December Diaries: Adult Accomplishments

It’s been a while. I would like to think that it is work that kept me from writing here, which isn’t far from the truth because the word “busy” is nothing short of an understatement now. I have a 2016 round up post coming up one of these days, at least on one of these days I will sit down to reflect on it.

Of the many things I want to write about today, I want to focus on measuring your life’s successes or accomplishments with the results of your children’s actions. Eek. That doesn’t sound half as nice as what I actually have in my mind.

I know in the past I’ve written on childrenfailed adults and long back on parenting. The most recent I’ve written on is “On Marriage and (having) Children” that actually is a favourite post of mine.

I might probably be repeating myself here but some thoughts need to be stated a few times over because how else does a writer ensure that such frustrations are let out of their pea brains if not.

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See here’s the thing that parents of the Baby Boomers’ generation need to understand. Your child is an important part of this society. We belong to the money-making-never-saving generation, despite the five, six or seven figures we earn now. We are to make supposedly wise decisions in life and these include calls we take on education, careers and relationship. But, your child is not the only child to exist in this world.

I know it’s contrary to our local culture and how we are brought up, but the idea of independence has always been important to me, of which financial independence takes priority. It’s a way in which I’ve been brought up and as far as preaching goes, I try to replicate it on all those around me. It’s fair for my folks to be proud of how my sister and I have turned out but truth be told, they have bigger accomplishments of their own that are unparalleled to ours.

And this is great.

It’s great that my folks are still individuals in their own right and have their own accomplishments to celebrate and NOT COMPLETELY PIGGY BACK ON THEIR CHILDREN’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND THEIR ABILITY TO BREED.

I apologise if the capital letters got in the way. It’s been coming a long time.

If I were to ever have children, of course I would think they are the greatest on earth and as a parent I would put their needs and wants before my own. However, being a parent does not mean that it is a loss of identity and individuality of who I am or what my Mother is.

Any marriage or child that my sister or I may have, will NOT be a measure of accomplishment for my family’s success.

and fuck you to all those who think that way.

While life in general should be celebrated, it doesn’t mean that you need showcase your family’s only “accomplishments” to the world around. Trust me, this looks as bad as wearing new clothes at a less-fortunate environment or showing your child extra-affection in an orphanage. Your unintended actions would not only be hurtful but a sad reminder of what the others around you have not yet “achieved” as a result of you make it seem as though having something that another person doesn’t, is a sense of accomplishment in this world.

If you have no purpose in life, I hope you find some in 2017. After all New Year’s are all about resolutions, finding yourself and all that shiz.

I get all my images on www.unsplash.com now :)

I get all my images on http://www.unsplash.com now 🙂

December Diaries: Gratitude

To all university students protesting out there,

I’m back with a bit of a rant today. It’s Christmas, the season of gratitude and thankfulness and the rant might seem a little out of place but the rant in itself is on gratitude, or lack there of.

Before you say anything, I don’t think I understand your cause. See I was among the “privileged” that was schooled in a semi-government entity and was even more (supposedly) “privileged” to have read for my degree at a private university in India. The experience in itself was a little difficult at first but to this date I’m grateful for having being able to study abroad for three years as it shed perspective and taught me a lot on independence, budgeting and most importantly growing up.

My Orthodox Catholic University wasn’t sororities and dorm rooms in cute skirts. Since I was in South India, this involved a lot of kurthas, shawls and a 2100h curfew at the on-campus hostel that didn’t give us food. My roomie and I moved out during the third year because they insisted on a similar dress code inside the hostel and fixed some CCTV cameras that we were not really down for. Also, we wanted to have some home cooked Lankan food once every four days. University also was 0900-1600h and 0900-1300h classes every weekday and Saturday respectively for three years with mandatory 85% attendance. If we failed to meet the criteria, we were first sent to a counsellor who would try and find out what the hell was wrong with us (family problems, relationship problems, mental / psychological problems, you know the dose) and then if we failed to make up for it, we were not allowed to sit for our finals without paying a certain fee of compensation (that varied according to the attendance percentage) – and let me not even start on the process when it comes to paying this actual fee.

