Posts Tagged ‘train’

Flanneur

July 22, 2018

Which means, “one who strolls,” in French.

Or something like that.

Google it if you’re not sure.

I am fairly certain, but my French is not that great.

It’s good, but not great.

I know enough French to get me in trouble, its assumed by my accent and the way I talk that I do speak it fairly well, but as I explained to a new English-speaking friend today, I get caught up in trying to say the right word and the rapid fire Parisians are three sentences ahead of me while I am still thinking of the word for “dressing room.”

Which is “cabine,” if you wanted to know, and I did remember, but not before the sales person figured out my French was not as good as assumed.

I actually didn’t really buy anything today, well, food, not that much is open on Sundays.

Oh.

There were tons of shops open in the Marais, but nothing really called to me, except, heh, the shops that weren’t open.

Sunday in Paris is a family day, a rest day, most places are closed and I decided early on today that I would do my best to take it easy today too.

I mean.

I still walked like seven miles, but at an easy, relaxed pace and I did end up taking the Metro home from my final destination as I wasn’t feeling like walking fourteen miles.

I could have, it’s still light out, the sun has not set and it’s nearly 9p.m.

Gorgeous light in the apartment.

My last night alone here, the family returns in the morning.

Then!

I’m off to the South of France at lunchtime.

I’m very excited.

It will be nice to be on a train for a little while, the ride is about three and a half hours, and it will be fantastic to see a new city.

My friend knows the area well, we are staying at her favorite hotel in Marseilles, which has a view of the port.

We will go to the big museum there and have a nice dinner, I’m sure, and on Tuesday we will be taking a car to the markets in Aix-en-Provence, then on the way back to Marseilles we will be going swimming in, I forget the exact French word for it, some secret little beach on the Mediterranean.

So stoked.

My friends return in the morning and I’ve been instructed to be ready to leave for the train station by lunch time.

Not going to be a problem, I’ll just be packing a few summer dresses, my toiletries, and my bathing suit.

I still cannot believe I will be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea!

So happy.

And.

Honestly, I could use a break from Paris.

I know.

What?

Did I say.

I have had this feeling before, I did last time I came, at one point in my trip, I’m done with the crowds, I’m done with being stared at on the Metro (I have a lot of tattoos and though one sees them a bit more than they used to, it is very rare to see a woman with as many tattoos as I have, and it’s warm, I’m showing a lot of skin, not obscenely, by no means, but it’s unusual, and man, I get the looks), I’m done with snotty French waiters.

Not all waiters are horrible.

But I usually have one or two that are assholes and I got that one today at a cafe I met a friend at on Rue Madame.

It’s a damn cute cafe though.

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I had my “usual.”

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I like coffee.

And I like the sparkling water.

I just finished up one now.

Nothing says I’m on vacation like the two of them together.

Plus.

Taking the time to sit still and enjoy them.

I tried to sit a little more today, but it can be hard, my brain tells me that I must go and go quickly and get in as much as possible and do, do, do.

A human doing, not a human being.

But today I let myself sleep in, I laid in bed after I woke up until 10 a.m.

Then a nice long shower, a leisurely breakfast, and some laundry, so nice to have laundry here, I am super grateful for that and not having to cart it to the mat down the block or up and down five flights of stairs.

Then coffee and writing.

I didn’t leave the house until after noon.

I decided I didn’t need to do the Louvre, that had been my sort of “plan” but that I could just walk and see where it led me.

I walked through the Marais.

I walked to the Seine.

It was gorgeous.

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I mean.

Come on.

I walked and walked and walked.

Then I crossed over this bridge and went into the Latin Quarter, which I don’t much like, way too many tourists, way too many, but it was on my way to where I was meeting my friend and I realized that I had plenty of time to just walk all the way there without being rushed.

And.

I stumbled upon the Cluny Museum!

Never having been, I popped in for a wonderfully air-conditioned visit and saw the famous tapestries.

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They were beautiful and it was a sweet little detour.

After that I walked over to the Luxembourg Gardens, but needing food I kept my eyes open for the right place to grab a bite.

And lo and behold!

A miracle!

Not only a new organic, locally sourced restaurant, but one with beautiful flowers everywhere, and, and, and!

A non-smoking terrace!

All the cafes, well, except this one, have smoking areas on the terrace, and everyone it seems, smokes, except my friend, thank God, and I made the grave mistake my first night eating outside and my food might as well have been dipped in nicotine.

It was gross.

And I used to be a smoker, so that’s saying something.

But this little spot, was no smoking and I was really happy.

The food was surprisingly good and the terrace was super pretty.

The service was a little spotty, but that was obviously because it was a new restaurant, turns out they’ve only been open three weeks, and I was more than happy to be patient about it.

Which I’m grateful for, because when my food did arrive, the waitress got my order wrong the first go around, it was superb.

Best lunch I’ve had here since I landed.

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A really beautiful crustless Quiche with vegetables, a green salad and these delicious sausages.

That and the atmosphere, made me super happy.

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And then I walked through the Luxembourg Gardens before meeting my friend at Cafe Madame.

A sweet, slow, “lazy” day.

Heh.

I still walked 15, 418 steps and climbed 15 flights of stairs.

And now.

Well.

It’s time for dinner and getting ready for my trip tomorrow.

I hope your Sunday is as lovely as mine was.

Bon soir!

 

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Not What I Wanted

December 23, 2017

And beyond generous.

I was disappointed, let me get it out-of-the-way, the sounding like an asshole, today when I got my Christmas present from my employers.

Gah.

I sound like such an ass.

I’m not disappointed any more, fyi, I got over it pretty fast, but for about an hour I was miffed and a little let down.

I had hoped for a bonus.

Ah.

Who the hell am I kidding?

I had expected a bonus.

I had expected a weeks pay.

That’s typically what I have gotten from my employers whom I have nannied for, with the exception of one set of families that gave me a half weeks salary.

I was rather counting on getting the money to make my first car payment on my car.

