Posts Tagged ‘willingness’

Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.

Nope.

I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?

Cuz.

That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.

Yet.

Utterly simple.

Easy?

No.

My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.

Well.

Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.

Shit.

I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.

Or.

Worse.

I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.

But.

I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.

Or.

Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.

Always.

Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.

This.

Overwhelming.

Overarching.

Expansive.

And.

Genuine.

Love.

 

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I’m Willing To Do The Work

June 27, 2016

God.

God damn it.

I laughed at myself.

In the bathroom, peeing out the iced coffee from Java Beach and all my out and about in the neighborhood today.

I never left the three block radius of my house.

Wait.

Not true.

I did go grocery shopping at SafeWay down on Balboa and Great Highway.

But really.

I stayed put.

I had some ladies to meet today.

One who flaked.

One who didn’t.

I had a coffee date with an old friend.

I cooked for myself.

I got some groceries for a friend who is housebound with a foot surgery and can’t walk out the house yet.

I did the things that make me feel good.

Even when my friend brushed sand off my face and I thought for a minute, fuck, he’s going to kiss me.

But he didn’t.

I can’t date him and we talked it out in the dunes out at the beach and had a nice time just getting all the story out there and watching the waves roll in and out.

It was brisk but sunny.

And the Pride was still happening and the Parliament happening at Stern Grove, it was sort of perfect, no one was down at the beach.

Not that many folks in the neighborhood.

It was a soft, cottony, cold, foggy, swathed in morning and it took me a minute to get the yawns out of my head before I headed off to yoga.

It was warm in the studio and I drifted through the work out and it was great.

I got to the final resting pose and I think I actually experienced that illusive condition that the teacher is always alluding to.

My mind free and quiet.

My body at complete rest, totally supported by the mat and the earth beneath me.

I felt grounded and rooted and also, completely free and free floating.

It was utter bliss.

It didn’t hut that I was able to do some poses and sequences that I have not been successful with and I tried with one pose that is super challenging for me, Crow pose, and though I didn’t come anywhere near nailing it, I got to get closer to it and committed to trying to do it, and yeah, I fell.

But.

I also laughed.

Grateful that I can laugh at myself.

“That’s the great thing about you!” My friend exclaimed as I was talking about some dating disasters I have been through over the last six months or so.  “You can totally laugh at yourself, that is so refreshing, you have no idea.”

Perhaps I don’t.

Perhaps I don’t have an inkling at all.

I mean.

I am fucking grateful that I can take my shit with a grain of salt and also that I have experience and perspective and information to move forward with.

I was yelling, or talking loudly with God, praying from the toilet seat as I peed, “really, I’m willing to do the work, I am.”

My friend who I had dropped groceries off to had suggested, in regards to a disaster of a relationship that I was super quiet about going through, he was stunned that I hadn’t said anything before today, that he hadn’t known anything.

“Dude, you mean _____________?! You were hanging out with him?”

Yup.

“I had no fucking clue.”

Yeah.

Well.

Nobody did.

Then I ran down the story, sans the drama that I felt going through the experience, but I got the bones of the narrative out.

“Ok, so here’s the deal,” my friend broke it down, “you either think that you’re not enough, so you settled, or which is worse, that you knew you were better than this but you weren’t willing to do the work.”

Ouch.

Ouch.

Ouchity, ouch, ouch.

And yet.

There is truth here.

I wanted to deny it.

I wanted to say it was neither.

But the truth is that it was both, I felt both not enough and also that I was enough and more than enough, and I knew I wasn’t being treated well, but I sort of blinded myself to the information that I was being given and went tripping merrily down the rabbit hole.

I realize that I need sustenance more than flash.

Although.

Flash can be exciting.

It doesn’t last more than a week or two.

I like sexy, who doesn’t?

But.

Yes.

I want sustenance, I want substance, and yes, ha, I am wiling to do the work.

Which means what?

Fuck if I know.

And.

I am ok with that too.

I am ok with having fun.

But, yeah, I do want the more permanent thing, not just the glittery and the sparkle.

I suspect that there can be both substance and glitter.

It doesn’t have to be a lot, but there should be sparkle, truly what doesn’t do well with a little bit of lacquer?

Painted heart.

Painted hussy.

Painted face.

Masked behind the sexy and the glitter and the ribbons and gewgaws, the flowers sequined and spattered with light shine, the musicality of stars, the glitter box full of hearts sprayed metallic shimmer, is the plain of my soul.

Lighted and a fire.

“You are so beautiful,” he said looking into my eyes, “the more I look, the further into your heart I can see and you are so beautiful.”

I don’t believe it was a line.

But it was our last goodbye.

Beneath the sheets our limbs entangled, his hands in my hair, on my face, holding it just there, it was a goodbye, in hindsight, although in the basement of my heart I knew, I still let the moment spin out, basking in the moment and the reverence.

The sacred.

And.

The profane.

Floating gossamer like, a small spider web of hopeful desire sticky on my hands that brushed it away to go forward into the routine of my days and weeks.

Those days and weeks tumble into months now and though I can share the story with one friend on the beach and take the tale to another over coffee and catch up, I know now that they are just that, stories, narratives, tall tales from the neck of my life.

Floating out and above the skyline.

Like.

Heart shaped balloons.

Loosed at sunset.

Beautiful to look at.

But.

Illusory and fragile.

Shot through.

And.

Glowing in the sorbet sunset to melt into the sky, buttery indigo flamingo pink and puce punk back lit.