On another note, I always believe that people who pay for their own things and possessions, often understand the value of money. This is why when I had to buy another Mac after spilling coffee on the Mac I already owned, my non-mathematical brain started doing a number of serious calculations in order to budget wisely and efficiently.

In Sri Lanka however, I have nothing against this free education system. I think it’s great that people are educated for free because it’s knowledge, which is a gift and is not equivalent to any sum of money (that you can actually pay, lol). I also have immense respect for teachers and lecturers because they take a lot of shit for very little pay (I speak of the government-paid cadre) and throw in a lot of their hours, despite the “paid vacation” etc.

Having studied under the similar primary and secondary semi-government school conditions most kids on the roads these days too were once a subject of, I don’t recall being taught to protest they way these kids are doing so these days.

As an “adult” in her 20s, I am thoroughly “aware” that most of what I have become now are partly because of the education I have received. And as most other adults out there, I am thoroughly annoyed at this group of ungrateful shit heads that keep blocking the roads that other working “adults” travel to work in, to make a decent amount of money before it gets cuts off to taxes and vat and other ridiculous nonsense that pays off tuition fees for these kids who know absolutely nothing on the value of money.

However, their lack of gratitude does not stop there. Once they (finally) graduate, 800 years later, they are old, with only one degree and no work experience. They become frustrated mid-20s adults who still continue to live off their parents, shamelessly too, I must add, angry at the rest of the world.

Honey, the rest of the world was trying to move on in life despite you blocking the roads with ridiculous protests of not wanting to go to university for 80% of your student time. After all, what else is a full time student expected to do but study? Have you ever even stopped to think as to how privileged you are to have made through the cut off mark and eligibility criteria to start with? 

No? I didn’t think so either. 

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If it helps, think of the starving children in Mongolia children your age in rural Sri Lanka who do not have an opportunity to complete their secondary education, let alone university because of the family responsibility they took on after their father, a farmer, committed suicide after the last drought.

You don’t really know how that feels do you?

I don’t feel it either, but I’m trying on my part to do what I can for my family and to my country by being a “productive” working citizen paying a massive amount in taxes for your education and their spending.

I hope someday, soon, you understand how frivolous (and inconvenient) your actions are.

From,

A concerned, tired 20 something who did not make the cut off mark that the “privileged” kids did and chose to study in a private “privileged” university abroad

December Diaries: Six Impossible Things before Breakfast

Have I told you that Monday is one of my favourite days in the week?

I think Mondays are great because I have realised that I’m most productive before late afternoon, so the earlier the start the better it is going to be. Like today, before 1300h (now), I managed to get my car cleaned and sparkly, finish up some pending insurance work, collect a parcel from the GPO, get copies of all my documents and finish up a good deal of Christmas / birthday shopping, while making some calls for appointments during lunch.

#ProductiveAF

Yesterday was a downer, but today is a nice and sunny day. I don’t know what the rest of the week is looking like, but there will be its ups and downs, as life rightfully should be.

Special thanks to everyone who had panicked messaged / called me. I’m fine (ish). Will be better in time, but I think the downers would probably reflect more given that I have intended to blog as often (if not daily) as I can. But you guys are stars ❤

<Be in the moment.>

I got excited about 

Lunch. I did not have rice in the morning because I was busy slaying the world so resorted to three peanut butter sandwiches. They were great no doubt, I LOVE peanut butter. But the rice was what I was really thinking of while waiting for the postal guys to call out for parcel “64”.

I will be excited about 

Seeing my friend Lasantha’s short film on the 08th. I am mighty excited for all of my favourites creative ventures and the 08th is looking forward to, big time. You could come too, if you are interested! There is apparently free wine.

Also, I’m still emailing carefully Google-d positive thoughts to those who want. Do let me know if you would like one too.

December Diaries: Retrospection

I’ve been terrible and missed quite a few days already. In my defence, I got busy. Like real bat shit crazy busy. I’m still figuring things out slowly from the recent turn of events. It would be an understatement if I told you that I’ve been making progress. The end of the year blues doesn’t seem to help either.

