dentist facility that my insurance purportedly covers and I’m going to call them tomorrow and see if I can get in.

If I can’t then I will renew my own out-of-pocket dental care for the second year in a row and just stick to my guy over at Sunset Premier Dental.

He’s not first world, but not third world either, and he takes appointments on Saturdays, so there’s that.

Speaking of appointments.

I get to see my chiropractor in the morning.

I have a 9 a.m. session.

My back as been feeling better, I will say that, not 100%, but significantly better, I’m not in nearly the same amount of pain as I was a few months back when it started to act up.

I think this is my fourth session.

I’ll have a few more sessions still covered by my family and then I will see about continuing.

I really like her energy, it’s just $85 a pop and she wants to see my weekly.

Add that to my personal therapy at $120 a session, and the week get’s expensive quick.

I wouldn’t really be thinking that much about it, but the unexpected dental stuff did eat up my little buffer.

I’m not too worried, however, I’ve gone over my numbers a bunch of times and I’m going to be just fine.

Tighter than I want to be, sure.

Wishing I hadn’t committed throwing in $200 to the party on Saturday, yup, but fuck it, whatever.

When I was out drinking and using I blew more than $200 a night and frankly, I’m happy to help host a party and have a fun time and a good dj and friends come out to dance that I typically don’t see.

It’s only a few days away, my sobriety anniversary and it still doesn’t have that anxious feeling around it, I’ve nearly forgotten, in fact, that I had an anniversary coming.

I have heard people say that before, especially busy people, but I never really thought that there would be a time when I would not be acutely aware of an upcoming anniversary.

And I’m just not.

It’s rather nice.

The party makes it rather nice too.

So.

I’m not going to focus on money, it’s all God’s money anyhow.

I’m just going to focus on what needs to be paid next and have faith that I’m taken care of.

Paid my phone bill yesterday.

Felt great.

I actually like paying my bills.

I mean, even though I didn’t want to shell out the money to my dentist, I really like that I was able to pay it and pay it in cash, well, not paper-folding money, but you know, by debit card which is not a credit card.

I have not even used the credit card I got a few months back, I’m not even sure I will for that matter.

I like paying my debts with cash.

It feels good to be accountable.

And it feels really god that tomorrow is Friday.

Fuck yeah.

I’m ready for the weekend.

So ready.

Seriously.

Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.

Really?

January 3, 2018

Already?

FUCK.

I just read over the syllabus for one of my classes.

Vomit.

Vomit.

Vomit.

I am not ready.

No.

No.

No.

Sigh.

I got an e-mail from a friend of mine in the cohort, we take almost all of our classes together and I switched out a class to be in the this last class with her, tipping me off to a website builder that I could use for class.

I was like.

What?

Wait?

Is the syllabus already up?

And fuck me, yes, it is already up.

I read it over, I got a little tired reading it.

I think I just want to go back to reading my pleasure reading book and not look at a syllabus again for a day or five.

My next weekend of classes is January 19-21st.

It’s still a few weeks away, but it’s looming.

Fortunately the class that has the syllabus up has no readers or textbooks I will need to buy.

Unfortunately and I’m super annoyed by this, I do have to use readings, readers, and textbooks from my previous classes.

The class is Integrative Seminar, and it basically requires that I write a 22-29 page paper with a personal narrative of when and where I had revelations in my classwork and what those looked like and how I will bring those insights into my therapy sessions with future/current clients.  Plus a part of the paper has to be a clinical review of one of my current clients.

Ugh.

That’s a fucking pain in my ass.

Not that I can’t write that many pages, I won’t have a problem doing that so much, but um, I didn’t save my notebooks from my previous classes, I recycled most of them, I also don’t have the majority of my textbooks, I sold them back.

ARGH.

I do have one ace up my sleeve, I just now literally realized.

I have a program on my computer called Perrla.

It basically is a graduate student’s wet dream.

It helps format papers in APA (The American Psychological Association) and it builds your bibliography for you as you’re writing the papers.

I should have all my papers from all my classes, except for maybe the first couple I wrote, that are saved in my Perrla program.

I can reference those papers to write the bigger paper for this class.

