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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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For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

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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.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So, about May

That was kind of a wash, wasn't it?

That's sort of how I feel, looking at it from June. Not that I want to negate the good things that happened (irises, foster placements, and that random rainbow), but seriously, May, you threw some rather unwieldy wrenches into the mix, and I'm beginning to wonder what I have to do to make it stop. I don't think I can deal with another month like that, nor can my family or my marriage. Or, for that matter, my thesis, but that at least can be put on hold -- which is essentially what's happened for the last week, given the new chaos that erupted during that time. The situation's not bloggable yet, but suffice it to say that it's not pretty and will require some time to resolve.

So shape up, okay, 2010? These last few weeks haven't been representing you very well at all.

I've never been a willing roll-with-the-punches kind of girl, but I've done it out of necessity. That strategy is all that seems to be working in the short term these days. It's not sustainable, though. So I'm asking myself, what is?

I've asked that question for a while now, deciding to focus on small efforts, trying to push back without shoving -- because that doesn't work either, not with people, not with life. And I know I'm making mistakes, ones that make me want to give up trying because they cause frustration not only to me but to the people in my life. My husband, my sisters, my parents; the people who know me but don't know what to think of me or do with me in this state of flux as they too struggle with things like May. I'm tired; they're tired. And when I sense they're about to tire out, I back away, afraid they'll say, "Enough! Too much!" -- and leave. Which doesn't exactly help me with the learning process.

Give me the quotidian. Let me work with these challenges first, not the big ones that were May. I know; I don't really get to call these shots and May already happened. But I'm asking -- hell, begging -- whoever is in charge of the universe to cease and desist, or at the very least, dial down the intensity. Because no number of rainbows is going to help me make up the balance if it continues like this.

11 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

Le quotidien. Que ce soit si simple. Je le souhaite, pour toi, dans la mesure ou cela reste possible dans un monde compliqué.

Que tout s'arrange, le plus vite possible.

French Fancy said...

Oh dear CT, yes - there is only so much one can take. I am so sorry that a lot of rubbish is happening to you at the moment. There is nothing to say really - you are a lovely and wonderful person, no matter what anyone tells you. Just remember - everything passes, nothing stays the same for very long. It will get better.

xx

Corinne said...

Sending you lots of positive happy things happening vibes for June :)

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Down with May! Up with June! Come on 2010, CT deserves a break! xo

medieval woman said...

I do very much hope that June is far far more relaxing and baby-steppy-y than May!

TKW said...

Aww, jeez. I'm so sorry that you are having a hard time of it, too. I am in full agreement that May sucked the big one. Please, please let June be better behaved?

((big, hard hugs))

Sherlock said...

Here's to hoping that June is much better!!

C. Troubadour said...

BLW -- le quotidien, oui! J'aime beaucoup le mot et l'idée. Merci pour les voeux sincères. Je sais que vous comprenez. "La mesure ou cela reste possible" -- c'est instable, imprévisible. Mais magnifiquement flexible aussi.

FF -- it will, it must! I feel like I need to sound a charge as I'm entering June at the same time that I must tiptoe. Bizarre conflicting sensations, to say the least.

Corinne, Kristen, MW, and Sherlock -- positive vibes rock. Thank you so much. June, you've got some tough women giving you the eye, you hear?

TKW -- hugs in solidarity, girl. Seriously, WHAT was up with May? *Makes rude hand gesture at calendar.* Hope your not-awesome turns into much-more-awesome very, very soon.

Good Enough Woman said...

I'm am wishing you all kinds of very banal, quotidian challenges for May, like finding the stamps and getting a strawberry stain out of a shirt that you don't really like that much anyway. And, perhaps, hemming some curtains.

The rest of it? Get thee behind our favorite Troubadour!

(((CT)))

suzicate said...

I sure hope that June is a much better month than May for you. Sending hugs and happiness your way!

C. Troubadour said...

GEW -- I'm giggling at the challenges you've named. No strawberries at our farmer's market yet, but I can't wait. And those curtains! It's the pinning that's holding me up. Must get D to help me with that; it's a two-person job.

SuziCate -- thank you. June's easing up a little on its own, but the wishes from around the blogosphere are helping too.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So, about May

That was kind of a wash, wasn't it?