The change is this.

Instead of running across the dunes, stumbling, in fear, trying to catch something I can never touch or capturing something that cannot be caught, I stopped chasing.

I just sat back and watched them float away.

Still and silent.

Glowing inside and outside with the sunset.

And the few small grains of sand I just brushed from my face.

A soft smile.

The warm embrace of an arm around my waist.

The pause.

The goodbye.

And the hello again to knowledge.

It’s all just information.

How I use it.

That’s my choice.

I’m powerless over the rest.

Alone.

But.

Not.

Lonely.

And.

Most.

Certainly.

Not unloved.

Oh no.

So.

Loved.

Seriously.

All the time.

This vast.

Vast.

Ocean.

Of.

Love.

 

You Are Right

February 22, 2015

I am wrong.

I found this business card in my wallet today and I propped it up on my dining room/kitchen table/desk spot and every time I have sat down for a meal or to balance my check book, to pick up a book, or to write in my notebook, I see the card.

Right

Right vs Happy

 

You are almost always right and I am almost always wrong.

I have a skewed sense of perspective and need help.

All the time.

I don’t find this statement offending, far from it, there’s comfort in the face of being wrong.

I can be right.

I have been told.

Or.

I can be happy.

I would so much rather be happy.

In that vein I have made some moves to amend some behaviors.

One of which was to send a text to a friend last night who was going to help me with my scooter.

I had been told to do otherwise and yet, here I am courting someone’s help, who yes, it was offered, and yes it is appreciated, but no, said person doesn’t happen to have any experience with vintage Vespa’s.

Plus, the only reason I was asking for his help was to avoid paying to have it looked at.

That’s an amend.

Paying my way.

Being self-supporting.

There is asking for the generosity of my friends and accepting help when I need it, which I often do and I have had to rely on people all throughout my life, especially in the last ten years, for help in all kinds of awkward situations.

But that’s life.

Awkward.

I need help.

I don’t like asking for it.

However.

There is also the reverse wherein I don’t do something out of fear that I won’t be able to handle the financial ramifications of getting something fixed.

I have a clock, a beautiful antique clock that I bought a flea market in Paris when I was visiting in 2007 that worked when I bought it, but about four years ago stopped.

I have been to petrified to have it looked at–I can’t afford to fix that, its going cost too much.

So it’s become a decoration on my wall.

Like my scooter has become, a decoration in the entry way to my studio.

I have been afraid of the scooter costing too much to repair, despite knowing that it probably won’t be.

So I found myself accepting help out of fear of financial insufficiency.

The date I went on last night, well, that was eye-opening, and for whatever reason I was able to hear what he was saying, suggested I take it in to his friend at Vespa SF.

Novel fucking idea.

Take my vintage 1965 Vespa to a place that um, yeah, specializes in Vespa’s.

Ha.

I texted my friend who had offered his help after the date and said, thank you, but no thank you, I’m taking it to the mechanic.

Side bar.

I slept with this friend over a year ago and it was suggested that after clearing up a little on my side of the street that I perhaps not hang out with him.

I took care of returning something of his and was prepared to do just that, but we had such a nice time hanging out after his stuff was got out of my garage that it was a great idea, yeah, he can come over and help me with the scooter.

Then I realized.

Wait.

I’m dating, new people, new guys, not hanging out with guys that it didn’t work out with.

That’s an amend too.

I’m supposed to walk away from the shut door, not that I can’t see my friend, but maybe right now, as it’s been suggested, not hanging out is a good idea.

So.

Yeah.

I cancelled.

And what do you know.

The guy I went out with last night, who is mechanically inclined as well, and yes, used to own a similar Vespa, texts me and says, let me look at it before you take it in to the mechanic.

Awesome.

Come on over baby and look at my Vespa.

Ahem.

I think there’s some adjusting that needs doing.

Ha.

Ah, I amuse myself.

Anyway, so he’s going to swing by and help me get it running, then I’m going to take it to the mechanic anyway, I want to get the fender popped out and that will have to come off to be done.

Changing behavior.

Not reaching out to my ex boyfriend when I have missed him.

Wishing him, instead, love and light every time I hear a motorcycle go by instead.

Not reaching out to my old friend who I said goodbye to last Sunday.

I really want to check in on him and see how he’s doing, but it’s not my place and I can’t.

Showing up for the relationships that are opening up around me and really getting connected with my community right now is what I need to be doing.

I can’t help an active heroin addict.

I can’t.

I can love him with all my heart, but I can’t see him while he’s using, it’s just too much and it sucks, but that’s how it is.

Someone suggested that losing my friendship may be construed as a consequence of his using and he may need to see that, otherwise I’m getting in the way of him having the experience he needs to.

Hard changing my behaviors.

Hard amending my life long habits.

Loyalty to people who aren’t healthy to me.

I’m the one who needs to change.

Not him.

He can use or not use.

It’s not my business.

My business is within the circle of my arms.

And my heart.

I shared tonight about an amends to my grandmother that I have been dancing around.

Basically, it’s to go to see her in Chula Vista.

The harm is not one that’s obvious, I didn’t steal from her, but I haven’t actively shown up for her in my life, and she’s the last grandma I have.

I don’t want to regret not having contact with her.

And there’s so much about my family that I don’t know.

So much of my father’s past and childhood, my ancestry, I know I look a lot more like my father’s side of the family than my mom’s, but that’s not a relationship, that’s just an observation.

