Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Love Letters

March 19, 2019

To a ghost.

That’s what he feels like now.

Ghostly.

It is still painful, I just teared up thinking about him as I was having dinner.

Being ever so careful to make sure that my musical selection to accompany dinner was nothing that we ever listened to together or music that reminds me of him.

Let me say there’s a lot I’m not listening to.

Somethings are pretty safe and I have absolutely no affiliation with the music to him.

Mike Doughty, which is cool since I’ll be going to his show this Wednesday at the Great American Music hall, is one.

My French house music app Bon Entendeur is another.

Although occasionally, as it happened to me tonight, something will just drift in and remind me of my love.

Cue tears.

I’m not crying unless I’m writing about him or talking about him.

Or thinking about him.

Sigh.

I know it will pass but it still feels raw and sad.

I have been wanting to write him a letter, nothing that I will send, but I have this notebook full of love letters to him that I had hoped one day to give him.

A great big full hard bound notebook full of love letters.

I thought about sending it to him in the first week that we broke up.

But I told on myself and it was suggested that I not do that.

That would, in effect, be courting contact when I said no contact.

And yes, I’m not going to lie, I wish he would contact me.

But I have motives and desires and specific wants and he wasn’t able to give those things to me.

I can’t imagine that really has changed in three weeks and one day.

But yeah, sometimes, too  frequently to be attractive, I do have this dream that he calls me up or shows up at my house and tells me things have changed and we can be together.

It’s stupid and it just hurts my heart to entertain the thought, so I don’t, or I don’t try to let myself entertain the thoughts too often.

I have wanted to write out a letter though in the notebook, but I wanted to have passed through the anger and hurt and grief and betrayed feelings I have and just have it be a sweet and final goodbye.

Sure.

Not one he’ll ever see, but just the process of closure for me.

I also recognize that there is still this flame of hope that things will change and he’ll come for me and if I was writing in the notebook I’d be somehow flaming that fantasy.

He’s not coming back.

Move on.

I haven’t been able to write poetry.

I think it would just hurt too damn much and I’m barely hanging in there.

Of course.

I have to mention I’m tired and the grief sneaks in when I am tired.

I was up this morning at 5a.m. to take my car over to Berkeley to get an oil change at my Fiat dealer at 7a.m. and I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to get over the bridge with traffic.

I got there with plenty of time to spare and ate my breakfast and drank coffee in my car waiting for the dealership to open.

So it’s been a long day and when it’s a long day and the tired hits the emotions do too.

Plus, I didn’t really have a day off yesterday.

I had to grind hard on a big paper that I’d been working on for a few days and really get it done.

I can’t remember a paper that I’ve spent this much time working on before, but such is life while pursuing a PhD.

Big, tough, all-consuming papers will happen.

I got it done, my laundry, met with a ladybug, met with my person, did food prep and cleaned my house, finished the huge paper and sent it out.

I did not have a day off.

So just diving right into my week by having to get up at 5a.m. to get the oil change was not how I wanted to start my week, but I am grateful its done.

I didn’t want to risk going too long with the oil change light coming on and the dashboard lighting up and telling me I needed an oil change every time I started the car.

It’s done.

The big paper got turned in last night and I’m already at work on another paper for another class that’s due this Thursday.

Fortunately, this second paper is more in align with what I like to write and I was able to get a lot of it done at work and I spent an hour in a cafe after work writing too before I went to do the deal.

And all along.

He was in my mind.

I stumbled upon an old text chain I didn’t realize was on my phone.

Said text corresponded to when I started writing him the love letters in the notebook.

He told me in one of the texts he wanted to read those letters.

(God damn his texts were always so freaking sweet)

Honestly.

I want him to as well.

They are beautiful letters.

I write a nice letter.

Not to brag, I just do.

But no contact means no contact and they’re just going to sit here on my desk for a little while yet.

I have written him a lot when I think about it, heaps of cards, post cards, love letters, poems.

I could probably put together a chapbook of the poetry I’ve written about him.

Maybe one day I’ll figure that out.

Right now though.

I’m not writing him any letters, outside of the ones I compose in my heart and keep in my heart, to him.

I can’t bear to yet.

I just can’t.

I want to stop missing him first.

Otherwise I’ll just keep breaking my heart over and over and over again.

I don’t think I can handle anymore broken heart.

I’m too damn tender right now.

Too heart sore.

Too sad.

I miss him too much.

Too damn much.

 

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.

 

 

A Girl

February 25, 2019

And her books.

I just looked at the gigantic stack of books on my desk/kitchen table and laughed.

Hands up.

You are surrounded.

I should give up the idea of my table really being at all for dining.

Although I do eat breakfast at it every morning, it really is a repository for my books and notebooks and handbooks and readers and pens and my new white board with all its definitions that I am trying to make myself read as often as possible.

