Posts Tagged ‘travel plans’

Long Days

March 6, 2018

I don’t feel much like writing, truth be told.

Habit I suppose.

To sit and write.

Although I’m semi obsessed with a playlist I’ve been making on Spotify.

My head’s just not in it right now, the writing not the music.

I sang my heart out driving home tonight.

Good thing there wasn’t much traffic out there, I did not need to be witnessed in my crazy torch song belt out.

It was a long day.

Mondays are and I have to remind myself of that.

Supervision in the morning was intense.

I had to terminate a client today so there was a lot to cover and I have another termination on Thursday.

It’s tender work.

I’m super glad for my supervisor, he’s a really good match for what I need to be learning.

I have seven weeks left with him.

ON one hand I am rather glad for that.

To not have to be in Hayes Valley every Monday morning at 9 a.m. is going to be a relief, to avoid rush hour morning commuter, that would be divine.

I will miss his guidance though, he’s hyper intelligent and has an amazing way of showing me how therapy works.

He also believes that I am a good therapist, kick ass in his words, and that’s nice.

Although I would probably never say that to him when he’s got a critique of my technique or the work I’m doing with clients, I think he’d give me quite the look, “hey, don’t you remember when you said I was a kick ass therapist?”

No?

Heh.

We did a fuck load of work today it felt like two sessions packed into one.

I covered a lot of client material.

And then I got assigned a new client.

Whew.

My head was a little spun today.

Distracted and not really present.

I did try to get grounded and I was able to sneak in a shopping trip to the grocery store in between work and supervision, which was so helpful, I shouldn’t have to do any more shopping before the upcoming school weekend.

Gah.

I am exhausted thinking about that.

I’m not ready.

I have to write another paper and I have a bit more reading to do.

I am tired.

And it’s Monday.

And.

The mom reached out and asked me to come in early again on Wednesday, so that’s a ten-hour day.

After a twelve-hour day, today, an eleven hour day tomorrow, which might morph to a twelve hour day, I have a homework assignment to speak with a licensed MFT and that’s tomorrow after I wrap with clients.

Sigh.

I’ll get it all done.

And maybe going in early on Wednesday isn’t such a bad thing, I can take my laptop with me and do some work while the baby is napping.

Fingers crossed that neither of the older kids are home sick from school.

If I just have the baby for the first half of the day I could actually do some homework at work while he naps.

I did manage to get a little bit of reading done today and I found another source of material for the annotated bibliography I have to put together for the class.

This is the kind of crap I’m not good at.

Actually.

That’s not true.

I am good at most academic work, I just don’t find this interesting and when I am bored with a topic I’m not compelled to do the work.

But.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s a required and I’m almost halfway there, halfway through this final semester.

I’m ready for a break.

I know.

I know.

I just applied to a PhD program, but hey, there’s the summer to come.

Still waiting on my friend’s parents to get back to her, by the way, regarding buying tickets to Paris.

I stopped looking.

I’m just going to sit and wait until she reaches out.

I’m willing to spend what needs to be spent.

I don’t need to obsess on when I buy them.

I have realized though that I won’t be able to do the dream work seminar and retreat that I was going to go on withe some friends in my cohort, it would mean unpaid time off and I’m just not going to do that right now.

I will have to take unpaid time off if I get into the PhD program as there’s a retreat that starts out the program in the fall, but aside from that I really won’t be taking any other time off except for when the family is on vacation.

Who am I to complain?

I’m going to get five weeks off paid.

I won’t mind having an unpaid week off to pursue my educational goals.

I can hardly believe it sometimes.

I got notification today that my last set of transcripts were sent out to the school today.

Which means they department will have all my materials soon and can process my application.

Shit.

Ugh.

I almost forgot.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

I need to apply to the Diversity Scholarship.

It’s five thousand dollars.

I can really use that.

Five thousand less in student loans is nothing to sneeze at.

When the fuck am I going to get that done?

The application deadline is March 15th.

That gives me ten days.

Sigh.

I’ll get it done.

Oof.

I am tired.

I was going to go to yoga in the morning before therapy.

I think I may skip it and just let myself get some rest.

Even just a half hour is going to do me well.

And with that.

I am going to bid you adieu.

I am tuckered out.

