for the past few months i’ve been letting my cats out in the hallway for a few minutes, a couple times a day. i usually get up by 6am and i figured this was a good time for their little taste of hallway freedom. it’s a time when most sane people are still tucked cozy in their beds, where my neighbor with his overenergetic dog aren’t out for their morning walk so that i don’t have to referee inter-species race riots.
this morning i let them out, when i went out to call them in before my shower, the hallway was empty.
my first thought was that a passive neighbor was teaching me a lesson for letting them outside and had sent them into the elevator or let them into the stairwell. damn it all, i never should’ve started this! i cautiously walked down the hall and here comes louie poking his head out of the corner apartment at the end. i was too baffled to make any judgement so i kept walking toward him. luckily this was the apartment of a neighbor who was friendly with the cats. a single dad who had stopped a couple times before to ask their names. he just smiled and said “good morning!”
he then proceeded to tell me that louie usually comes down in the mornings, mewing outside his door so he can come in and visit. motherfucker. how embarrassing! so at first it was just louie, but lately mazzy has been following him down. i looked around and here they are, big as shit, nosing their way around the bedrooms, making themselves at home. i was dumbfounded and apologetic but he really didn’t seem to mind.
did i mention this was pre-shower? read: slept on post-pony bride of frankenstein hair, no bra and tank top, and sky blue baggy sweatpants covered in paint. i would’ve been mortified beyond belief if single dad’s hair wasn’t a greasy mess matted to his head.
i scooped up my cats and left quickly, super embarrassed. i don’t think he minds, i think he likes them, but still… what a strange feeling to know your cats are leading a double life.
i will write a love letter to “watch the throne” later, but this is the specific song i’m falling deeply in love with right now.
we’re doing a treatment plan for a case study at school that is based on an actual client of mine. part of the treatment plan is to describe the therapist that is working with the client. as my group members were brainstorming on how to describe qualities of mine that work well with the client, i got some feedback that really touched me.
they described me as someone who was calm and not overly aggressive in my interaction style, yet not passive, not a pushover, nobody walks on me. they said my confidence is evident. one group member who has been in classes with me on and off over the past 2 years said one thing she notices about me is that i am so quiet in class that she would think i was just passively observing, but then i would make really smart comments that she wasn’t expecting. (this isn’t sounding as nice as it sounded last night, i assure you it wasn’t patronizing.) the jist i got was that i’m really attentive in my listening and insightful, confident in myself and my skills, but not obnoxious about it. and that’s exactly what i want in a professional identity. feels good!
Men don’t often talk to me about other women in a sexually explicit way. If they do, I think it’s distasteful and gross and I’m not very good at hiding the expression on my face. I found myself in an awkward position today that I think I need to get used to. I don’t know why I never thought of it before but evidently I’m gonna have male clients who wanna talk to me like I’m a man and I should probably check my feelings at the door. And grow up and use adult language to talk frankly about sex. With men. Weird.
As I’ve started to date a little more this year I have come to a couple of conclusions:
It’s not that hard, not that special to find connections having to do with basic compatibility.
In being a bit vulnerable I practice accepting myself.
A big problem in my past was the fear that men would see my “damage” and run screaming. But it’s really about choosing more carefully who I open up to and when.
It follows that rationing disclosure over time is acceptable and powerful.
Keeping the qualities in mind that I’m looking for puts the right type of man in my field of vision.
The right type of man is just that : a type. There are many individuals within that type. (Hence my first conclusion.)
I used to think it would be so simple and easy when I found a man that would truly accept me and be a nice person – I thought those would be the parameters.
I was aiming a bit low due to past relationship/sex damage. I created some stereotypes about how men are. Now that I’m living in reality and meeting nice, good guys, what else am I looking for?
It’s ok to take my time.
It’s ok to explore physical attraction without too soon sex.
A kiss is not a contract.
It’s ok to not know where this is going or if I’m even sure yet if I wanna keep going.
I’m still thinking this through but as of now I don’t think I believe in trying to grow attraction and chemistry. You can grow many things in a relationship but I recognize spark right away and if it’s not there within the first meeting it’s not realistic for me to wish and wait on it. When attraction is absent it becomes a sore spot, a resentment for me. I have to be real about that.
That being said, real strong attraction scares me. That power dynamic makes me feel inferior and insecure. I need to work on that, or at least think more about it.
That’s enough for now. 🙂
So I’m reading this book, Mixed: My Life in Black and White by Angela Nissel. I haven’t read many memoirs about being mixed, and this one is really good. And horrifying. For the first half of the book I would laugh out loud regularly! She’s a good writer, funny, describes some of the ridiculous situations we go through well. But then it takes a turn. Still written humorously, she goes into a depression and really begins to examine the way biracial people can really find themselves obsessed with race. She’s eloquent with the pain peace.
I’m not done yet, but it’s a really good book and makes me think quite a bit. It made me briefly consider writing a memoir someday. I love writing, I expect to get published someday for scholarly work, but a memoir is different. So personal. Not that I’ve ever shied away from that before, but it’s something to think about, not to be taken lightly.
lesson learned from yesterday: check the wind advisory before deciding on a knee length flowy skirt. i think i’m past the age of being cute pulling a marilyn outside of target! 🙂
last week in a group i led, we were talking about the effects of generational poverty on mental health. and there were a lot of pretty negative, pessimistic outcomes described in the literature i had. talking to the guys about it was interesting because though they could agree with some things, they had some appropriate anger at some of the more negative ideas about what poverty could do to you. after a long discussion we decided that what they forgot about people, the factor that was missing that described our group, was resiliency. i’m not sure but i think that might be one of my favorite words and concepts! the most amazing thing about people, the human spirit, whatever, is the ability some people have to bounce back, to dust themselves off and try again (word up, aaliyah).
it was funny in looking at that literature, some of it was so familiar to me. i know people who have had rough circumstances and either can’t or refuse to get back up again, they stay broken. i’ve talked about my mom before as one of the most committed pessimists i’ve ever met. a lot of this literature was reminding me of her mindset, it could’ve been written about her. so how did i come out so much more resilient than her? how did my mind commit at a young age to the idea that there was more for me and that this set of life circumstances wouldn’t lay me out? i wasn’t taught resiliency, can it be taught? it’s kind of magical, i think.
so today, i’m thankful for resiliency.