Not that I don’t have it to pay, my dear and sweet and generous friend who went with me to help me get the car told me don’t put too much down, rather, keep it in prudent reserve, a years worth of payments, just in case something happens.

That way I’m not screwed if something comes up and it felt really good to do that.

I still was hoping to get a nice bonus and throw a big payment on my first month of the car payment.

Not happening.

Of course, I’ll still make the payment, and it will be larger than what I need to, I have it, and I want to pay off a little extra every month.

I felt a bit chagrined to have gotten my hopes up so high.

I do know better, expectation leads to resentment and all that.

But I had gone ahead and had some expectation.

I think I surprised myself.

I think I thought I was maybe, just maybe going to get more than a week’s salary.

The huge gift of an Iphone 8 for my birthday.

Then, there’s that, the HUGE gift of the Iphone 8.

Which retails at $799.

And the family also did give me two other gifts tonight as I was wrapping up the week with them before the holiday–a set of AirPods, which retail at $159 and six paid sessions at my chiropractor, at $85 a pop that’s $510.

In toto this week the family has given me $1,468 worth of stuff.

I need to shut the fuck about not getting what I want.

Yes.

It’s true, I would not have spent the money on a new Iphone or the Airpods, not at all, last thing really I would have bought, nor would I have spent the money on the chiropractor, although, yes, eventually I would.

But I wonder, have been wondering for a few moments now, what if these are exactly the things that I need in my life.

My current phone is old and probably won’t last much longer.

I have been pondering buying a new one soon anyhow.

The Airpods will help with me taking client calls, I did a phone session tonight and I thought about half way through of the pods and, huh, they are going to come in handy.

Plus.

Going to the chiropractor is expensive and I know myself well enough that maybe I wouldn’t keep paying $85 a week to go to it.

Shit.

I pay $120 a week for therapy.

So maybe the gift certificate was exactly how I should be spending the money.

Really.

I got more than I was expecting.

It was just in a different form.

I also got to have some amazingly sweet time with the oldest boy today.

We had a solo day out.

We took the train downtown, went and visited the Christmas tree in Union Square, watched the ice skaters slipping all over the place on the temporary holiday ice rink that always goes up, went and looked at the Christmas windows in Macy’s and watched the kittens and puppies play, then off to the Metreon to watch Ferdinand the Bull, the new cartoon movie, quite sweet.

Afterward we went back to Macy’s as there was a food truck party happening and he and I got rotisserie chicken and brussels sprouts and sat on the astro turf and had a picnic lunch.

Then.

Yes, I can’t believe I let him talk me into it, we went into the Disney store, then to the Westfield Mall.

It was intense and probably not an experience I would enjoy on my own, but getting to see it through his eyes was super sweet and special.

I helped him pick out a Christmas present for his sister and I picked out a present for his sister to give to him.

So adorable.

He ate all sorts of the good junk food its super fun to have when you’re seven going on eight, popcorn and a slushy at the movie theater and Twizzlers, the chicken for lunch, eaten with his fingers, and, yes, unbelievable that he even had room for it, a pretzel hotdog from Annie’s Pretzels in the mall.

“What is that good smell!?” He asked as we came back from getting his toy.

Annie’s Pretzels.

He basically passed out in my lap on the MUNI train ride home.

Such a sugar pie.

When we got back to the house and settled in and all the parents and siblings were present I gave them the presents I had gotten them: the Dogman comic book for the oldest boy and another comic from the same author (he LOVED them); a rainbow unicorn pencil bag and unicorn dress pin for the little lady, and for the baby, one of my all time favorite children’s books, “I Am A Bunny.”

Too adorable.

It was good times.

And it was so nice to get all the appreciations from the family.

Even with not getting what I wanted.

I got so, so, so much.

The mom and dad and I also renewed my contract and did an evaluation.

The dad basically told me how they do it where he works and that they judge on three categories and each category is measured by: needs improvement, met expectations, exceeds expectations.

The dad said the I had exceed far away all of their expectations and as such they wanted to give me a bigger raise than the cost of living wage I was expecting.

See?

Hahahaha.

Expectations, bite me right in the ass, but this time in a really good way.

The cost of living raise is 3%.

The family gave me a 5% raise.

AND.

The father explained that I will receive as well, a 5% raise every year that I am with them.

It will be a 5% increase on each years salary, so each year the raise will be bigger.

I am down with that.

So fuck my expectations.

And Merry Christmas to me.

I’ve been given so very much this week.

I am so grateful for my life.

And all the love I get to have.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

 

A Sweet Day

February 15, 2017

Despite it being Valentines Day.

Otherwise known as, achingly-painful-reminder-that-you-are-single day.

But really.

It was a sweet day and I did not find myself maudlin about the holiday, I haven’t really felt maudlin about Valentines Day in some time.

I have accepted where I am, who I am, and my relationship status is not a reflection of who I am or what I am.

It’s just a characteristic amongst many, many, many characteristics.

And.

I have been told by a fair number of people over time that I have something that they want.

They’re own space.

They’re own room.

They’re own bed to roll around in.

No one hogging the blankets or snoring into their ear.

Or wet sweaty body lying clammy against them.

I just had a flash of an ex-boyfriend who was a profuse night sweater and how it grossed me out how wet the sheets got, I mean, soaked.

I was like what the fuck is detoxing out of your body?

And the man was sober.

Night terrors=night sweats.

I think he was still working out some stuff.

The relationship did not last long and I welcomed back my bed with wide open arms when he was no longer sleeping in it.

I also welcomed not changing my sheets every other day.

I actually find Valentines Day rather sweet.

I like sending cards and I loved seeing all the guys out there carrying bundles of flowers.

I liked imagining the faces of the women or men they were giving those flowers to.

It was like little pieces of tangible love adrift in the world and I did not need a piece of it, nor did I find myself lacking for it, rather I just felt in my soul, a comfortable witnessing and great appreciation for all those folks out there doing for one another.

There really is nothing like getting flowers from someone.

It is special.

And as per usual.

I eschew buying them for myself on this day.

They prices get rather jacked up and I’ll buy some tomorrow.

