tuesday morning: i drag my my ass into a spin class for the first time in probably… 4 months? 20 minutes into it, i wanna duck out. fuck this. i hate endurance. endurance can kiss my ass. i cling to those words that health retreat expert spoke to our work group several years ago: “20 minutes is all you really need. i look at these scrawny ladies freaking out on the stairmaster for an hour and i just laugh! 20 minutes of good high level cardio is all you need.” preach, man! i almost cry out audibly. but something in me tells me to hang on for a few more mins. then i start to remember, with endurance exercise, you have to push through the discomfort to get to the benefits of endurance. at about 30 mins i get into the zone, and i can handle it. i have a 45 mile ride coming up in a few months. at the end of class i see i have gone 18 miles. awesome! i come home and get ready for work. i finally get the appt scheduled for the massage my aunt bought me for christmas. thursday afternoon on my day off… won’t that be nice?
tuesday early afternoon: i’m at my serving job, and in walks the executive director of my internship agency. he gets sat in my section. chatting at the end of his meal, he asks me when i will finish school. i tell him at the end of june i should be all finished with classes and my masters project, and will receive my masters then. casually he asks, “and then we’ll get you full time?” trying to remain calm, i tell him i would love that. he tells me about some projects in the works and says they are definitely headed in the direction of a new hire. i walk on air through the rest of my shift!
tuesday evening: i tell my ride group about my distance in class and beth mentions that we could really be training outside already. she’s right. i think about that, and i think about how that class made me call up those running memories and feelings. even though i don’t enjoy the cold, i better start running outside soon. i saw an email about this dumb half marathon lisa’s trying to make me run this year.
wednesday morning: i get to internship and begin my day. i pull up the internet in between sessions and find don cornelius has shot himself dead. what?!?! and didn’t i just come full circle with soul train and blog about its inspiration on my life? damn. i get a call from my supervisor. “can you see a client in crisis?” sure. i’ve had so many cancellations and no shows, my afternoon is totally free. “she’s a 13 year old girl having multiple problems and needs to see someone today. make sure you do all the risk assessments.” i haven’t seen an adolescent yet, and i’m not sure exactly what all these assessments would be since regular intakes take such a linear direction. my last appt cancels, giving me time to meet with another dr at the agency to go over the main things i need to do. he also gives me an updated suicide assessment that’s not in the shared agency files yet.
wednesday afternoon: i meet with the girl and her mother for paperwork. after we send mom out, the girl slowly reveals some pretty major things. she’s quite depressed. as she mentions some risk factors for suicide in her life, i pull out the assessment i just got. going over it, it turns out she is at pretty high risk for suicide. i excuse myself and go find my supervisor, who comes in to assist. in the span of ten minutes, we went from the client not being able to promise me she wouldn’t hurt herself to getting her to reveal that she wants to try meds because she has tried talking it out and it’s not working for her, and she doesn’t want to feel this way anymore. she’s afraid her mom will disapprove, so we talk to mom together. after a little while, they head off to the hospital for crisis/meds evaluation. i process this with my direct supervisor, and our department supervisor, who says to me, “good work. i mean this sincerely and not in any cheesiness: you probably saved a life today, you did everything right.” this makes me feel weird and squirmy. my direct supervisor checks in on me again, and as i tell her that i start to cry a little bit. still kind of in shock but seeing the gravity. (and ps – i love the systematic caring at my agency, so many people were there for me and kept checking in to make sure i was ok. this is my life, this is my field.) in an awesome turn of events, i have to go right to my serving job.
wednesday evening: at work, i wonder to myself, how did i get to this place where i can leave my feelings at the door? i enjoy the company of my coworkers and customers, though at the end i really begin to lose steam. lisa texts me. “registration for the half starts tomorrow, are you in?” get off me!! but i still smile a little bit because i know i had just mentally committed yesterday. after work, i had planned to go to the gym and do some homework, but i let my common sense take over and tell me the best idea for me was to just go home and take a bath. which i did. i soaked in the tub with rosemary and peppermint in the dark. i didn’t really feel anything at first. maybe i don’t need to feel yet, maybe i just need to relax. so i enjoyed my hot soak in the tub, rubbing down my arms and legs, beginning to think about my massage the next day. will it be weird to have someone touching me? will i be focused on fat pockets and not having the perfect body? will i be able to relax? my last massage was like 10 years ago with that chatty annoying woman and it was taking all my energy to relax and try to forget she was touching me. blech. this christopher guy tomorrow is most likely gay anyway so who cares… but it felt good to put pressure down my arms and legs, appreciating the body i have. after a few minutes of this i did burst into tears over my client. i’ve experienced many suicides in my circle – attempts and completion. i thought about tom. what if someone had listened to tom? but the fact was, tom was not asking for help. tom made his decision and kept quiet until he could carry it out. this 13 year old girl wanted help. she did what she had to in order to get to a place where someone could hear her. there was nothing special about me other than the fact that i said yes to the last minute appointment (made possible by all my cancellations and no-shows) and went in unprepared but willing to help and listen and do what i was taught to do in crisis situations. i cried harder. 13 is the worst age. what a courageous girl.
thursday morning: i have big plans of working out and homework, but i don’t feel like it and i allow myself to just lay on the couch with my good friend, daytime tv. i gradually get up and shower, remembering horror stories my massage therapists friends had told me about having to touch nasty, dirty clients. scrub scrub scrub! it makes me happy to be respectful of the person providing the experience. i think back to days past when i had thoughts of, but i’m going to get my hair done so why do i need to wash it first? i learned.
thursday afternoon: i arrived to my massage and waited on christopher. behind me i hear him come in and call my name. i turned around and he threw his arms up and joyfully repeat my name. what is wrong with this guy? i didn’t have my glasses on and as i got closer, i realized i did recognize him. lisa’s friend. weird! he checks to make sure i’m comfortable with him doing the massage and i say sure. to be honest, i couldn’t tell if he was this one guy i was remembering or someone else. i think he’s the guy that was pointedly encouraging me to run in the cold because of the way it’s optimal for regulating your body temperature whereas the summer is just too hot. i’d have to check with lisa later. the massage was amazing and none of my fears about being touched were realized. when it comes down to it, i just don’t have those same fears anymore, and i’m living more comfortably in my body anyway. i work hard and i like where i’m at. it was a very positive experience!
later thursday afternoon: i rushed home for a skype date with a guy who is super involved in education/research on mixed race people. i had to cancel with him a couple of weeks ago when we were going to talk, so today was our second try. he was amazing! mixed race identity experience will be a specialty of mine, and it was so cool to talk to another person who knew so much about it and was mixed himself (japanese and jewish). he forwarded me a bunch of resources and really sparked so many things in my mind! i texted lisa to see if that was the guy with running advice. he was.
thursday evening: woke up for my nap in time for 30 rock (yessssss!) and then went to the coffee shop to get in some studying for my class that is wrapping up on sunday. finished in time to skate so i went out to the rink. super good skate. super thoughtful. working through so many of the things that happened in these last few days. sparks coming out of my ears over a new dimension for my masters project. thankfulness for where i am. working it out on the rink. nothing is over, it’s just 3 days time, full of so many connections and so much meaning.
gratitude for sychronicity.