Posts Tagged ‘validation’

The Opacity of Love

March 12, 2019

I really should be doing homework.

Really.

But I am not.

I’m just going to sit and type and see what comes up and let it out and let myself take a moment to just process and just keep being sad.

“You’re really sad,” my friend said to me tonight about my break up.

Fifteen days now, but who’s counting?

I am sad.

It seems surreal that it is over and done and there’s been no contact, although there’s been thoughts, let me tell you.

I haven’t though and I won’t.

I keep telling myself if and when I’m supposed to see him is not up to me, it’s up to God.

I had a thought today.

What if I never see him again?

Ever.

I just about lost it.

There was a small murder of crows in the sky over the valley today as I looked out from high in Glen Park at work eating my salad at lunch, and I felt as though there were throwing my heart around out there.

I have taken down all the pictures and deleted all the texts in my phone as well as the phone history.

Man.

We talked a lot.

His number, his name, his face, all through my things.

All through my heart.

In my soul.

In my body.

I went to a workshop over the weekend, just another thing to keep me endlessly busy so that I get through this patch.

I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but I’m socked in with the busy to help it pass.

Though I still cry at night when I got to bed.

The slip of golden moon through my back window the other night had me utterly in tears.

I suppose at sometime the tears will stop and I will move forward with some modicum of grace and hopefully with serenity and ease.

I’m not sloppy.

I’m not always losing it.

Only once really badly in the car.

I am not even sure what night that was, maybe Saturday night?

I don’t know.

It was bad and I should have pulled over, but I pulled it together enough to get home.

I felt like if I stopped I’d just be on the side of the road sobbing for hours.

An exaggeration I suppose, but it hurts.

It really does.

Physically too.

My reflux is back with a vengeance.

I remember when my ex told me he thought he might be the reason for my reflux and I waved it off.

Now.

Well, let’s just say that it’s not only plausible I totally believe it.

I suppressed a lot of things to be in the relationship.

I figured he was worth it.

True love was worth it.

In some ways I think it still was and I have no regrets.

But you know, my body was screaming at me that it wasn’t working and I just pushed it aside for a long time.

I’m hoping once the grieving passes the reflux will too and I’ll go back to my normal self.

I also know that reflux is caused by stress.

My food as been really good and I have been under stress.

I’ve been heartbroken, seeing clients, holding space for others, nannying, and doing my PhD coursework.

I’m stressed.

So.

Blogging tonight.

Because that helps

Even if it hurts, whenever I write about it, it hurts, but I figure the more I write the more hurt gets out and the easier it will be to bear until one day I won’t notice it anymore and there is no more to bear.

I’m doing the best I can.

“You have so much love to give,” my friend assured me and that I was sensitive.

I am.

Things hit me hard.

Music moves me.

Love.

Magic.

Living.

I am alive.

I keep reminding myself of that.

I don’t want to hurt myself or use or act out.

I’m not calling up old lovers letting them know I’m on the market.

That just sounds awful right now.

I cannot imagine being with anyone else right now.

But I am not going to stop loving and I’m going to put my sensitive, vulnerable, tender heart back out there.

If anything I have learned that I am lovable and worthy of love in the deepest truest sense of the world.

To have experienced what I did, the passion, the love, the validation and how he saw me, I have that experience to grow from and to cultivate more love with.

I keep writing I forgive myself.

I forgive him.

I love myself.

I love him, I let him go, it wasn’t working, I had to get out, and it still hurts and the fire is extreme and I want to cut off all my hair.

I even talked to my hairdresser about it.

“You can come in and try on short-haired wigs and think about it,” she said, sweet as pie.

I might.

I might not.

I focus on something else.

(I have a lot of hair and it’s nice so if I’m going to cut it off I’m going to make sure it’s the right thing to do)

I think about the tattoo I want.

There’s two that have been haunting my thoughts.

One a tiger dragon graffiti that I took a picture of one night when he and I were walking around China Town headed to a late night dinner.

The other from a card I gave him.

I bought it on my birthday at a little bookshop close to Zuni where I met friends for dinner.

It was a picture of a little girl tugging on the moon and trying to pull it towards her with a rope.

That was us.

Me, the little girl, crying for the moon I could never have.

I could never really have you baby and I have to forgive myself for hoping that one day that wouldn’t be true.

But it never was.

I’m still just a little girl wishing for something she cannot have.

A fairytale.

A fantasy

My sweet fantasy man.

I miss you so much.

So very much.

The moon will wax.

It will wane.

And one day.

Perhaps.

I won’t think of you when I see it.

Perhaps.

 

 

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That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

The Not A Date

May 29, 2017

Date.

I mean.

Fuck.

I thought it was a date.

But.

In the end it just seemed to be hanging out as friends.

Note to self.

Clarify.

44 fucking years old and still learning how to communicate.

Ah well.

I had a nice time going to the Summer of Love exhibit and my friend was a good friend, just not the experience I thought I was having.

I didn’t have expectations about it, in fact, when he’d asked me out I was surprised, but I had said yes, trying to keep my word, promising that I would date, I would try.

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of dating.

I don’t want to do it.

And yet.

Here I am trying.

Frustrated pacing the walls of my head, the walls of my room, and just trying each moment to be as honest and upfront as I can.

I can’t have what I want.

I get what I need.

Isn’t that the trope?

Learning, always this learning, this experiencing and I’m not mad or curious or, what resigned, resigned isn’t the right word either.

Acceptance tastes like it.

Humility, most likely that, a tasty snack, a tidbit of humility, mmmm, here, wait, have another helping.