I really am in PhD land.

I mean.

You, dear, gentle reader, most likely already know that.

I went from a daily blogger to a weekly blogger, at best.

I actually am uncertain when the last time I wrote a blog was.

Maybe when I was headed out to DC for the weekend last week?

There is so much work that my schooling demands right now that I hardly have time for anything else.

Which, I guess, is good.

It’s something I get to be grateful for.

As.

Ugh.

I broke up with my boyfriend today.

It’s not the first time we have broken up, first time was last January and man, that might have been the worst pain I have felt in sobriety.

Including the time my best friend died.

It was so painful that when I wrote about it I had people reach out to me to see if I was ok.

I know that the language I was using was liken to someone dying and it certainly felt like I was dying.

It’s a kind of pain I’m not about to wish upon anyone.

We reconciled, after a few hits and misses sometime in February or March.

Then we tried it again, with variations, trying to figure out the best way forward.

We had success, we had setbacks, we tried not seeing each other, we tried just hanging out, we would spontaneously erupt into passionate embrace if we were any place semi alone.

We stopped again.

We started again.

We tried being just friends.

We cried.

A LOT.

Fuck did we both cry.

We went to New York in July and had a marvelous, terrifyingly amazing, soul rending romantic and heartbreaking time.

We decided to give it a break and let each other gently go.

I to Paris, he to his other pursuits and work and stuff and things.

He had things to work on.

I had things to do.

Through all the tumult we have loved each other.

We are the loves of each others life, soul mates, the ONE.

And.

We haven’t been able to be completely together.

For reasons I just cannot articulate right now.

I just can’t.

Maybe one day.

Just not this day.

When we left each other in New York it was amidst many a tear and then I headed off to Paris.

We “practiced” not being in contact with each other.

It was excruciating.

My best girlfriend in Paris convinced me I had to stop, I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t helping him by standing by waiting for him to do the work necessary for us to really have a go at being in a relationship to each other.

I decided in Paris that she was right and it was over.

And it was.

For a little while.

We decided again on no contact, except sending each other mail.

I have a heart-shaped box full of mail, including the Valentines Day card he gave me last week with the most adorable pair of silver unicorn earrings anyone has every seen.

I’m his special unicorn.

And you can just fuck off if you snorted through your nose at that.

We’ve always believed the other person is magic.

Our love has felt like that.

Today he told me that after being with me he finally understands all love songs.  That he has a secret decoder ring, me and our experience being together (and apart and together and apart), that all love songs make sense now.

God.

I might start crying.

I have been on and off all day.

Makes it challenging to read the stack of reading for school, but I also am proud to say I muddled through more than one might expect considering the circumstances.

I just want to put my head down, have a good cry, and write a lot of painful poetry.

But.

I soldiered on, met with ladies, did readings, did the deal, did my laundry, roasted a chicken, read for hours, wrote discussion posts for school, responded to discussion posts from school and took down all the photographs of us together that I had up in the house.

Sigh.

So.

Yeah.

We mailed each other love letters and cards and kept in contact that way, romantic, sad, sweet, painful, loving, all the things.

It certainly made shopping for stationary fun and stamps and I can’t tell you how often my heart skipped a beat when I saw mail in my mailbox.

We had agreed after I came back from Paris in July that he had things to work on and that it would be best to not connect until February.

But things happened.

Deaths.

Not really my place to talk about, but I reached out and we reconnected and well, fuck, one things leads to another doesn’t it?

Back in it again for December, my birthday, Christmas, oh the pretty, pretty gifts we gave each other and the love oh, god damn it the love.

I got more tattoos.

He got more tattoos.

We talked.

A lot.

We started texting again, making plans to see each other.

I tried to internally change my point of view of what I needed in the relationship.

We took off the holidays from discussing the relationship and where it was going or not going and just loved on each other as much as school/work/travel/business demands could be met.

We decided to go on a trip.

We went to DC last week.

It was lovely and sad and sweet and hard.

And.

We started the process again of saying goodbye.

We did.

Then we didn’t.

Then we came back.

And this Tuesday.

Insert therapy here.

Mine, my own therapy, not me being a therapist, and I shared about it all, my therapist has been in on everything since the beginning, and she said simply, “your needs are not being met.”

I broke down into tears.

It was true.

They were not.

“It’s not working,” I said and sobbed.

Though there is no lack of love.

My God.

The love.

I just cannot express how much love we have for each other.

We can’t be together right now the way things are.

So.

We made plans to see each other and cleared a lot of time and talked and cried and listened to Bach cello sonatas and held each other and made love one last time and looked into each others eyes and said goodbye.

It was the most kind, gentle, sweet, tender, sad, SAD, break up.

Full of spiritual principles and honesty.