I have done a lot of inventory, writing, therapy, and what all around the trauma and abuse that happened to me when I was a child and I know that this will help me, that I need to reconnect with my grandmother and not shut the door on the past, but move away from peeking through the cracks.

I need to show up and let go all at the same time.

“You need to go and hold her hand and look into her eyes,” he said to me.

Yup.

I may not get resolution, but I don’t need it so much.

I have acceptance, which though not approval is an adequate substitution for me, of what happened to me and the work that I have done there is tremendous.

I want my family back.

All pieces.

All parts.

I want to be whole.

This feels like the last big amend that I need to do.

I have flirted around looking at a plane ticket for the last couple of weeks, but keep saying, I’ll get it when…

Then I heard what I need this evening to finally have that key of willingness turn and click and I came home and wrote an e-mail to my grandmother and asked if she would like a visit and when would be a good time to come down and see her.

Just the relief that I got from sending the e-mail was affirming.

This.

Then.

The next frontier.

Dating is lovely.

But family.

Family is really where it’s at for me.

And I suspect, know, that it will be the key to the dating.

Clearing up the past to move on forward to the future I am destined to live.

Being clear and present for the right now.

So I can be with the right one.

Which is me.

In case you were wondering.

 

Simultaneously*

February 6, 2015

Too much.

And not enough.

I am too flamboyant.

And I am not kinky enough.

Now if you know me, and a few of you do, you know that though the latter is not true, and so too is the former.

Yet.

I am critical of myself.

I am not enough.

And I am too much.

There is no middle ground, there is no one who is going to put up with this and there is not enough for me.

I am too much to handle.

But not enough heat in the kitchen.

I mean, really, I could go on in this vein for some time and not get myself anywhere but perhaps in a head ache state of mind.

I had a really good talk and a great check in tonight and I was informed I am more than enough and I am perfectly, imperfectly, my sexiest self.

Let me remind myself that I really am in the best place in my life.

I am honest and open and communicative, I am learning where I can be more of that, mostly through not with holding my honest response.

I can be manipulative and a bit of a people pleaser.

Which is never in anyone’s best interest.

Oh.

God.

I love me some house music.

Sorry, just got totally swept up in the beat on my stereo, I’m even typing in rhythm.

Haha.

This lady needs to go out dancing.

I’m this close to getting tickets to Basement Jaxx at Public Works with David Harness opening, next Saturday, the 14th.

I don’t suspect that I will have a Valentine’s date that night and I could really use a shake it out on the dance floor evening.

Fuck, I’ll even get dressed up for it, sexy for myself.

That’s where I have gone back to, again, and again as the process of the break up spools it way out.

Be sexy for me.

Dress for me.

Dance for me.

“You are magnificent,” a friend commented to me recently after expounding on my sexuality and expressions thereof.

Thanks man, I needed to hear that.

I believe it, I do, even when the doubts try to crowd into my head.

I have had such a habit of hiding my light under a bushel that when I do let it shine I tend to be rather overpowering.

I am finding a balance, a fabulous one, I am fabulous, I am, and I won’t argue that limitation.

I love clothes.

I love makeup.

I love dressing up.

I wish I did it a little bit more.

I’m not the greatest at shopping, but I am getting better.

All these things running around in my head and really, they do me no good up there.

What actions can I take?

That’s where I need to go, my thoughts are not my person, my person is made of my actions.

And I know I can take action.

Yesterday my actions were really simple, sit still, don’t respond, hold on tight to your chair and keep your counsel.

Not reaching out was the action.

Acceptance, awareness, action.

Or lack thereof.

Sometimes its hurry up and wait.

I am so glad I did.

I still had some moments of sadness and a couple of moments of hot-headed anger, but for the most part I rode them out.

I kept my side of the street clean.

Squeaky motherfucking clean.

Bitches.

I was thinking tonight as I wheeled through the park on my way home, what actions do I take next?

Get out there and date it up lady.

That’s the answer I got.

Now the question to myself is do I get back on the interwebs and do the OkStupid again?

Or do I just look within the fellowship and communities I am a part of?

The key is not to think too much about it, but to take action.

If I get back into online dating, cool, open the account back up and post and see what happens.

And I also realized after I turned down the inquiry last night about hanging out at the cafe and going to fellowship, that yes, damn it, I have to do that too.

I turned down two invitations this week to do just that and I realized after both that I don’t have to go crazy with it, if I have been invited to dinner and have already eaten, I can still go.

I just don’t eat.

Have a cup of tea.

If it’s a late night go out on a school night for me.

I can still go.

I just stay for a half hour instead of rolling for two hours.

I can squeeze it in.

Besides if I’m not out there, I’m not out there.

I also have to look up and out and not navel gaze.

Who is looking?

Take my blinders off, really pay attention, there are people, guys looking, and they are not always the skeezy pants ones that I notice, there are guys out there, decent, smart, cute guys, I know it, who see me.

But maybe I am too busy being in my head.

So look up, I admonish myself, look out.

See what there is.

I’m not banging my head on the closed-door.

I am walking through to the open door.

And it may be that the hallway is shorter than I think, I just have to walk the walk.

Not talk the talk.

Willingness without action is fantasy.

A girl can fantasize about Mister Right, or Right Now as the case may be, but if I don’t accept and acknowledge to myself that I am Ms. Right and a damn fine one at that, Mister Right is going to walk right by when I am focusing on what I think I don’t have.