That will be my saving grace.

So grateful I just remembered that.

Really no need for me to get all anxious about shit anyway, I’m a writer, I will write.

I have had some pretty transformative moments in school and I have grown so much in my personal life that I am sure I will be able to knock out a 30 page paper with ten references pretty damn quick.

Plus, thank God!

Thank fucking God, I keep really good notes from my supervision sessions with my solo supervisor.

And I am fairly certain I have all my notes from supervision and now that I know I’ll be presenting a case I can take more prodigious notes while in session with him.

I don’t know what I’m bitching about.

All things considered I will be writing more than 30 pages for a PhD dissertation.

God only knows how much writing that will entail.

I talked my therapist a lot about that today, amongst other things, like coming up on my 13th sobriety anniversary and what I will be doing to acknowledge that, and how I sent out an inquiry to the dean of the school I’m thinking about applying to.

My therapist is way behind me going for it.

It’s nice to have that support.

And she made a really good observation that by the time I will finish up my PhD I will also be close to accruing all my hours for licensure.

That sure would be swell.

My PhD and my license.

I’m so down for that.

I got a response to my inquiry late afternoon today while I was at work.

I probably had gotten it far earlier, but work was a busy one and I didn’t check my phone until nearly end of day.

And there it was, a message from the dean in response to my ask.

She told me two very valuable bits of information–the program only accepts students in the fall and the deadline for the upcoming fall semester is the end of February.

My timing couldn’t be better.

She asked that we make time to chat soon either in person or over the phone.

I asked for a phone interview to discuss the program after I get out of supervision next Monday morning.

I am going for it.

I can’t believe I writing that and at the same time it feels exactly like what I am supposed to be doing.

I am genuinely excited.

Sure.

It will be more work, but I’m used to it at this point, I’ve been doing the work now for over two and a half years, I know what needs to be done and the time it goes by so quick.

“How’s school?”  A friend asked me New Year’s Eve.

“I graduate in May!” I told her, I might have squealed, jumping up in down a tiny bit.

“Oh my god, didn’t you just start?”

Yeah.

That’s what it feels like, like I just started, and I also feel like I’ve been doing it for a really long time, the school bit has very much informed my last two and a half years, it has colored literally everything I have done.

And not done.

Oh the social stuff I have missed out on.

Then again.

I cannot fathom the growth that I would not have had if I not been in school.

The growth I have had is astounding.

Nothing says personal growth quite like going to school to be a counseling therapist.

Shit.

Let me process some stuff ok?

On top of getting back into therapy.

Thank God for therapy.

It’s been so good for me.

So I’m not mad at what I “missed” I have gained so very much.

And I’m just going to keep growing.

What a magnificent thing.

To be on a path where I am always learning and growing.

That is a gift.

Seriously.

And I Will Be Driving

January 2, 2018

All week.

No scooter for me that I can see for the next six to seven days.

Rain.

Loads of rain in the forecast.

Tomorrow it looks like it went from forecasted rain to just overcast, but I think I will take my car anyway, just in case and because I really like driving it.

I reflected on that as I was helping my person run a little errand from his house, I got to spend a really lovely afternoon with him catching up, checking in, and doing the deal.

He’s doing really well, but gets tired fast.

We did a walk around the block after chatting for an hour and a half and then an errand to the bank, he was done in by the time I got him back to his house.

A very sweet little abode up in the upper part of Noe Valley at Caesar Chavez and I think 27th.

He’s been there for twenty years.

A gorgeous little one bedroom with the sweetest view.

I joked that I wanted it when he dies.

“Girleen, you’ll be with someone long before then and you and your man will want more space than I have here.”

He made a good point, it would be cramped for two people, but I have to say I had a little apartment envy considering it’s a little more than twice the size of my studio and he pays much less than I pay and he has windows, so many windows, hella jealous of the light, but super grateful he’s in a really good spot.

Anyway.

It was good to get face to face time.

We do a lot of phone check ins, I might call him every day, just leaving a message to touch base, and at least once a week we do a longer check in, and then we meet when my schedule allows, once his hip is fully healed there will be more regular face to face meetings.