It was excruciating.

Heartbreaking.

But.

Oh.

So.

Beautiful.

And there.

Cue the tears.

Oh my fucking God this hurts.

Not as bad as the first time.

But still.

Awful bad.

I know I am a going to be ok, but right now, I just want to curl up in bed and not do another thing.

I will grieve, I will be sad.

I will let myself have the experience of the loss and I will let go.

Gracefully and grateful.

I have never had love like this before.

All else was a facade.

I don’t know that I ever will again.

I just know I am beyond grateful for the experience, despite the pain.

The pain lets me know how meaningful it was.

REALLY.

Meaningful.

I gave him my copy of The Princess Bride as he left.

I had bought it last February on a trip we took together and over the course of a couple of months I read it to him, on that trip–his head in my lap, and then I recorded myself in the subsequent weeks reading the chapters so he could listen to it on business trips.

His favorite character was Fezzik.

No wonder he’s the love of my life.

Now.

Forgive me.

I must go and cry for a little while.

Sweet dreams my love, know that I will always love you.

Always.

Always.

Always.

Your, baby girl.

Ready to Fly

February 15, 2019

I’m at work.

The baby is sleeping.

The rain is falling.

The dad is home sick.

It’s Friday.

I have one client after work tonight then…

Three day weekend!

I’m so ready to be done.

I’m flying out tonight on a red-eye to D.C. to spend time with my best friend in Georgetown.

I do find it rather funny actually that I’m going to be there over President’s Day weekend.

Just sort of how it worked out.

Originally I was supposed to go before school started, but our schedules just did not sync up.

So.

Here I am officially into the month of February getting ready to jettison off for a much-needed mini-holiday.

And!

I’m done with my homework.

In fact, I am a touch a head of it.

I have been assiduously reading, writing, posting discussion posts, responding to discussion posts, et al.

I’ve actually finished the reader completely for one of my classes.

This is not to say that there isn’t work to do.

I’m in a fucking PhD program, there is always going to be work to do.

In fact, I’m sure my guilty student self-will arise any moment now and say something like, “you could pre-read for your other two classes too.”

But the fact is.

I need a break.

And sometimes that is just as important to acknowledge as it is to budget time to do the homework.

It’s been, well, stressful isn’t the right word exactly, but challenging at work this week.

The dad has been home sick every day.

EVERY DAY.

The whole family has gotten sick, and I as well, although not to the extent or severity of the baby or the papa.

For this I am so lucky.

Very happy.

Very grateful.

I caught it last week Thursday, tried to pretend I didn’t have it, had it land pretty solid Friday, spiked a fever while at my office seeing clients on Saturday.

Fortunate for me I had some clients cancel and no-show and I was able to chill out in my office after seeing two clients.

That actually helped me a lot in my advancement through my homework this week.

I wrote a paper and did a bunch of reading.

I wrote another paper on Sunday.

And then have read and posted discussions all week.

I’m just about past the point of feeling awkward with the dad around.

But, yes challenging.

I find I do as much work as I possibly can, but you know, I’m extremely efficient and Fridays the family traditionally orders in food, so I have no food prep or dinner planning to do.

The house is spotless.

I can’t access laundry since it’s next to the sleeping baby.

So I’ve done my homework and then realized, good lord, I still have another half hour or so of not having anything to do.

Somehow sitting on the couch trolling Instagram seems like a bad idea.

I figured if I was writing, it would at least look like I’m working on something.

Dad doesn’t need to know I’m writing my blog.

Plus.

Since I’m flying a red-eye tonight I am going to try to sleep on the plane rather than do homework.

Maybe, ooh, I could even watch a movie.

Ah.

That would be nice.

I do know that I will be happy to hit DC running, my friend will pick me up at the airport, drive me into town and then we’re going to do breakfast, coffee, and doing that infamous deal at a clubhouse near DuPont Circle.

After that I am checking into an Air BnB in Georgetown.

That I was happily given access to for early check in.

Super grateful for that.

Originally the check in was listed for 3p.m.

But I asked if it was possible to get in early and I got a sweet affirmative response last night.

So.

Napping.

And.

Napping in front of a working fireplace.

Yes.

I won’t nap too long, there’s only so much time I get with my friend.

I think we might do a fancy pants dinner out somewhere that evening and then Sunday really just hang out and walk around Georgetown, hit some cafes, grab lunch somewhere, maybe do some shopping.

You know, girl stuff.

And I fly back super early on Monday.

So early that I actually will have most of Monday available to me for life stuff that needs to be done.

I have to drop my car off for some maintenance and I’m hoping to get all my laundry done.

So.

Here’s to there only being two and a half hours left of my work day, one client, and a quick drive home to pick up my suitcase and travel bag.

I’m already packed.

