Beginning in March 2021, I have decided to add some personal writings to my blog. Journal-type entries. Personal essays. I will send them out to you as usual but then will gather them here with the links so you can find them easily.
(posted April 1, 2021)
“…And so far, even my 2020 ruminations have not come to pass. I did not get sick. No one I know died. I did not break any bones and die a slow death until I was found three weeks later. My internet kept working so I could see clients and keep blogging. My acupuncturist did not move to Portland. I did not run out of hair gel.
It is kind of a miracle…”
(posted April 14, 2021)
“…Turns out, Andrei was also taking tango lessons. Sunday afternoons, tango classes were held downtown in a large, mirrored space with a shiny wood floor. We would have a lesson for an hour and then practice for the next hour. To dance well, I had to become more tuned in to my own body. I had to feel my feet caressing the floor and move my energy down my legs versus up in my head, where it usually lived. It was challenging. But the community was welcoming and the dance was so satisfying. I ended up dancing about 3-4 times a week. It was intoxicating. And the Argentine tango became my therapy…”
(posted May 11, 2021)
“…I used to think I was deficient because I spent most of my time introspecting. I didn’t have much of an outer life. I didn’t join a bowling league. Or get season tickets to the opera. I didn’t follow the Grateful Dead around the country. I didn’t own a blender or a table cloth. I didn’t send my nonexistent kids to college. I almost didn’t have partners.
Okay, I’m exaggerating. A little…”
(posted June 28, 2021)
He was a die-hard camping, hiking, nature-loving Oregon hippie. He parked his truck on his overgrown lawn. Paraphernalia from long gone construction projects was piled along the side of his house and scattered hither and thither just in case he might need them in a year or five. I remember thinking the first time I drove up to his house that he was your typical neighbor-from-hell.
What was I doing with the neighbor-from-hell?…
(posted October 14, 2021)
…She worried. Who the heck was she really? In spite of her quite good life, it seemed she did not really know who she was. Just so you know she did realize this was a “first world” problem. And she was truly grateful for all she had. But, as part of her drive to grow and contribute, she knew addressing her out-of-whackitude was essential…
(posted October 22, 2018)
…Becoming a psychotherapist, then, I know the process from the inside out. Working through many of my mental health issues, I come to the profession with more awareness, empathy, and compassion. Not only that. The career itself is perfect for us older souls (especially if you’re an introvert). Think about it. I get to have deep, intense, sweet relationships. One person at a time. I contribute to creating a better world. All that, and: I don’t have to do any heavy lifting or much actual moving. I get better at it as I gain experience, which means that the older I am, the more in demand I become. Is this the perfect career for older souls? You betcha.
But what does this have to do with the Argentine tango, you ask?…
(posted December 24, 2020)
Dearest Friends, Family, and Fans (otherwise known as bloggEEs),
I don’t need to tell you what an expletive year this has been. In fact, maybe this year doesn’t even deserve acknowledgment. Perhaps this ought to be The Year of the unHoliday nonLetter or maybe The Year Everyone Finally Realized They Needed Therapy Because the Shadow Side of Humanity was Unequivocally Apparent.
It was a good year for therapists….
(posted December 9, 2021)
…So. I decided to risk klutziness and stupidity, in spite of myself. And it worked. In a short few months, I was obsessed. (It took much longer to get unklutzy and smart-ish.) I mean really. Here we are now in a pandemic where no one is likely dancing the Argentine tango and I am still writing about it. That obsessed. Over time, I even experienced moments of pure astonishing unity when I was so connected with my partner, we were one body, one heart, and 4 legs.
You may ask, then, what does this have to do with you. Right? Surely I am not asking you to wrap your arms around total strangers and breathe on them during a pandemic!
That is correct. Read on…
(posted January 3, 2022)
Dear Future Boyfriend,
You will need to know some things about me before you venture into my world, into the lush jungle that is my rainforest mind.
I’ll start with my head. I have a lot of hair. Massive amounts of exuberant, overexcitable, ridiculous hair. I try to control it. But I am unsuccessful. You might think that this is a wonderful thing. But I’m warning you. Wildly untamed aspects of my psyche live in my curls…
(posted July 1, 2018)
During tumultuous times, it may be harder to be single. I can attest to this. And I’m a super-introverted, independent type with a sweet gaggle of girlfriends and an Argentine tango habit.
No one is tracking my whereabouts. There is no daily contact with one particular human. When I travel, there is no responsible person making sure I’ve arrived. If I were to meet my demise, it could be days before anyone started looking for me. Well, OK, my lovely clients would be concerned, when I didn’t answer the door. And, you, dear readers, would start asking, now where the heck is the next blog post after about a week. Wouldn’t you?…
(posted July 18, 2018)
…It was in her hair. The control. If she let her hair be free, all hell would break loose. If her hair was free, she couldn’t hide. She’d walk into a room and people would notice her. She’d walk into a room and people would see how unappealingly ethnic she looked. She’d walk into a room and people would be appalled at her bold, expressive, obnoxious, overexcitable hair. She’d walk into a room and people would ask her to be responsible for something.
And then what? Her safe, secure, smallish world might explode on her, shattering her melancholy somewhat uneventful life. And who knows what might emerge from there? Surely something large, loud, slimy and smelly. Which would be intolerable. At least her melancholy somewhat uneventful life was not large, loud, slimy and smelly. There was that…
How I Ignored My Impostor Syndrome to Create a Career Working with Smart People (posted October 7, 2022)
I had no idea what I was getting into. When I graduated from college, I was excited to start my dream job as a sixth grade teacher in a middle school. I was young, eager, and awkward and determined to bring all of the innovative ideas of the late ’70s into my classroom. And I did. Disregarding the textbooks, my students read newspapers, ransacked libraries, and designed research projects based on their interests. In my spare time, I built an outdoor education program that was the highlight of the year. Lucky for me, my principal welcomed my youthful enthusiasm with an only slightly skeptical permissiveness. I was pretty oblivious to what my fellow teachers thought of all of it. It is possible they were not pleased. I was young. Eager….
I have recently become aware of how I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer, all my many years, when it comes to Life Appreciation–even when my particular life has been sort of calamity-free ever since I made it out alive from my family of origin. It has been even better than calamity-free, really, once I started down my career paths. Once I started teaching curious, eager, gifted middle schoolers. Once I started dancing the Argentine tango. Once I became a therapist-consultant-blogging maniac. Once I had fifteen+ years of therapy. Calamity-free if we ignore the end of the short-ish marriage and the end of the years later partnership with the Nature-is-my-therapist-Neighbor-from-Hell. Those events were calamity-ridden at the time but turned out to be great material for psychotherapy, blogging, and my future memoir-turned-rom-com-chick-flick starring Meryl Streep or maybe Jenny Slate, for the more ethnic look. And the hair…