I did some nice self-care today, took a hot shower, did some writing before work, drank a nice hot cafe au lait, got out into the sunshine and did a big grocery shopping run after work, doing the deal and meeting with a lady this evening to do some work and reflection.

I feel like it was a pretty successful day.

It did not hurt that I was not much on social media.

Sometimes I need a break from that.

What was wonderful today too was running into people unexpectedly from school and my previous nanny gig.

I ran into a TA from my Gestalt class last summer and we had a great catch up and a warm sweet hug.

“You smell good as always!” She exclaimed.

We chit chatted for a few minutes then I ran to catch the train to do some errands for the family in Noe Valley.

Super grateful for that.

Running errands outside when the day was a nice as it was today.

67 degrees.

Crazy.

I actually put on sunblock today before leaving the house.

The utter sublimest luxury of sitting in the sun while waiting for the train with my eyes closed at the cafe on Church and 30th was so good.

I felt so lucky and blessed.

I was getting paid to wait for the train at a cafe in the sunshine.

That’s pretty damn good.

Then up in Noe Valley after I had dropped off dry cleaning and picked up dry cleaning, I ducked in Whole Foods and picked up a few things for the house and ran into a woman who I knew from the corner market at 21st and Valencia–the market that I frequented when I was nannying in the Mission.

She works there as the check out lady and she was all smiles when she saw me and she gave me a great big hug.

It was super sweet to see her and it made me realize how just small kindnesses can go so far.

I don’t think I did much besides always say hello and smile and ask after her, just basic humanness, and her response to seeing me was so nice, it just was a great reminder to take that extra moment, smile, be kind, be sweet, be generous.

I don’t need heart-shaped boxes of candy to remind me to do that, but it’s a pleasant thing to see people with them tucked underneath their arms.

I loved seeing the kids let out from Mission High School.

The balloon bouquets were pretty impressive.

Granted when I was in high school, Valentines Day was hell on wheels for me emotionally, but it’s not now, and I can look back with a great deal of love and humor for the girl I was hoping for the same acknowledgement, love, and passion as I saw happening for other girls and guys at school.

There can be a show-off-ness about Valentines Day.

But today.

I chose not to see it for that.

Rather I just let it be another day.

A day I got to show up and work and cherish my charge.

A day in the sunshine with the flowers fragrant and lush where ever I went.

Who doesn’t want to see bouquets of flowers all day long?

So much beauty.

And the warmth of the little girl hand in my hand as I walked from the train and up the hill to her house was all the Valentines Day love I needed.

I am lucky.

I have so much love in my life.

I need not pine for more.

Why would anyone want more if they are not happy with what they have?

Today.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Exactly as it should be.

Seriously.

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

Letting go of the things that don’t serve me.

Letting go of ways and means of being that I have been.

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

I had to have a little hand holding tonight as I took some suggestions regarding my personal life and relationships.

“No body treats you like that,” he said to me, “and I will not stand here and let you be treated like that, now unfriend.”

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

It has taken years to get to this point and to let go, of this old idea that I somehow need to give you more than me, that I am not enough, that I have to buy your love, respect, or that I need to give you something for you to be my friend, lover, partner.

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

Not by myself, though, I had to have some hand holding.

I had gotten the suggestion this evening and it matched up with how I was feeling, even though I was afraid to take the action required, I knew, deep within me, that it was the thing to do.

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

“Wait, can I just do this now, with you here, I don’t know if I can do it when I get home,” I said.  I mean.  I knew I would, but I knew it would be easier for me to do it with my person there sitting across the table, warm, supporting, holding me through the process of letting go and moving on.

There is no there there.

“I expect to get blow back from this,” I said as I sent out the message and then took the next suggestion and cleaned some house.

“Doesn’t matter, you did your part, you cleaned your side of the street, how the other person responds doesn’t matter,” he said.

He took my hands and held them as I shed a few tears, took a deep breath and did the next action in front of me.

The relief of standing up for myself, asking for what I want, and really I do not have any expectations that the want will be met at all, none, nada, in fact, and that somehow made it easier and harder at the same time.

But let go I did.

And I realized I just made a huge amount of room for what will work in my life, for friendships, relationships, jobs, school, for letting in the love and going where the love is and being happier in my person and with myself.

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

With unconditional regard for others and what they need to do to grow and be.

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

What works best, how will I grow, how may I serve, what does that look like.

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

I have grown so much since working with him and I have such respect for the work.

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

I am so excited for what this year is going to bring.

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

I am working full-time and going to school full time and I will be interning.

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

I am thinking that I may camp somewhere new this year, my dear friend from my first camp that split off and started his own invited me to camp with them this year.

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

Just maybe go this year and don’t work, oh, I know, I’ll help out, wherever I am camped, that is what I do, but on my terms and not tied to anyone, not tied to a scheduled, not leashed to a job.

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

My year is already so littered with love and goodness, travel, art, school, friends, getting to be in San Francisco, getting my practicum placement, getting to be an intern, getting to start helping clients and accruing the hours toward my license.

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

This thirteenth year of being in recovery is going to blow the top off.

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

I am so grateful I keep showing up, suiting up, doing the damn deal, living by spiritual principles.

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

But that too is a gift and an opportunity to grow more.

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

It was melting surrender, a washing away, a saying goodbye, a letting go, with the rain sluicing down the gutters and the fog prowling on soft cat feet, as I listened to Bon Entendeur streaming from my headphones as the N-Judah barreled its way down towards Ocean Beach, I looked at my reflection across the way in the mirrored window of the train.

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

A giant leap forward in my life and in my recovery.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

Cold And Hella Sore

January 6, 2017

I mean.

Fucking sore.

I got two shots today.

One in each arm.

Flu on the left side.

Tdap on the right.

Tdap is for whopping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus.

Technically I was still in the range to be covered by my last Tdap shot, but new baby in the home where I work and it’s been eight years and so, I got the shot today with the dad at the Walgreens in Noe Valley.