All I have to do is remembered to bring my power cords for my computer and my phone.

God only knows l will likely check into my school work at least once.

Maybe twice.

I’m too paranoid about falling behind to not do that.

But really.

I do hope to take it easy and let myself gently off the hook.

I feel really good at where I am currently in this semester of work.

Sure.

That could change the next week.

But for now.

Well.

Here’s to a three-day weekend!

 

Sneaky Blog

February 12, 2019

I really should probably look at my homework.

But.

Fuck.

I have done a lot in the last couple of days and I also really should let myself off the hook once in a while.

I wrote a paper yesterday as well as attended a three-hour training in Berkeley for my internship.

Day off, what day off?

I also did laundry and roasted a chicken for food prep and packed up my carry-on for a trip this weekend.

I am going to do a quick zoom in and out of D.C.

A friend gave me some miles and I’ve booked an Air BnB with a fireplace in Georgetown.

We’re going to hang out, go to coffee shops and eat nice food.

I might not even go out all that much.

Sit in front of the fire-place and toast my toes.

I am going to do as much homework as possible this week so that I can actually enjoy my time there.

The trip was originally supposed to be before I started up school again but my friends schedule got wonky and we had to push it out.

So.

I will have a quick two and a half days and I’ll be right back in it.

Next weekend will be my weekend off.

Of course it does mean staying on top of things and as of such I did read 65 pages of an article today.

No fucking article should be that long.

Just saying.

Thank goodness the baby took a long nap today.

Poor little guy.

He’s been sick.

Went with the mom to the pediatrician today and it turns out he’s got an eye infection, a sinus infection and an ear infection in both ears!

He’s going to get a whopping big dose of antibiotics in the next couple of days and hopefully it will all get knocked out.

And yes.

I do actually have his cold.

I suspected I was coming down with it on Friday.

Sure as shit, Saturday I was running a fever.

But there was really nothing to do about that.

I got up, I did my morning routine, I went and saw my clients.

Fortunately it never really got anywhere as bad as the little guy’s had.

I’m a tiny bit sick, more like a light runny nose and some yuck congestion in my nose and throat when I wake up in the morning.

It’s like I got the diet version of his cold.

It’s enough to be a little annoying, but not enough to knock me down.

I will admit I was in bed pretty early last night, just to make sure that I was getting enough sleep.

That is the thing I constantly have to do for myself, get enough sleep.

Other things are getting dropped.

Socializing.

Blogging.

My blogging has been slight and I’m not excited about that, but I have to address homework pretty much every day and there is just so much to read.

My God.

The reading is heavy.

I am so very grateful I knocked out three books before the semester started.

I’m also 3/4s of the way through one of my class readers, which is going to be really helpful as I move forward.

But there is just always something else to read.

And I am constantly being sent stuff to read as well.

I can’t do it all

And I can’t blog as much as I would like, but I feel like I’m in a good place right now, turned in that paper yesterday and today did a substantive post to one of my classes.

I need to check into the other two and see what’s on the agenda, but I don’t have to do anything quite yet.

Aha.

I actually did.

And I just did it.

Hopefully I didn’t screw with the flow of the blog, but yeah, I had an inkling there was something I needed to attend to in my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

And there was.

So.

That’s done and now I can say I checked in and took care of it and between that, the discussion posts, the responses to others I made today and all the reading, I’m pretty good with my efforts today.

Really.

As long as I stay sober today, ultimately nothing else matters.

But I do want to do the work to get this PhD.

It does feel really important.

I have had some people in and out of my cohort as well exhort me to do a book about what I am writing on and to have it full of photographs of my tattoos.

I am actually thinking about that quite a lot.

I do know some photographers.

I should start asking around.

Of course the two that pop up in my head first are professionals and would probably be a lot to use, but it may be worth it to start engaging in looking.

I would like to document my tattoos anyway and since I’ll be writing about them and my experiences I am also leaning very heavily towards adding them into my dissertation as well.

Which is something I can do with the methodology I’m using.

Things to think about.

I also have to remember I’m meeting with one of my professors next Friday, pop that on my calendar.

My online program piece uses a lot of Zoom meetings, but I can’t make most of them wtih my schedule.

I actually had one this Saturday, client cancelled, and I checked in with one of my professors who lives on the East Coast.

We had a great talk and he gave me some of the best compliments.

I mean.

I was really blown away.

He said, “Well, Carmen, I just think you’re brilliant, I really do.”

And.

He added a little later that he had something else to admit to, “I save your papers until the last to read, that way I have something to look forward to.”

OMG.

Best compliment.

I was so very flattered.

I really want to let myself enjoy this compliment too.

In the not so recent past I have used compliments like this to stress myself out, I better perform even better, I can’t disappoint now!

So for the last couple of days I have really held that for myself.