Does that happen to you too? Do you feel sad, miserable, depressed (not used colloquially) even when the year comes to an end? I usually find myself feeling a very unusual sense of regret. Regret in itself is a funny feeling because I don’t feel it usually because I don’t regret things in life. I’m not lying. There are things I am disappointed about in life and things I cannot change, but the most amount of regret that I would have felt at that point was nothing short of momentary and it later found itself to the category of “acceptance”.

I’ve been doing a lot these days too. Accepting. I’m not happy with a number of things around me and there is either little or nothing I can do to change my circumstances. However, that too has found itself to the box of “acceptance”. I’m blaming it on the end of the year blues, because it gives me the same sense of hopelessness and misery that I feel at the end of every year. I still am unable to fathom as to why I feel the way I do because it’s not as though I have targets, goals or “resolutions” set out at the beginning of the year.

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But this year, like most years, I am lost. 

It’s a little difficult to write about things I’m at present grateful for given the way I feel, but here’s a lovely article I came across via Facebook.

I’ll be back with more sunshine tomorrow.

Do let me know if you are still up for some positive vibes delivered to your inbox every morning!

December Diaries: Mock Run

Oh hello December!

Or almost December. I woke up early today. Like 0630h early. With the help of an alarm of course (after sleeping at 0200h #impressive). When I used to go to school, my dad would do one of these days before the day term started and call it “mock run”. Of course, my eight-year old self translated this to “mockraan” that only made sense later in life.

I am determined to do daily December posts. The month has always been close to heart. However, this time around daily blogging is influenced by way of seeking gratitude. Yesterday was a start and the rest of December will be mix of gratitude, some rants and life in general.

Too much has happened the past few days for me to be excited about approaching the end of the year, however the goal is to stay positive and I will look into little bits and bobs of things to be happy about.

www.unsplash.com offers free pics for everybody :)

http://www.unsplash.com offers free pics for everybody 🙂

I Got Excited About

Leaving home and heading to work this morning. It’s exciting and I was excited to get to work and now it’s midday and the excitement (yes that’s the third time I said that) has managed to retain itself. I’ve reminded myself that things could be worse, but it’s not and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I will be Excited About

Meeting Akki this evening. She landed this morning but I didn’t see her this morning because of my extra excitement to get to work (among other things I had to do) but I’ll be seeing her soon.

Gratitude Star

My wonderful friend, Pavithri has this beautiful habit of sending in positive quotes every morning. So I’m not one for quotes but lately, I’ve been reciprocating and even looking for that right quote (and not sharing it on Facebook, lol) has helped me become a little more grateful to all of the many things I have around me.

We all need someone like Pavithri in our lives, who will not only go that extra mile to spread joy but also truly believe and want the other to be happy.

Comment below if you need a positive message delivered to you and I’d be happy to email you one every morning.

Happy December!

Week Thirty-Four: Giving Thanks

It’s been a chaotic week, to say the least and I cannot help but feel sorry for my unlucky self everyday. Of course I am quite aware that there are people out there who are having it worse, so I only needed have that thought down on paper (or screen) to remind myself that things aren’t as shitty as I thought they were.

It’s at times like these that I feel that immense sense of gratitude towards especially the little things and good things that come my way because let’s face it, we all need some good news after continuous waves of shitstorms that have come at you. I’m also quite aware that waves and storms are two inherently different things but I’m not too worried about it. So here are the good things that I am grateful for this week:

  1. My ability to get things done by not raising my voice (and hopefully channeling whatever sense of assertiveness there in me) – basically on how I made Anim8 allow me to have the payment option I wanted because they messed up the quotation.
  2. My online delivery packages that came in yesterday – well ahead of time, yay! Also taught me to maybe plan shopping purchases ahead of time and save the not-very important bits for Black Friday deals.
  3. My PickMe tuk guy today. Such a gem of a man, who agreed to come back and get me after I got done with my stuff.
  4. The roll and hot dog from Cafe Ama – I might be bias because the venture is run by a friend, but the place is clean, a little slow (but that’s only because they are trying to maintain excessive levels of hygiene that is great!) and has great value for money. I paid only LKR 205 for three rolls and a hot dog (two rolls was for my good old tuk guy)
  5. My most recent vendors and service providers – they’ve been kind and nice to me and most importantly, answered my calls.