I’m super grateful for him, he helps me so much with my perspective and my way of being in the world and he is a marvelous witness to my journey, he’s family really.

I have told him that should I get married he would be the person giving me away.

He’s the only man who I could fathom walking me down an aisle.

He sees me and for that I am graced.

I’ve been working with him now for about four years and he’s seen me through a lot.

I did not have much more on my plate today than seeing him.

I got up, after sleeping in, last time I’ll be sleeping in for a while, and went to yoga.

I didn’t have to bargain too hard with my brain to go and I had a good work out.

I really do want to get in more yoga classes, I realized today that going three days over the long weekend really made a difference, I could tell how different my body felt and some poses were much easier with just another day of practice thrown into the mix.

I could sneak into the 7 a.m. yoga class tomorrow, it would end by 8:15 a.m.

I’d have to fly home, shower, and dress lickety split and be on the road by 8:45/9 a.m.

I have therapy at 9:30 a.m. in Noe Valley before work.

Yes.

It all starts back up tomorrow.

Work, therapy, seeing clients.

It’s not a full week with clients, I still have a few that are out-of-town, so it will be a nice easing back into the week.

What will be nice is that the kids will be back in school, which means a little less frenzy at the house in the mornings and some solo work with just the baby.

Back to work tomorrow.

Back to therapy.

It will be good.

I feel like I have come through an interesting time with the holidays.

And I’m grateful for the experiences I got to have, I learned a lot about myself, my expectations, and what I need in my life and what love means to me and how to work on cultivating that in my life.

I am loved.

And I’m not unaware of it.

I am grace with it.

It is like a sun halo on my heart.

A field of eider-down puffs and late afternoon light strained through honey.

This love that catches at my heart like breezes through summer trees.

I am adorned with it.

I got to see it very clearly today in my chat with my person and I am once again awed by all that I have.

Gratitude in spades, gratitude for my life, my experiences, for getting to be the woman I am, for what I have.

It’s not conventional, my life, and fuck, you know, I’m grateful for that too.

I believe I live a more passionate and alive life than most and I wouldn’t trade it for some one else’s trumped-up ideas of stability.

I have so very much.

And I am so very alive.

I am also grateful that I took care of my house today and got myself ready for the week.

I took down the Christmas tree, wrapping up all the ornaments, rolling up the lights, taking down the Christmas cards, packing things away.

All done for another year.

It was the right time to do it and I’m glad I didn’t leave the tree up longer, although for a minute my heart was just not into dismantling it.

I have some very sweet memories of my time with said Christmas tree this year and wrapping up all the ornaments and putting them in my Christmas box really highlighted the holiday I got to have that was similar and completely dissimilar to any other Christmas I have had.

So many lovely memories.

Nestled into tissue paper and carefully tucked away in my precious box of ornaments.

And today is the first day of a new year.

So much is going to happen.

I can feel it.

A pricking in my fingers.

A tingling in my bones.

Electricity in my blood.

This year is going to blow the lid off.

Just you wait.

It’s going to be a hell of a year.

Watch me.

Radio Silence

December 20, 2017

Not how I had planned to spend my day.

My employers gave me a brand new Iphone 8 yesterday for my birthday.

At one point I tried to set it up but I had many other things on my plate and figured I would just do it today.

However.

That didn’t work.

The dad helped me out, took the sim card from my old phone and put it into my new phone and then headed off to work.

I actually have no idea what he did.

Just that he did something.

Then I swapped over all the information, got the new phone charged up and started and then.

Nothing.

Nada.

Didn’t work.

At all.

I was bummed.

As it turns out, the mom did some research, I had to have the number off the box the phone came in, um, yeah, left that at home, to activate the account with my phone company.

So.

As soon as I came home I logged onto my account plugged in the numbers, did all the things, and nothing.

Ugh again.

The sim card from my old phone was not doing the deal.

I got through to an online chat with my phone company and I was told I have to take the phone into Sprint store and get a new sim card, the card from my old phone is obsolete.

Of course it is.

It was from an Iphone 5C.

I mean what a relic, an antique really.