Of course.

The paper that was due yesterday was for his class and the first of the semester (for this class, not for the semester, I’ve already turned in two other papers thank you very much).

So.

Yeah, I had some anxiety writing it.

But overall, I think it was a good paper and he’ll like it and it’s ok if he doesn’t either.

I know that I have skills.

Maybe not mad skills, but I do think I have some writing chops.

Grateful as hell for that.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

It’s time to attend to a few more school things before winding it down for the night.

Sweet dreams.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

(I have always wondered how one does that?)

Heh.

I Need Off Canvas

February 5, 2019

And its only just begun.

I made myself take a break today (I was at work and the baby took a long nap) after two solid hours of writing, engaging and interacting the three different classes I have on Canvas with CIIS.

Canvas is the tech platform the classes are set up on and why yes, not a single one of my professors uses it the same as the others.

Every single one of them does it slightly differently.

And once again I had the feeling of being on top of things to only realize that I hadn’t checked into one of my classes in a few days since I was so busy posting up to the other two.

Sure as shit.

I needed to post and post pretty immediately.

I wasn’t exactly annoyed, but I was tired and I don’t know that I put up the most relevant post, but what I came to understand from last semester is that it almost doesn’t matter.

I just have to constantly be posting something.

Either a substantive post on an assignment or reading, or responding to one of my classmates.

Pretty much every week I need to be in Canvas posting and replying.

I almost didn’t want to write my blog tonight, I just wanted to come home, warm up, eat a hot dinner and crawl into bed.

But if I’m not going to do school work, and I still might do a little more tonight, I am also not going to get into bed and watch hours of Netflix, as tempting as that may be.

I will watch some.

Just not a marathon.

I need to keep that and social media to a dull roar.

The blogging is going to be helter skelter.

I have no clue when I will have time, but I figure, it’s good to stay as close to it as I can.

It’s good for my brain to unload the day and it’s good for me to have something that is not academic writing.

Besides, I’ve said it many times.

The process of writing the blog really keeps me sharp for when I need to write papers.

And boy howdy, the papers are already coming.

I have two due by next Monday.

I also have a training for my internship in Berkeley on Sunday.

I will need to be careful with my time so that I can do all the things that need to be done and all my life stuff as well too.

When I go on trainings I’m gone for half the day, 45 minutes to get to Berkeley, three-hour long training, and then on average the traffic back has been an hour and a half.

By the time I get home I need to eat lunch, which is late as it’s around three p.m. and I need to go to the laundry mat.

I am still not happy about having to go to the laundry mat.

But I am making the best of it.

For instance, this Sunday while the majority of the country was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing laundry and read 46 pages of material in my Varieties of Scholarly Expression reader.

I also did a paper on Sunday as well.

First one of the semester.

And cooked and organized things and went birthday shopping for my oldest boy charge who turns nine tomorrow.

And.

Oh yes.

I took myself on an Artist Date to Cliff’s Variety in the Castro and I bought art supplies for my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

I had a lot of fun.

I probably also spent more than I needed to, but honestly, I really think I needed to do it.

It felt good to say yes to myself and to splurge a little.

I mean, it’s art supplies, not crack.

Although when I was checking out I couldn’t help but giggle at all the glittering supplies I had gotten.

Glitter glue.

Glitter markers.

Glitter colored pencils.

Glitter stickers.

Plus some fancy origami paper (I won’t be doing origami with it, I just liked the paper), watercolor markers, pastel markers, and tiny colorful clothes pin holders.

No idea what I’ll do with the latter, but they were so fucking cute I had to buy them.

It was a nice splurge.

I also yesterday, had a Zoom session with one of my TA’s.

This was good, clarifying, and really just sunk it home, I’m in a PhD program.

I really have a lot of work to do and keep doing.

This is a long haul program.

But.

I am hoping to follow my TA’s cue and do some work the summer after I finish my course work so that I can get a head start into that next semester of work where I will be independent.

She told me what she did and it was basically to not take the summer off and work on her proposal for her dissertation so that as soon as the first day of fall semester hit she turned it in to her dissertation chair and was off and running.

She will likely be done in three and a half years as opposed to four and a half.

I’m all for doing it that way.

Get it done.

I am excited, more and more, as the process becomes clearer to me.

Yes, so much work, but rather fascinating work and I’ll be writing about something I am very interested in.

So, yeah, Canvas.

I have gotten three notifications while I have been writing this blog that something new has been posted in my classes, so I will likely hit it up for a few more minutes before calling it a day.

It’s how I managed to get through last semester without falling behind.

The horror stories of people in my cohort who fell behind is enough to keep me active.

Or.

The people who just dropped out completely or disappeared.

I think we lost five people?

I don’t want to drop out and I do want to get my dissertation through, I want to have a PhD.

