Things have been going really well despite the craziness. However, I have not been resonating with meetings both new and routine...until tonight. Every single share from tonight's meeting resonated with me: compartmentalizing my life, lying to my parents for so many years (I haven't even begun to unpack that mess), not struggling and surrendering to my Higher Power. Whenever things get difficult, it's typically because I'm not letting go and trusting in my Higher Power. I'm trying to control and make things go my way. Right now, I've been trusting in my Higher Power in fits and starts. I am so conditioned by my alcoholism (that feels a little weird to say, I must admit) to want to control my life and all it's actors but shit turns bad and I get miserable and frustrated the minute I start to tense up.
I decided to give up my commitment at this Friday meeting because I live in the East Bay now and well, staying on Friday at work so I can go to a 7pm meeting sucks. And I don't think I want to do that week after week. There had been the assumption that I had given up my commitment the week before because I got someone to cover for me since I had to go back down to Half Moon Bay since the people I was housesitting for missed their plane (I still made it to a meeting HMB). I got someone to cover for me but the GSR left me a message and I called her back and left a pissy message offended that she assumed I would give it up without communicating that to her. She kinda put the idea in my head and I thought today, maybe I should give up my commitment. I'm also trying to work out seeing my sponsor and change that time. I'm amazed at how proactive I'm being. Often times, I would bail on commitments feeling guilty and shameful. This was a new wonderful experience taking responsibility and bailing with dignity and less drama. I feel like my old self would have just not shown up one day and just felt embarrassed and evasive if I saw anyone around town that went to that meeting. And I would feel awful for a long time inside.
So I'm still settling in and getting used to my new place, lovin playing with my kitty. She seems really happy in her new place. I never knew a cat could adapt so quickly. Unfortunately, it makes me realize how unhappy my old cat was. I just thought all cats hated moving. She has turned the papazan into her makeshift "cathouse". So cute. Okay, there I go again talking about cats. Ah, the simple things.
I had a crazy thing happen to me today. Unrelated but in 4 years of working in Bayview Hunter's Point, a predominantly Black neighborhood with the last stronghold of Black/ African-American (SF only has 6.8% Black population down from 13.4% in 1970), I've never had a cop straight up ask me if I was lost. What was funny (and the only thing funny about it) is that I wasn't so much as lost as unfamiliar with riding the bus. So I was walking back and forth along 3rd and Oakdale (there's been a gang injunction at this intersection because of violence), looking for the bus stop. I knew exactly where I was, I stop by this area often and have agencies along this cooridor I've maybe rode the bus 10 times in my life. Seriously. I have loved driving up until the last few months. Sad I know. I was trying to get to a meeting and the route had to take me through Bayview. Most white folks would probably not do this due to their stereotypes and the news that comes out of this neighborhood, well, maybe they would but the reactions I get when I tell most SF privileged white folk that I work in BVHP is somewhat shock, relief they don't work there and a little fear it seems, and guilt that they feel all these things. All assumptions and yet not. It's going through a complex change and I have been so privileged to hear first hand about it's history of the neighborhood, people and industry, the generations of people there from the South, the community and commitment to maintain the community. I truly love working in this neighborhood and find it sociological fascinating as well as just a loving, awesome community to collaborate with. So these two cops motion me over and ask me if I'm lost. I laugh as a beat up maroon BMW rolls by honking and shouting, "HI KATIE!". I seemed confused and then realized why they were asking me.... because I was white. Woah. They then asked me, "So you know where you are?"....I said, "Yes, that woman just drove by and said my name. I've worked here for 4 yrs. Fear not, I know people." I really just needed to know where the bus stop was but this offer to evacuate me made me feel a lot more unsettled then the fact I had to take the bus through Bayview to get to my AA meeting. Man. Crazy. Two Black guys sitting at the T line saw the whole thing and one shouts across, "That's messed up stereotyping you like that! He shouldn't be bothering you! San Francisco is diverse, they know that! Especially this neighborhood! San Francisco is for EVERYONE! This isn't Oakland! San Francisco is home to everyone!" I mentioned I had just moved to Oakland, but I've heard this stereotype before, San Franciscans think Oakland is way more dangerous. Turns out he used to date one of the pantry coordinators I work with after some shouting back and forth. Feeling right where I was supposed to be.
I will continue to be better about writing. Things is slowing down. Going to meetings has been routine but tonight felt good for many reasons but it relation to the program, I feel reengaged. Thanks for reading.