It was sort of a comedy of errors as the pharmacist couldn’t understand why the dad was just getting the flu shot, why I was getting both shots, and who was billing what insurance, and where to stand in line and how to do it and just too many cooks in the stew and too many papers to fill out.

At one point I looked at the dad, who was covered for the whooping-cough vaccine already and said, “betcha they give me two flu shots and you get the Tdap.”

And that was exactly what almost happened.

I intervened on the shots though and corrected the woman, a fourth person in the odd queue of people who had to facilitate the process.

The new family I work with is European and they seem almost as boggled by our American Health system as I do.

“We don’t take that insurance,” the clerk told me when I handed over my card.

“I’m paying for her shots, the dad told the clerk,” who just looked at us and tried to figure out what our relationship was and why we had separate addresses.

It was hilarious.

Until I got the shots.

I know that there is aching that happens, but the mind forgets and my arms got sore pretty fast and now, fuck, it sort of sucks.

Plus a very, very, very cold ride home on my scooter tonight after doing the deal up in the Castro with my person.

“Girl, I’m cold in here, you get yourself home and get warmed up,” he said and gave me a big hug.

I did not want to get on my scooter, but I also really wanted to get home.

It is cold out there.

I know, I know, it’s not Wisconsin cold, but it’s been a long wet, chilly week and the temperature here dropped a lot and is around 39 degrees right now.

That is hella cold for San Francisco.

And add some nice wind chill to that and it felt like I had frozen tears on my face riding home.

I’ve had a cup of hot tea and the heat is on and I’m still pretty chilled.

I could take a hot shower, but I already showered this morning and it’s such a hassle with my hair and I’d rather just not deal with it.

This week has been long, a bit tiring, and a little stressful.

New job anxiety.

But.

I do feel better and better and better with the time I have spent with the family.

They are warm, intelligent, kind people and I feel like I’m being really happily taken into the family.

So grateful for that.

Sore arms and all.

At least I won’t get the flu this season.

My God, though, it’s worse than I remember.

Of course, I also didn’t get both done at the same time.

My arms are on fire.

I don’t want to write this blog!

I wonder if it’s also just being tight from the ride home and tense with the cold, I think once I warm up a bit more I’ll be ok.

I am a bit of a baby when it comes to the cold, I’ve noted recently, be that as it may, I am very happy it did not rain today nor is there any rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

After that.

All bets are fucking off.

It’s going to be a long, wet, wooly, wild, rainy week of storms.

There’s a big storm coming and I am not looking forward to it.

Granted I don’t have to do a lot of stuff this weekend, meet my person at Tart to Tart, do some yoga, hopefully my arms will be back in working order by Saturday.

I’ll be heading over to Oakland on Saturday too, got a speaking engagement in North Oakland.

I’ll be doing the trains and the BART all weekend long.

And probably next week to and from work too, I can’t fathom riding in the rain when it’s been as cold as it’s been.

I’m so grateful I didn’t last night, the feeling of dread that came over me when I contemplated riding home last night in the cold and rain, it was unbearable.

No such feeling tonight when I got on the scooter, just the cold to contend with.

And I did.

And I’ll warm up.

And the rain will pass and it will all be ok.

The train rides will give me opportunity to read.

And not pleasure reading.

That brief time as passed, that window has closed.

I got my first text-book for the next semester in the mail today.

I shall begin the reading for class ASAP.

There’s a good deal to read and school starts the next weekend.

Sigh.

Winter break.

You’ve come and gone so fast.

Oh well.

I did read one book all the way through and a bit into the Don DeLillo, but all the other lovely books I got are going to have to wait until summer time.

C’est la vie.

It was real nice there for a moment.

Damn Gina.

I’m tired.

Cold, and lonely, and the wolves are after me.

Ha.

Just kidding.

Cold though, I’m still cold, time for more tea and a good snuggle under my grandma’s afghan.

Yes.

That sounds just about right.

Night all.

Stay warm.

Snuggle bunnies.

Seriously.

Affirmation

December 10, 2016

I got some today.

And.

Man.

It feels nice.

Really nice.

Really fucking nice.

I mean.

REALLY.

Especially since I’m heading into the applying to practicum and interning and all that jazz and in my last weekend of classes for the semester.

It feels good.

I mean.

The only thing that I think would feel better is if I was done with my Psychopathology paper, but that’s a ways off yet and I’m not going to focus on something that I can’t do much about at the moment.

Rather.

For just a moment.

I am going to bask in the niceness of being seen.

I got back a paper from my Family Therapist professor and the comments on it really made me happy to see.

The end one especially.

“Carmen!  Thank you for being so brave, you will be a fabulous therapist!”

Yes.

Thank you.

It’s nice to get that kind of reflection back from a teacher, even if I didn’t always see eye to eye with the class, it came around, and it feels good to be seen by my teachers and to be confirmed in my path, in the directions I am going.

I also attended a practicum fair and made some nice connections there and got some good suggestions and some great resources.

There is so much to learn and so many skills to hone.

And also so many skills to acknowledge.

I have a lot of talents and I am going to have to list them and advocate for them and say, hey, look at me, I have what you want, I turned around shit hole of a life and I made something of myself and I’m smart and capable and resilient and strong and I have mad skills with the babies and the little ones.

I need to become my best cheering section.

I’m working on it.

It helps that I am showing up for school and the program and taking suggestions and trying.

The showing up.

All the time.

And grateful to get to do it.

I took the train today and guess what?

It didn’t rain.

haahahahahahaha.

Fuck you weather.

Oh well.

I am glad I took the train in any way, it was slippery and wet and the rain had cleared off but only by a little bit, it would have still been treacherous getting into school during Friday morning rush.

Instead I took the train.

I put in my ear phones and I listened to music.

And I was happy.

Happy to be heading into school.

Happy that I was going to get to see my friends.

Happy to be listening to good music.

Music makes me happy that is for sure.

I bopped a long in my seat during the rush hour commute and I didn’t give two fucks.

I smiled.

I looked at the houses passing by the train windows, the wet grey fog wrapped around the hills, the moisture dripping down the tree leaves.