I want to be Dr. Carmen.

I really.

Really.

Really.

Do.

Get It While

January 22, 2019

The getting is good.

I don’t have much time left.

Just a few days before my next semester of course work begins for my PhD program.

Which means, many, many, many books, articles, discussion posts and who knows how many projects, tears, yelps of frustration, and ranting there will be.

I am assuming there will be much.

There will be moments, I already know this, where I will question, what the exact fuck am I doing getting a PhD?

And there will be moments when I know beyond a doubt that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Showing up will, as always, be the most important thing.

I have been showing up first and foremost by doing the reading already.

I am nearly finished with my third book of the semester.

I haven’t really taken a look at any of the syllabi, well, one, a tiny bit, but there wasn’t a sequence of reading listed (I sense it will get revealed at the intensive our first day of class), so I figured, just read as much as I can while I can.

That really helped me last semester, I stayed on top of the reading by having read a couple of the books before the semester had gotten underway.

My suggestion, always start in on the reading as soon as possible.

Always carry some reading material with you as well.

I don’t know when the kids are going to be in school, out of school, sick, napping, not napping, or whether I will be doing pick up or drop off.

My schedule at work is fairly consistent but surprises always happen and the times when I thought, surely, not today will there be any time to read, there’s been time.

And, of course, the converse has happened.

I have really needed/wanted to work on something and I show up to find a home sick from school monkey.

Today was all about the monkey.

I had all three of my charges today as it was a school holiday.

The dad was home and that was nice, he took one of them and I had two of them and we sort of swapped back and forth the whole day.

I did baths, he cooked, I ran two of them up and down the hill to the playground, he did Lego models and took another out to lunch.

It worked well and it was a nice day, especially to be outside after all the rain over the past week and this weekend.

I didn’t get any reading done at work, but I did have a nickel of time in between work and my evening commitment.

I ran to the grocery store and did some shopping and then hit up Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset for a quick half hour of reading and studying.

I feel like this is going to be a better semester from the stand point of having made it through the first one I know I can do the second.

I got all “A”s and I’m still a little overwhelmed by that and sincerely grateful to have earned them.

I do feel like I really did show up for the classes and did what was necessary and then some.

I figured when I got home that I would do some food prep and write a blog to settle myself down.

I feel like I want to do 18 different things before now and bed time but there really isn’t a lot to do.

I have to get through the next few days of work and I get to see clients tomorrow night and Wednesday.

Thursday morning I have group supervision bright and early, 8:15 a.m. so I’ll be up at 6 a.m. to get ready and be there on time, but after that, I don’t have to do anything but get my butt to the intensive and check in at 3p.m.

I’m out of supervision by 10:15a.m. and my nail salon opens at 10a.m., I’m going to go and get a mani/pedi and then treat myself to some Marnee Thai for lunch–I’ll be staying at a hotel in Burlingame which means hotel food, for the intensive, I figure one nice meal before I jet is needed.

I’m thinking I’ll be packing day of the intensive.

Burlingame is super close and won’t take me that long to get to, maybe 40 minutes depending on traffic.

It is far enough away that I will pretty much be staying there to make an effort to connect and hang out with my cohort and be present for the experience.

Although I did consider what it would be like to just stay at home the entire time and commute back and forth, I figure, I’m paying for the intensive as part of my tuition and it’s required that I attend all the classes, it will be a lot easier to just stay there the whole time.

I mean, Pacifica was where the last one was and that too isn’t too far from me in San Francisco, I could have stayed at home, but I know I would have missed out on a part of the bonding that I think is necessary to doing the classwork.

Plus, it’s good to put names to faces and I’m already thinking about a few of my classmates that I am excited to reconnect with.

Funny enough, there are a few people who at the first intensive I wasn’t much enamored of, but after witnessing how they showed up for the classes I want to touch base and let them know how much I appreciated them being in class.

And you know, it will be good to commiserate with others about the work and life and there’s not a lot of folks out in the world working on a PhD, so it’s community that I will want as I continue to do the work.

It can be a little isolating.

I do, also notice that I miss some of my cohort from my Master’s program.

So.

Yeah.

Two more days in town and then I’m out.

I’ll likely do some blogging while I’m there, but I am not committing to anything.

Last semester was a doozy, I expect that this one will be too.

Good too.

I predict it will be good too.

God lord.

I am really getting a PhD.

Crazy!

The Good Enough

January 1, 2019

Paper.

I got a message yesterday as I was winding up the laundry and gathering it from the dryer at the mat up the way on Balboa.

It was a message from one of my professors.

I have already begun reading for the next semester, three of my text books have landed in my mail box, and I wasn’t really thinking anything about the message other than maybe he’d gotten my grade in early.

That was not the message.

No.

Fuck my life.