Giving Thanks

What has brought you happiness this week?

Chasing Sunsets in Nilwala

We have beaches and then we have the Matara beach. See, the Matara beach is simply Instagram worthy. The view from the Nilwala River too, is an added bonus.

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But here’s the thing with the Matara beach. In case you forgot on exactly where the beach is located (because trust me, we did), it is in the South.

We are playing with the approximates okay.

We are playing with the approximates okay.

This means, you won’t get that romantic sunset by the beach that is hand-holding and Instagram worthy. But if you are lucky enough and happen to be passing the river during sunset (we were inside the Fort) you will most likely get something on these lines.

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I’m a creep of a girlfriend

Texture wise, the Matara beach is well, grainy. It looks good but it doesn’t feel too good to walk on. The romantic walks on the beach are not as advisable because it isn’t a smooth one.

I have no idea what’s up with all this romance. I blame this on last night’s conversations. Tsk.

However, it looks great though. There aren’t many people, which is both good and creepy at the same time. They even have those bent over coconut trees that if you are lucky enough to be small (lol) you could climb on and do weird cat-like sexual poses.

In my defence, I’m typing this post on an empty stomach.

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Obviously, I did not get the couple leaning against the coconut tree

Then we have the couples. We have the boy who leans against the coconut tree while the girl leans over him when making out. (And I thought the movies taught us to play it the other way around) Then we have the couple that walks hand in hand with backpacks ( clearly missing out on their classes or whatever) and then suddenly opens up an umbrella while trying to navigate their ways across each other’s faces.

Can we also please talk a bit on the umbrellas? How does that even work? I was telling the boy on how maybe they should go back to the umbrellas that are fixed to the tops of your head. Though he did point out that this would limit any possible head action that was to happen. But then, doesn’t it ever bother you on who would hold the umbrella when doing things?

Also, aren’t people possessive of their umbrellas? I’m am very persistent on this one umbrella, one person concept, when it rains, because I dislike the rain and don’t want it touching my body. Who would want to share an umbrella? Jeez.

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In other news though, I hope you babies have been well and sorry about not been around as much as I would’ve liked to. There are too many things happening and I’m trying to keep up with things as fast as I can.

PS – I did upload more pictures on Instagram as well.

Let’s Talk about Failed Writing – II

You see, writing “well” for me was never easy. I always wrote, even as a child (since when I could actually start writing that is) but it wasn’t about being any good at it, but more so as a practice of documentation and now in retrospect (as an adult, lol), to keep at it. Because like the electronic organ that I used to play (for fifteen years mind you!) the more you practice, the better you get at it, yes?

Of course this was before a time when I started considering if “good” writing was even a question. This was before the time of competition, before the time the Internet would be a wonderful but terrible place where I would get to see “better” pieces of writing on the same thoughts that had run through my mind while driving home the previous evening but I had let go of it because I was just too tired to put it down once I got home.

This was before the time I had decided to make a career out of it.

See that’s the other problem. I like to call myself a writer but clearly, I don’t seem to be doing much of it. Mostly because of time. There simply isn’t time between navigating through traffic and replying to a gazillion emails. Second, is inspiration. When there is inspiration, there is no time (or there are more important tasks at hand – a time like now for instance) or when there is time there is no inspiration. I don’t write books or long form as much now so whatever discipline I used to have during my journalist days seems to have casually found its way out of the window.

With the problem of being called a writer – because it’s difficult to explain to people what exactly I “write” because I too don’t really know what that is any more – there comes the question of career. For those who know me well enough, you probably have heard enough about my existential career crisis. For most of the part, I don’t know what to do or maybe at times I do and then there is no clear definite path to get to where I have to go.

Maybe sometimes it would be better to go back to a time of no choice, no Internet and standard careers for all those who graduated school and ran into university. Choice supposedly makes us more creative, brings out the best in us and leaves us more confused than ever.

My career as a supposed writer may have failed because I’m only 434 words in and here I am trying to finish up my train of thought that began with some definitive goal at the beginning of this piece.