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When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sleeting on my parade

I was so excited that D would be visiting this weekend.

It's his last trip to Little U. on the Prairie, so we were going to do some pre-move prep around the apartment and just enjoy a quiet few days together while I plowed through my small mountain of work. Cook a little, talk a little, curl up on the couch with a movie, whatever.

And then we found out that Sunday is Easter.

My family doesn't celebrate the holiday, but his does, and they're within driving distance. So this means we'll be getting up super early Sunday morning to make the trip for brunch at his parents' place and then we'll drive back in the afternoon. Don't get me wrong; D's folks are fine people, but April is a really stressful month on campus and I am not in the mood to share my much missed other half while I'm already having to put the needs of my students and my classwork above my own personal ones. Like getting enough sleep and doing things that are good for my mental health. So forgive me if I'm feeling a bit unenthusiastic about giving up part of what was supposed to be "just us" time?

Grrrr, I hate feeling selfish.

D and I have decided that it's okay for me to hole up, before the actual Easter meal, in a quiet place to work once we get to his parents' house, but it's still really frustrating to be unable to try to make the best of the situation by at least enjoying time with the people we're visiting. But staying on campus is equally if not more unappealing. Being left out, intentional or otherwise, feels sad -- hasn't changed since the earliest memories I have about preschool playground politics. So I'm going.

It'd just better not sleet anymore -- another wintry system moved through the area yesterday, and while we didn't get much ice at Little U., roads had to be closed in other parts of the state. What has happened to spring?

At least it seems to be making its way into Seattle. Troubadour Mom sent paperwhite bulbs to us that we planted over spring break. In two weeks, their stems have shot up quite quickly. They should be ready to bloom in a few more, with the exception of the odd flowers that have already opened:


We're not sure what other bulb got mixed in with the shipment, but there you go. We'll take whatever spring we can get! D reports that our irises are perking up in the warm weather too (they've been wintering on the balcony of our apartment), so stay tuned for updates on Ralph, Tessa, Carmen, and Lolita. Can't wait to plant them when we get to our new home ...

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

I really feel for you and (probably like you) wish your inlaws would be empathetic enough to say ' tell you what, you two hardly see each other - why don't you give us old folks a miss this time'?

It's what my lovely mum and dad would have done - poor you. I hope you get through all the work okay and don't worry - you'll have D all to yourself before much longer

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thanks, FF. It would be nice to "miss" this time, but there will be three grandparents there that don't travel (they live close enough to drive to D's parents' but that's about as far as they usually go). So it's also a chance to be sure we visit with them. The holiday itself is less important, I think.

Five weeks to the end of all this!

Good Enough Woman said...

Hope you still have a good break. Hang in there!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hangin', GEW :). Off to grading jail I go ...

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Sleeting on my parade

I was so excited that D would be visiting this weekend.

It's his last trip to Little U. on the Prairie, so we were going to do some pre-move prep around the apartment and just enjoy a quiet few days together while I plowed through my small mountain of work. Cook a little, talk a little, curl up on the couch with a movie, whatever.

And then we found out that Sunday is Easter.

My family doesn't celebrate the holiday, but his does, and they're within driving distance. So this means we'll be getting up super early Sunday morning to make the trip for brunch at his parents' place and then we'll drive back in the afternoon. Don't get me wrong; D's folks are fine people, but April is a really stressful month on campus and I am not in the mood to share my much missed other half while I'm already having to put the needs of my students and my classwork above my own personal ones. Like getting enough sleep and doing things that are good for my mental health. So forgive me if I'm feeling a bit unenthusiastic about giving up part of what was supposed to be "just us" time?

Grrrr, I hate feeling selfish.

D and I have decided that it's okay for me to hole up, before the actual Easter meal, in a quiet place to work once we get to his parents' house, but it's still really frustrating to be unable to try to make the best of the situation by at least enjoying time with the people we're visiting. But staying on campus is equally if not more unappealing. Being left out, intentional or otherwise, feels sad -- hasn't changed since the earliest memories I have about preschool playground politics. So I'm going.

It'd just better not sleet anymore -- another wintry system moved through the area yesterday, and while we didn't get much ice at Little U., roads had to be closed in other parts of the state. What has happened to spring?

At least it seems to be making its way into Seattle. Troubadour Mom sent paperwhite bulbs to us that we planted over spring break. In two weeks, their stems have shot up quite quickly. They should be ready to bloom in a few more, with the exception of the odd flowers that have already opened:


We're not sure what other bulb got mixed in with the shipment, but there you go. We'll take whatever spring we can get! D reports that our irises are perking up in the warm weather too (they've been wintering on the balcony of our apartment), so stay tuned for updates on Ralph, Tessa, Carmen, and Lolita. Can't wait to plant them when we get to our new home ...

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

I really feel for you and (probably like you) wish your inlaws would be empathetic enough to say ' tell you what, you two hardly see each other - why don't you give us old folks a miss this time'?

It's what my lovely mum and dad would have done - poor you. I hope you get through all the work okay and don't worry - you'll have D all to yourself before much longer

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Thanks, FF. It would be nice to "miss" this time, but there will be three grandparents there that don't travel (they live close enough to drive to D's parents' but that's about as far as they usually go). So it's also a chance to be sure we visit with them. The holiday itself is less important, I think.

Five weeks to the end of all this!

Good Enough Woman said...

Hope you still have a good break. Hang in there!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Hangin', GEW :). Off to grading jail I go ...