Seriously.

 

 

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Over The Annoyance

February 14, 2018

But it stuck for a moment.

I got the last-minute, as I was opening the door to leave for my internship, request from the mom to come in early tomorrow morning.

I didn’t want to come in early.

And.

I couldn’t say no.

I had to cancel a chiropractor appointment, which blows and I’m still unhappy about, my back was bothering me today, is bothering me now, and I could have really used the work.

Especially since I’ll be on an overnight red-eye to D.C. Thursday night.

However.

The annoyance passed once I was in session with my client.

And by the time I had wrapped with my second client I was completely past it.

Oh.

I suppose I’m still inconvenienced, it would have been a good thing to have my back adjusted, but ultimately I won’t be getting up earlier than I would have had I just gone tot the appointment.

Granted I won’t be doing much of my morning routine at the house.

I’ll be getting up at 6:30 a.m. and just getting ready to go straight to work.

I’m going to skip coffee and breakfast at home and have it at the house.

Gratefully I will only have the baby in the morning and hopefully he’ll do a double nap day.

And even if he doesn’t I will be happy to be one day closer to leaving for the East Coast.

I don’t know how much more eager I can be for my trip.

I am so ready to fly the coop.

Today seemed to utterly drag and I think that may have also played into the annoyance at being asked to come in early.

It doesn’t always happen that I go in early on Wednesdays, but it’s beginning to be a little more and more of a habit for the parents to ask.

I don’t like working a ten-hour nanny shift.

It’s too draining.

And when I add into it that I haven’t had a day off, since I was in school all weekend, for a week and a half, working a ten-hour day when I was expecting an 8 hour day is not at all appealing.

Then again.

Few more bucks in my wallet for travel spending.

That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

Oh well.

I’ll be tired tomorrow, but I will have a good day.

As it will be one day closer to my vacation.

I am so ready for the time off.

I am so looking forward to it.

It will probably go by quickly and I will wonder how the time flew by when I fly out on Sunday.

Today the mom was talking to me about plans for next week and I couldn’t bear to think about it.

I don’t want to think about next week at all.

I just want to think about this week, this weekend, this travel.

Fuck next week.

Don’t even talk to me about it.

Next week will be taxes and homework and getting my application together for my PhD program.

This weekend.

Well.

Suffice to say.

There will be no homework.

There will be no clients.

There will be no group supervision.

There will only be me and my best friend and time to do all the things that we have been talking about doing like a couple of giddy teenagers.

On the phone for hours, making plans, hatching ideas, giggling.

Well.

I giggle.

Laughing and free and happy to get to see each other.

It is such a gift.

I am so grateful that I booked this ticket, made this plan.

Especially since I didn’t really do any trip this past semester, I try to let myself have a trip right after the semester ends to dangle a little carrot to get me through.

This carrot was delayed a few months.

I’m happy I finally get to have a nibble on it.

I do also plan to do some travel after I graduate in May.

I’m just not quite sure what that looks like yet.

I have to wait for my employers to figure out what they are going to be doing as far as travel goes.

My plans hinge on theirs as there is the off-chance that I may travel with them for some part of their vacation.

My friend in Paris has also alerted me that she and her husband will be traveling to a wedding July 21st, so that I should not book around that time.

Of course, that feels like the time when my employers will be over in Europe, but I’ll just have to wait and see what comes up.

I also still have a ticket voucher to use up.

I couldn’t get the travel dates that worked for my friend via the airlines that I had the voucher for and just said fuck it and bought the ticket.

I know I should have consulted my friend, but man, I was just too excited by the prospect to not buy the ticket.

I’m so glad I did.

It will be epic.

But, yes I do have a $485 flight voucher to use up by October 15th.

There is travel in my future after D.C.

Grateful for that too.

But first.

D.C.

Oh baby.

I am so ready.

So.

So.

So.

Ready.

Seriously.

It’s Late

October 30, 2017

But not really.

It just feels like it is.

I had a half lazy day, half busy day, and a “I was half way out of it day,” at one point from going to bed so late last night.

2:30 a.m.

I cannot remember the last time I went to bed at that hour.

I had gone out dancing with a dear girlfriend.

We met up in the city at Brenda’s Meat and Three where I had wrapped up a delicious dinner with my person, cheese grits with shrimp, bacon and tomato.