I am so grateful for this dating experience with my ex, in case you were wondering, he’s a great guy and I hope the very best for him, he’s just not the guy for me.

And I wasn’t the girl for him.

But I am for someone and I know it.

So I get to act like it.

Embrace it.

Be it.

I am my own.

Fuck Yeah Girl.

 

 

*This blog officially written evening of 2/5/2015, pesky internet went down last night.  There will be another blog to follow today.  Thanks for your patience!*

Work It Out

January 22, 2015

I’m finding my groove again.

The fog seems to be lifting and my life, rich, full, busy, any other adjective that subscribes to big and content and happy, insert here.

The unfriending of my ex on Facebook was really helpful.

A couple of times during the day I had moments of expecting a call or text and then I thought.

Ha.

I bet he doesn’t even realize.

Not that it matters if he did.

Because what he thinks of me is none of my business.

My business is me and getting down to the taking care of me that is needed on a daily basis.

Today really was mostly about showing up at work and doing a good job, meeting with a dear heart after work, reading some out of an important piece of literature with her, drinking tea, sharing experience, strength, hope, then going to see some fellows in the neighborhood.

I may have found a new Wednesday night deal.

I am grateful for it.

I also ran into an old friend I have not seen in over a year, some one very dear to me and it was so good to catch up.

I was quite tempted to do a bit a late night fellowshipping with the crew there, head down to Java Beach, play some Cards Against Humanity, but  I knew that I needed to come home, write, eat a little snack and get on with the end of the evening.

It was a long day, but the sadness seems to be lifting and there’s some excitement and I realized, as I left the house with a flower in my hair, glitter socks on my feet, pink lipstick and hot-house blue eyeliner, that I was back.

Here I am world.

And I sparkle.

So get prepared.

I don’t believe I lost myself so much in the relationship that I lost my identity, but I will say, I did tone it down a little and I don’t care that I did that.

Something learned.

God, the past months, all the learning, about myself, not him, myself, that I did.

I have to show up for myself, advocate for my needs, know my needs, know what I like and dislike, realized I am up for some things, but definitely not others, still be wiling to try new experiences.

Some of which I won’t be trying again.

Thank you very much.

And if you want further clarification you best have my phone number because I am not putting that out on my blog.

Please.

I don’t write about EVERYTHING here.

Only in my morning pages.

Only in my private notebooks do I write about everything.

Suffice to say, I deserve to give myself props for putting things out there and going the extra bit and trying new things.

I may not be able to hang with a straight pepper diet, but I can still be spicy.

Just saying.

I like that I am also of service to those around me by showing up and being honest with what has happened and letting people in and showing those in my fellowship, in my community, that I didn’t have to do any thing idiotic to negate the experience, or not feel around it.

Although, there was an hour or two, especially on Saturday, when I felt like it was the best I could do to just show up.

If I hadn’t bought tickets to Public Works and invited a bunch of friends, some who came into the city, I would have stayed home and burrowed under the blankets and watched videos.

Aside.

Transparent!

So very good.

If you haven’t caught it, check it out.  I was very, am very, impressed by it.

End aside.

I realized today that I spent most of Saturday being in a little bit of shock and denial and also a bit of self-deprecation.

Sunday I was emotionally hung over.

Monday I was recovering.

Tuesday I took him off Face Book.

Today I wrote out more stuff, shared it with another, then resolutely turned around and helped another person who was going through the wringer.

That’s what I do.

That’s what works.

And of course, I am tired.

Not exhausted, but tired.

I had a moment at work when I thought, why, despite having Monday off, does this week feel so damn long?

Um.

Because.

Maybe I didn’t really have a weekend.

I didn’t really have a day off, I was recovering from the break up and going through the feelings and facts are facts, sometimes this work is the harder work than just showing up at my regular day job.

I do the work.

That I have to acknowledge.

To myself, mostly, but it’s not a bad thing to write about.

I really show up and I do the work.

It’s simple.

But not easy.

When I was having an argument in my head this morning while I was making coffee about my Face Book page and what about 90 days with no contact precludes posting on my page and I, uh, you, uh.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuckity fuck, fuck, fuck.

If I am having a conversation with some one who is not in the room with me I need to take some actions.

I sat down and took them, and I felt better.

Fast acting relief.

So grateful it comes at the end of a pen, not a pipe or a straw, or a bottle.

I got balanced out and I was able to go about my day and show up for the delicious little boys I take care of and cook a really nice meal for the family, and go to the park and sit in the sun and listen, really listen to the sounds of the playground while I drank a coffee.

My equilibrium is back.

And I am so grateful for that.

I’m certain there will be more feelings, but they are easing and the forgiveness I have granted myself around the experience and the relief I have of being just me, just my pink sparkly self again, is vast.

Life.

It keeps happening.

And all of it.

Truly.

Is amazing.

Uh, I Am Not Very Good At This

March 1, 2014

But.

I think you’re cute.

And if you ever want to go grab a cup of coffee, here’s my number, give me a call.

Then I walked away.

Killed that fantasy.

Took two weeks.

I won’t say should, would, or could, but I was kicking myself two weeks ago Friday for not doing exactly what I did tonight, then.  But hey, its progress.

Stuff like that would have terrorized me for months if not years, you think I kid.

And I am not very good at this, but the only way to go through, is through.

I need to do this sort of stuff as I am changing by changing.  I mean, I won’t change by doing the same things I have always done.  Which looks a bit like, crush out on someone and never say anything unless they are moving away or I am.