The message basically said it looks like the final paper you sent in was a draft and not the final copy and it is full of typos and ends abruptly and doesn’t answer the questions that I wanted answered and makes me wonder if you understood the scope of the material in the course.

Holy shit, what?!

I was flummoxed.

First, that I had sent in a draft?

I never do that.

I am scrupulous about doing a spell check and when he said “typos” I was really curious about what it could be.

I was also pressed for time as I was supposed to go meet up before doing the deal in the Castro and I had only so much time, not enough, surely to look up the paper and see what I had sent in and remedy it.

I scrambled my laundry home to my house, I had fifteen arguments in my head with my professor, I got upset with myself, I started thinking about the paper I had written and internally I knew, the prof was right on at least one point, I hadn’t really written a paper that was outlined in the directions.

I had deviated and written something that I wanted to.

My professor had also noted that though it was “fascinating” it didn’t address a lot of the topics that he wanted covered.

And that bit about me not understanding the scope of the material?

Well fuck off.

Did you not read all the freaking discussion posts I put up?

I mean.

Fuck.

I did substantial, 1,000 word plus discussion posts, on a weekly basis, two, three, four times a week.

I understood the scope of the fucking material.

I was mad.

I was also mad at myself.

How could I have sent in a draft?

What was I thinking?

I also had a vague recollection of actually being rather proud of the paper I had sent in, though no, it was not written in the way he wanted, it was well written and I felt that in my own way I had actually answered all the parameters of the paper.

I sent him a message and apologized for the paper, told him I had a standing appointment to meet up with my person and I had to do the deal after and then I’d get right home and get on figuring out what had happened.

I teared up a bit, I imagined I was going to have to do a load of work, my brain went right to the worst thing ever.

I was failing the class and what the fuck was I doing even bothering to try to get a PhD?

I was in over my head.

I was tired.

I didn’t want to re-write the paper, was I going to have to re-write it?

But I loved my paper, I really had liked it and I had spent more than one day on it.

Quite often I will write a paper in one shot and then edit it and send it out.

I did this one in two days, I felt like I should have been getting a pat on the back and a “how clever are you?” comment about my paper, not some insinuation that I didn’t understand the course work.

I was incensed and upset.

I cried big raccoon eyed tears when I made it to the Castro and basically wet down the table at Firewood Cafe with my weeping.

I couldn’t believe I had actually worn not just eyeliner, but also mascara and not the waterproof kind.

I looked a little beat up when I left.

I got down to it though with my person and came to the conclusion that.

1. The professor was right, I hadn’t written the paper the way he had assigned it.

2. I was being arrogant.

3. I didn’t have to get an “A” in the course.

4. All I had to do was pass the course.

5. I was fucking tired and overwhelmed and I didn’t have a whole lot in me.

So after a lot of getting humble and admitting that I may have turned in not the best paper I could, whilst also admitting that I was beating myself up a little too hard, I left the Castro, came home and looked up the paper.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

It was like the draft of the draft.

It was awful.

I don’t have a clue how that got past me.

All I could think was that I had updated my computer at one point and maybe that was it.

But it was true, the version I had sent to my professor was a hot mess, typos, misspellings, the last page was missing, the paper ended in a super abrupt way and I had also pasted the directions in the paper so that I could refer to it when I wanted to.

But you don’t send that in to the professor!

Ugh.

I spent some time trying to find the final draft and there wasn’t one saved on my computer.

So.

I made the decision to not re-write the whole thing, I still was holding onto the idea that I wasn’t that in the wrong with the content of the paper and he had said it was fascinating.

I cleaned it up, re-arranged a few pieces, wrote out the last page that had been missing and sent my professor an e-mail apologizing for the draft that had ended up in his e-mail.

I also defended what I wrote, but admitted that yes, he was right and I hadn’t done the paper by the guidelines he’d given.

I said if there was anything else I needed to do for the paper I would happily do it.

I sent it out and crashed out early, I was wiped out emotionally and mentally.

There was nothing in my e-mail when I woke up.

I spent much of the morning thinking that I might be spending my New Years Eve writing a ten page paper on a topic that I had basically shelved eleven days ago.

Then.

OH!

Sweet relief.

I got an e-mail this afternoon saying that he’d gotten the new copy, that he understood that it was a mistake getting the first one, that further, he understood why I had written the paper I had and that I didn’t have to do anything else, and happy new year.

HAPPYFUCKINGNEWYEAR!

Sweet Jesus.

What a freaking relief.

I don’t even care what the grade is that I get.

I am certain I will pass.

The paper was good enough.

And I can now say, with finality that this semester is over.

Which is good since I’m doing reading for the next one at this point.

Not tomorrow though.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I will treat it as such.

Grateful as all get out that I made it through this year.