I thought about taking the sim cared out of the phone and putting it back in my old phone, but first I have no clue, nor the little tool the dad used, and second I deactivated the phone.

Sprint has that all tied up.

I just need to get the new one activated.

So.

Ugh.

No phone for a little bit more.

Not the worst thing in the world.

I do have a chat on my computer that is working and I was able to make contact via that, although I had no access to any messages that came in while I was away, my laptop was powered down, I just had the old stream of messages.

Sigh.

Oh well.

It’s not a tragedy.

And considering how much I processed in therapy and cried, maybe it was God’s way of saying, take a break, get re-centered, focus on taking care of what needs to be done at work.

I am, however, bummed, I will be going in early tomorrow at work, I won’t have time to go to a Sprint store and deal with it.

I am hoping that the mom will let me out sometime during the day to hop to a store and buy a new sim card and get the new phone fully activated.

It could be a fun little adventure to even do with one of my charges, the oldest boy is all things technology and phones, I could see him having fun in a store full of gadgets.

Fingers crossed.

Otherwise I’ll be doing it after I get off work at six pm.

No thank you.

I don’t like being out of touch.

I had a client cancel and wasn’t able to respond until I got home.

I know I missed text messages.

I may have missed phone calls.

The client who cancelled had even requested a phone session, of course, nothing I could do with that one.

I didn’t lose the hour though.

I did progress notes and I talked with the head of my agency and got some ideas about internship stuff and continuing education and what that looks like.

I also did an hour of client advocacy.

And I picked up my trainee evaluation from my supervisor there.

Which was all high marks.

Very happy to be able to send that out.

I found out I don’t actually have to drop it off to the school, I can just send it in the mail, I am loath to go anywhere near campus for a while, I need a break.

Speaking of, the kids had their last day at school today.

Winter break has officially begun.

I will be working longer days for a bit, earlier start at work while the kids are out of school.

But getting to have next Friday off is such a nice bonus.

I was supposed to go in and see my new chiropractor tomorrow, but the mom was desperate for help and asked me to come in at 8:15a.m.

I will be going in and making pancakes for the monkeys.

It’s a long day.

I rescheduled the chiropractor for next Friday at noon and I’ll just have to keep doing the little stretches she suggested.

I do feel a bit out of whack.

I had to carry the baby a bit today in the carrier and he was having a hard time, a bit sick and fussy and there was a lot of screaming, which so rarely happens with the baby that it can be hard to hold.

But.

Hold it I did.

And when he finally fell asleep I just sat on a chair in the bedroom and closed my eyes and drifted.

No phone distractions.

Only warm, heavy, soft baby, breathing against my heart.

I cried a bit.

I processed some stuff.

I thought too much.

Then told myself to stop thinking.

Figure it out is not a slogan.

Then I just drifted in and out of quiet mediation until the baby woke up.

It was quite nice in the end.

The day went by fast and I had plenty on my hands, the baby, both the older kids, the cleaning ladies, cooking dinner, trying to figure out my phone, giving up on trying to figure out my phone, getting to my internship, and seeing the one client who didn’t cancel.

I wasn’t home until 9p.m. then on the chat line for a while, I had to remind myself to eat dinner and drink some water.

And I should pretty much go right to bed now.

But.

A cup of tea.

Just to unwind.

Just to pause and re-center.

It wasn’t a bad day, just different.

Just quiet.

Nothing wrong with quiet.

You Are Built For This Work

December 19, 2017

He told me.

I was so amazed to hear him say that.

Also, “you are deeply intuitive.”

And.

And.

And.

Wait for it.

“You are going to be a kick-ass therapist.”

Followed quickly by, “actually, you are a kick ass therapist.”

And then a smile.

And his brown eyes got warm and melty and in that moment, holy shit, I saw it, my supervisor likes me!

I was blown away.

I mean, I still am now, it seems surreal.

The man is intimidating.

Which he acknowledged today is not an unheard of thing between a trainee and a supervisor, he said, “I’m a white, older man, in a position of authority.”

Um.

Yup.

But.

He is also fucking brilliant.

I am often astonished by his intelligence and I am grateful that I can swim in the waters of his sagacity.