I still almost did not do it.

I stood, re-arranging my bag, checking my phone, chatting to the person standing next to me, watching him.

He passed me, I caught his eye, I smiled, he smiled, then he walked by.

D’oh!

What am I doing?

I can do this.

I walked out.

I walked away.

I walked past.

I did not collect $200.

I did not pass Go.

Grr.

I stood outside on the sidewalk and as I was standing next to John Ater who was inquiring if I was coming out to dinner or not, I realized I could not stand the talking to I would get if I told him what I had just done.

Sometimes people pleasing does work for me.

I turned around and went back inside to use the bathroom.

I saw him again and walked by.

GOD DAMN IT.

Ok.

I can do this.

I went pee and looked myself firm in the eye, sack up, lady pants, you got this.

Besides, I looked stupid cute.

You should have seen me this morning trying to juggle what I was going to wear.

I can’t remember being so flummoxed by my wardrobe in sometime and it was because I knew I would see the guy tonight and I would need to pull the trigger.

Have to pull it.

I can’t stand the being in fantasy part any longer.

Get it over with, ask and find out, then move on.

That’s the only way I am going to find out, since I haven’t been asked out of late and I want that to change.  I want to go on a date, I got to let people know I am available and I need to let the guys know whom I am attracted to.

Otherwise it’s all just a story in my head.

I walked out of the bathroom and he was standing with his back towards me speaking with someone who needed some help and it was the moment.

I knew it.

I rummaged in my bag (I am not the confident girl who demands the phone from the guy and then plugs her number into it, that’s movie stuff as far as I am concerned) and pulled out a little notebook.

I wrote my name.

I wrote my number.

I folded it in half.

I looked up and he was walking my way.

“Hi Carmen,” he said and smiled and headed to the bathroom.

Oh my god, I am about to do it again.

I could feel myself shrinking back and about to stick the piece of folded up paper in my pocket.

I have done this a number of times too–gotten really close to asking someone out or saying something and then letting the moment go right on by–and then spent the rest of the week kicking myself.

I am so tired of kicking myself when I am down.

“Hey ________,” I almost shouted, but not quite.

He stopped, turned, cocked his head, paused.

Oh stupid, you are stupid, damn it, and whoa, he’s cute, he’s cute.

“Uh, I am not very good at this,” I blurted out, “but, I think you’re really cute (oh heaven’s to Betsy, did I just say that?  Am I in high-school?) and if you ever want to grab a coffee, give me a call.”

I handed him the folded up piece of paper and bolted.

I did not wait for a response.

I think I smiled.

I am not certain if he was heading to the bathroom or going to say something to me or what, I cannot tell, I was not present to gauge his reaction.

I know he took the piece of paper.

And.

Sweet fucking relief.

I am not fantasizing any more.

As soon as I was outside, I could feel it lift.

Followed by a rush of adrenalin that was not as bad as I have had it before.

I stood outside, waited for John, then walked down to Haight Street with him and a few other folks for some dinner at a nearby cafe.

By the time I had finished dinner and swapped numbers with a new women whom I had met recently but not had a chance to chat with, I had forgotten all about it.

It was only when I went to check my phone to see when the next N-Judah was going to be running that I remembered.

Because there was not a text or a call on it.

So be it.

There could be later or not.

I don’t have to worry about it.

I did the action.

I got some relief.

That’s what it’s about really.

I don’t have control over how any of this stuff works, but I do find that when I take the suggestions I feel better.  I don’t know who I am going to date next, only that I will, because I am willing to take action.

Willingness without action is fantasy.

Shot the fantasy in the foot tonight.

Even if what it looked like was that I just stuck my foot in my mouth.

Action was taken.

Done is done.

Next.

Nice Guy

February 9, 2014

Not for me.

Dirty fingernails.

I noted as he sat down from me at Samovar.

That’s a bit off-putting, then I recalled, well, he is a mechanic and I do like guys that work with their hands, there’s something sexy about that.

Then he smiled.

Dude.

None of the photos on your profile had you with missing teeth.

I tried to recall if he was smiling in any of the photos that he had put up.

I could not remember.

“One of the guys at the garage left the wrench on top of the engine,” he gestured, “and, well, uh, yeah, I had to make an emergency trip to the dentist.”

I just about felt like I had been gut punched.

I cannot imagine what losing your front row of teeth must feel like, but it could not have been pleasant.

So, that explains the bottom teeth, but the snaggley teeth up top, not so much.

British.

Ok, that explains the crooked, yellow, and gaped upper teeth, but still.

Then I though, well,  there can be a sexy kind of allure to an English accent.

But there was so little chemistry for me (I was trying to not practice contempt prior to investigation) that it was rather like sitting there and having a spot of tea with an English mum who wanted to show me photos of her grandkids over a nice steaming mug.

Except that the photos I was shown were of the kids, the house, the cars he’s been working on.

I could actually tell you an awful lot about this man, Mister Nice-Guy-But-Not-For-Me, I sat and listened to him talk for nearly two hours about himself.

I mean there’s the getting to know a person, then there’s the being told about your wife’s naked naughty pictures with her spiritual guru/guide, that led to your divorce, losing the house, getting shared custody of the kids, two, what happened when the dog died (I was suddenly no longer on a blind date, but in a country western song), how expensive rents are (mental note to self, might be paying for my share of the tea-pot) and the number of restored cars that you have worked on, a lot.

