the water got high and she never got dry

Thursday, March 29, 2007

sweet nothings

From an email from Husband to Be:

"And I've never wished you were a lesbian. I've wished you were a bi-curious zombie-killing stripper race car driver from another dimension, but that's it. Big difference."

(This should make for some interesting Google hits. Speaking of which, I really should post a picture of Jamie Bamber instead of just writing about one, because I've gotten some what I imagine are disappointed fans land here in search of such things.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

some of the time the future comes right 'round to haunt me

some of the time the future
comes round just to see
that all is as it should be
like it’s there to remind me
we’ve got to wait and see
-beth orton

I've officially been breaking the rule about posting regularly. I hate that but I feel like every time I blink, another week has gone by. I don't know where the time goes.

I should change my about paragraph in the sidebar because I've decided to hell with the Ph.D. My erratic, absentee advisor said I could finish up if I stayed another semester or even part of a semester, but there is no way in hell I can bear to stay longer. Not to mention that there is a very real chance that my advisor will have left before then. Not that she's told me anything. Seriously, she has issues.

The parallels between ending an unhappy, longstanding relationship and breaking up with grad school continue. I did some soul searching and agonizing and have wasted time fretting about wasted time (Why be in a relationship for 5 years when it's doomed? Why be stuck in the cold Midwest for 6 years if I'm just getting a Master's?) and I definitely stuck with both relationship longer than I should have, out of sheer stubbornness. But pretty early in my decision to stop in the program, I was eerily calm about it. It just felt right. And there's the same feeling of relief to be free of something that was just holding me back.

It's easy to shut myself up about wasted time because if my last relationship had ended sooner and/or I'd quit school sooner, I wouldn't have met a certain rather important person in my life and I'd never wish for that. Neither Husband to Be or I subscribe to the fatalistic "There's one person out there for you and if you don't meet them, you're screwed" philosophy and in theory, I'm sure we would have met other people and been just fine and dandy. In practice, though, I will say it's nearly impossible for me to imagine finding someone else who fits me so well.

So now the job search is on. After some dithering about where to move, HtB and I have decided it's California or bust. We'll narrow our job searches to there and worst case scenario, even if we don't have jobs, we'll still move. It may indeed be too expensive there and we'll move or we may love it and settle down or we may hop around before we find our spot. I'd prefer to put down roots and buy a house soon but we still have a few more pre-kid years and the freedom to hop around.

I figure I can go in one of two directions - publishing or relationship/dating services. Recently I've been looking at editorial assistant job ads. It's pretty low down on the ladder but I have no problem with that, because I have no job experience and I've gotta pay my dues. I have too much pride to be a coffee fetcher but I'll do everything else. I thank my stars on a regular basis that I have a friend in publishing who's been an invaluable source of advice. She was the grad student I worked for in college as a research assistant and wrote me an absolutely glowing recommendation letter for grad school. She got her Ph.D and then shifted from academia to a big shot job in publishing.

She bumped into one of my friends at a conference last summer and after all these years, remembered which university I was at and asked about me and now she's a huge help to me in my job search. I don't think is a coincidence, more like the confluence of fate and grace.

Everything is still up in the air but I'm just as excited as I am nervous.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

on a golden sea, you don't need no memory

(Hip, hip). And we're back. We were only gone for a few blissful, relaxing days and as soon as we got back, life resumed its hectic pace. But the vacation was worth every penny. We got into Nassau late and our hotel was full so we got upgraded to an oceanview room at the Wyndham instead. Awesome. Ocean and palm trees in full sight first thing in the morning and falling asleep to the sound of the surf at night - nothing beats that.

The weather was perfect – warm but not hot. The water was a little chilly so we mostly admired the unbelievable turquoise of it from the beach. We went on a half day sail and snorkel and although I didn’t do much snorkeling, because of the huge waves, I enjoyed every minute of being on the catamaran.

