Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Which is why I am posting here.

I do  not want to lose track of these words. While I struggle to find if, how, when astrology fits into my world view, my ethos, Rob Brezsny inspires me and rarely do the word for my sun and/or rising sign fail to resonate.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "It's never too late to become what you might
have been," said novelist George Eliot. I'd like you to keep that thought in
mind throughout the rest of 2013 and beyond, Leo. I trust you will allow
its sly encouragement to work its way down into your darkest depths,
where it will revive your discouraged hopes and wake up your sleeping
powers. Here are the potential facts as I see them: In the next ten
months, you will be in prime time to reclaim the momentum you lost once
upon a time . . . to dive back into a beloved project you gave up on . . .
and maybe even resuscitate a dream that made your eyes shine when you
were younger and more innocent.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): According to my reading of the astrological
omens, the next 12 months will be a time when you will have more power
than usual to turn your dreams into realities. You'll have extra skill at
translating your ideals into practical action. To help make sure you
capitalize on this potential, I suggest you adopt this Latin phrase as your
motto: *a posse ad esse.* It means "from being possible to being actual."
So why not simply make your motto "from being possible to being
actual"? Why bother with the Latin version? Because I think your motto
should be exotic and mysterious -- a kind of magical incantation.

The one about it never being too late strikes a deep chord as I am only now embarking, with feelings of great pressure and time lost, on my work as a therapist, and hopefully writer/presenter/teacher. However my dreams when I was younger and more innocent were far less fully envisioned; I suppose that is the benefit of dreams delayed, one has more time to carefully imagine details and considerations youth would have mislaid, ignored, or scoffed at - you know, like paying bills easily with a bit of money left over for regular fun and the occasional big expenditure like a trip to Thailand for 3 weeks. 

My dreams and hopes are seriously intertwined, like trees in the Everglades - they are lush, full, a bit scary, can look haunted in the right light, and come in hundreds of colors and shades.

My immediate future is full of the scary and exciting - doing a two hour talk/presentation on sexual orientation/gender identity for my community, building a client base, looking for jobs, lots of writing ideas that haunt me as I try to drift off to sleep, and taking over a conference which will test my strengths of organization, networking, and fundraising, to illustrate some of my plans, hopes, dreams. All this on the background of financial worry, fears of aging, loss of people dear to me, excitement of finishing school (OMG I did it!), trying to finally explore the county I live in after a year of being here, and hoping my friends and community didn't desert me after my hermit like existence of the last two years. 

It feels a bit like being on the edge of cliff, having faith that the winds will allow me to soar, while having the still the tiny but forceful voice that is terrified of how and where we might land.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The edge of the world

No it's the world does not really have an edge, not literally but I feel like standing on the edge of a cliff. Time is that cliff, the future is that cliff. My life is half over and I feel like I'm too late.

I am just getting started on the career I was supposed to have, meant to have, at least 15 years ago. I will probably never publish, never teach, never really do all the good I could have if I hadn't been caught up in, well myself, my baggage.

I'm old, tired, I have no retirement, I have no child, and I have no idea where I will be living or working in a few months. I love someone I can't make a commitment to and of whom I can't ask a commitment of.

The end of Grey's Anatomy, season 7 says so much about how I feel about being alone. 
There is a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't because I thought I would be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone. Because what if you learn that you need love? And then you don't have it. What if you like it? And lean on it? What if you shape your life around it? And then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is, death ends. This? It could go on forever . . .
This is so unbelievably me, it and the whole episode, ended with me in tears. Listening to Meredith talk to the baby that she is bringing home, to an empty house had me wondering if I would be crazy to adopt. The answer is of course it's crazy and no one in their right mind would hand me a baby. I have not been able to fully process the choices, the realities that have left me a childless mother, with no spouse, with tens of thousands of student loans to repay. I am not sure I can. It is just too much. There is so much grief around the parenthood thing, leaving what was in many ways a good enough marriage with a wonderful person, the loss of people, chances, and youth.