I made my friend feel bad, well, take that back, I’m not that powerful, I can’t claim to be responsible for anyone’s feelings, but I was surprised at the laissez-faire approach to us hanging out together, which clued me into it not being a date.

I expected to be picked up at noon.

I was picked up at 1:45p.m.

UGH.

I have a life, I have things to do, I am important, don’t you know who I am, I don’t want to go on this date.

Oh.

Hahahahhaahahahahahaha.

Joke’s on you lady.

It’s not a date.

My brain.

Oh how it likes to tell me some stories.

I have another “date” tomorrow, but let me tell you, I bet it’s just to have coffee and go do the deal.

It’s not a date either.

Clarity.

I have to ask for clarity.

I have to know that I am beautiful and worthy, that my time is valuable, that I am worth making the attempt for.

I fucking deserve to be courted.

I mean.

That’s what I believe, but maybe that’s a fallacy too, an expectation that I am to be pursued in a certain way by a certain type of man, it just doesn’t seem, after many years of trying to figure this out, ahhaha, ugh, I have not done it any favors, my romantic state or lack there of.

I am still just bumble fucking along.

I get to change.

That’s the only thing I can do.

I can change.

Or not.

I mean.

What is wrong with my life?

Do I need to be in a romantic relationship?

Throat strangles with sadness writing last line, note to self, write about that tomorrow morning.

Fuck.

I wrote a lot this morning.

Eight pages?

Yes.

Eight.

Just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Had a nice breakfast, drank some good coffee, wrote, and waited for the date not date to show up.

And the thing that happened is that I got work done that I needed to do.

So.

A gift, the tardiness of another, my powerlessness over others and their actions held true.

What can I do, how can I use my time and not be mad, not be pissed at my friend who was just taking care of stuff that he had to do.

I set up my voicemail for my internship.

I activated my e-mail account.

I set up my phone line.

I read through the employee hand book.

I discovered I have to also pay to get liability insurance, another unknown out-of-pocket school cost, which makes sense, but was a cost I wasn’t expecting.

Anyway.

I’ll be getting a little bit of money back from the financial aid I applied for, most of it goes to paying for my practicum supervisor, but I’ll get a smidgen that will help with my out-of-pocket therapy costs and this insurance and whatever else comes up.

I still have secrets thoughts and desires about getting out-of-town sometime during the three weeks my family I nanny for will be traveling.

I have a $480 ticket voucher and if I hold steady with my expenditures I might be able to pull off a short vacation, four or five days, somewhere the airlines fly.

I had been thinking San Juan Puerto Rico as a friend does a lot of business there, but I’m not sure I can make Puerto Rico work, maybe.

I don’t know.

I do know I have to use the voucher by October.

I also don’t know when I will get the opportunity outside the three weeks in July.

I guess that’s what bothered me the most.

Having set time aside to go on a date, ok, not a date, I wanted it to go my way, on my schedule, so that I could do all the other things I was going to do, like I totally fucking skipped yoga to get ready.

Note to self.

Don’t do that.

Gratefully.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I’m not working and I will go to yoga in the morning and then to lunch with my person and dump my stupid emotional juju ass baggage about dating and being stupid and annoyed with myself and get it off my chest and then go on another date not date for coffee and laugh at myself.

LOUDLY.

Because I am funny and my little plans and designs get nowhere.

Show up, be of service, stop thinking about myself.

And life will be just fine.

It already is.

I have fucking luxury problems.

Dating is a total luxury problem, I am alive, sober, housed, clothed, fed.

In other words, totally fucking taken care of.

So what?

I have problems in areas I used to never have.

I am lucky.

I am graced.

I am happy, motherfucking free, and joyous.

Most of the time.

And when I am sad or in self-pity or whatever it is, I’m more important than you and your agenda and needs, I see that I am not in humility and gratitude and I can change.

I can awaken.

I can say.

How may I serve, how may I help.

And take the motherfucking focus off myself.

That usually does the trick.

So me and my luxury problems are going to have a nice fucking day tomorrow going to yoga, getting to go to lunch with one of my most loved humans in the entire world, coffee with a friend, a gathering of fellows, some get right with God, and that’s my day.

Or not.

I can’t make plans to save my life.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I certainly don’t.

Obviously.

 

Weird Little Wednesday

April 20, 2017

Not bad.

Actually pretty fucking good.

Just a little odd.

And I realize that I am ok with a little off, a little odd, a little skewed, sometimes that is fun.

I flirted via text with the guy from last night, but let me be honest, there were other reasons why mama didn’t go down that road, walk over that one block and jump into bed, and I realized that more fully today.

I have a sort of laissez-faire attitude about it in my blog, but there were some underlying things on my radar and after doing some writing and some processing I am pretty sure I won’t be running over to my neighbor’s house to “borrow a cup of sugar.”

I have plenty of sugar in my bowl and there are certain things that are important to me, we have some lifestyle stuff that is just not a great match up for me.

The nice thing or the interesting thing, is that although I got a few cute texts today, they dried up at one point and there was nothing there.

I’m glad I didn’t have too much concern the flirting was nice, validating, fun, but in the end, just flirting.

It doesn’t have to go anywhere and just because someone wants to make out with me doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best idea for me.

I have some clear ideas about what I want.

Speaking of validating though.

Man is it nice to get a clear and direct message about being an attractive woman.

Someone who I had a crush on from years ago when I worked at the Angelic Brewing Company reached out to me today via messenger and just basically propositioned me.

I mean.

Maybe not outright, outright, but the entendre was definitely implied.

It was fun to flirt and say hey, if you ever make it out to San Francisco we will have to hang out.

I don’t see myself making it to Chicago anytime soon.