We split our beach time between Cable Beach, where the hotel was, and Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. We explored downtown Nassua with its pink buildings and went shopping at the Straw Market, where I got a hat. We experienced some local color on the jitney buses, as well as a singing Scotsman on the ferry. It was perfect.

The trip was our anniversary gift to ourselves. March 14 marked two years since we met. (It’s also Pi Day of course, and the randomly chosen day when our married friends J and M celebrate their relationship, and according to our Polish Friend, there’s a movement to make it “Steak and BJ Day”, a Valentine’s Day of sorts, only for guys. We’ll see if that takes off.)

To say that on that night, when I walked into a coffee shop to meet the guy I’d been emailing, I had no idea that two years from that time I’d be in the Bahamas with that very same guy and only a few months out from marrying him, is the understatement of the century. (Yes, that’s a terribly constructed sentence, but what can you do?)

We celebrated St. Pat's the way it should be celebrated, with friends and corned beef and cabbage and green drinks. We also spent some time with family friends at a birthday party run amok with cute children. Husband to Be' s parents loaded us up with pretty much enough food for the week, because they're awesome that way. Much love, so I feel bad taking issue with what is either peculiar to the Midwest or peculiar to HtB's hometown, namely the practice of putting peas and potatoes in enchiladas. What's a Texan to do?

Less than 3 months until the wedding, folks. Yikes. On Sunday HtB and I spent time researching different places to move to. Talk about information overload. Where would we go if money were no object? California. I need sunshine and warmth and the ocean. But affordability is a very real issue, so we’re also looking around at Oregon and Washington and the Carolinas (although I’ve been advised away from South Carolina).

Weather and a good arts scene are very high on our list but so is ethnic diversity. It’s really important to me to not have kids in a city that’s overwhelmingly white. That was part of the reason a friend suggested I not consider SC, as it might not be easy being an interracial couple in the deep South.

Where will life take us? The suspense is killing me.

Monday, March 05, 2007

how did you know fine living makes you slow

I’ve been feeling like life’s punching bag for a while now, disappointed by many people and walked all over by others. And I know I can’t change other people, only how I react to them. I’ve learned to be more explicit in telling family and friends what I need from them. That it hasn’t gotten me what I want is disheartening but at least I know that there’s no ambiguity to blame.

I don’t know what has always held me back in the past from speaking up about what I need or when something wasn’t okay. Fear of a negative reaction, too much pride to want to ask someone for what I wish would be freely given, maybe a lack of belief that my needs were important enough to trouble someone with and a lack of belief that speaking up would do me any good.

I fear confrontation like nobody’s business and I know a large part of that is because life with my dad taught me that confrontations mean bad things for me. No matter how much I cried or how much I hurt, my dad would still drink. There’s been no precedent for conflicts that can be a give and take and can actually resolve problems.

But lately I’ve been thinking about if I don’t err a little more to the side of being a little pushy and getting in people’s faces, then of course it’s really easy to forget about me. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?

A recent tussle with my advisor left me upset but then just righteously angry in a “We’re Not Gonna Take it Anymore” kind of way. I refuse to let her personal shit intrude into my life. I’m tired of being her whipping boy and I’m tired in general of being the fucking stereotypical passive Asian female. Screw that.

I know I come by the passivity honestly. My mom was talking about whether or not she would come to the wedding if my dad doesn’t. She wants to, but going against my dad and stepping out on her own would be a huge deal. She asked my aunt (on my dad’s side) if she would come with her and my aunt said the decision should be left to my dad. These are my female role models.

But I don’t have to be that way. I was pretty pissed at my advisor but I made the decision, not for the first time, that I wasn’t going to waste time and energy being upset by her. Having the control not to get bogged down by negative emotions is another hard won new skill for me. When I was younger I would get washed away by whatever torrent of emotion was currently passing through and everything was either a crisis or the best thing ever. I don’t have time for that shit anymore.

It’s been a hard, bleak winter but I’m emerging from it with a thicker skin and a louder voice. And that’s worth something.