It’s intense.

He told me today that I am far beyond what a second semester trainee needs to be doing.

That I know what counter transference is, transference, that I know how to make an intervention, that I am warm and comfortable in my sessions with clients, that I have clients that want to stay and work with me, that I have built a roster of clients, that I am deeply intuitive.

He told me that he has other trainees that it takes fifteen minutes to pull the counter transference out of them.

“What’s your counter transference?”

“I don’t know.”

I don’t have that problem.

I may have others, but that is not one of them.

I see it, I have it, I am beginning to know how to use it and it’s a powerful tool.

Aside from being just flattered as fuck, it was such a nice way to begin my birthday.

Especially since I was dreading the review a little bit.

The last review was not so hot, not bad, and he really made a point of telling me more than once that I was doing all the right work and I was on the right track, that I was learning and implementing what needed to be learned and implemented.

But it was not effusive.

Not like today.

I was really just bowled over.

It was to not be my last bowled over of the day.

I have had just the loveliest birthday.

Sure.

I had to work.

But.

I opened birthday cards, from my mom, from my grandmother, from my best friend, from my family I nanny from.

I got myself my favorite chocolate drink from Rainbow.

I had a very sweet morning with the mom at work and collaborated on the work that needs to happen this week for them, school lets out tomorrow at noon for the holidays.

I had a great time with my school pick up and my oldest charge and I had a super sweet coffee and bagel date at Maxfields, I had the coffee, he had the bagel.

Then.

Holy shit.

My family gave me a new Iphone for my birthday!

I just about fell off the couch.

And flowers and the fore mentioned birthday card.

I mean.

Wow.

I got a new Iphone 8.

I am still a little in shock.

And so grateful.

Unbelievably grateful.

It is so lovely to be appreciated.

They are grateful for me and I am for them and it just was such a resoundingly nice thing for them to do.

I still have to set it up.

The internet, shocker, in my studio sucks, and I couldn’t get my phones to sync up.

I’ll bring it in to work tomorrow and do it there.

I promised my oldest charge he could help me take photos with it.

We chatted a lot today at the cafe about what we want to do over the holiday vacation.

Ferry ride to Sausalito.

Children’s Creativity Museum.

Exploratorium.

Drawing comic books.

Reading about space.

House of Air.

Movie date to the Metreon and Super Duper Burger.

So much fun.

And I got out a little early.

Not a ton early, the kids were so excited to give me my present and the entire family sang me happy birthday, it was just so, so, so sweet.

Then home and putting away goodies and groceries from my earlier trip to Rainbow in between supervision and work.

And then dinner at the new’ish restaurant around the corner from my house, Hook Fish Co.

It was delightful.

My best friend took me out.

Oh.

And gave me the most beautiful pair of earrings.

So special.

So sweet, my god, I just feel like I got all sorts of unexpected love today.

I just had the nicest time.

That my friend took time out of a way super busy schedule to take me out to dinner, that my relatives sent me cards and sweet little gifts, that my family gave me an Iphone.

An IPHONE.

Then I got the prettiest pair of earrings EVER.

I love them so.

How lucky am I?

The luckiest girl in the world.

And.

Heh.

A kick ass therapist.

Just ask my supervisor.

Seriously.

 

At The Crack of Dawn

December 15, 2017

I will be up too early.

Yeah.

I know, suck it up baby, have some coffee and shut up.

I hadn’t forgotten that I had an early appointment before work, but man, it did sting a tiny bit setting my alarm clock for 6a.m.

Sigh.

Oh well.

Just because I’m not in school at the moment doesn’t mean that there won’t be days that I need to be up and out early.

Tomorrow is one of those days.

I got into see a chiropractor in the Mission.

At 8 a.m.

She was super sweet to fit me in at that time, normally she doesn’t take clients at that time, but the rest of her schedule was so full and my schedule being also full, she made an exception for me.

She normally doesn’t see clients until 9a.m., but tomorrow she’ll be there at 8 a.m. and sigh, so will I.

The irony of this, which does not escape me at all, is that afterward I will be scootering off to a park in the Upper Noe Valley neighborhood to hang out with the baby while mom gets a work out in with her trainer.