I also have a new understanding of all things restored, classic, metal molds, welding, paint, primer, 2500 Horsepower engines, chrome, dents, wide rims, the trouble of parking a large 1965 Chevy pick up in the Castro, and pinstriping.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think he asked me one thing about myself.

I asked him a few things then just sat back nodding and putting in the appropriate mmhhhmmm and unhuh, and sipping my tea, then my water, then signalling for more water, and serepitiously checking my watch.

Mister Nice-Guy-But-Not-For-Me was really on a roll about quitting caffeine, when I made the first interjection about my time line.

I moved it up an hour to cut short the date.

I mean I had put in two hours, I had done well and practised not having contempt prior to investigation, I showed up, and I was nice, and there were some flickers, I did find him interesting in a sweet way, just, well, not for me, and there was no chemistry.

I mean none.

I did not find him attractive at all.

Despite the allure of the 1965 Chevy pick up truck, I had no desire to kiss him, or spend more time finding out about him.

Shit.

I know lots.

All the tea, water, and refills led to me making a break to the bathroom, getting centered and asking to be shown how to nicely end the date and be on my way.

I had grocery shopping to do.

Yes, that’s right, I wanted to spend my Saturday night going to Whole Foods rather than spend any more time on the date.

I also was hungry and wanted salad bar and I did have a commitment to get to and some tea to drink with a ladybug, so, it wasn’t like I was really being dishonest, it was more like, I need to not spend any more time with this, I would really, rather go grocery shopping.

Now, if there had been chemistry, and I have had that with men before, so I know what it looks like, I would have pushed my time out as far as possible and taken a cab up to my commitment in Noe Valley.

But I found it far easier to leave, give him a hug, thank him for taking the time to come into the city and buying me the cup of tea.

“It was really nice to spend time with you,” he said, then, “I would like to get together again real soon.”

I may be busy that weekend.

Trying to put myself out there and date another guy.

Whomever he is.

I don’t know.

I do know that I  am just taking suggestions and trying to turn willingly toward the man I am supposed to be with.

Like I don’t know exactly what keeps me sober, but I have some ideas, however, I don’t know the exact mix of what needs to happen.

Like could I do less here, more there?

I don’t know, I just take all the suggestions given and go from there.

“Have you tried online dating,” she asked me at Tart to Tart.

I have, a little tiny bit, but mostly the men who have responded to my profile I have not wanted to go out with.

I wasn’t sure about this guy, he looked ok, and he sounded nice, and he asked me out in a way I found sweet, so I thought, hey, just do it.

Because you never know when you are going to meet that person or who may pop up on the way to or from a bad date.

And this was not a bad date.

It was a nice date, just a not for me kind of person.

I am sure some lady is going to be really happy with him.

It’s just not me.

One more down.

Who’s next?

I mean Valentine’s Day is in just six days!

 

Just kidding.

What is The Opposite of Fear?

January 21, 2014

Love.

I was struggling this morning checking in on the phone, acknowledging that I have this extra time off this week and it’s almost a habit, a bad one at that, I realized as I was leaving the message, of automatically going to fear.

Fear of financial insecurity.

Fear of not having enough.

Fear that I basically won’t get mine.

Which is bullshit.

First, rent money is already in the bank, the only other bill have this month is my student loan, which will be more than adequately covered with what I do make this week.

And there is another week of full-time work next week in the month.

I am fine.

It’s just a habit that I recognized as I was checking in.

Do not pass Go.

Do not collect $200.

Go straight to fear.

An action, then is what is needed.

What is the opposite action?

Faith.

What can I do to show faith, at least in that moment, in that time that was trying to sort out my brain and show it that all was well, no need to worry, something better is being planned.

My first thought was let me get excited.

I have Friday off!

Woot.

Instead of trying to figure out what I am going to do Friday, get excited that I get to do something that is not work related.

Go somewhere maybe I don’t normally go on a Friday.

Take a trip to the Conservatory of Flowers.

Go to China Town and buy a kite.

There is an astoundingly good kite store on Grant Street in China Town.

Get my nails did.

Go to Kabuki and soak in the hot tub and steam in the sauna and cold plunge in the pool, and repeat, repeat, and repeat again.

Sleep in.

Walk on the beach.

Write.

Read a book.

Go out for coffee.

I mean, I live in San Francisco, there are a few things I could do.

I could also go check out Cajun Pacific, which is in my neighborhood and I am always working or in Noe Valley when the restaurant is open–it’s only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Saturday evening is free for me too, my typical commitment is not meeting and I suddenly have even more time.

I mean, something is happening here.

Time is being arranged in a way to make space for something new.

This is exciting.

Get into it.

Instead of getting afraid of it.

Then I spent the day with the boys.

Oh, my boys.

Love.

Love.

Love.

When the oldest one says my name it just melts me down.

Or hugs me.

Please.

It is so good.

We went to Golden Gate Park, weather being all things amazing, then in the later afternoon we went to Kid’s Kingdom.  There was snacks and slides and swings and sand.

Lots of sand.

“Oh, ha,” I said to him as I reached into my pocket, “sand and crackers,” I laughed dumping the concoction into the trash next to the tea and coffee service at The Beanery.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find some more of it in my bra tonight.

Oh.

And the one year old.

Or soon to be one year old, his birthday is on Wednesday, which is why I have so much time off, his family is all coming to town to celebrate, started smacking my breasts today.

Like hey, where’s the food?

