Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu

We All Have Our Own Stories

November 2, 2014

Etched on our skin, soft glass, bevelled, delicate to the touch, the smoothness be lying the pain that scraped out the hardness therein.

My friend sat on my chaise lounge and broke it down.

He had picked me up in Noe Valley.

He was on the motorcycle, leaning against it as I walked out, wondering about my life, about this thing in me that leads me where it leads me.

My heart.

This incessant, necessary, almost compulsive desire to feel, feel, feel.

I used to not want to feel and now I am this feeling junkie, give it to me, I want to be alive I want to sense it, this world that is about me.

I was walking up the hill into Noe Valley from Valencia taking 24th and just over awed by San Francisco.

She does it to me, this city, I was taken and inflamed with love and majesty, and magic, really, its magic and I am always just a little startled when this happens.

I can see things in flat two-dimensional ways, planes of glass on mirrors, flat, a fallow falling of shadow, a skein of dust floating across the pain (pane) of a plexiglass frame, dust it all you will and it is still there, sallow, coating the picture with a filter.

Then.

There will be days, like today, violet days, days of purple, when the skein comes off, the sun flashes out, the dust is gone, it is clear, the world is wiped, shiny, emboldened, lovely, loverly, and I am smashed to pieces with the beauty of it, just the frame of the condominiums across the way from the SafeWay grocery store on Fulton Street blows me apart.

The curry yellow faded paint and the mid-80s architecture some how smote me, the mediocrity of the building becomes bludgeoned with the vast sea it frames and the roll and heave of the Pacific Ocean in that one snippet of view, thunderous and huge, and yet, contained in the picture.

I knew by the time I was getting back from Noriega Produce this afternoon that I was not riding my scooter, I was not riding my bicycle, I was walking or taking MUNI, I was daydreaming with my load of groceries on my back from Safe Way and almost got side swiped by a car that rolled through the stop sign at La Playa and Lincoln.

I had the right of way.

I was right, but I was about to not be happy.

Normally, it wouldn’t have matter, I would have recognized that the driver was doing what the driver does, the driver has his own agenda and it does not involve me.

But I, in my self-centered way, was blithely riding my bicycle along believing that everyone can see me, and see me clearly (though, to stretch this into a metaphor, I don’t see things clearly anyhow, I need a community of like-minded people to daily, constantly, hopefully, lovingly and compassionately, give me fucking perspective), that they know I have two half gallons of unsweetened vanilla almond milk in my bag and there was a sale on my favorite organic yogurt so I got more and I splurged on bottled water, which I never do, but there was a sale and.

Holy shit.

I am almost hit.

Not because I wasn’t obeying every traffic law there was, hell, I was even in the turn lane on the Great Highway to take the green arrow with the cars, it didn’t matter, the driver was doing his own thing and came out of the gas station, onto La Playa and right out into the lane, no stopping, not even pausing, probably did not see the stop sign.

And I.

I was too smitten with sea salt and the smell of a bonfire, and the crispedy crisp ness of the world and my environs, like a camera obscura, lit within and edge with gold and saffron, to see that I am about to get hit on my bicycle.

“Well officer, I didn’t see her coming, it was all just a vast river of almond milk in the road.”

They shake their heads sadly and kick the waxed cardboard half liter to the sandy curb.

I missed getting hit.

I caught it out of the corner of my eye and swerved, the driver never saw me, never stopped, I felt the whick of the car sliding along my ankle to the point where I had anticipatory pain wing up my calve and cause me to gasp out loud.

I gave the car the thumbs up and said, “thank you God for saving drunks and children” as I am both a drunk (sober) and a child (emotional).

I resolutely set forth the last three blocks to home, not getting hit, shielding my eyes from the startling beauty of my neighborhood–did you see the clouds, did you feel the sun, did you smell that air today, did the last kiss of autumn beguile you?

I got home, unloaded my groceries, made a run to Noriega produce, hyper aware and absolute in my resolution to not be on two wheels, either scooter or bicycle, today, ride the MUNI, get a ride home from Noe Valley, call a cab.

Or have a friend meet you at the place on his motorcycle and scoop your wet eyed self up on the edge of the sidewalk and adjust the helmet on your head since you, suddenly incapable, blunt smacked with feelings, struggle to get your hair out-of-the-way.

And it stuns me.

These feelings.

“You need to stop writing about__________,” my friend said to me today.  “________ knows everything about you, it’s not fair, you have to keep somethings to yourself,  you, can you fictionalize it, can you make it up?”

I can’t.

I want to, you know.

But there it is these colors and feelings, the sharp hammer etching out the frosted glass of my heart and it is beautiful, but sharp and painful and I can’t stop doing it.

Because I become the art and the beauty and it is my process and my love and me.

Not all me.

“I know you don’t write it all out, that’s for your morning pages,” my friend astutely observed as we talked about love, loss, stories, the nuances of feelings, the perspective of time and what it is like to make art in real-time.

I am an artist.

I love myself.

I forgive myself.

I accept myself.

“Honey, of course he called you an artist, you ooze it out of your skin like your sexuality.”

Wow.

I had not thought of that.

So I am the art, the piece and the parcel and the story, it is I and I am it.

Yes.

There’s my heart on my sleeve.