My God.

It was so good, I could have licked the bowl.

The server laughed when I said that, and added, “I’ve seen it happen.”

I do not doubt it.

I once licked a plate at a meal out with friends, but I suspect I was a little tipsy when I did it.

The grits were just that good.

I will be having them again.

And I got a lot of compliments on my costume

I went as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

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It was my first time trying to do the makeup.

I think I did pretty good, all things considered.

The place that I stop at, Ulta Beauty over by the Nordstrom Rack and Trader Joes shopping area, was out of Halloween face paint.

I was like.

Seriously?

You guys are a freaking makeup store!

It’s three days before Halloween and you’re already sold out?

What the heck!

But.

I’m a clever girl.

First I asked what the lightest foundation that they had in the store was.

I’m brown-skinned enough that a very light foundation is going to look close to white on my skin.

Then I got a finishing powder that was tinted with green to pull any redness from my face and then another that was a translucent white powder.

Then I pillage the NYX cheap makeup.

Big white eyeliner, big black eyeliner, a pink one, a turquoise one, and a liquid eyeliner in lilac with glitter.

And I found a really cool blue lip gloss that was matte and had glitter in it.

I have no idea when I’m ever going to use this make up again.

But the end result, though not professional caliber, well, I thought, was pretty damn good.

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I actually got a lot of compliments last night, both at Brenda’s and at the dance.

My friend also had a great costume, she was a Hip Hop Zombie.

Which was apropos as we were going to the Time Travelers Ball in Oakland.

Great music, lots of old hip hop, lots of funk, so early electronic, old 80s and late 70s movies playing on the wall, great light system, a small fire in the courtyard, in a portable fire pit.

I ran into a few folks, from, yes, of all places, Burning Man.

I didn’t recognize the woman at all who came up and squealed at me, and how she recognized me with all that makeup on, I have no idea, but she did.

It was a good time.

And.

Heh.

Although I did not make the top three prizes in the costume contest, I did win an honorable mention and was given back my entrance fee and an open bar tab.

Which for me was hilarious to contemplate.

I had a La Croix.

It was tasty.

Heh.

And.

I had fun and I danced a lot, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break a sweat and my make up was going to slide off my face.

It stuck though.

It stuck really well, it took a lot of make up removing wipes and washing my face to get it off, in fact, I didn’t get all the white eyeliner off, man I tried, but I gave up the ghost at some point.

I was also up late as it was 9 hours a head in Paris and my best girl friend from school sent me a message on What’s App about having a Face Time session and I just said, fuck it, it is super hard for us to co-ordinate our time, so screw it, yes, I had a Face Time session this morning around 1:45 a.m.

It was so good to see her face and hear her voice.

Oh, how I miss her.

We got caught up and talked about all the things and made some tentative plans to see each other in the new year.

She may be coming back for a training and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Europe in July and I’m going to make sure I go up to Paris and spend time with her.

I was in tears when I got off the call, it was super hard to hang up.

But man, it was late.

And I had lunch date that I wanted to be ready for.

I was going to sleep 8 hours, I was.

I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m., which is unheard of for me, but I figured, I can skip yoga, I got a workout dancing, and I want a full nights sleep.

of course.

I was up at 8:30 a.m.

Which is why it feels late right now when it’s not really.

I’m glad for it though, I did a ton of writing and I had a leisurely breakfast and a quick phone call with my best friend and plans to connect later.

Which was sweet.

So sweet.

And then off across town to Mario’s on Columbus and Union.

I hadn’t been there before, but it was classic, pure North Beach Italian Cafe and bar.

It was so good to see my friend and we chatted about all things art and kindness and words and poetry and talked about Burning Man, since that’s where we met three years ago, and projects, and life.

I am enthralled with that aspect of my life, that sometimes, out of nowhere, because I am moved to connect with someone, a new relationship happens.

It startles me every time.

It was like that with my best girl in Paris, we were sitting next to each other, an empty seat between us, at the first year retreat for our school.

And we turned to each other and we’ve never turned away.

The loveliness of it still astounds.

The people in my life who I love, who I consider my family, my loves, my friends, I am so, so lucky to know.

Beyond lucky.