It was one hell of a ride.

Seriously.

Day Dream Sky

December 30, 2018

Standing in line at the cafe.

I eavesdrop on the matrons in front of me espousing the artisanal toast options.

In between chat of avocados and sea salt

I think about you.

Wondering how it is that I seem to have fallen

Again.

Again.

Again.

In love with you.

There is this continuous deep dive into you.

I question the $5.62 I spent on the latte,

Then reverse the thought of scarcity,

Settling, as I do at table, abandoned and

Left to me at just the right time so that I may contemplate

Delirious sun setting splendor through the

Corporeal windows framing the street scene.

The palimpsest of my desire for you underneath that sky,

Like the twining of Christmas lights around a telephone pole,

Wrapped up in you.

Once my latte arrives, I sigh with pleasure.

It was worth the cost of admission.

Like you, it is the best in the city.

Reminding me too, of our moment there months ago

When I sitting ensconced in the window seat fervent with fresh love for you

Scribbling poetry about you into my notebook

Whilst you texted me from the long line sprawling out the door,

“Are you hungry?”

And when I didn’t respond, too wrapped up in my poem, you

My muse,

Brought me back a salad with my coffee.

I saw the text as you were walking back with the plate,

My response would have been, “hungry for you,” but a salad will suffice.

For the moment.

That reply died on my fingertips as I was too caught in the splendor of light

Falling though the window, making you seem already a nostalgia piece.

You lit up, loved up by the glittering filament of sunshine splayed across your face.

I regarded that space today, from a different table, marveling at how

I catch the feeling of you with all my senses.

You embody me.

I am entwined with you.

A double helix.

An infinity sign, worn in silver on my wrist.

Possessed and pleased and dressed up in pleasure, encircled.

The gift of the Universe in a little blue box.

What I once thought was a hoax.

Soap opera.

Dramatic invention.

Fairy tale.

Fable.

Why!

Turns out ’tis true.

There is love and then, there is you.

Inflamed I sit now

Amongst the hum of humanity, the clatter of cups and spoons.

To find myself

Transported to you.

Not for naught this love for you.

Love notes scrawled on a legal pad

Dressed up in a leather-bound folder

My Balthazar baby, conversations on the sidewalk after brunch.

You are everything and everywhere.

Tattooed, literally into my center.

I hold you tight.

I am content.

Knowing, for you told me so,

That I am your dream baby.

Knowing.

That I am.

Now and always.

Your,

Baby girl.

It Bears Repeating

December 29, 2018

The playlist I made you many months ago.

I haven’t listened to it in a while.

Things were hard.

Strange.

Sad.

Oh god were things sad.

I listened to the music and cried.

I stopped listening to it.

But today.

Tonight.

Well.

I dipped back in.

So good.

So damn good.

Just like you baby.

Stolen kisses in the car.

Your head leaned back against the headrest.

The look in your eyes when you look at me.

Oh the magic.

Damn it baby.

You are the best.

I belted out the songs coming home in the car.

The Christmas lights still up, the traffic still slow, everyone still out of town.

Holidaze.

Sweet love.

My love.

My dear.

Dearest, dear.

I felt like I floated home, drifting down towards the sea with all its love gathering in the passing moonlight.

The songs make me goosebump.

I really love you.

It still boggles my mind that I have had you in my life.

I don’t question it.

I don’t have to know why.

I just know that you love me.

And.

I love you.

What will happen.

I don’t know.

I don’t have to.

I just know how I felt tonight.

Song mix on repeat.

Making me smile.

My heart swelled, pushing against my ribcage.

My heart big, swollen, full of this music.

All the songs about you.

I have never made another man a playlist.

Or a mixed tape.

Just to date myself.

I have made you, though, many.

This one is dear to me, though they all are sweet.

This one special.

My first attempt at letting you know musically how much you mean to me.

I think I did a pretty good job.

I had forgotten what songs were on and when one faded and the next came on.

I just smiled harder.

Sang louder.

Felt my love for you grow again.

How is it so?

Extraordinary.

This expansion of love, like the universe.

On and on and on.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

Penny and the Quarters.

Aretha Franklin.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The Cranberries.

Carly Simon.

(You really are the best)

Barbara Lewis.

The Ronnettes.

Bill Withers.

Peggy Lee.

Stevie Wonder.

And last, but oh so not least.

Etta James.

Had to end with a bit of punch.

Like how I feel, knocked down drunk with love on you again.

Smitten kitten.

Me.

Again.

Who knew?

So.

I guess what I am saying.

Well.

It bears repeating.

I am happy.

I got to see you today and there will be more of you to come.

And.

Baby, this bears repeating too.

I’m yours.

Baby.

Sweet baby.

I am so yours.

Now.

And.

Always.

In other words, until eternity.

 


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