That's sort of how I feel, looking at it from June. Not that I want to negate the good things that happened (irises, foster placements, and that random rainbow), but seriously, May, you threw some rather unwieldy wrenches into the mix, and I'm beginning to wonder what I have to do to make it stop. I don't think I can deal with another month like that, nor can my family or my marriage. Or, for that matter, my thesis, but that at least can be put on hold -- which is essentially what's happened for the last week, given the new chaos that erupted during that time. The situation's not bloggable yet, but suffice it to say that it's not pretty and will require some time to resolve.

So shape up, okay, 2010? These last few weeks haven't been representing you very well at all.

I've never been a willing roll-with-the-punches kind of girl, but I've done it out of necessity. That strategy is all that seems to be working in the short term these days. It's not sustainable, though. So I'm asking myself, what is?

I've asked that question for a while now, deciding to focus on small efforts, trying to push back without shoving -- because that doesn't work either, not with people, not with life. And I know I'm making mistakes, ones that make me want to give up trying because they cause frustration not only to me but to the people in my life. My husband, my sisters, my parents; the people who know me but don't know what to think of me or do with me in this state of flux as they too struggle with things like May. I'm tired; they're tired. And when I sense they're about to tire out, I back away, afraid they'll say, "Enough! Too much!" -- and leave. Which doesn't exactly help me with the learning process.

Give me the quotidian. Let me work with these challenges first, not the big ones that were May. I know; I don't really get to call these shots and May already happened. But I'm asking -- hell, begging -- whoever is in charge of the universe to cease and desist, or at the very least, dial down the intensity. Because no number of rainbows is going to help me make up the balance if it continues like this.

11 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

Le quotidien. Que ce soit si simple. Je le souhaite, pour toi, dans la mesure ou cela reste possible dans un monde compliqué.

Que tout s'arrange, le plus vite possible.

French Fancy said...

Oh dear CT, yes - there is only so much one can take. I am so sorry that a lot of rubbish is happening to you at the moment. There is nothing to say really - you are a lovely and wonderful person, no matter what anyone tells you. Just remember - everything passes, nothing stays the same for very long. It will get better.

xx

Corinne said...

Sending you lots of positive happy things happening vibes for June :)

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Down with May! Up with June! Come on 2010, CT deserves a break! xo

medieval woman said...

I do very much hope that June is far far more relaxing and baby-steppy-y than May!

TKW said...

Aww, jeez. I'm so sorry that you are having a hard time of it, too. I am in full agreement that May sucked the big one. Please, please let June be better behaved?

((big, hard hugs))

Sherlock said...

Here's to hoping that June is much better!!

C. Troubadour said...

BLW -- le quotidien, oui! J'aime beaucoup le mot et l'idée. Merci pour les voeux sincères. Je sais que vous comprenez. "La mesure ou cela reste possible" -- c'est instable, imprévisible. Mais magnifiquement flexible aussi.

FF -- it will, it must! I feel like I need to sound a charge as I'm entering June at the same time that I must tiptoe. Bizarre conflicting sensations, to say the least.

Corinne, Kristen, MW, and Sherlock -- positive vibes rock. Thank you so much. June, you've got some tough women giving you the eye, you hear?

TKW -- hugs in solidarity, girl. Seriously, WHAT was up with May? *Makes rude hand gesture at calendar.* Hope your not-awesome turns into much-more-awesome very, very soon.

Good Enough Woman said...

I'm am wishing you all kinds of very banal, quotidian challenges for May, like finding the stamps and getting a strawberry stain out of a shirt that you don't really like that much anyway. And, perhaps, hemming some curtains.

The rest of it? Get thee behind our favorite Troubadour!

(((CT)))

suzicate said...

I sure hope that June is a much better month than May for you. Sending hugs and happiness your way!

C. Troubadour said...

GEW -- I'm giggling at the challenges you've named. No strawberries at our farmer's market yet, but I can't wait. And those curtains! It's the pinning that's holding me up. Must get D to help me with that; it's a two-person job.

SuziCate -- thank you. June's easing up a little on its own, but the wishes from around the blogosphere are helping too.