Which means wearing the baby carrier and carrying the baby.

Meh.

One of the reasons my back has been sore and tender for the last few weeks, carrying the baby in the baby carrier.

Grateful as all get out that today he slept in his car seat and had a huge fat nap that I didn’t have to have him strapped to me to get.

Usually he likes to sleep on me.

And don’t get me wrong, I like it too, so much, he’s so sweet and warm and cozy, it’s really nice, but it also hurts my back to carry him around.

So hopefully I get a good adjustment and my hips go back to normal and the small of my back will stop hurting so damn much.

Despite the appointment time being so early I am looking forward to having the adjustment, it really is needed.

It just means going to bed really soon.

I am also contemplating skipping breakfast.

Well.

Not really skipping breakfast, but not eating it at home.

I’m planning on getting up at six am to take a shower and get groomed and dressed and slide out the door by 7:30 a.m.

That doesn’t really give me time to do my morning routine and breakfast, I won’t skip the morning routine and if I want to do breakfast I would have to get up at 5:30 a.m. instead of six a.m.

I’m not ready to sacrifice that half hour of sleep.

I have a feeling it will be much-needed.

So I figure I’ll just grab a couple of persimmons or an apple and some almonds and just eat that at the park when I meet the mom.

And then it’s Friday.

And yes, it will signify my first weekend off in three weeks, my first day off, well, sort of, fuck, haha, I still have to go to group supervision, but it will sort of feel like a day off.

I really could use that feeling.

I’m going to meet some ladies in the Mission Saturday morning for a brunch, then head over to do group supervision and maybe afterward I’ll treat myself to a manicure somewhere before I go do the deal with my peeps.

I am ready for that as well, getting back to some fellowship.

Especially with the holiday sneaking up around the corner.

Sunday will be a little more chill, I’ve got a lady coming over to do some work and then dinner in the Castro with my person who is celebrating a huge anniversary.

That will be really good to be a part of, so much so.

Then one more week of work and a nice three-day weekend.

A weekend I’m still not really sure what I want to do, but I’m taking suggestions and thinking about what would be sweet and nurturing for me.

I think that’s going to be very important over the holiday, good self-care, compassionate actions for myself and those around me, practicing kindness and generosity, getting out to do the deal, go to a movie, fuck, it’s been a while since I was in a movie theater, ages really, go to the museums, get myself a little something.

Last year I gave myself a necklace that I was wearing today, for my birthday, that I had picked up in the Mission at a little art gallery on Valencia Street.

Maybe I do that this weekend, get myself a little birthday present.

I know.

My new car is pretty much the best present ever, but I didn’t really buy that with my birthday in mind.

I think there needs to be some other kind of recognition around it.

And I am so, so, so grateful that I took the night of my birthday off from clients.

That feels really important.

Just as it feels important to give myself a little something.

I rather liked the idea of jewelry, I like wearing it into my client sessions, I’ve been wearing more necklaces than I have in years and I really like that, I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but I do have an appreciation for a new accessory in my repertoire for sure.

I will have something to open, my mom’s birthday card, which has been sitting on my table now for a little bit.

And!

I have gotten my licence plates in the mail today.

In fact, I sort of want to open them right now, just to see them.

Ooh!

Ha, that was fun.

I opened them.

I will definitely have to put them on the car.

Maybe Saturday before I head out to the brunch.

I was thinking about riding my scooter since the brunch is in the Mission, but really, I don’t have time constraints except to be at my internship by 2p.m.

So I will allow myself to drive my car.

I really love having her, it’s been such a special experience.

I do feel like that is going to be the thing I do,  a mini road trip.

Just not yet sure where.

But I feel the road calling with its siren song.

Anyway.

Time to call it and get my butt to bed.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.

But that’s ok.

It’s the last day in the week and my evening plans look stellar.

Like.

Really stellar.

Slowing Down

December 13, 2017

Not having any school stress hanging over me has really mellowed me out.

I got to debrief with my therapist about it all and the lecture and all the things love and relationship and work and family today.