Graced.

I am graced.

And tired.

Just saying.

I got a lot of other stuff done today too, grocery shopping, lots of cooking, lots of homework.

But really.

It was the connecting with my friends, with my people, with my loves, that made the most impact on my today.

An hour-long phone conversation sitting on a bench in the sunlight (the only sunlight that I got to see, man was it cold and foggy today) at Washington Square Park.

The confirmation of love.

The power of poetry.

The great gifts of kindness.

The art of being human.

It gets me every time.

Every time.

It’s Official

May 11, 2017

I’m on vacation!

And.

In a surprise twist, pun way fucking intended, I am now the owner of a pair of sensible walking shoes.

Fuck my life.

It’s official.

I’m old.

Ugh.

I sprained my ankle.

I am so not happy about having sprained my ankle, said ankle currently elevated, wrapped in an ace bandage with a package of organic frozen corn on it.

I hear hormonally treated, pesticide sprayed corn won’t help in the healing.

Heh.

Grr.

My person today, when I was talking to her, said in her bright cheery voice, “Oh!  Look at that!  God wants you to slow down and really enjoy Paris!  You get to really soak it in.”

Fuck my life.

I mean.

Fuck you.

Even though.

She is absolutely right.

I have been slowed down.

You should have seen me at the PJ Harvey show last night.

A show I normally would have been up front for, screaming my heart out, singing along, having my music experience.

But.

No.

I was in the handicap section seated with my leg propped up on the ledge in front of me.

Sigh.

At least I was at the show.

The ticket was a total last-minute surprise.

And I got taken out to dinner too.

The Slanted Door.

So yummy.

Like, all the yummy things.

Oysters.

Fuck, I love oysters.

Kumamoto’s from Hog Island.

St. Simone.

Beausoleil.

Pacific Gold.

And Island Creek.

So damn good.

For an appetizer my friend and I split the Ahi Tuna tartar.

And I had the seared Ahi Tuna with turmeric, scallion oil, fresh dill and toasted silvered almonds.

Swooning.

Such lovely food.

It took my mind off the ankle.

The ankle that I have NO FUCKING IDEA how I sprained.

Well.

Ok.

I have a theory.

I think that from repeated uphill parking on my scooter that putting down the kick stand I may have been giving myself some stress on my ankle.

And open full fucking idiot disclosure, I know you’re going to say, I told you so, I’ve been wearing Converse on my scooter and they are flimsy shoes.

Yes.

I wear them with inserts, but they are really a good shoe and well.

I’m not old, necessarily, but I have 44 years on these feet and I have not often enough worn good shoes.

So.

Today.

I upgraded.

Big time.

Now.

Part of me wants to tell you that the shoes are fucking big time ugly, they’re not, although, yes, bland and not what I would call sexy by any stretch.

But then again.

You know what’s really sexy?

Being able to fucking walk.

So.

I hobbled my way to the Inner Sunset today.

I took yesterday and today off from work, I could barely make it up the stairs yesterday into work, I got to the top, sat down on the floor and cried.

I was utterly mortified.

But.

My boss was so sweet and so kind and got me situated on the couch with a compression bandage and an ice pack and I started making the calls to my doctor at Kaiser.

The bad news.

No one could see me yesterday.

The good news.

Mild sprain.

If it was severe I wouldn’t have been able to walk on it at all.

I procured a brace from Walgreens that I was able to get around enough on to get me back to the house after an hour of sitting with it icing on and off and elevated and trying to hold back the tears.

I cried a lot yesterday.

I am teary now.

But not so bad.

I mean.

It felt like my whole fucking trip got shit on.

But when I was talking to my therapist she said something that I feel is prescient, that her sense was that if I took care of myself, rested, and took some precautions I would be ok.

That does seem to be the case.

My friend, after the concert, also doctored me up a bit, the brace was not so comfortable and I got an ace bandage wrap as a parting gift.

The wrapping seemed to help and I slept with my foot on a pillow and took a lot of ibuprofen.

I also called into work.

I mean.

I could barely go a block from the MUNI station to the Embarcadero where I met my friend for a coffee at Blue Bottle before Slanted Door.

I wore my pink Saucony’s out last night, but knew I wanted to grab a better pair of shoes.