He’s in the process of getting weaned.

“Honey,” I said, as he grinned up at me with his little flirtatious self, this kid is a serious charmer, “these don’t work for you, good for snuggling, but not for noms.”

He burrowed right in.

No sleeping though and when I realized the teething was not going to let up, I just acquiesced to it and took him out to play in the kitchen while the other napped.

I did not get upset about anything at work, not even when mom got stuck on the bus and I had to stay a little late.

Everything worked out.

That’s the real habit I want to cultivate, knowing that, everything always works out just fine, without the unneccessary anxiety around it.

Love.

Not fear.

Sunshine.

Not darkness.

Getting grateful for free time and knowing that it may not be a carnival, but then again, heck, it just might be.

Things always work out better than I can imagine it anyhow.

I could see if Barnaby has an opening and get the color fixed on my stars (one of them needs a little color brush up) and maybe have another two added to the seven.

I don’t have to know.

I suspect wonderous things.

They are always in the making anyhow.

Especially when I show up where I am supposed to show up and of service to anyone besides myself.

“It sounds like you really showed up for your family,” me friend said to me tonight as we were catching up.  “It’s hard, family.”

“Yeah,” I said, and then, “if I talk about my sister I am going to start crying.”

“Like I haven’t seen you cry a hundred times,” he said and slipped me a folded napkin as the tears welled up and over.

Love.

Blows out the cobwebs in your heart and shows the cavern as full of sparkling crystals and light, pure, love, explosive, blinding you to anything else, engulfing you, pushing you inside out and remaking you.

All the time.

Love.

I told my friend about my family, the trip, the experience, and it was really good to check in about it.

And keep showing up for it.

I owe my mom and my sister a thank you card, which I have sitting out waiting to be sent, take care of that tomorrow, for sure, keep the contact going.

Grow more.

Grow up more too.

Love more.

Let go the fear habit and let in the sunshine.

It will stop you in your tracks if you let it.

Let it.

Red Dress On

January 19, 2014

I have the song in my head.

And it’s not the one you think, since I sort of bastardized it to fit my mood.

It’s from Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, “She Got Me When She Got Her Dress On.”

I got my dress on.

My Norma Kamali original tags and all ($255) from Waste Land for, $45.

Yes.

And it’s red.

And I was feeling it tonight.

“You look like a ripe berry,” my dear friend told me tonight.

All ready for the plucking.

Yup.

I am putting myself out there.

I did a lot of the suggestions, all of them, now that I think about it, that were given to me to do today and over the last week.

“Do something ceremonial, witchy, if you will, burn your sexual ideal, light a candle, have a moment with your HP,” she told me last week after I finished reading some inventory to her.

Of course I didn’t do it.

Totally balked on it.

But it was there in the back of my head so when I went to do the deal today I laid that out and what I intended to do to change that.

See, I got up early.

I got up almost two hours before the alarm I set was to go off, I got eight hours, I had plenty of wiggle room, I just wanted to give myself the option of sleeping in.

Sometimes just the option is enough.

I won’t even take it.

It’s just nice to know it’s there.

The extra time I gave myself lead to me taking on my Saturday with a different kind of relish, getting my cleaning done early, the laundry, getting in a shower, breakfast, an extra cup of coffee, writing.

Still had time and I realized I could go grocery shopping and get that out-of-the-way for the week, because I also planned on making soup today, so that I would have meals for the week at work and not have to think about it.

So I rode my bike up to the Haight to go to Whole Paycheck and pick up a few things.

I realized that when I got to the Haight I had more time then I thought and I pedaled past the grocery store and headed to Book Smith and had myself a little impromptu artist date right then and there.

I grabbed two books–Fondly by Colin Winnette, and A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Yay books!

I already knocked through 80 pages of the Winnette book, and that was just riding the MUNI back and froth from Noe Valley this evening.

Reading is a really important part of my art, seeing how other authors string words together into a narrative is part of how I write.

If you want to be a good writer, you have to be a reader.

And I have been a little lacking in that department this past week not having made time to get to the bookstore or to the library.

Today I made that time and it really is one of my favorite things to do, browse the book aisles in a book store.

So luscious, the paper, the tactility of the books, the smell.

Love.

Which is secretly the thematic of this blog if you haven’t figured that out yet.

As I sit here in my red dress doing my blogging.

After the book store I went to Waste Land.

A vintage and used clothing store in the Haight.

I have popped in before, but never given myself the time to really look.

Oh my.

I saw a coat I will be going back for, which I was tempted to purchase as soon as I put it on and saw how fabulous I looked in it, take my word for it, amazing coat.

But I still needed to pick up groceries before heading over to Tart to Tart and I put it back on the rack and promised I would be coming back for it.

Although having found my red dress, I will be waiting until next month to buy the coat.

I saw the dress, found the dressing room, danced around the dressing room grinning like a mad woman, and bought the dress.

It’s an amazing little dress.

I feel happy wearing it.

I don’t often wear red, but when I do, watch out.

I left the store smiling like an idiot and went over to Whole Foods, splurging on berries and a Persian rose candle to burn in my little ceremony.

“I am going to write it all down, I have a Valentines Day card that I am going to write it on, then I am going to light this candle and go burn the card in the little fire pit in the back yard,” I told her.

I also agreed to sit quietly in contemplation reviewing my work for an hour.

I lit up the fire with old boughs from the Christmas tree and some left over wood from the birthday bonfire I had in December for my belly button birthday.