That’s where he lives.

But fuck.

It was, again, really fun to flirt.

I like flirting.

Hell I may do some tomorrow night too.

I have a date after a speaking engagement in the Inner Sunset.

I’m quite looking forward to it.

And.

I have no expectations.

Which rather floors me and is nice too, I’m super relaxed about the date, it doesn’t mean anything, I am exploring whether or not I want to hang out with someone and that’s it.

I look forward to getting dressed up.

But then again.

I always look forward to getting dressed up.

I like dressing up.

I love being a girl.

I love being feminine.

And.

I love being sexy.

Granted.

I won’t be too sexy tomorrow, I have to work a full shift before I go to do the deal and then the date.

But.

I will be pretty.

And pretty will suffice.

And when I feel pretty I feel confident and confidence is sexy.

So.

I’m covered.

Life is fun.

I also had some unexpected movement in my schedule this week and I will have more time on Saturday then I was expecting, I should be able to knock out a paper that day and perhaps even get one started or at least outlined on Sunday.

There’s only three more weeks of school for this semester.

Three!

I was supposed to meet a couple of people back to back in the Inner Sunset, but one cancelled and the other re-arranged with me to meet up on Sunday.

Thus freeing me of my obligation to go to the Inner Sunset at all on Saturday.

I basically will do yoga in the morning, then shower, breakfast, coffee, writing, and more writing and more writing until I leave to go do the deal around 6:30p.m.

I will be able to get to one paper and finish it completely.

I am sure of it.

Super grateful for that.

And if I’m able to hang out after on Saturday I will, a friend will probably meet up with me there and I’m going to wrangle her to fellowship.

I ducked out on fellowship tonight, but did catch up with a friend over tea at my house while listening to jazz and the unexpected rain shower.

Hope that clears by tomorrow.

The loveliness of riding my scooter to work and getting to be outside in the sun was really good for me.

Life is really quite sweet right now.

I was not expecting to have tea with my friend tonight, or have flirting messages with an old crush from years ago.

I was not expecting to feel so alive and frisky today.

But I am.

I did.

And though it was a strangle little Wednesday, it wasn’t bad, just different, and a slight slanted perspective on things is good for me, widen the lens, get a better view, see things different and love my life just a little bit harder, fiercer, deeper.

It’s a good thing.

This.

It really is.

Oh, I Remember Your Paper

January 17, 2016

Well.

Thank god.

As it wasn’t in the heap of papers on her desk.

Nor, from what I can tell, any where co-mingled with my fellow cohorts or classmates.

I didn’t mind to tell you the truth.

I was just relieved to hear that my professor remembered my paper.

I had an abject moment of horror thinking that perhaps all that work I did right up before leaving for Paris was at a loss, that she never got the paper, that I would, in effect, have to do it again.

Which was just pure silliness.

If she hadn’t have gotten the paper I would have just pulled up the e-mail on my phone and sent it to her right in front of her.

But.

She did get the paper.

And.

Oh.

She really liked it.

“Oh, I remember that paper, I gave it a strong A, if not an A+”

Damn Gina.

REALLY?

That was just such awesome news to hear and really nice too, considering that I got an A-on my first paper.

An A- and a strong A, if not an A+ in addition to the amount of interaction I have with the professor feels like an A for the course.

Of course.

I still need to make it through Psychodynamics II.

But it feels like a really positive way to start the semester and the class.

I felt really engaged with material today.

In fact.

I felt really good in all my classes today, I felt like I showed up, I was of service, to my class, to the discussion, to myself.

I had fantastic self-care, homemade food, lots of tea, quiet time, a moment to make a quick phone call and check back with a lady bug I just started working with, and adequate sleep.

Not the best sleep.

Not the most sleep in the world, but good enough sleep.

Just like the idea, the theory of the good enough mother, wherein I got what I needed to do basic survival.

I don’t think I want to subsist on “good enough” sleep, but it will do for now and I’m getting through the weekend.

And in such a lovely manner, I am more at home, more comfortable, more able to be present.

I am prepared.

I am grateful to be a good student.

I am also grateful for good professors and material that makes me think on my feet, that engages my mind, that I see myself making intuitive leaps and jumps, making connections between subjects, finding gold in the dross.

I am using my brain and motherfucker.

It’s sexy.

I felt really alive today.

The anxiety about what I am doing and why I am doing it has faded.

I’m doing this because I am a natural at it, I can be of great service doing psycho-therapy, or at least I believe so, I am doing this because I’m supposed to.

When things feel like this, when the poetry and the dream come together and there is a moment of recognition, a moment of realizing the integration of literature, my lush love and verdant yearnings for the poetic can be intermeshed with the helping arts, because this is what I am, then I am acknowledging at my basic most base level of being.

I am an artist.

And this is my art.

The art of empathetic listening.

The art of being there with the person.

The art and nuances of love of creating a holding space for that love, the letting go of my misconceptions about the value of my experiences and what it means to be a poet or a writer or an artist.

The co-mingling of dreams and words and love.

Really.

I get to do this?

I get to navigate this ocean of emotion and feeling and sail the high seas of dream work and intersectionality and explore the liminal space between.

The space where there is God.

I get to do this?

Rock the fuck on.

And.

I acknowledge.

I am good at it.

I am going to get really good at it.

Most important, though, is not the ego massage, but the message, the medium, that is what I am, I am just a medium for the light and the love, a mirror reflecting back to you the love of God.

Now.

I doubt.

Very, very, very much.

That I will begin my modality dancing around in my office high on some sort of love light and E.T. phone home mentality about universal love and Godliness.

That’s just not my schtick.

However.

