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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.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Somehow, I don't think this is the answer


(Very tempting, though.)

I don't know what it is, but I'm just tired. Maybe I'm coming off end-of-semester deadline adrenaline and my brain has forgotten how to function without it. Or I'm running it ragged on pre-holiday stress and it's too amped up to respond to adrenaline anymore. Either way, I'm not making any progress on this recommendation I've been asked to write for a former student, and that student deserves so much better than I can produce right now. So I'm setting the paperwork aside until I don't feel like I have a haggis between my ears instead of the gray matter that's supposed to be there.

Without work, I feel a little lost. There are books I could read, movies I could watch, people I could call or e-mail, but somehow, none of these things feels right. Why is taking time for myself so hard? Or put another way, why is doing something I enjoy not enjoyable enough to make me want to do it?

I think it really is something about the holidays. Even when I'm not thinking about them, they're having their way with my subconscious, dulling my pleasure receptors, willing me to shut down. Every bit of me wants these visits with family (D's and mine) to go well, certainly better than they did last year (that's another story I might get into later, but it really requires its own post, or series of them). So D and I have been coming up with ways to help that happen. On our end, at least -- no promises about what other individuals choose to do. I think waiting to be on our way so I don't have to wonder how all that will shake out anymore is draining me.

Not quite two days left. I wish it were Thursday.

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

You've had such a major lifestyle change in the last few months that anyone would understand you having a bit of a slump now.Plus you've had worry about waiting for test results, meetings with the academics, thinking about relatives getting together - all this can just pull one down, mentally and physically.

I hope you get back into your usual energetic state and until then just accept you are a bit below par, don't try to force yourself to do things and relax a bit.

Sherlock said...

You've gone through a lot the past few months. Let yourself relax and do some things for you. The holidays are stressful but somewhere in there, you really need to find time for you and your hubby. Acknowledge those doldrums and know that it's okay to feel that way sometimes. And this is a normal time of year for it anyway. Get a massage, curl up in a cozy place with a good book or movie, and just escape everything for an hour or so every day!

TKW said...

Laughing at the image of a haggis between your ears!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF and Sherlock -- those suggestions sound so good. And you're both right about the changes going on. It's easy to forget about the bigger picture with so many things in flux of late. Thanks for putting some perspective on it for me!

TKW -- mmm tasty, no? ;)

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Somehow, I don't think this is the answer


(Very tempting, though.)

I don't know what it is, but I'm just tired. Maybe I'm coming off end-of-semester deadline adrenaline and my brain has forgotten how to function without it. Or I'm running it ragged on pre-holiday stress and it's too amped up to respond to adrenaline anymore. Either way, I'm not making any progress on this recommendation I've been asked to write for a former student, and that student deserves so much better than I can produce right now. So I'm setting the paperwork aside until I don't feel like I have a haggis between my ears instead of the gray matter that's supposed to be there.

Without work, I feel a little lost. There are books I could read, movies I could watch, people I could call or e-mail, but somehow, none of these things feels right. Why is taking time for myself so hard? Or put another way, why is doing something I enjoy not enjoyable enough to make me want to do it?

I think it really is something about the holidays. Even when I'm not thinking about them, they're having their way with my subconscious, dulling my pleasure receptors, willing me to shut down. Every bit of me wants these visits with family (D's and mine) to go well, certainly better than they did last year (that's another story I might get into later, but it really requires its own post, or series of them). So D and I have been coming up with ways to help that happen. On our end, at least -- no promises about what other individuals choose to do. I think waiting to be on our way so I don't have to wonder how all that will shake out anymore is draining me.

Not quite two days left. I wish it were Thursday.

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

You've had such a major lifestyle change in the last few months that anyone would understand you having a bit of a slump now.Plus you've had worry about waiting for test results, meetings with the academics, thinking about relatives getting together - all this can just pull one down, mentally and physically.

I hope you get back into your usual energetic state and until then just accept you are a bit below par, don't try to force yourself to do things and relax a bit.

Sherlock said...

You've gone through a lot the past few months. Let yourself relax and do some things for you. The holidays are stressful but somewhere in there, you really need to find time for you and your hubby. Acknowledge those doldrums and know that it's okay to feel that way sometimes. And this is a normal time of year for it anyway. Get a massage, curl up in a cozy place with a good book or movie, and just escape everything for an hour or so every day!

TKW said...

Laughing at the image of a haggis between your ears!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF and Sherlock -- those suggestions sound so good. And you're both right about the changes going on. It's easy to forget about the bigger picture with so many things in flux of late. Thanks for putting some perspective on it for me!

TKW -- mmm tasty, no? ;)