So today, after taking my time getting going, more icing, more elevating, and bolstering my emotions, I set out for On The Run.

God.

Running shoes are fucking hideous.

Who wears these ugly things?

I suppose people who don’t sprain their ankles like I do.

Ugh.

Anyway after being thoroughly grossed out by the shoes I asked the clerk, well what about walking shoes.

OLD LADY SHOES.

To go with my bifocals.

Er.

Progressives.

Heh.

He pointed some out.

Not sexy.

But.

Not hideous.

He brought them out.

I slipped them on.

Holy shit.

It was like walking on sunshine.

The difference was immediate.

I felt stable, supported, my knees hurt less almost as soon as I took a few steps and the clerk showed me a trick to tying the shoelaces that added extra ankle support.

I almost danced out the store.

Almost.

My pocket-book was a lot lighter than when I went in, but I am super glad I allowed myself to get the shoes.

I got back here.

Ate lunch.

Did some writing, made some phone calls, and met a friend for dinner at Thai Cottage.

I did not go fast.

But I did not go as slow as I did last night and though it’s not as fast as I want.

It’s fast enough.

My person is right.

I get to really slow down and take things in.

I sort of hate it when she’s right.

She often is.

But I also am extraordinary grateful that she is too.

“You can do whatever you want,” she told me tonight, “as long as you accept the consequences.”

So.

I won’t look sexy and chic in Paris with my pretty platform sandals.

I will, however, be happier in my comfortable old lady shoes.

Old ladies be hella sexy.

Just sayin.

 

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.

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

Gearing Up

January 7, 2017

For the weekend.

I got stuff to do people.

Places to go.

French friends to reconnect with.

Plans to make.

Plans that may be changing.

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

Oh.

I’m still going.

There is absolutely no doubt about that.

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

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

She wants to show me and I am all in.

We just have to push it back a little bit.

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

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

There will be travel.

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

I have parked my scooter and covered her up.

It’s going to rain.

And it’s going to rain a fucking lot.

For over a week.

Oh well.

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

Yup.

That’s next weekend.

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

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

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

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

Then a manicure.

Then lunch with my friend.

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

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

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

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

Because that shit has to get done.

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

I mean.

Fuck.

I already am.

I have reading assigned for all my classes.

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

So yeah.

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

I will not be out running amok.

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

But you know.

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

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

It is just so much faster than the trains.

I finally figured out the fastest way to work today.

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

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

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

It’s fun to discover stuff.

And the new job continues to be quite lovely.

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

Even though today was a little hard.

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

I saw the boys today.

Oh, hello tears.

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

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

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

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

He still does.

He means so much.

I said his name.

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

Then.

“CARMEN!”

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

So very hard.

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

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

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

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

I saw the old mom.

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

I did.

I nodded.

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

Ugh.

Slight pause to clean off my glasses.

Tear splatters.

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

And.

Oh.

God.

His face.

All the emotions dancing across his face.

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

I smiled.

He smiled back.

Then he grinned.

Then he ran to me.

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

Saved that all for right now.

Ha.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What?” He asked very solemn.

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

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

It was a good day.

A little sad.

A lot tender.

But a good day.

And I’m grateful for all the feelings.

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

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

She’s an insightful person.

We get along quite well, I have to say.

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

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

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

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

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

Saved by the dinner time bell.

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

It was a good week.

I am glad.

My tears have dried.

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

I can love and miss the boys.

And.

I can be excited and happy for the new job.

And grateful for all of it.

All the feels.

All the things.

All the love.

Yes, love.

All the love.

It is so very, very good.

Even when it hurts.

Even then.

Seriously.

Miss Popularity

November 19, 2016

Is how I felt today.

I got asked out to lunch by a couple of different people today, plus I got to confirm my travel plans for Thanksgiving and chat with my French girl friend about our travel plans in May to Paris.

Wow.

I am liked.

I know.

I sound kind of like I need to be in therapy, and granted, there will be that part to my program, I have to do a year of therapy in the modality that I want to specialize in, but it was nice, sweet, loving, to feel so embraced and sought out.

I have lunch plans for tomorrow and made lunch plans for the next time I meet with my cohort.

It’s kind of crazy to think that we are almost 3/4s of the way through the semester.