I am sensitive and I am insightful and I have developed a strong intuition that I am relying on more and more.

In my life, in my studies, in my person.

That open connection to my God, to my higher power, of my (mis)understanding.

Do not ask me to explicate what it is I believe, suffice to say it is a holding space that I can rest in, a place of being carried, a warm place, soft, held, loved, lit, a glowing internal compass of love.

I cannot do it justice and my capacity for words and language will never touch that inexplicable “lightness of being,” only that there is a deep knowing, a charge, a reflection in the mirror of my soul that I cannot see, but I can navigate towards, always, my face towards the bright light of that sun.

I am a honing device.

A machination for love.

I am the vessel.

I am full of (shit) love.

But you know.

I have to have some balance here, some recognition of the hard work that it has taken to get here and also some fun, some acknowledgement, some small sign that I am on the right track, doing the right thing, being as helpful as I can be.

I guess an A+ on a paper is a good indicator!

“My only concern is,” my professor said, looking at me with bright eyes that lanced out beyond the smudgy murky fingerprints smeared over the lenses of her glasses, “is the application of this in a clinical manner, that you don’t forget these things.”

And she listed them off, the things to be aware of, the pitfalls of applying the theory, what had to be looked for to be of service to the client.

It was not my paper she was concerned with, I got an A+ on that, it was for my further work, for what she aptly identified for me without meaning to, my clinical work.

She wanted to warn me about proper use of the theory in clinical work, for what she assumed I will be pursuing.

That felt like high flattery.

My professor sees something, she mirrored me, and I saw myself there, despite those dirty spectacles, bright and shining, a beacon of art and learning.

This is what graduate school should feel like.

Of course I’m just high on the interaction.

It’s good to be validated, to be seen.

So.

I’m not going to down play it too much.

Because it feels really god damn good.

I just got my second A+ of my graduate school career.

And I’m still in my first year!

Thank you very much.

 

PS. One of my fellow students found my paper in with hers.  The A+ has been confirmed and is now leaving the building.

 

Honor That Love

December 28, 2015

He said to me on the phone.

I hold deep capacities for love.

Sometimes that feels utterly overwhelming.

I sat here, in my chair, home and felt a wave of sadness go over me and said, “self, just have the feeling.”

And.

So I did.

I can lift my face up to the love, I can grow towards it, I can bask in it, I can honor it.

I can love.

And not be loved back.

I can love and not feel that I have to be compensated for that love.

I can see.

I can be seen.

I can be authentic and lovely and lovelorn all at the same time.

I believe.

I do.

That we all have this deep capacity for love.

Not everyone allows themselves to feel it, however, or it gets buried under afraid and not getting enough, not being in control, in the need for validation, approval, acceptance.

I accept, validate, and approve myself.

And I let the love shine like a light above me, something I can grow towards and through.

Not something that I have to fall into and drown.

These are new ideas for me.

To hold love and not expect a return.

I realize too, that I have expected returns from the earliest of ages, and that it is a constant letting go of that expectation.

I am the romance of a lifetime and I get to have these intense, beautiful, full, astonishing feelings.

Sometimes.

I really don’t want them.

But I also know that I have the capacity to hold it, the heart breaks, the heart breaks open, the heart grows in its ability to hold more.

At least mine does.

As I look about my small, but so beautifully appointed space I am ever so grateful that I have this nest of love to nestle in.

I was quite grateful for the space my friend and I stayed in while we were visiting Paris, but it’s not home, and home, oh, she is a lovely place.

I got back mid/late afternoon and like a good camper, unpacked, organized, and put away all my things.

Including doing a load of laundry, going through the mail, and writing out the rent check for January.

A quick run to the grocery store to get a few supplies.

I didn’t have it in me to cook today.

In fact, it feels like I don’t have it in me to do a whole hell of a lot.

So, the feelings leak out and instead of drowning in them, I let them happen.

Such a relief to already have seen them go past and to wave to them from the opposite shore.

I am sure that they will be back, but in this moment I am, as it was suggested honoring the love I grow towards and honoring myself and my abilities to try new things and go and have experiences.

Paris.

What an experience.

It is a little mind bending to think that yesterday I wandered the Marais, and today I am in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco.

I got to have one more last fabulous meal with my dear friend at Cantine du Troquet in the 15th.

I ordered with confidence and even made substitutions.

Ha.

I have to admit my French is not the best in the world, but it felt grand to be understood and to be able to ask for what I needed.

Of course.

I can forget.

Case in point.

The meal today on the plane.

Nothing I could eat.

Like.

Nothing.

And I sighed, accepted, drank some water and adjusted myself to what was happening.

A few minutes later, while I was watching a movie, my friend plunks down next to me and hands me three clementines.

That is love.

I grow toward it.

I smiled.

That small kindness.

Three small clementines, cold from the flight, but warming to my heart, and I am full, replete, and soothed.

And here.

In my space.

Feeling that same warmth.

Surrounded by beautiful things, small reminders of my trip, of my travels, now and previous, the lights around me warm, the candles lit, the bed made.

Oh.

How I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.

So very much.

I actually slept quite a lot on the plane.

I set my watch when the time was noted and moved than hands on the face forward ten hours and saw that it was early morning here, that I would be asleep if I was in San Francisco and vowed at the moment to try to let myself drift away into the sleep so that I could reset my own body clock without too harsh a contradiction.

I dozed in and out and I actually believe I got in a few good hours here and there and passed much of the time in sleep on the plane.

A good way to travel.

Then.

Home.

Customs.

Waiting for luggage.

This was my first trip in a very, very, very long time that I checked baggage.