It was beautiful.

I was grateful and it was nice to sit still and just watch the city float past and listen to happy music on my way to school.

I’m dancing now in my chair.

Well.

I’m swaying along to the music.

And it is a fine, fine, fine thing.

I feel like I carried that buoyancy with me through out the day.

The fair went well and I connected up with one of the women who works at the UCSF Infant/Parent program that is based out of General and I shared my experiences and what I have done and we made a really nice connection.

I got all the information I needed.

And I will need to do a lot of work to get into the program, its prestigious, but, I felt the connection and it felt good and right and strong and my skill set would be very valuable to them.

Advocating for myself.

Seeing what I have to offer and really putting it out there to the world.

I also like that the program is psychodynamically inclined.

As am I.

I love psychodynamics.

It speaks to me.

After the practicum was over I hopped over to Psychopathology and got myself sorted with cup of tea and had a chat with my professor.

She asked how the practicum hunt was going and I expressed that of course I would be applying to the school sites, but that I was also really intrigued with the UCSF Infant/Parent program out of General Hospital.

“Really?  You are?” She asked, her head tilted, a slight smile on her face.

“Yeah,” I said, “I’ve been a nanny for over ten years and it feels very compelling to work with parents and infants and helping new parents work with their kids, and well, it’s psychodynamically inclined and I am very interested in that modality.”

“Yes, it is,” she said and her smiled broadened, she leaned in towards me, “I did my practicum work there.”

What!?

OMfuckingG.

“You did?” I said, my eyes must have gotten as round as saucers.

“I did,” she said and her smile grew larger.

“Um, well, haha, this is where I ask you if you would mind writing me a letter of recommendation,” I said, a little bashful, but shit, fuck, holy moly, my professor did her practicum and interning there?  I had to ask.

“Of course!  I would be honored to write you the letter,” she said, “absolutely.”

Oh yes!

Yes!

Yes!

Awesome sauce.

We talked about their, UCSF’s schedule, and the requirements needed and when I must have the application in, by February 14th.

Valentines Day.

Of course.

What better way to show myself that I am lovable and worthy of love than applying to a prestigious program that will lead to an internship and look hella good moving forward whatever career path I end up going towards.

I was tipped off that it’s better to apply earlier rather than later as they get inundated and they only take four interns.

I would be competing with all the schools–Berkeley, USF, State, and of course, UCSF.

But you know what.

I got this.

I can feel it.

All the little serendipitous things.

All the work aligning and showing up and doing my best and hey, who better than to help new parents connect with their children?

Heh.

Oh.

It just felt so lovely and validating and it just really dropped in my lap.

My professor offered to meet with me off hours, off campus sometime over break, we’ll commit to timing by the end of the weekend and I’ll get to pick her brain about the program and ask her what I need to have prepared and all that.

And of course.

Hahaha.

Ugh.

Just a little added pressure on myself to make sure that my Psychopathology paper is off the charts.

I sort of, kinda of.

REALLY.

Want that letter of recommendation.

I am worth it.

I deserve it.

Excited.

The future is hella bright.

And.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the motherfucking time.

All the time.

Seriously.

 

 

 

Grad School Death Bed

December 9, 2016

A friend asked me how I was doing today and I rattled off all the things school and all the books and all the papers and all the presentations.

And.

Fuck me.

I’m so done.

But.

I’m not done yet.

Nope the death rattle on this semester has yet to start shaking.

I have papers galore to turn in tomorrow and yes, my Child Therapy presentation to do, but the big puppy, the big paper, the Moby fucking Dick final for Psychopathology is not done.

Nor shall it be for a while.

I won’t be able to touch it over the weekend.

I’ll have my three days of classes to attend.

And.

Yes.

A wedding in the middle of it.

At least I’ll look cute for it, I am hella stoked for my dress and pretty new blue shoes.

I’ll take some pictures, don’t worry.

I don’t believe I will actually be able to write the paper until next Saturday.

Sigh.

I’ll, fingers crossed, work on it while the baby naps, please God, on Monday, but I don’t see having it done on Monday.

And that’s ok.

Or Tuesday.

And that’s ok too.

It will get done.

And it will get done by the end of day Saturday.

I refuse to have that thing hanging over my head on my birthday.

I can’t believe it’s next Sunday.

I still have a few days left of 43.

I’m so not really focused on it, it’s dim and hard to see, these next few days are really all I have on my mind.

I am ready for them.

All I have to do is show up.

My books are packed, my notebooks too, my files and folders and pens.

My lunch and dinner.

My coffee and tea.

Yeah.

I roll like that.

I bring all the things.

All of them.

And I’m happier for it.

The day after tomorrow, Saturday, when I will be leaving early to head to a dear friends wedding, I won’t roll with anything.

Not even my school books.

Nope.

I’m just going to come to class, check into Family Therapy, have lunch with a friend, sit through the first half of Psychopathology and then bounce at the break.

I will be taking the gift for the wedding and me.

That’s all.

I don’t feel like hauling shit all over the city.

Especially since it calls for rain for the next few days.

And yes.

I did ride my scooter today.

The rain was not as bad and the weather report showed that there would be no rain at all, so I chanced it.

Of course.

There was rain.

But it was not as bad as last night and it wasn’t as cold.

I took it slow and gentle and got home safe and sound.

Granted, a bit damp, but home safe.

I won’t bother taking it in tomorrow, I don’t want to worry about morning rush commute.

I always have to deal with it on Friday mornings when I go to class, the rest of the time I manage to avoid rush hour, and I just can’t fathom lane splitting to get to class.

I’m just going to take the train, N-Judah style, all the way in.

It picks up one block from my house and I’ll get off one and a half blocks from school.

I already have my fare set aside on the table.

Like I said.

I’m ready.

I’m totally ready.

I even snuck in one last yoga class today.

And holy fuck.

It was just what I needed.

It might have been one of the best classes I have ever taken.

