Blogroll

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.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Upside down

Cake, that is. I'd found yet another recipe in the inspirational binder to try, but I needed some help because (a) I'm allergic to raw stone fruits and (b) a 12-inch skillet is hard to flip when every bit of it is oven-hot.

So D rescued me. He peeled the peaches from the farmer's market and sliced them into a pile of juicy, golden wedges so I wouldn't get hives all over my hands. And when the cake came out of the oven, he gamely clapped a chopping board over the pan, palmed it with ease, and inverted the whole mess with a daredevil grin. I loved him for it.



In the past, I counted on him to be that rescuer for bigger things, things with greater emotional stakes -- family and all its traps, especially. I leaned on him because I (understandably) couldn't lean on myself. Then our own problems began to emerge, and I was alone, still unpracticed at being there just for me. We learned to avoid conflict -- easier to step around each other, swallowing our frustrations so as not to have those all-out fights, ones that would leave me waiting for him to patch me back up.

It's not sustainable, that dynamic. And I've known it for a while but haven't had the resources within to draw upon. But I'm working on that now, relearning, in a topsy-turvy way, how to repair myself.

I won't lie: it sucks. On many days, I'm not sure which end is up, and figuring it out leaves me spent and spread-eagled. And let's not forget afraid -- I fear that after so many months of emotional wreckage, D will have reached his limits. He has reached his limits. I've felt his patience wear long past thin, and it's terrified me. I can't learn quickly enough.

But he's still there, waiting, willing to offer a hand if I really need it. I think we both sense there's a new equilibrium to be gained for me and for us.

For that, I can only be grateful.


For the original recipe, click here. Modified recipe to come.

4 comments:

Corinne said...

Oh yum!
(and how funny, I'm allergic to certain raw fruits & vegetables as well! Such an odd thing...)

C. Troubadour said...

I've been told that some of that is actually caused by a fungus growing on the produce, not the produce itself. I thought I was allergic to raw apples, for example, but it turns out dipping them in lemon juice or white vinegar before washing with regular water kills the fungus! And then no hives :)

(Unfortunately, stone fruits are their own allergy for me.)

SuziCate said...

How pretty and I am sure tasty! And together you can work through issues...the key is communication instead of the easy way out (shutting down). Sounds like you've been through much together and depended on one another to lighten the load. Remember that a marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100, and it is well worth it...I think you guys have something special and he seems to have a way of seeing some family issues from a perspective that is difficult to seperate yourself from...I've been there.

C. Troubadour said...

I like the idea of 100/100, SuziCate. We have much to work on to get there, but we're trying.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Upside down

Cake, that is. I'd found yet another recipe in the inspirational binder to try, but I needed some help because (a) I'm allergic to raw stone fruits and (b) a 12-inch skillet is hard to flip when every bit of it is oven-hot.

So D rescued me. He peeled the peaches from the farmer's market and sliced them into a pile of juicy, golden wedges so I wouldn't get hives all over my hands. And when the cake came out of the oven, he gamely clapped a chopping board over the pan, palmed it with ease, and inverted the whole mess with a daredevil grin. I loved him for it.



In the past, I counted on him to be that rescuer for bigger things, things with greater emotional stakes -- family and all its traps, especially. I leaned on him because I (understandably) couldn't lean on myself. Then our own problems began to emerge, and I was alone, still unpracticed at being there just for me. We learned to avoid conflict -- easier to step around each other, swallowing our frustrations so as not to have those all-out fights, ones that would leave me waiting for him to patch me back up.

It's not sustainable, that dynamic. And I've known it for a while but haven't had the resources within to draw upon. But I'm working on that now, relearning, in a topsy-turvy way, how to repair myself.

I won't lie: it sucks. On many days, I'm not sure which end is up, and figuring it out leaves me spent and spread-eagled. And let's not forget afraid -- I fear that after so many months of emotional wreckage, D will have reached his limits. He has reached his limits. I've felt his patience wear long past thin, and it's terrified me. I can't learn quickly enough.

But he's still there, waiting, willing to offer a hand if I really need it. I think we both sense there's a new equilibrium to be gained for me and for us.

For that, I can only be grateful.


For the original recipe, click here. Modified recipe to come.

4 comments:

Corinne said...

Oh yum!
(and how funny, I'm allergic to certain raw fruits & vegetables as well! Such an odd thing...)

C. Troubadour said...

I've been told that some of that is actually caused by a fungus growing on the produce, not the produce itself. I thought I was allergic to raw apples, for example, but it turns out dipping them in lemon juice or white vinegar before washing with regular water kills the fungus! And then no hives :)

(Unfortunately, stone fruits are their own allergy for me.)

SuziCate said...

How pretty and I am sure tasty! And together you can work through issues...the key is communication instead of the easy way out (shutting down). Sounds like you've been through much together and depended on one another to lighten the load. Remember that a marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100, and it is well worth it...I think you guys have something special and he seems to have a way of seeing some family issues from a perspective that is difficult to seperate yourself from...I've been there.

C. Troubadour said...

I like the idea of 100/100, SuziCate. We have much to work on to get there, but we're trying.