In fact, I can’t recollect a time previous in the last ten years that I checked, so waiting at Charles de Gaulle for my bag and again at SFO was a different experience.

It took longer than I expected, but I got through and got a ride home from the airport, hugged my friend, and came inside.

To be greeted by my sweet, dear home.

Ah.

Home.

Then the feelings came as I unpacked and though I tried to hold them at bay for awhile, doing the laundry, running to the market, sorting and situating, the feelings had to get out.

And.

They did.

And I am grateful for that.

Grateful I can feel so many things.

Grateful I know love to the depth of my being and even beyond.

That I have so much to give and feel.

Yes.

I love hard.

And.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I really wouldn’t.

My life is better for it.

I am better for it.

The white velvet light of it.

The richness of it, the swelter and glow.

The sweetness of a clementine in my mouth.

And.

The capacity to dream.

Dream.

Love.

Grow.

Shine.

Let me be that beacon.

I am honored in it.

I lean into it.

I accept it.

And I forgive myself for ever looking outside of myself for it.

I have all the love I need in the world.

And.

Probably.

Quite a bit.

More.

You Are The Embodiment Of The Poet

October 30, 2015

My heart burst reading that line.

I was in the upstairs bathroom at work wrangling monkeys, brushing teeth.

Brosse/brosse/brosse/

Les dents/

Brosse les tres souvents/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

A les belle est dentes.

Brush/brush/brush

Your teeth/

Brush them every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Ah.

The pretty teeth.

(sung to row, row, row your boat)

Yay!

“Spit,” I said, running the water.

I had to put down my phone, I could not finish reading the sweet e-mail I had received from my patron, my eyes kept tearing up reading it and I had to manage the two boys.

I’m just going to call him that, he’s my patron.

Anyone who sends me a check for $1,000 for some poems is my patron.

Anyway.

I had sent him an effusive e-mail thanking him for the check and how I was honored and seen and just over the moon.

That moon.

Did you see her tonight?

Sometimes in the waning I feel there is more power, more poesie, more haunting and longing.

The wandering back into the self, the darkening lunar landscape, the eery rise in the night sky and the glow as it rose over the trees in Golden Gate Park, the nipping wind chill on my neck and my arms, reminder to up the sweatshirt ante here soon.

The Indian summer is passing and the autumn cold is coming.

But that luscious moon.

Yes.

Over the moon.

He sent me back another sweet missive and the above quote amongst them.

To be the embodiment of the poet, that means so much.

The validation has been powerful.

It’s hard to acknowledge and yet, I know I absolutely have to, its false modesty to not acknowledge it and the sorrow for all the time I didn’t let myself create, the doubt, the fear, the negotiating my own way through the world, poetic voice or no poetic voice, being an artist, yet denying myself entrée into the club.

No.

Really.

I don’t belong here.

No.

That table couldn’t possibly be for me.

No.

I know you say I have a reservation to be here, but there’s been a mistake.

The maitre d leads me to the table and seats me despite my own fuss.

“When I heard you reciting them,” my person said to me in front of the Church St. Cafe as we sat and drank tea and caught up, “I thought to myself, oh these are lovely, who’s are they?”

He continued, looking at me with his sparkling blue eyes, that matched exactly the corn flower blue cashmere sweater wrapped over his shoulders, “I didn’t know you wrote them, it took me a minute to catch on!”

We talked about the story behind the poems and I told him how I got there to the creative process and how I did a nonce and what that was like and it was me running away at the mouth.

“Girl, I knew you could write, but I had no idea about this part of you,” he said and smiled, with his eyes and mouth and heart, and squeezed my hands.

“You are an artist and you are curious and you let yourself go there and you have experiences, this other artist saw that in you and you connected and you let yourself do that,” he smiled more.

My heart squeezed itself in my chest and tears rose in my eyes.

“I feel like I may have cheated myself a little though,” I told him.

“How so?” He asked, curious himself.

“Well, I cashed the check and immediately, like within minutes I had transferred the entire thing into my savings account, there was no celebration, there was just a straight transfer, I feel like I should be celebrating and doing something with it, although I am doing something with it, I’m going to get a Vespa, a new one, which is what I wanted to do all along before I got bamboozled last year with the knock off I bought.”

“Girl, you are celebrating, you are telling me the story of the poems,” he looked at me, “it’s good that you put that money right into your savings.”

He’s right.

I don’t have to go out and spend the money frivolously to prove some sort of point.

In fact.

I transferred the entire $1,000 and another $150 of my own into savings.

I really want to get a scooter.

And I really want a Vespa.

So.

Just a little closer to my new ride then I was the day before yesterday.

The acknowledgement, the accolades, the poems themselves, the being a poet, letting myself be seen, that is the celebration.

Plus.

All the love from my friends who have always seen this side of me and applauded it when I did not or was not able to.

Sitting here.

Doing my blog.

Being happy.

Knowing that I made another artist happy with my work.

That is celebration.

I revel in that.

I also revel in the almost weekend of it all and my staid Halloween plans.

Which include going to 7th and Irving to get right with God, meet my person at Tart to Tart, maybe get the nails done, then lunch with a friend, and afterward, borrowing said friends couch to sit and read all day long on and maybe, just maybe, let myself take a nap.

Yup.

Those are my mad, crazy Halloween plans.

That and sitting down tomorrow to write-up another sonnet.

I have an idea I want to submit to the Bastille and I need to get it out to them ASAP, the deadline is the 31st.

Plus.

I have decided that the compensation for the sonnet series being what it is I am not, cannot with any integrity, submit it for further publication or award.

I have been amply compensated.

That being said.