I turned in my two big papers, confirmed that I will be presenting my final project for Child Therapy the first day of class next weekend, and felt really prepared.

It felt good.

Albeit.

I was definitely tired by the end of the day and my last class, dragging a bit, but I got through and had a good day in classes.

We did teacher evaluations for two of my classes and that took up a good deal of time and I also got to see where I want to focus my next bit of energy on–practicum, which is basically training and beginning the process of becoming an intern.

There is so much to do all the time.

I got home and cued up an episode of This American Life to review for my Psychopathology class and started listening to it while I was cleaning out my e-mails and putting together may materials for tomorrow.

Then I realized.

Oh.

It’s going to rain tomorrow.

No scooter riding into school.

Either I catch the MUNI or I catch a car into class.

And either way that means I’ll be in transit and I can listen to the homework assignment on the way to class.

Much more efficient use of my time.

I will write my blog, unwind a little, have a snack, a cup of tea, a little snippet of a video and go to bed.

I will attempt to get more sleep then I did last night.

I will also not be carrying as many books into class.

I simplified down what I am going to bring and will just really be showing up with my DSM V desk reference and my notebooks for class.

I have to say I have engaged with the material and I’m finding some interest and insight, but two out of my three classes are falling a little bit flat and I’m not too excited to be in them.

I have been participating and listening, but I’m not on fire for them.

Which is ok, but makes the day feel a little long.

Fortunately.

I really do have some good friends in my cohort and it felt really sweet and nice to be sought out for lunch dates and travel plans.

Plus.

I got to talk with my girl friend who I will be going to Nevada with and make our travel plans, so excited to get to have a road trip with my friend and be included in her family and home.

She’s coming back into town Tuesday evening, she’ll spend the night and we will leave Wednesday morning to head to Nevada, it’ll be about a three and a half to four-hour trip.

Perfect little road trip.

I am excited.

I do love a drive in a car, I do, I do.

I am very American that way.

I am a passionate observer and I will be taking my camera and I will figure out how to get my photographs to download.

I will.

I’ll be spending Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night there, then we will drive back and she’ll spend Saturday night here in town with me and leave for San Diego in the morning where she’ll be heading to work.

Five nights of girl time!

Very excited.

And though I joked about doing some pleasure reading I may well take the time to catch up on my reading and also start getting my praticum applications ready and working on my resume.

I’m not really sure what the sites will be looking for in regards to a resume, but I’ll be talking with the practicum advisor tomorrow.

So.

I will have some vacation time and lots of girl time I do have a few things I need to attend to.

As well as registering for my next semester of classes on November 27th.

There is much to do.

I don’t want to fall into living in the future though, not too much, there is only so much I can do at any given moment and man, I do attend to a lot.

My biggest focus for the rest of the weekend will be doing my self-care, writing in the morning before class, eating well, getting as much sleep as I can, and showing up.

I have a big speaking engagement on Sunday after class and then right back into a full day of work on Monday.

Right now.

A little jazz on the stereo.

A little easiness in my body.

I little grace to know that all the work is slowly adding up.

And my friendships with the people in my cohort, how important it is to cultivate those too.

There’s a get together tomorrow night after class and I’m not sure I can commit to that, but I may try.

It’s not now.

It’s not right here.

And as I look around my clean, yes clean, got to have a clean house before a weekend of classes, with the candles lit and the lights warm and the music and I am just simply here and can rest, well that’s a really nice feeling, really nice.

Made it through day one of the weekend.

Yes.

Good night y’all.

See you on the flip.

Side Bar

July 11, 2016

Do your spending plan, Martines!

Aha.

I realized today that while I was worrying, needlessly, there is no need to worry, because it all works out in the end and I have the ticket, I’ll be buying it this week and I have the time off from work, that I don’t also need to worry about money.

It’s stupid.

When I think about how I went to Burning Man my first time, well, yeesh, I have so much more for me than I did then.

First, I’m employed.

I was on disability at the time.

Nothing says good times like getting diagnosed with PTSD, clinical anxiety and clinical depression and then being told I was classic ACA and here’s some meds and whew boy howdy, you should be in therapy, and yeah, we think, maybe take some time off from work and like practice not wanting to kill yourself.

That was a shock.

I mean.