It felt so good and I felt the anxiety of school melt off the back of my shoulders and I was actually bummed when I realized that I won’t be able to get to another class until Tuesday morning since I have an early start Monday and a long day.

And a date after work.

Yes.

Like that.

I make some wiggle room for fun when it comes knocking.

I have to.

Just like I need to do the yoga.

I need to do the fun too.

It’s no fun when I don’t make an effort to have some injected into my life.

No matter how busy with the work and the school.

It’s important.

So.

Yes.

Lunch with a friend from school Saturday, the wedding–there will be dancing, and a date on Monday after work and doing the deal.

Then yoga Tuesday morning.

The yoga, though, damn it was good, and I am hella grateful that I let myself go.

I had momentarily thought about not going and doing some prep and running some errands before work today, but I realized that I’d rather be a little sore and get that last day in at the studio.

Very grateful.

Funny how sometimes it takes me a minute, or a month or three, to do those things that are so good for me.

The yoga is fantastic for me and yet I had those three months I just balked at doing it.

And no regrets, it was the experience I needed to have and I am pretty sure that with all the things I was processing emotionally I just needed a break and I took it and I got the emotional and mental rest I needed.

I didn’t drop into a depression.

But it was damn close and I’m super grateful that I got back into the yoga before it could develop.

I tend towards it, having had major clinical depression diagnosed back in 2007 and clinical anxiety and PTSD, it can be easy for me to fall into the hole.

Exercise helps a lot.

And what with the not so much on my bicycle and the lapse in the yoga and the emotional pot that was stirred early in the semester, I was certainly flirting with it.

Thank God I glided through.

Although, I am contemplating get myself a sun lamp since I do have seasonal depression as well, that was the first depression that I was diagnosed with in Wisconsin.

Fuck.

Who doesn’t have seasonal depression in Wisconsin?

Ha.

But.

It’s looking like a wet winter and darker than it’s been, so maybe some pre-emptive sunshine is on order.

Anyway.

I get a head of myself.

Just here.

Just now.

Just going to wrap it up and get ready for bed and have a little more tea and get ready for school.

Last weekend of the semester.

Let’s do this!

Grace Over Drama

July 19, 2016

New favorite acronym.

Just saying.

I realized today as I was scootering to work and practicing what I was going to say to my boss that my fear was that I was going to fuck it up and not say it perfect and that was the reason why I had been waiting, consciously or not, to say my piece.

I had to get it perfect.

Ugh.

Girlfriend.

Haven’t you learned yet?

I don’t have to be perfect.

I am not that powerful, I can’t fuck anything or anyone up.

I’m not God.

I can only show up, do the best I can, speak, and let go of the results.

All of my people were behind me and I did the simplest little thing, the tiniest little change of my behavior and the next thing I know I was able to have a conversation because I had taken my break.

I didn’t ask.

I just took it.

I timed it and made myself sit down the entire time.

Well, except for when I got up to make a cup of tea.

I put everything on the back burner, literally, I was cooking, the boys were either napping or in quiet time, dad wasn’t working from home and mom was busy doing mom stuff.

I just sat.

I realized that knowing what I knew, that I am valuable, and needed and I’m good at my job and that I can ask to be of service to my job, to put into it rather than to take from it, but I can’t be of service without taking care of me.

So.

I asked the mom to help me.

I said I was happy to be flexible week to week during the summer time as long as I was getting the meal break I needed, especially since the boys are out of school, not in summer camp, and I’m working extra hours this week.

I told her that I felt the responsibility was on me to take the break and that I didn’t last week and that by the end of the week I really wasn’t my best self.

That I love my job and my charges and want to be the best I can.

Which means making sure I get a break.

The mom was super chill and easy and it was no big deal.

I was like.

Did I just make a shit load of drama and crash out my weekend for that?

Fuck.

Fear is so over rated.

Grateful beyond belief that I walked through it.

And I found that the family wants me to work for them into the fall and we’ll review again in January.

So.

Work is set.

Now the focus is back on Burning Man.

Like it’s ever really left.

I met with a girlfriend after work and had a nice meal over at Chow and got caught up and we tried to figure out the whole tent deal and the stuff and things.

And.

I don’t know.

It feels complicated and I’m not sure it’s the right answer, but we shall see.

Of course, I then got home and tooled around on the interwebs trying to figure it out.

Ah.

Obsessive thinking, so nice to see you again.

I remind myself that it’s got to be easy, simple is always the answer, simply find a ride, a shelter, a ride back, an early arrival pass, a, oh, fuck, stop it.

It will all come together.

I got the ticket.

Even though I don’t have the ticket yet.

Which I am beginning to wonder about.

There was a charge of $20 for two day secured mail and it’s been a week, plus the weekend, and I’m wondering, where’s my ticket, yo?

Or give me back my $20 cuz I got supplies to buy.

Of which I have managed to buy and set aside a couple of food staples, a parasol, and some baby wipes.

I got a tutu already, chill.

And boots, which I bought way back in February when I thought I was going to be working as a nanny at Star Star Camp.

And a shoulder harness.

Those things, my goggles, my plethora of bandanas, and my tutus, yeah, I have more than one, and I’m pretty set, in fact, costumes, hair stuff, flowers, ribbons, make up, I got that shit covered in spades.

You know.

It’s just the big stuff.

Ride.

Shelter.

Ride back.

Figure out how to get the bicycle there.

Fuck!

I just realized I need to text my OG playa family, the dad was going to drop my bike on Wednesday and I got pulled into working a late day for the family.

Note to self, text in morning.

That being said I do have feelings that things are going to work out in some crazy, sweet, magical way.

Burning Man.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the dusty ways.

The McFishlickers.

Action Girl, Thumper, Junior.

The “commiscary.”

Bacon.

Sunset over the Calico Mountains.

Curley.

The Trash Fence.

Rabbi.

Uncle Boy and the Gerlach Stage Coach.

Hand massage.

Poetry in the twilight.

Star Fuckers.

Anonymous Village.

Camp Stella.

STELLA!

Run Free.

Solar lights on bicycles.

In the inner circle for Man Burn.