I am still submitting to the Nemerov Award.

I am going to send in a sonnet that was supposed to be part of the sequence, but I messed up the rhyme scheme and the principle was out-of-order, so I tossed it.

I tried to re-work it but, it just didn’t fit.

I let it go and wrote a fresh one that fit the schematic I had set up.

But I really liked the sonnet.

And.

This means, I have an extra sonnet with all the flavor of the sequence, that I did not submit to my collaborator and patron.

Thus.

I will rework it and tighten it up and send that off instead.

I love that I have ideas falling out of my head.

I still have lots of work to do for school.

Another paper to write for Human Development.

More reading to do.

Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

But I will find the balance with the poetry.

And move forward into the generous flow of language that is out there just waiting for me to cast my net upon it’s worded sea of stars and images.

I’ll push out my boat into that ether and gather wide the nets into my arms aching and full.

Heavy with the heavenly catch that lies awaiting me.

All the things.

All the love.

All the pretty.

Pretty.

Poetry.

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles

September 12, 2015

Begins with a single step.

Foiled again.

I just put down Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching–The Tao of Leadership.

I had never known who to attribute this quote to, although it resonated with me so much so when I first heard it, I was 17 or 18, that I used it for my senior year quotation.

It was either that or I was going to use the Fear Prayer from Dune.

I will leave to your imagination the challenges of my growing up.

I have written of them often and I don’t see them as good or bad, wrong or right, I certainly don’t apply these terminally ugly words either–would, should, or could, to my experiences.

They are just experiences.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with them and I have to get out all my feeling words and vocabulary and try to parse something from the experience, rather than just be in it.

I was trying to do something akin to that on my ride home from school today.

My ride home from my campus, my ride home from my graduate school program, my first day of school, my first day, truly, as a graduate school student.

It was a full ass day.

It started at 9 a.m. and it ended at 8p.m.

Tomorrow will be much the same, the day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 8p.m.

I will have diversity training from 9 a.m. until 2p.m.

Then Group Dynamics from 2p.m. until 4p.m.

After that an hour break and then convening from 5p.m. until 8p.m. for Psychodynamics.

Class will be the same for Sunday, 9 a.m. until 8p.m.

Fuck.

Work is going to feel like a picnic, like a break, like a rest.

And work is not necessarily restful for me.

I digress.

I get ahead of myself.

I leave the moment, where there is nothing wrong, where I am doing the best I god damn can, and I am writing, even though I could be reading more, my brain will only hold so much and if I don’t lay some of it down, like a good yeoman dropping the plow to rest, I won’t have the space in my brain to take in more information.

There will be more information.

There will be more learning.

There will be more not understanding what is happening and just letting it happen.

There will also be the happy coincidence of having actually taken a good photograph for a student id!

I was shocked.

I figured there would be thirteen chins and my nostrils would be flared and I don’t know, all my photos for ids are wonky, but it actually turned out and there it is.

I have a student Id.

Where are my discounts bitches?

I jest.

Really the only thing I want with my student id is to be able to access the gated and locked space where I can park my bicycle, a space that is outdoors, but also covered.

Hallelujah.

It’s such a nice thing.

Just not having to worry about my whip.

I was grateful.

I was also grateful to get on my bicycle at the end of the day.

To ride away from campus and head home.

Despite the wind kicking up and the night being a little blustery, it felt good to be in my body, when I could get my mind off my classes and actually be present for the bicycle ride.

There was the same old song and dance in my head about how I work so hard and I am doing all the things and how come I am working so hard again, and that phrase popped into my head, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” except that I transmuted it to my bicycle pedal.

One pedal at a time.

One stroke at a time.

Push down.

Pull up.

I wanted to be stuck in my head.

I wanted to feel isolated.

I wanted to cry out.

Just because you read my blog does not mean you know what I am feeling!

I am lonely.

But not alone.

I know that.

And the lonely will pass.

I am busy and I have made this choice to go to graduate school, to take on the awesome and amazing adventure of becoming more me and more of service and more available.

My needs are met.

Despite my pay check being $0.00 today–really why even send me a pay stub?

I had forgotten that.

No pay for me while I was at Burning Man.

Sigh.

But I am ok.

I have what I need.

I paid my phone bill today.

I have a beautiful body that I get to walk around in, bicycle in, sleep in.

I have food.

Although I am going to have to manage eating better, I can’t afford to eat out twice in one day three times a weekend, that’s just too much.

I will be bringing food with, I just have to find time to go grocery shopping.

Probably Sunday night after my last class ends.

I don’t think I’ll be doing my normal cooking for the week like I usually do, but I don’t think anything about my schedule is going to be “usual” any more.

This is ok.

I am learning.

I am growing.

I will continue to do so.

And.

I am loving more.

I did find that I wanted to wall up a little my first day of class, that there was a struggle, internal, to be open, to be present, to be with my cohort and to let them see me.

Despite my “newly” pink hair (new to folks in my class, not that I have dyed it again) and safety orange pants.

I was grateful to reconnect with friends and classmates and to have met a new professor who is eccentric and smart and called me right the fuck out in class when we did our introductions, “oh, yes, you ARE smarter than me, I can tell.”

I did not mean to put on my smarty pants, but I felt inadequate.

I am just a nanny after all.

Not a clinician or lawyer or social worker.

I haven’t studied Gestalt for the last two years.

Hell, I don’t even know what Gestalt is or Freud for that matter.

But.

My professor picked up on both my insecurity be hearing the language I used and gently and succinctly put me in my place.

I am not smarter than she.

But I am smart.

And just because no one validated me the way I needed to be validated growing up doesn’t mean that I can’t give it to myself, that I can’t move forward, that it is all hard work with no validation and approval.