I was so overwhelmed at that point in my recovery, I had no idea that I had so much going on, but once I had been sober about a year and a half, or there about, it all sort of floated up to the surface.

I’m forever grateful it did.

I have done so much work.

So much.

And I have no regrets, not about my past or my present or my future for that matter.

So to worry now seems like a waste of my time.

As I told a woman I’m working with, hey if you got to obsess, obsess about Burning Man.

I mean.

I got over the anxiety really quick when I realized that it always comes together, it always falls into place, I never quite know how, I just keep taking some actions and things happen.

I also bought a parasol today.

So at least that’s out of the way.

Ha.

I also spent a lot of time looking at tents on line and thinking, you know, maybe this is the year I actually dial in a good tent for myself.

I have borrowed tents, I have stayed in trailers for work, I have had crappy used tents that I bought at side walk sale on Valencia street before it was the Valencia Street it is now.

What would it be like if I got something decent?

And buy my own air mattress.

Actually, I had an air mattress but loaned it to a friend one of the years I was working and staying in a trailer and she killed it out on the playa.

That’s what the playa does.

It destroys your stuff.

Which is why I also am loathe to ask for a loaner tent from friends.

I have plenty of friends who camp, but there is just no way to get the dust off your stuff once the dust has hit.

It doesn’t come off.

I looked at bell tents.

I looked at teepees.

I glanced briefly at a yurt.

Briefly.

No yurt for me.

So.

After too much time and nattering around I realized that what I really needed to do was look at what I had in terms of cash money coming in and going out.

I won’t get paid time off for the week and I won’t get paid to be there.

I am buying the ticket.

I am going to have to help out someone with gas.

I have to do all my food and water.

These are typical things that most folks need to get.

I just haven’t done it in a while.

I sat down, after a fairly lovely day, truly, yoga in the morning, coffee with a friend, a nice breakfast, some writing, getting to see another friend, being gifted some lovely over bought produce.

You got to love a friend who over buys at the farmer’s market then tells you to come over because he got you plums.

Hello.

Yes please.

I paid a visit and left laden with much loveliness.

I made the best little salad for lunch: fresh baby mozzarella, the tiniest sweetest plum tomatoes, fresh basil, and a warm soft boiled egg, some sea salt, olive oil, splash apple cider vinegar, ooh, it was good.

Then plums and strawberries for desert.

Such a spoiled princess.

I told that to my friend’s husband last night at the party, that as much as San Francisco has changed and as much as I grieve the loss of art and creativity and edginess, I do so love the food here.

Fresh, organic, local, every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine.

I am so wildly grateful for that, it’s such a good place to live for food.

I also did food prep for the week, a little run up to Other Avenues, the co-op I’m a member at in my neighborhood, picked up brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, an onion and some other odds and ends, ooh, yes, a parasol.

I saw it, knew it was the one and bought it.

Came home and whipped up an Italian stew with brown rice–sauteed an onion with some ground turkey, added lots of fresh basil, a large zucchini chopped up with some brown mushrooms, a bit of white corn and sun dried tomato and then some more crushed tomato and garlic on top of that.

Delicious.

And then I went back to online stalking of tents.

Then, finally did my spending plan.

Which I had put off doing until the last minute because I also wanted a distraction from my date that I had for dinner tonight.

Said date going quite well, thank you very much.

Wink.

Wink.

Nudge.

Nudge.

So it was good to have a distraction and also to see that I could probably spend the money to get a decent tent set up and maybe not hound my friends for gear.

Maybe.

I’m going to see what happens with the ticket, my expenses and such and if I can offset the cost of the ticket I think I shall.

But it’s late, and tomorrow’s Monday.

And yeah.

Like that.

Bye bye weekend.

It was fun.

See you soon.

 

Is It Thursday Yet?

June 29, 2016

Fuck.

I’m ready.

I packed my bag this morning for New Orleans.

The only fly in the ointment?

The weather.

Damn it.

It’s rain and thunderstorms the entire three days I am there.

However.

The temperature is also 90 during the day and low 70s at night.

So, um, I don’t really care that it’s going to be raining.

I can carry an umbrella.

I may not ride the bicycle the Air BnB provides for it’s roomers, but I can walk or get around via a car, I’ve got Lyft and Uber on my phone, they are helpful little things.