Yes, in many ways, I would be better off not being in a relationship but is that reason enough to leave. Yes, in many ways I would be a really good parent but is that reason enough to to do it.  Yes, in many ways I will be an excellent clinician, but can I make way, earn my keep by doing that.

I am standing on the edge of cliff, trying to not to fall.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Made it!

Yeah! I did all 30 days this year, which kind of makes up for last year's screw up.

Today I participated in the monthly Trans Supervision and presented one of my cases for feedback - very helpful. Plus hearing about some of the other cases was very helpful. As I mentioned yesterday, I am really learning so much this year.

Also, in case any of you are interested I am working on helping with this conference in Albany on transgender issues. Friday will be a provider day focusing on attending needs and education for medical providers and mental health workers as well. Hope to see you there!

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In which our heroine considers her luck

Internships by their nature are difficult, some have a steep learning curve, others move slow as molasses, it can feel like one is doing less than thrilling work for no pay (which often is the case - see the definition of internship). Last year I learned a great deal at my internship, I learned so much about myself, faced fears, and gained a greater appreciation of elders.

This year's is not a lot different, only I am doing actual therapy with clients, have my own caseload, working with a great population, and I am really digging the other interns.

But my clients! Oh my! I cannot believe how much I enjoy them, seriously. This does not mean they are easy, that they do not have massive concerns, and heavy pasts because they do. Even the ones I thought I would never feel connected to, or really invest in, I really find some joy, something fascinating about working with them. They each really challenge me in my skills, they encourage me to research more, to question my assumptions, and to daily wonder if I am doing my best with them. I realize there is no perfect treatment, that the likelihood of doing real harm, but I want to make a difference, in a positive way. 

I am still amazed by this journey.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Technology is weird

Right now I am on Skype for a meeting that is happening less than 90 miles away but between my schedule and gas prices, I'm here in Albany. In order for them to hear me, I am going through the PA system at my friends' house who is hosting. Apparently I am sounding omniscient according to the blessed Tara which I am enjoying the image of. Another person is on the phone in another state but she was having trouble hearing me - so they moved "us" closer. Not sure how but it's all rather amusing.

We are reviewing an event that we did back in October - finally doing our wrap up meeting. So many things to consider in a world where the special snowflakes {TM} do not predominant in terms in numbers but certainly in effort for those of us who work hard to make these things happen. The other problem we face is trying to please everyone, which simply isn't possible. The flip side of that is people, as a whole think of themselves first and foremost so things like food cause problems because they forget their are others needing to eat. Not making sense here, but trust me, in my head, it works.

Bah. Back to the meeting. See y'all tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A "B" gets the degree

Some of you out there, like the 2 who don't personally know but read this blog, may not know this, but I am very competitive. With myself. Really. It's a good thing that I'm not two actual selves, because when I lose, I am mean and bitter. When I don't make the grade I think I should (which, honestly, is always an A), I am not pleasant to be around. I tried to amend this thinking the first time in graduate school by choosing a program that doesn't give letter grades. It worked. A bit. I suppose it helped, maybe.

Before school started a number of people told me not to focus on the grade, not to push so hard, that "B gets the degree", that no one was ever going to ask for my GPA, the initials after my name would be what counted. I really tried to absorb that. My best friend said that if he could change one thing about his graduate school experience it would be to not work so hard on maintaining a 4.0 (as if I could even thing about that!) and enjoy the experience more. Blah, blah. Easy for him to say all these years later.

