Let’s Talk about Personal Space

See I’m a closed up person. I’m not the book type where the more you get to read, the more I open up. In fact, I feel as though you are the wrong type of reader or you just don’t spend enough time in a library, you will be getting to read a different book. Actually, for every reader that gets the right book, every wrong reader gets a different book because, different approaches and let’s face it: I don’t want you comparing notes with each other.

However, (keeping in line to the excellent book analogy because I’m fabulous for thinking of it in the first place) all readers alike get a common introduction. #NoHate #AllLivesMatter I like to (try to) be funny, a bit chatty, open to listening and being a cheerleader about saving the world and spreading sunshine on rainy days #haw

Still for all, there are few things I don’t speak much on for various reasons among which include:

(Local and International) Politics

No, I’m not trying to be diplomatic about it. Truth be told, unless it’s the UNFCCC or your names happen to be Trudeau or Macron, I’m not interested in knowing about you either. Mostly because I am a little blissfully unaware about what really goes on. Shameful I know, but I’m not lying when I say that it bores me. Sometimes to near death. I’m not proud of it needless to say but at least I’m being honest about it and avoid partaking in conversations I don’t quite understand much of.

On How Parents Should Parent their Children

Of course I will give ample advise on how I would raise my unborn children and in my mind write countless blog posts about how wrong I think you are raising your own. But, I for one will most likely not be able to afford any of my own and since you are bravely raising children, I genuinely do believe that you have a better idea of what you are doing with your kid(s), I think.

Education

While education is essential and a right for all, let’s face it. In reality, not everyone has access to it and due to various reasons, those who do have access to it sometimes leave it behind due to commitments, financial concerns, more lucrative job offers and the genuine lack of interest in wanting to study. While education is one way towards the road of smart(dom), it isn’t the only way and learning happens in everyday life and not just in an institution.

Sexuality and Gender

I added both, despite knowing very well that one is different from the other because I am unable to clearly explain as to how one differs from the other. My Gender Studies lecturer from 2012/2013 will be disappointed, I know. But like what you may, who you may and do whomever you please, so as long as you stay away from my man, you and I can always, ALWAYS drink together. I’ll even buy you a round.

Body Size

Let’s just say, #AllBodiesAreBeautiful

and they are! If you are unable to see beyond that, you and I clearly cannot be friends.

Facebook Relationship Statuses

If you are not on Facebook, well I don’t think this would apply to you, but irrespective of you being single, married, widowed, divorced and any other new type of relationship you choose to be in, I’m chill, with the exceptions of you either complaining about your chosen status or making out with you bae next to meet when we meet every four months for dinner. (ew)

Religion

These include the beliefs and practices of my own, of yours and those around us. Unless otherwise provoked with hateful comments on any religion, I will continue to believe that all religions speak of love, unity and togetherness because that’s what all religions preach. I think.

Coz we all love the pope.

This also means that I bear judgement (maybe a bit on parenting one tho) and have no biases (unless you are a child of war or divorce) on the different perspectives you and the rest of the world choose to believe in.

Because, personal space right?

We will soon speak on religion and agnosticism. However, if the sun chooses to shine and rays of inspiration hit me, I will speak of travels.

Let’s (try to) Talk about Sex Education?

It’s a topic I’ve been wanting to speak on for a long time, but haven’t for the usual reasons, i.e.- procrastination and then for the more diplomatic reasons on whether we should speak about it at all. Because I mean after all, these sort of topics are saved for after marriage and I’m not married noh.

See but then this post is not about having sex. Don’t get me wrong. It’s more on the need for educating people about sex. Also most of these images are shamelessly stolen off the Internet.

If you do want to know more about sex and the works, I would suggest some sort of magazine or website and in other unrelated news, Playboy is bringing back nudes!

***

This post on the other hand was inspired partly by one of my drivers. We were driving back from Kurunegala a few days ago and he tells me,

මිස් දන්නවාද, Valentine’s Day  වල තමයි වැඩියෙන්ම ගෑණු ළමයි දූෂණය වෙන්නේ.”

Translation: Do you know that the most number of girls get raped on Valentine’s Day?

And no, I didn’t know that (and I don’t know if it is true). And yes, this post was to come out on Valentine’s Day but then I got busy with work (no there were no Valentine’s celebrations from this end as we are too old for that you know, lol) and never got around to it.

However, this conservation with my driver led to us talking about sex education, rape, contraception, family planning, STDs and unwanted pregnancies that these girls clearly knew nothing of.

See, before we go any further let’s throw out a few disclaimers for ol’ times sake but mostly because we live in a supposedly sensitive as fuck world where everyone seems to take offence for everything. Also since we are talking about “adult” topics, we will be swearing because, duh.