I approve myself.

I have worked so fucking hard to get here.

And the journey is beautiful.

And one step at a time.

And once in a while.

I will stop in that step, look around, and be so grateful that my journey has brought me here, to this place of privilege.

“How do you do it?” He asked me in the hall way between classes.

“How do you manage to live in San Francisco and go to school?”

I don’t know and if I speculate too hard on it I will freak out.

I just get to do it.

I get to.

Being the operative language.

I am a lucky motherfucker.

I am.

And.

The journey?

Why.

It is glorious.

Honey, Slow Down

March 11, 2015

She chuckled at me over the phone.

“The awards letters will go out in April, you’ll know soon.”

Oh ok.

You mean, sit still and enjoy the pause in the performance, enjoy the fact that you got into graduate school and for a moment, really, there’s nothing else to do.

“Honey, you’re a human being, not a human doing,” he said to me over the phone when I called to check in and told him about the financial aid advisor’s little speech to me on the phone.

When I received the information about the graduate school program accepting me I didn’t really know how to celebrate.

I mean.

I posted it on Facebook, so that should mean something right.

The post was “liked” a lot.

Isn’t that enough.

I mean, I don’t want to rest on my laurels or anything, chop, chop, what’s the next step, let’s keep this train rolling.

I went home Friday evening and did the online counseling for financial aid and signed my promissory note and I shit you not, I was looking to see what my awards package was the next day.

I mean, logically, I knew that it really wasn’t going to be there yet, but you know, I’m just checking.

Ugh.

I decided to call and chat with the financial aid office, I was advised I may qualify for some scholarships, so I better figure out which ones and apply.

NOW.

I shared about that tonight, about needing to just pause and acknowledge the accomplishment instead of moving on to the next thing now, now, now, God forbid I have any feelings around it.

It is an accomplishment, I remind myself, I did have to do some work to get into the program and not just the work of going through the application process (8 page autobiographical statement, 1 page letter of intent, the application itself to fill out, the $65 fee to process the application, asking for the letters of recommendation, getting my transcripts sent out from the University of Wisconsin, Madison), there was the work that I did to get to the point of applying in the first place.

All the exploring of dreams and ideas, writing, writing, writing, being vulnerable, showing up for and exploring other programs, researching Masters Degrees in Creative Writing, looking at getting a second BA in education, what about exploring accounting school and taking course work at City College (which only lasted one class, I am not cut out to be an accountant), applying to Aveda (getting in, but not getting the aid I needed to go) going to an open interview at Blush School of Makeup (I still like me some make up yo), the couple of times I applied to work at the Burning Man office but never got a reply to my applications, let alone called into an interview.

All the soul-searching.

Moving to Paris.

Moving back from Paris.

More inventory.

Working jobs that weren’t a good fit until they became so painful I had to get out and when I did finally saw the way out of my gilded little cage.

Nobody puts Carmen in a corner.

But me.

So, perhaps some acknowledgement of the success is called for.

I am not going to rest on my laurels, I don’t even know how to do that, I have never had the chance to breathe and relax, I need to move and do and shake and go, nothing’s changed.

But so much has changed.

And as I realized that once again, without even knowing I was doing it, I went to the hardware store to buy a hamburger, as my dear heart said to me tonight while we were checking in.

“You just want to be seen, and you weren’t seen,” she said succinctly.

Hey, aren’t I supposed to be helping you?

I didn’t get the validation and approval from my mom I was expecting and I’m tender about it.

It brought up a whole passel of crap that I thought I had worked through, but without even consciously knowing it I had walked on down to the corner hardware store, screws on sale, and demanded a medium rare burger with sharp cheddar and mayonnaise with a nice toasted bun,  swipe some butter on that before you put it on the grill, ok?  And a dill pickle too, perhaps, even, dare I, a chocolate malt as well, heavy on the malt please.

What do you mean you only have a wrench for me.

I want my hamburger.

Maybe some fries too, double-quick.

No, I don’t need a caulking gun.

What the fuck?

I don’t fault my mom for not validating me the way that I want validation.

It’s not her job.

It ceased being her job.

Actually she walked off that job long before it was even had a job description in the mom manual.

But I looked for it long and hard all my years growing up.

I know my mom’s proud of me, but it doesn’t always come across and like going to that dry well expecting a refreshing cold glass of hydration I came up short and had the rug pulled out under my feet, to mix my metaphor’s.

Reminding me that though the sign says the Doctor’s In, I may still get the football pulled away after paying my five cents.

So.

“Be the mother to yourself you wish you had,” she told me yesterday when I called to vent about the voice mail I had received from my mom.

Except.

I couldn’t figure it out.

I couldn’t figure out what that looks like.

I was flummoxed.

What would a mom do upon learning that her daughter got into graduate school?

I kept thinking I should buy myself flowers or oddly enough, socks, I could use a new pair, or maybe a nice dinner out or write myself a card and send it to myself.

Drawing a complete blank.

Then.

I shared about it tonight and that helped a lot.

A LOT.

And I got to have a big moment of forgiveness for myself and this process and loving myself and letting go again of the idea that anyone, mom, dad, boyfriend, friend, boss, lover, sister, teacher, can really validate me.

I validate myself.

I give myself the stamp of approval.

I also forgive, again, and again, it’s a process, my mom, she really is doing the best she can, and knowing her up bringing I doubt she got much validation coming her way.

Hard to give away something you haven’t got.

Then.

I got home.

And there it was in the mailbox, like the post, not my e-mail.