This time around, I am in a program that gives real grades, not narrative evaluations. I replayed the mantra in my mind, over and over. I tried to cut myself slack because I was also dealing with Lyme disease that fall. The first semester I knew I was barely getting by in Social Welfare Policy. I mean I got the concepts, totally grasped the evaluation tool when I read about it, but putting it all together? Not so much. My final grade was a B, and I sucked it up. But it was hard, seriously hard. Worse was the A- in Macro - what did I mess up on the final? I must have missed something, right? Hadn't I been running a solid A? Maybe I miscalculated. Seriously it kept me up at night. Eventually I got back to sleep because push come to shove I still had 3.68 GPA, not really that bad. (For the record, because I am this crazed on the topic, my spring GPA was 3.93.And again, I lost sleep over the one A-. See, competitive and must have the rest of the world acknowledge that I'm not a loser.) 

Then on Sunday I got my grade for a reflective paper that rocked my world and caused me serious angst - an 80. AN 80! WTF! I don't get 80 on papers. The comments said things like I didn't reference the videos enough, that perhaps if I had done an outline (for a 5 page reflective frigging paper which had five questions that needed to be responded to which  I goddamn covered!), blah, blah. If I really owned up to my reaction, it was not the pissed at the professor I as I was touting. I was peeved at myself for not doing better, for not putting more effort into it. This is always my response - even when I get an 98. Seriously. I might have a tiny problem here. Today in class I found that at least two other students, who also "never" get 80, got exactly that on the paper, which of course made me feel much better. The professor then spoke about her grading methodology and apparently the only A's she gives out is for work far above her expectation for graduate work and a B was for solid, very good work that would be what she would expect from excellent work from a grad student. Sigh. Okay, once again I will work on letting go of my competition with myself (which desperately wants that 4.0 to top the spring semester's GPA). It is an ongoing exercise in all facets of my life - I could have done better, spent more time, done it perfectly, been more compassionate, and on and on and on. Apparently I am still perfectionism's bitch.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tackling those pesky realities

Today I finally wrote letters and made copies of documents to send to the IRS for tax years 2010 and 2011. In a state of confusion, back in October, I opened mail from them regarding 2011 which said they were about to levy my bank account, and the other piece of mail from them for 2011 state I might be eligible for a refund due to Earned Income Credit. UGH. Now to pop them in the mail.

Once I arrived home I called the IRS about the mess of 2008, for which they claim I owe them scads of money, something around 9% of what I earned. Sigh. About a month ago I stopped a levy of my account but put off following up on it. In a panic from yesterday with the boot on my car for unpaid parking tickets (for which I hacked up $440 to get it removed), a terrible grade and blistering comments on a paper, I figured I best contact the IRS before they set out to levy my account again. Last month the fellow I spoke to said  he didn't know why the charge was so high (it should have been about $750 before fees and penalities - I've ignored this for a long time, but started at over a grand). The suggestion was to call their Examination department. Dutifully I called that number, and the woman on the other end of the phone said she could find nothing about this account, that it was closed - meaning they were done with it and gave me another number to call. Okay, 20 minutes gone. Called the next number where that woman said I was in the wrong department, but that she would help me. 

Imagine my surprise when the first thing she found was that, according to them, I never filed my 2007 taxes. Really? Not true, I replied, not only did I  file them on time but in 2009 I sent in an amendment. Sigh. Okay, I need to resend my paperwork from that year now, then wait about two weeks and send the amendment paperwork. Ugh. After we resolved that lovely bit of utter nonsense we moved on to the other years. I told her that I had mailed paperwork about 2010 and 2011, which included a potential refund rather than owing them money. She very nicely put a 60 hold on my accounts to give me time for them to review everything and at that point I could work out a payment plan, should I still owe them money. No doubt I will but hopefully not $1700!

Now I can breathe a little easier since I no longer have to worry about scads of money disappearing. Also on another upside, I had entered a little blog comment contest and won! So now I get to chose an e-booklet of knitting patterns. Since I already have 9 months (made Gramps for the nephew as his first knitted thing from me), I will choose this book

Also last night I did a new manicure and LOVE this color! On my screen the color of the bottle is closer than the nail sample in this photo. I think I will be using this color a lot.

Small things make me happy, which is good, because my budget doesn't leave room for big things.