  • This post is not meant to draw sympathy on women.
  • Neither is this post aimed at penalising men.
  • Nor does it conform to the norm that women are victims and men are those at fault.
  • I will only focus on the male and female genders and  heterosexual relationships because these are the populations that have easily accessible data and stuff.
  • Also:
just letting ya'll know. (also shamelessly taken off Google)
just letting ya’ll know. (also shamelessly taken off Google)

 ***

Since this post has been coming a few days and I’ve lost my train of thought one too many times for my liking, let me try to go through a few reasons as to why I think we need to speak more on sex, having sex and well most importantly, having safe sex.

just sayin'
just sayin’

Consent 

I usually refer the dictionary on themy Mac for definitions and this is what it had to say on consent:

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-23-23-03

A lot of the time, rape takes place when the “victim” (we are trying to be gender neutral here) has no idea that what is happening to them is wrong. This is true especially in the case of children and rape within their own families. I also have no numbers and statistics to back this information. If you are looking for a good read with numbers I strongly recommend the Bill and Melinda Gates Open Letter.

So it’s pretty simple right? If someone does something without the other’s permission, or consent, it is a violation of their rights or privacy or something on those lines.

Eg: – A few weeks ago someone took away the (my) laptop I was working on to show another some screen on Facebook, without asking me. No consent!

If you are still confused, the following video explains it thoroughly as well. I recommend you watch it as a family or a classroom – though I’m very well aware that my audience does not attract such people, haha.

The Birds and the Bees

Okay, I get it. I’m Sri Lankan too and my Mum never spoke to me about the birds and the bees. And still to date as a twenty-something year old I’m confused as to what the birds and the bees have to do with this. Why can’t we go more Freud about it and call it a lock and key or snake and window or you get the point. Or if you don’t, your mind is not dirty enough to be reading this post. 

Again, if you do have five minutes at hand, this is a very good video to watch or show the children around you.

See, a lot of the time, when there is no education or well discussion on what really happens when people have sex, it leads to things like, you guessed it, rape!

There is no shame in talking about it to children and truth be told, if I were to have kids, I would start speaking to them or introducing the concept of sex from primary school. It would not only teach them what they ought to do to protect themselves but also teach them the right way of treating others and respecting them.

True we have Google and most in my generation, a few before and all those younger to me rely on the Internet for information. However, the Internet too has come a long way since early Millennium dial-up and information sharing. It has become more vital than ever for everyone to not only cross check news sites (because fake news brings money too, it seems) but also inquire on the authenticity of information provided. Hence, if parents or adults are not going to speak to their kids about this, they will only rely on the Internet for (mis)information.

I asked my Mother recently as to why she never told me about how children are made / babies are born. She laughed it off and said that I knew more than she did. While I did laugh along with her because it was funny, it did also dawn on me that there are many kids out there who are incapable of having such conversations with their parents. What are they to do then? 

Contraception 

I saved the best for last because I believe that contraception becomes the solution to a lot of unwanted and unplanned situations including STDs and (not so) happy accidents.

Okay, let’s assume that consent has been attained and now two individuals (no I’m not looking at sexual relations with more than two people so don’t be offended) are maybe going to have sex for the first time. So no, they won’t get STDs and that box is checked. However, in the case of a heterosexual relationship, what about the risk of pregnancy?

If it amounts to anything on the lines of progress, which I think it is, some of the Healthguard Pharmacies here in Sri Lanka now not only sell condoms on shelves but also have emergency contraceptives as well. I think this is great as it not only reduces the risk of anything you are not really ready to have for but most importantly reduces the stigma and mental strain someone would have to go through when asking for it over the counter.

On another positive note, Sri Lanka is a country that does not require prescriptions for Oral Contraceptive Pills or OCPs. I don’t really know what this means in a medical sense, but as a layman or woman, I think this is a great progressive step as it again shortens the number of steps one would have to climb when wanting to have safer sex and access to contraceptives. While there isn’t a plethora of choices to choose from, I guess this is a start of sorts.

sorry, Google.
sorry, Google.

If you are interested, here is an excellent compilation done by Pew Research on abortion policies across the world.

Other suggested reading:

The least we can do from our end is to probably talk about it more to well, normalise it in to general conversation so that there will be no stigma when anyone would want to ask questions about it (as opposed to Googling for an answer).

There is no shame in parents or teachers speaking to their children or educating students on sex and all the other safety precautions they need to know because it would seriously do this country a world of good. See, once the discussion is out there in the open there would be criticism and probably a ban on speaking about the topic in open (like in the case of the big matches) but until that time, there is a sense of responsibility from every generation to the next.

#ThinkSunny

Let’s Talk about Prostitutes

A lot of people have already begun talking about it and clearly this post will not necessarily make a difference, but there are rants in my head that need to be written somewhere and if you don’t feel like reading it, no worries!

