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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.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why I'm in Vancouver:

(Not really, but the Air Canada ad was funny so I thought I'd post it.)

I'm kind of in need of something funny at the moment as I think I'm coming to the unhappy realization that Troubadour Mom and Dad stress me out in ways that I wish they didn't. By which I mean two things -- (1) that I wish they wouldn't do the things that stress me out and (2) that I wish I were able to accept their foibles and just be glad to spend time with them.

They flew into Seattle on Tuesday evening, and within about thirty minutes of picking them up from the airport, I was feeling the anxiety that always accompanies being around them, no matter how hard I try to subvert or suppress it. It's probably quicker to surface these days because the relationship problems in their not quite three decades of marriage have been coming to a nasty head in the last twelve months, and as much as I'd like not to be involved in that situation, I am, just because I'm part of the family. Trying to establish boundaries and asking my parents to respect them has always been difficult for me for cultural and personal reasons, which I won't get into right now (that's enough material for oh, say, a thesis?). So on a trip where we're constantly together and the little arguments between them pop off every so often or sub-arguments threaten to become full-fledged ones, I get particularly stressed.

I've resisted writing about this explicitly here for a while because I don't want this blog to become nothing but a venting space for my frustration with this situation, but I think said situation is becoming a major feature of my current life landscape. And since this blog is about trying to put down roots in the terra not-so-firma many of us live on, I think it's time I stopped trying to write around said feature.

We're in Vancouver till late tonight, so I'll say more when I get back home. I also promise a fun post on a project Newly Graduated Sis and I worked on before Troubadour Mom and Dad arrived. There are before-and-after photos ...

3 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh dear- I know exactly what you mean. Both my parents are dead now but, much as I loved them dearly, I found it very hard to be around both of them without all of the usual bickering resulting.

Incidentally I think there is nothing wrong with a good bit of venting in one's blog :) If it helps you, then just let it out on here. I'm sure most of us can identify with the parental/child angst.

Be strong :)

vancouver Jay said...

Oh yeah, this situation is very common in every family, I totally understand. Try to stay calm. And on the positive note, Vancouver is a great city (yes, I'm a little biased), so I hope you enjoyed it.

Jay

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- thanks. Not an easy thing to write about, but I think this space will be a good one for processing it all.

VJay -- I love Vancouver. Would like to explore more of it in the near future on my own; everything we've seen has been terrific. Thanks very much for stopping by here!

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why I'm in Vancouver:

(Not really, but the Air Canada ad was funny so I thought I'd post it.)

I'm kind of in need of something funny at the moment as I think I'm coming to the unhappy realization that Troubadour Mom and Dad stress me out in ways that I wish they didn't. By which I mean two things -- (1) that I wish they wouldn't do the things that stress me out and (2) that I wish I were able to accept their foibles and just be glad to spend time with them.

They flew into Seattle on Tuesday evening, and within about thirty minutes of picking them up from the airport, I was feeling the anxiety that always accompanies being around them, no matter how hard I try to subvert or suppress it. It's probably quicker to surface these days because the relationship problems in their not quite three decades of marriage have been coming to a nasty head in the last twelve months, and as much as I'd like not to be involved in that situation, I am, just because I'm part of the family. Trying to establish boundaries and asking my parents to respect them has always been difficult for me for cultural and personal reasons, which I won't get into right now (that's enough material for oh, say, a thesis?). So on a trip where we're constantly together and the little arguments between them pop off every so often or sub-arguments threaten to become full-fledged ones, I get particularly stressed.

I've resisted writing about this explicitly here for a while because I don't want this blog to become nothing but a venting space for my frustration with this situation, but I think said situation is becoming a major feature of my current life landscape. And since this blog is about trying to put down roots in the terra not-so-firma many of us live on, I think it's time I stopped trying to write around said feature.

We're in Vancouver till late tonight, so I'll say more when I get back home. I also promise a fun post on a project Newly Graduated Sis and I worked on before Troubadour Mom and Dad arrived. There are before-and-after photos ...

3 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh dear- I know exactly what you mean. Both my parents are dead now but, much as I loved them dearly, I found it very hard to be around both of them without all of the usual bickering resulting.

Incidentally I think there is nothing wrong with a good bit of venting in one's blog :) If it helps you, then just let it out on here. I'm sure most of us can identify with the parental/child angst.

Be strong :)

vancouver Jay said...

Oh yeah, this situation is very common in every family, I totally understand. Try to stay calm. And on the positive note, Vancouver is a great city (yes, I'm a little biased), so I hope you enjoyed it.

Jay

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- thanks. Not an easy thing to write about, but I think this space will be a good one for processing it all.

VJay -- I love Vancouver. Would like to explore more of it in the near future on my own; everything we've seen has been terrific. Thanks very much for stopping by here!