Man Crew.

The art placement crew.

All the art.

ALL THE FUCKING ART.

The Hug Deli.

Dream Land.

The Monkeys.

The Temple.

Shadrach’s ashes.

Flying a kite on playa.

Mary Fucking Poppins.

Juno.

Lady Town.

The Nurse.

The Wilsons.

The Love.

The freaking Slug.

Gooey.

Hash marks on the trailer.

Ice cold coconut water left on my step.

Hearing my name shouted out from a passing art car.

All my crazy hair styles.

Tan lines.

Santa Claus at the burn barrel, 6 o’clock keyhole.

The sacred and the profane.

The hot springs pre-event.

Being a fluffer.

Explaining to the over heated gentleman on the Esplanade what a fluffer was.

I think I dashed his hopes.

Ha.

The Elco.

Gigsville.

Media Mecca.

First Camp.

The Poop Deck.

All the characters, all the dust, all the pretty, pretty, pretty people.

Sparkle ponies.

Fire.

Fire.

Fire.

I got my ticket to the circus.

I just need to find my train there.

I’ll be waiting at the station with my small stack of colorful clear bins stuffed with striped socks, goggles, crinolines, makeup, flowers, and joy.

Lots.

And lots.

And lots.

Of.

Joy.

Can’t wait!

Seriously.

Ready.

Not really.

But totally.

Ready.

Set.

Go!

Panic At The Disco!

September 27, 2015

I mean the SafeWay.

I mean the MUNI.

I mean in the garage.

I mean.

Ugh.

I woke up much later than I had planned, I obviously needed the rest, I remind myself instead of flagellating myself, which is sometimes so much easier to do–beat myself up.

I woke up from a weird dream.

I woke up to the phone ringing and the feeling that I had too much to do and nowhere near enough time.

One foot in front of the other.

Just do one thing at a time.

Breathing, always helpful, do that.

Breathe in again.

I forget sometimes that I have actual clinical anxiety and clinical depression and it sneaks in there sometimes, I have had times when I was on medication for it, but it’s been years since I have and I forget that I can get to that place of anxiety if I am over stressed.

I mean.

I don’t have reason to be stressed.

Please.

Graduate school group projects.

Panic.

Work.

Just asked for a raise.

Just took out 20,500 in student loans.

No biggie.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world.

Stress?

What stress?

Bwhahahahaha.

So.

I did what I do.

The next thing in front of me.

Make your bed.

I mean, yeah, I break it down that damn simple.

Make the bed, kneel and pray, read some stuff, say some stuff, go brush your teeth and wash your face, put some clothes on, put the hair in pigtails, stick a flower in that shit, make coffee, make oatmeal with fruit in it–yay! Persimmons are back in season! Sit down, check e-mails, eat breakfast, drink coffee, try to not freak out about already being an hour behind on the day, look about my lovely home, purposely ignore stacks and stacks of readers, books, notebooks, all the effluvia of the student life, and focus on the beauty of your home, eat your oatmeal.

Write.

Write it all out, put the neurosis down, put down the plans for the day, laugh out loud at the idiocy of my schedule, get panicked, but not acknowledge it quite yet, write some more, make second cup of coffee, decided to go do the deal, because really, that’s what has to be addressed, and go out the door and into the world.

Wait for MUNI.

Wonder why I didn’t take my bike.

But then immediately have gratitude that I didn’t, because I did stash my Human Development reader in my bag and I was too overwrought with the feels to actually have paid good attention to the traffic.

Besides the car traffic in the Inner Sunset on Saturday afternoon is idiotic.

I don’t need to die today.

I got on the N-Judah and called my best girl in Castro Valley and had a good commiserate talk about work, school, orientations, doing the deal, dating, more work, more school, not enough time ever, ever, ever.

By the time I got off the train at 7th and Irving I was feeling much better.

Still a bit overwhelmed.

But still trying to just put one foot in front of the other.

I sat for an hour.

I got my head screwed on better.

I cried a little.

I shared.

It was good.

I went to the nail salon and got a super fast manicure, then over to Crepevine for a late lunch and more Human Development reading.

I contemplated going clothes shopping, but I did not have it in me to really shop and I only lasted 20 minutes at Cross Roads.

The good news.

I found four tops–two sweaters, one a Helmut Lang!! And two button downs, which I desperately need.

Then back on the MUNI.

I had the panic creep back in.

I started making phone calls.

I left a lot of messages.

I took out my reader and read the ride home.

I hopped off the train, hopped to the house, hopped on my bicycle and rode off to SafeWay to grocery shop.

While I was in line one of my friends called me back and asked me where I was.

I told him and he said, I’m on my way, go buy some more groceries and I’ll throw your bike in the back of my truck.

Thank you jeebus.

I paid for my groceries and made a second trip through and thoroughly stocked up.

That had been part of my stress, figuring out how I was going to get all the grocery shopping in for myself.

Not only to have groceries in the house, but also an adequate amount of things to cook and prep, because next weekend I’ll be in school full-time and I won’t be able to do any cooking or grocery shopping.

I left the store with an over full messenger bag, a super big thing of toilet paper, and two more bags of groceries.

My friend was parked right next to where my bike was locked up.

We tossed it in the back and I just about burst into tears.

I started hyperventilating a little in his car.

I started the full on panic attack and practiced breathing and staying in the moment and my, look at the ocean, look at how pretty it is (look at the ocean and everyone at the beach, they’re not worried about having their Human Development reading done, asshats, they’re having fun in the sun), look at the sky, look down in my lap and let the tears fall.

My friend talked me off the ledge, dropped me at the house and gave me hugs.

I wiped the eyeliner off my face, hey, hey, Tammy Faye, and went ahead and did the next things in front of me.

Put away the groceries.

Balance the check book.

Heck.

I even made food–black bean and chicken chili with corn, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and a pot of brown rice.

Then.

I sat my ass down with a cup of tea and an apple and I read.

And read.

And.

Yes.

Read some more.

I finished all the chapters in the fucking Arnett book of hell, thank you Human Development.