I sat for an hour.

I closed my eyes and meditated for about forty minutes and the rest of the time I quietly sipped a cup of tea and watched the late afternoon sky as the sun started to go down.

It was quiet and sweet and I vowed to be willing to show up and not be perfect, but to be open to intimacy and to be becoming and let other see that this thing works.

That whole attraction not promotion thing.

I came in the house and put on Bill Withers and sang at the top of my lungs to Lovely Day.

That is what I want to be, somebody’s lovely day.

Then to push the whole thing over the top.

Symbolically, of course.

I bought myself some long-stemmed red roses from a flower shop up in Noe Valley (since red roses are not my favorite flowers but I think they were what was called for).

It was like I had my own private Valentines Day with no one the wiser.

“You look so pretty,” she said to me tonight as I was heading back to the MUNI, back to the beach, back to sit and be carried gently without having to worry about getting hit by a car.

“Every time I see you, you look prettier and prettier, and congratulations on nine years!”

I smiled.

It’s true.

It just gets better and better.

Now excuse me, I need to let my hair down and dance around one more minute in my red dress.

She got me when she got her dress on.

I did get me.

I did.

Time to Go

January 14, 2014

Just when you get settled in.

Time to turn around and go.

Truth be told, I am happy to be leaving for home.

Ready.

It’s been a great visit, really, better than any expectations, but I miss my space, my schedule, my friends.

Today was special and I am beyond grateful that I was able to be here for this day.

I realized that the last two times I have turned an anniversary in my recovery I have been away from my home and missed my fellows.

I picked up a little something to carry with me, aside from another day without doing anything to kill myself, given to me by mom, sitting next to my sister, in a room full of people under over bright flourescent lights, standing up and letting someone else talk.

Feels like my thunder was stolen.

It wasn’t about me.

Then I remembered, “your first year is yours, all our years thereafter are ours,” Silas Payne.

Oh.

Yes.

That’s why I stood up, let people know it works.

That’s why I let someone else tell my story, slightly uncomfortable and not at all my perspective, but also good for me to hear the other side of the coin.

There are two sides, sometimes, gasp, even more.

I have choices and today I choose to not do it my way and to step up and be an example.

It’s not really about me.

It’s about those who helped me, you know who you are, and man did you help me.

Thank you.

And now about the others I can help.

I can also help more where I live, in my home, in my realm, and my, am I glad that where ever I go I have what I need, but I like it the most in San Francisco.

“How do they do it where you’re from?” He shouted across the room.

Jesus.

I don’t know, but they don’t fucking cross talk me.

I smiled.

Said thank you.

And that’s what it is.

Smile and say thank you.

I can only do that for so long, though, I need to refresh, replenish, and rejuvenate myself and sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, and move on my own time line.

Sometimes, you do, however, have to let it all go and do it someone else’s way.

Most of my life is like that.

I did, immensely, enjoy the love that was extended to me, the well wishes and messages, the friends, whom I have that I would never have had, without doing what I have been up to for the last nine years, nope, not at all.

I don’t know where my next nine years are going, I don’t, I don’t also really want to.

Oh, sometimes, yeah, I do.

But I don’t really want to.

I know I want to continue expanding my ideas of willingness.

Willing to fail.

Willing to be a nanny.

Willing to be hurt.

Willing to open up and get messy.

I am willing to not isolate by being too busy, over booking myself, working too many hours, and not charging enough when I do.

I am willing to continue to seek.

Sometimes you have to do the exact opposite of what you want to do.

And often time that work is what pays off the most.

It was a much more difficult visit the last time I came down to Florida.

Much harder.

This was not.

There are still things to work out, to move around, to continue practising my principles, to not judge.

Oh, dear God, help me to not judge.

I do want to so much.

I do, however, want the things that work for me to continue working, and to explore those areas where it has been suggested that I let go of my separation and desire for safety and control to give it over, to let go of trying to look perfect.

To say, thank you, and accept the gift.

I could learn these things all the days of the rest of my life.

I am writing with some distraction and I am not certain that this is going to read coherent and I feel that I am editing myself a little.

I don’t want to rant.

I don’t want to preach.

I don’t want to judge.

Those things are all there.

But I am no better, nor less than anyone else.

This, then is about humility and recognizing that acceptance and approval are not the same thing.

I accept things exactly as they are.

This is not my home, not my place, not my bailiwick.

Nope.

I am however a guest that has been loved and fed and hugged and kissed and that’s pretty damn nice.

I have no complaints.

I am just out of my milieu and I miss my city by the bay and all my fellows there.

I am ready to see the ocean and the hills and be in San Francisco.

Although, excuse me, while I go hug some people for a few more minutes.

“You look exactly the same,” she said to me, “except little and tattooed.”

I am not the same though.

I have been inwardly re-arranged.

The woman I was would not have come down here.

Nope, I was too busy doing my own thing, being selfish in the only way I knew how and disdainful of how every one else was doing it.

I did not have any solutions then outside of myself and relying on a fallible human being is a way to make sure that you fail.

I relied on myself.

And look where it led.

I relied on others, this magical community of “we” and look where it has led.

I have no recourse except to continue the acceptance and the growth and to continue to let down the walls and let people in.

To be willing to be hurt and let others have their own experiences and opinions.

This is an amazing journey.

I am so lucky to have this experience.

Brave, courageous, full of faith.

Graced.

Again, that is how I have it.

Grace.

 


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