Was it any wonder that I can’t come up with a good costume for Halloween?

I was already dressed for my part.

And so.

I continue, and it’s here, but not here, you see it, there beneath the bevelled glass, a shimmering of truth, but frosted slightly.

I get the pain, you get art, vibrant and mitred on the skin of my being.

Tattooed with love.

Yet again.

Surprise Days Off

November 17, 2013

Surprise!

I received a text today explaining that one of my families was taking an unexpected trip home and I would not have their son next week.

However, she wanted to make sure I was compensated and left a check, including pay for the following week, for Thanksgiving.

Wow.

Totally unexpected time off and the timing was perfect.

I was able to just now go back online and make my doctor’s appointment for Monday instead of Wednesday and I will not miss any work on Wednesday.

Plus, I will only have one baby, so even if I do have to take it easy, I will be able to.

And the mom I worked for today gave me not only some fabulous makeup from MAC, but a thank you for working for my family gift certificate for a massage.

Oh!

So sweet.

How the fuck am I going to ask for a raise now?

My housemate said, they love you, they will want to make sure that you are taken care of.

They do.

I love them, but I am not holding myself hostage to my emotions anymore.

Fuck, the emotions are probably the cause of my shoulder being whacked.

Stress.

Anxiety.

Financial insecurity.

It all goes to rest in my body.

No wonder my stroller pushing shoulder is out of joint.

I revised the e-mail.

I still have not sent it yet.

But this time it makes me want to vomit, so I feel that I am on the right track.

“Take out the justification and ask for what you need,” John Ater said to me on the phone.

Which is why I sent it to him.

I was justifying why I should be paid more–experience, my rent, my student loans, how well I take care of children, blah, blah, blah–not being authentic, not coming out and saying what I needed and being already so afraid of their response that I was crafting and manipulating my ask.

Classic.

Be authentic.

Be true.

Have the hard conversation.

Grow up.

Be genuine.

No hard feelings, either.

They can do it.

And if they can’t cool.

I still have a job that will pay my basics and I am free and clear to go out and look for the work at the rate I want.

I did not ask over market rates.

I just asked to be commiserate with them.

That is fair.

The timing on the days off, the gifts, and the sweetness of the mom with me today, just the Universe teasing me, leaving me more tender and vulnerable.

I really like them.

I do.

I really would like to not be stressed out about work.

If I don’t change, nobody out there is going to ask me to do it.

I am the impetus to my own growth.

No one else is interested in that.

My self-care has to be just that, my self-care.

Detach with love, bitches.

Ah.

It is shaping up to be an interesting bit of my life, that is for sure.

I am super grateful for all the work I have been putting into things, however, I do feel that I am pushing into territory that I have skirted for too long.

Emotional intimacy.

Building relationships with my fellows.

Financial security.

Growth.

Sustainability.

Self-worth.

I know it’s not as sexy as a club with a line of girls around the back of a toilet hoovering blow up their noses or the queue out the door for the show down the block, or the sexy sexy with a boy, but it is for me.

This is some sexy shit I am dealing with.

I can tell, because I can feel myself opening up more and taking better care of myself has also led to me dropping my guard down and letting people in and letting myself get out and play.

Not a ton, but more.

I went out tonight, which is not my normal anymore, to a bar, for a friends 40th birthday party.

I made an appearance, I dropped my gift and my card and took some photographs and hugged my friend who was mobbed with her friends (I knew three people there, including her husband) and danced a little before I called to see if my friend was out and could I get a ride home please.

Yes and yes.

Thankful for my friends.

All of them.

I squeezed her tight, “I love you so much,” I said and felt myself growing a little weepy, “you mean so much to me.”

And she does.

I met her on the AidsLifeCycle training rides in 2009.

I HATED her.

Damn girl always ahead of me at the rest stops with all the boys who were fast and made great times and there she was, always, just ahead of me.

But she offered me a ride home one day after a hellish ride, San Bruno Mountain anyone? And we just hit it off.

Burning Man, friends of friends, a kind of work ethic and ethos that we both share, communities that overlapped, and just a love of being in and around all things San Francisco.

She’s pretty fucking amazing.

And it made me realize, well, duh, so are you.

I am a reflection of my friends and when I think about all the awesome people in my life I am astounded that I get to be surrounded with them.

Let’s hang out!

I am going to have some time off.

I will be helping another darling friend of mine next weekend at an arts show downtown next weekend, working Monday for one family, and then–six days of freedom.

Six.

I know that I can book those dates up fast, so I am going to hold some of them open.

And it will be Thanksgiving week so many of my friends will be going out-of-town for family.

I have one offer on the table I am contemplating, but no solid Thanksgiving day itself plan.

The big plan, the only plan, that I can see forward at the moment is letting go of the hard conversation I must have with the moms.

Owning up to owning my needs.

No justifying.

Just truth and authenticity.

Love comes from a place of honest authenticity.

Not manipulation.

I can fall back on that old crutch.

Or I can leap forward and say, here, this is what I need, if you can’t give it to me, there is nothing wrong, I am still allowed to need it, ask for it, and expect that it will come.

It just may not be from the source I wanted it from.

But it will come.

For I will ask for it.

And in the doing.

Is the having.


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