The hard copy of my letter of acceptance to the Master of Arts Weekend program in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Integral Counseling Psychology for the 2015-16 Fall Semester.

I knew what I had to do.

It was so obvious I laughed out loud.

I got a magnet and put my letter of acceptance on the fridge.

Just like a proud mom would do.

I looking at it right now and it’s pretty much perfect.

I am proud of myself.

And I will celebrate.

There’s a necklace at Fiat Lux on Church and Market I have been eyeing forever.

I’m going to buy it for myself on Friday when I get off work before heading over to Our Lady of Safeway.

It’s a butterfly wing under glass.

I’m emerging from my chrysalis.

It fills the bill.

As does the forgiveness.

Acceptance.

Awareness.

Action.

And.

Celebration.

I got into fucking grad school!

Let’s party.

 

Carmen, You Are A

February 25, 2015

Rockstar.

Why thank you.

It did take some rock star maneuvering to get through today, but I made it through.

The mom paid me the compliment.

The grandmother told me I was amazing.

The almost, in three days, five-year old told me he loved me.

The dog kissed my face.

The two and a half-year old had his Meow Meow hug me, his little white cat that is now grey from dirt and love.

Validation.

So nice to meet you.

It is lovely to be so appreciated at work and it’s nice to be busy.

Not too busy, I could use a little more down time then this week has afforded me, but the grandparents leave tomorrow and I have a half day on Thursday, so I can interview for the graduate school program, and things will roll right along.

The upside to being busy is that I don’t have time to be bored.

I am almost always doing something.

“Can I help?”  The grandmother asked as I started unpacking the bags from the market and getting the things for dinner arranged.

“No, but thank you,” I said.

Not because I probably couldn’t use the help, but because it actually, often times ends up being a hinderance to the preparation.

I don’t think in a linear manner.

I try, but often get distracted, and often find short cuts, and often have fifteen things happening at one time.

In the span of an hour and a half I prepped snacks for pre-school pick up for the oldest boy–thermos of milk, strawberries, hulled and sliced, clementines, peeled and sectioned, two small Fuji apples, cored, sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon, box of whole wheat crackers in a little container.

The kid likes having options.

Then I roasted cauliflower for dinner, made a marinade for salmon I had bought at BiRite (two pounds wild Alaskan salmon marinated in olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and zest, one lime, sea salt, fresh chopped flat head parsley, garlic, fresh pepper, thyme, and a little basil), big tossed salad for the whole family, and sushi rice in the rice cooker.

I did a lot of other things too, laundry, clean up, dishes, but I don’t think of it anymore, I just do it.

I just had my five month anniversary with the family and I would say it’s going well.

The almost five-year old celebrated his birthday tonight with his grandparents who fly out tomorrow afternoon.

I was grateful to not have to be a party to bed time.

It was hard enough wrangling the two monkeys after a couple of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from Mission Mini’s.

It was like a sugar bomb went off in both their brains.

As I stood in the middle of it, watching the dynamic of the family I thought how lucky I was for my job.

And for the experience it’s providing me.

“You are so far ahead of anyone coming into the program,” a friend told me Saturday night, “leaps and bounds, you’ll do fine at the interview and they will take you into the program.”

It’s nice to hear.

Again, validation, affirmation, I am good, I do a good job.

But it was better to have it sink in, from my head to my heart, down to my gut.

I know she’s right.

I have had eight years being at the center of many a family.

I have done my field research to be a MFT, Marriage and Family Therapist.

In spades.

I have seen family’s that blew me away with their love and others that blew me away with their neurosis.

All of them have been instrumental in my own personal growth.

Learning how to communicate without being passive aggressive or manipulative.

When a kid whines, it’s hard to tolerate and there’s a wheedling aggressive manipulation happening.

If I make you uncomfortable, you will fold and I will get what I want.

I can’t handle it much better in adults.

It’s subtler, but really it boils down to the same thing.

And those families I haven’t stayed employed with long.

I have learned about self-care, how to prepare myself for the job and stay serene in my own persona and core.

I have learned to meditate at work, in the middle of the day when there’s a nap time happening.

I don’t always get to, but when I am, the magic is palpable.

I see what happens when families eat junk versus good food.

Or when miscommunication happens or feelings get hurt.

I see that we are all, all of us, me especially, human and I make mistakes.

I see also that I get to make mistakes and that’s part of learning.

“No!  I want you to draw it,” the oldest boy told me, “I can’t do it as well.”

“You will one day, and not so far off,” I replied.  “Just try, you don’t have to be perfect, it takes patience and practice and repetition, you have to start somewhere, here’s a great place.”

He picked up the crayon and drew outside the lines, smashing bright colors all over the page, “it’s my favorite color!”

Yellow.

Or gold.

“Just try, you are safe, I won’t drop you,” I told the youngest boy yesterday at swim lessons.

“I’m scared, I’m afraid,” he said.

“I have you, I won’t drop you, you are safe, and you can be afraid, fear is ok, but you still get to try, come on, you can do it, jump!” I smiled and lifted him up into the air and the splashed down into the water.

“See!” I hugged him and his wet arms wrapped around me and he smiled back wet eyed and beautiful.

I’m going to nail that interview.

I’m going to graduate school.

This is happening.

Never thought being a nanny would lead me anywhere, it was just something to do until the right thing came along.

Who knew it was the thing that would provide me with the foundation to do that right thing when the time came.

Life.

Full of wonderful surprises.

And sweet validation.

Thank you!

The grandma and grandpa said for the photos.

Thank you, you are a super hero, the dad said.

Thank you! The mom called out to me as I walked out the door.

You are very welcome.

See you tomorrow.

I have some more research to do.


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