Plus a bunch of articles.

Then I faced my Waterloo and opened the Power Point presentation my Human Development partner had worked on and I dove in.

I actually got a lot done.

A ton.

I was elated.

How the hell did that happen?

Next thing I know, text from a friend, how you doing, almost done?

And I was.

I ran out, grabbed some sushi, thanked my friend for talking me off the ledge, and in turn gave him a quick hand moving some stuff into his new place.

Then.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

I gave my friend a Mason jar with homemade chili in it and got back in the saddle.

I communicated with my partner about our project and lined up the readings for tomorrow.

And.

Guess what?

No more panic.

Because.

As noted before, and as I will, I am sure, note again and again.

It is the showing up that is the deal.

I showed up to do the reading and it got done.

When I am in my head though, where there is no time and the world is collapsing around me and I am just not ever fucking enough, then I am screwed.

I don’t see how far I have come.

Oh.

And baby.

I have come so far.

So very far.

I am so lucky.

Perspective is what I have.

Much preferable to panic.

Let me tell ya.

And love.

I have lots of love.

Thank God for friends.

Love you all so very much.

I could not be doing graduate school without you.

Seriously.

Gare d’Idiot

December 31, 2012

I mean, uh, Gare du Nord.

Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord

I went to the train station today.

I bought non-refundable tickets on the EuroStar.

For the wrong weekend.

Well, in a way, it is totally the right weekend, I will be celebrating a little anniversary.

However, my host asked me to come the weekend following.

Even though I totally got the message, even though I was exactly on the page, I still mucked it up.

I had gone online this afternoon and made the decision to not be in financial fear.

The money will be there.

I am financially successful and solvent.

I write this everyday in my morning pages, along with a few other Stuart Smiley affirmations.

Shaddup.

It works, you want to know how I know?

I am living in Paris.

One of the affirmations I have been doing for years is I am a world traveler.

I am moving to Paris.

Et, voila!

I am living in Paris.

To continue living in Paris, at least in a semi-legal sort of way I actually need to leave Paris, or the EU nations in general, and get a passport stamp showing I have been out of the country.

London is just across the way and there is this amazing tunnel thing with trains.

Yeah.

It was recommended to me a few weeks back by Barnaby that one way to extend the life of my Visa was to get it stamped coming in and out of London.

Then Corinne mentioned it.

Then I got an e-mail from some one I used to know in San Francisco who said she was living there.

Ms. Kellie just visited from London.

All signs seemed to point that way.

Actually, I am going to London, regardless of my silly mistake in dates, so not only do all signs point that way, the tickets confirm it.

I was just supposed to get tickets for the next weekend.

Sighing again.

I fluctuated between wanting to castigate myself to having a little forgiveness, I made an honest mistake, I certainly had not a malicious bone in my body when I purchased them.

In fact I almost did the entire transaction in French.

Which is how I messed up.

Before heading out the door to the train station I had tried to first purchase them online.  For whatever reason I could not achieve the goal.  And I kept hearing Barnaby in my head say, just go to the station and get them, they will be cheaper.

They were.

Even for the wrong weekend, they were cheaper than the online prices.

Foiled by the internet site and knowing how to get to Gare du Nord, I got lost once and found myself there, it is not far from where I live, I decided to just walk there.

Taking some one else’s suggestion.

Crazy that.

On the way I called Corinne, my mind was going a mile a minute.

I don’t know if it was letting go of the Euro in my wallet, not having money to pay rent, the thought of fucking it up, or making the commitment by going to London which shows a positive action for staying in France.

I would not be buying a ticket to go to London for two and a half days if I was going back to the Bay Area.

No, I woud be keeping those precious Euro for groceries.

My decision to buy the ticket really felt like the cement icing on the cake.

I am staying, aren’t I?

I think that was where the real fear lay.

I am sitting here listening to the rain fall around the sixth floor of the flat in Paris I am babysitting at.  I am thinking about being in San Francisco last year, second floor of a house on 19th and Valencia, doing the exact same thing, baby sitting.

Same situation.

Totally different localities.

I have to say I feel better in my skin here.

I am so scared I cannot breathe at times.

But I do feel more comfortable here in what I am doing then in the not knowing I was in last year at this time in San Francisco.

It was as if this whole last year was made to get me here, sitting at a glass table looking out the sixth floor at Paris.

That’s Invalides there.

There is the Eiffel Tower through that window, look, it is sparkling.

It does that you know.

I do know what I am doing here.

I am trying to stay.

I am committing.

I am committing to something wild and crazy and insane.

Being a writer in Paris.

My silly, juvenile, little girl, 40 year old woman, dream.

I have belief, however, that despite the uncomfortableness I go through every other second, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

I am not struggling against it.

My heart swelled earlier as I listened to some one share and I thought it would break open in my chest and I realized it was, just a little.

Paris is heart breaking.

And every time I have my heart broke open a little bit, it grows that much larger, to receive that much more love.

The words I open my heart to give and recieve love, taken on new meaning again.

I used to say them as part of a mantra that I picked up from doing work out of Calling in the One.

Fyi, my Beloved has not come yet, unless you can say it is I that came to it.

Just like I got to love San Francisco, I am getting to love Paris.

Beloved city that sometimes calls me crazy things.

“Oh beautiful, sexy woman, you have a great ass,” he hollered at me as I strode by on my very determined and scared way to Gare du Nord.

“I want to fuck you ass [sic]” he conitnued as I ignored him.

“Bitch, you can look sexy all you want, bitch,” he finished and continued muttering as I crossed the street.

I know you don’t mean it, Paris, well, I don’t mind being called sexy and beautiful with a nice ass, but I don’t put out that easily.

I am going to stay.

My tickets say so.

Billets

Billets

Even the people in the crosswalk seemed to be saying, London, it’s not exactly Abbey Road, but it reminded me of it.

Crosswalk

Crosswalk

Today, despite the fear, despite the wrong day, despite myself, I move forward.

I confirm this.

Here, in Paris.


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