It really amazed me to see that it was just one week ago today that I was on a stage giving a lecture in front of 100s of people.

It feels like it was last year.

There was so much that happened after the lecture that I quite lost sight of the fact that I had done it.

Even though I have had a number of people clamor for the video of it.

It has not been posted up yet and I’m rather loathe to watch it anyhow.

I don’t need to see myself, I was there, I know how it felt.

Even my therapist wants to see it!

My therapist went to the same school I’m in now and did the same program and had some of the same teachers.

It’s always a good feeling of commiseration with her about my life and school and all the things.

It’s almost as though we are contemporaries, friends.

We had a good session and there was much to process.

There always is.

And then off to work.

I went in early to help the family and got to spend an unexpectedly sweet day with the baby.

He’s almost a year now and it’s coming close to time to renew my contract with the family.

I’m very happy with them and they are happy with me.

It’s a mutual appreciation society.

Seriously.

The dad today said he didn’t know how they’d still be alive without me.

That was super sweet to hear.

It’s a trip though, working for a family with three kids, three really changes the dynamic, it’s a flat-out hustle sometimes and there is not a lot of down time.

There is always something for me to do.

Always.

I don’t mind, it’s good to stay busy.

Although not too busy.

The parents had asked if there was a day in the upcoming weeks that I might be able to help with an overnight and I gave them a night when I could and as it turns out that night doesn’t work and well, I have to say that I wasn’t really upset about that.

I don’t have solid plans to do anything on the days I have off, but I sort of like that I have some time off to do with what I will.

My therapist asked me about Christmas and what it was like for me and whew boy that opened up a lot of fodder.

I realized very much that the last few Christmases have been really hard on me and she was encouraging me to do something sweet for myself, a yoga retreat, a little road trip in my new car, something personal and kind and I will add, for myself, cheerful.

I often spend Christmas alone and I can get melancholic about it.

Last Christmas I was navigating through some personal landmines that surprised me but in hindsight needed to happen and helped me grow exponentially.

Nothing like pain to prompt some spiritual growth.

The year before I was with someone in Paris who couldn’t really be with me and that felt like throwing my heart on a bonfire and roasting marshmallows over it.

Burnt and crisp and super painful.

I’d rather not have a painful Christmas this year.

Soft and gentle and loving and I really want to let myself not freak out about it.

I don’t want to compare and despair.

Maybe the road trip to Stinson on Christmas Day, pack a picnic, go to the beach, have bonfire, collect shells, reflect on my life and what I want in the new year.

Or down to Santa Cruz and go to Bridges State Park for the Monarch migration happening now.

I tried to go one year with a boyfriend and yes, we made it, but so late in the day that the monarchs weren’t flying.

I might try to give that another shot.

I should also get my MOMA on.

I have a membership and haven’t been in months, now that I’m on break from school it’s definitely time to go again.

I also want very much to see the Klimt exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

I love Klimt.

That is a must do.

I will also do a movie at the movie theater.

Last year I went to La La Land on Christmas day for a matinée at Kabuki Theaters and then I took myself out to sushi.

It was super cold on my scooter and I felt pretty miserable riding around.

Not going to be a problem with year with having a car.

I’ll be taking her tomorrow.

The last two days I’ve been on my scooter to avoid the morning rush traffic and get to supervision and today to therapy, before work and then to my internship on time.

I haven’t those obligations tomorrow.

I’ll be taking my car.

I really love having that car.

Yeah.

The more I think about it the more I think a mini road trip will do me good.

Even if it’s just across the bridge.

Oh!

I could do a ferry ride too.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve I caught the last ferry to Sausalito, I got off the boat, walked to a coffee shop, bought a coffee and walked right back onto the ferry.

I got to see the city at night all lit up in Christmas lights.

It was stunning.

I got a lot of really gorgeous photographs from that little jaunt.

And of course.

I’ll find somewhere to go do the deal and get right with God, always that, especially during this time.

Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Nope.

There will be many ways to keep it merry and bright.

Heck.

I can just sit and contemplate my Christmas tree and watch Holiday Inn.

I love me some Bing Crosby.

I do.

 


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