I don’t have to figure out the buses or the city mass transit.

I’ll just call for a car and go where I need to go.

And I bet there’s something really romantic about New Orleans in the rain, especially warm rain.

When it rains here it’s cold and miserable.

I don’t believe that I have ever experience 90 degree heat and rain in San Francisco.

I would probably think the world was coming to a close, shit, when it gets over 75 degrees in the city, it’s a freaky heat wave to me.

I have this vision of Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham, yeah, I know it’s not set in Louisiana, but there is a Southern flavor to it, and I am reminded of Sarandon’s character walking home in the rain with a giant parasol umbrella.

Southern Gothic romantic.

So.

Yeah.

I’m packed.

I had a bit of extra time this morning, I was going to go to yoga, in fact, I had set the alarm to get up early so that I could, but I had the worst headache last night, bordering on migraine, in fact had a lover gotten a hold of me I would literally have begged off with a headache.

Not something I have ever done.

I have never said no to sex because I have had a headache.

Anyway.

It was pretty rotten and I crawled into bed early and when the alarm went off, I was like, nope, back to sleep.

I figured I could get in another two hours before I should get up and that’s exactly what I did.

I might have actually gotten ten hours of sleep last night.

Which was fantastic.

I definitely needed it and I think I was fighting off a little something.

That was what compelled me to stay in bed more than anything, yeah, I wanted to go to yoga and it would have felt great and I am not going to be able to make it in to the studio until after my trip, but.

I staved off whatever sick I was feeling.

And today was 100% all the way.

The sleep was sexy and needed and wonderful.

And now I am ready to go.

Except.

Well.

I have two more days of work to get through.

I don’t typically pack so early, normally I pack day of or the night before.

So I have thrown my own internal travel time clock off a little bit.

I would catch myself thinking, more than once, that I was leaving tomorrow and get all excited, then realize, wait, shit, no, I have two more days before I travel.

Hmm.

I am actually wondering if I should repack considering what the weather is going to be like.

I packed three sundresses.

I really want to wear sundresses.

But.

If it’s not sunny, I mean be more comfortable in a pair of jeans.

Then again, I keep telling myself, 90 degree heat regardless of the sun being out.

90 degree temperatures calls for less clothing than I am used to, I just keep thinking cold, San Francisco rain.

Three sundresses, one crinoline, one pair of wedge sandals, and my swimsuit.

I may not swim either.

Then again, that could be fun, a swim in the rain.

Who knows.

Things never go as I plan.

I thought I might be seeing someone tonight and the things never fell together and then I was supposed to meet with my person and that got cancelled and then instead of being in the Castro I am suddenly in the Inner Richmond sitting in a church basement I rarely frequent.

But it was good.

And I saw my people.

And I felt great leaving knowing I done what I needed to do to take care of myself and my recovery.

I had a moment when I was like, fuck it, I’m just going to go home.

Except.

What was I going to do?

Oh.

I know what I was going to do, watch a bunch of Orange is the New Black and beat myself up for not doing the deal and then feel guilty because I didn’t do the yoga too.

I should not do that.

And I argued a little with myself.

But the smart feet won out and when the time came to make the turn to my house or to God’s house.

Well.

It was pretty easy to choose.

And voila.

Head on straight, happy in my self, home sound and safe, happy I took the right turn instead of the left and now I can watch some OITNB without any quilt, thank you very much.

Plus.

It keeps me connected.

I wasn’t drifting, but I was feeling some isolation in my program and consistently doing the deal since the past semester of grad school ended has helped tremendously with that.

Granted I already have grad school stuff on the mind and I actually just now checked my courses from the past year and yes, all A’s.

YES.

ALL A’s.

Granted a bunch of my classes were pass/fail, that’s the nature of some of the courses, (I passed them all, should you be wondering) but the one with grades, A’s, which means, though I have not gotten my last paper back from Psychodynamic’s, I must have gotten a solid A on it.

And my Family Ethics and Law Course.

The one with the big, gnarly take home final, I got an A.

Sweet.

That feels really good.

Not a bad day at all.

Not necessarily the day I planned.

But.

So it goes.

My best days are always better than my best laid plans.

Always.


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