This is totes obvs with reference to the piece of shit writing on The Sunday Leader yesterday, which was shared by the lovely Aisha. I strongly suggest you read the ridiculous article by The Sunday Leader either way, in order to add some context to the story. 

Let’s start by saying that I, for a long time have been bias towards the cause of prostitutes. I’ve always thought that there was nothing wrong with selling your body and making a living out of it, because a) at corporates people tend to sell their souls anyway, haha and b) the way men leer is actually no different to the “male” customer that goes in search of female prostitutes.

Few disclaimers too (because the world gets ridiculously offensive at everything we have to say now):

  • I’m not going to call them commercial sex workers because it makes no difference anyway. Or maybe it does and it doesn’t really matter to me. It’s different to the differently-abled / disabled debate. Let’s just call a spade, a spade okay.
  • All supposed relationships in this are for heterosexual people. I don’t know too much on homosexual / bisexual prostitutes to speak as much on it.

***

download

Dear Ashanthi,

As my friend Aisha points out, “young girls are suffering from the loss of virginity” is not a disease. Sometimes girls, if not women, lose their virginity at a young age due to rape. Or maybe due to consensual sex with their teenage boyfriend. You don’t “suffer” because of this “loss”. Such sufferings occur in the “loss” of a family member.

More on the “loss”, you don’t really “lose” anything. True there is the story of the hymen breaking and what not, but really it’s not a loss man, grow up for fuck’s sake. It doesn’t even work the same way for all women.

“In most cases innocent but naive young girls, seduced by their boyfriends, lose their virginity due to their affairs. But then, instead of coming back to the right track, they wander away in life astray dipping deeper into the abyss.” 

Like what the actual fuck. What if these girls who have gone “astray” have done so because it is a choice that they have made? Just as the misogynists would say that rape is something women bring upon themselves because of the clothes they wear (another rant for another day), sometimes women go astray, sleep around with multiple men, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. Grow up lady, the world is not as rosy as you think it and there are women who enjoy having sex with one man or multiple men, and if they are sexually consenting adults who would do it for a fee, what on earth is your problem?

“However, in Sri Lanka, this has become a serious issue due to the ignorance of the authorities for many years.”

Dearest Ashanthi, have you stopped to realise why there is an increase in “commercial sex workers” and an increase in rape? Because men are fucking frustrated. I’ve always thought (and I know that I’m not alone in thinking so) that if prostitution was legalised that there might be a slight decrease in rape because of the increased number of sexually consenting women? I might be wrong, I don’t know, because I don’t have the numbers. But logically, this works out well in my mind and in my utopia, male and female prostitution will always be legal and girls can walk home in mini skirts at eleven in the night. (and so can men, without being harassed or mugged, because we are all equal here, Jesus.)

“But the second group which consists of the majority, are women who have become helpless without anyone to look after them…. The opinion in the society about these women varies as some have criticised their work while some have felt sorry about their misfortune. When we look into the real reasons that have compelled them to become sex workers, we too tend to justify their fate.”

I actually agree with you on this statement. When men who are husbands, fathers, care takers, breadwinners or whatever else you feel fit to call them, fail to do what “society deemed them to do”, women have to take on their role of providing for the family. Some women, who are fortunate enough to have basic education, finds work at a minimum-wage job and the more fortunate middle or higher-class ones are able to find work in the private sector. The rest of the women who are not at such an advantage have to fall back on either daily labour or prostitution. Those who are able to would naturally choose the latter because it’s human to want to make more money faster. I work three jobs, you see.

“In a corrupt society, the lack of solutions for their social problems have compelled many women to become sex workers.”

Our society is corrupt for a number of reasons that I think include: those who come in to power, mismanagement of people’s money, greed, lack of solid foundation for education (and the necessary tools that come with it) that can lead to things like prostitution yes. (I can rant on infrastructure and inefficient government services but I don’t think that’s what we are ranting about now).

Besides your blatant ignorance, supposed reasons for gallivanting at three in the morning in the name of trashy investigative journalism and most importantly the lack of really good sub-editor, I am yet to find enough reason as to why The Sunday Leader would run something on these lines. Or perhaps, they were needing a publicity stunt and thought that this trashy piece of writing would make us buy the paper despite the terribly cheap print quality they have.

Go get laid woman.

From, a lot of angry women.

An Open Letter from Me to You

To the dearest people in my life,

These are different from the previous open letters that I have written. This one is a tad bit more personal even to the extent of TMI. There might be parts that you might think are exaggerated but this is just me talking through the written word because we all know how bad I am at communicating in real life.

I don’t always speak my mind. You see, I’m crying-emotional AF and any sort of extreme emotion gets my waterworks running. I am not very emotional otherwise as most may already know. If you don’t believe me and know any of my close friends and family (or even better the ex-boyfriends!) do ask them too. I also used to be affectionate once upon a time but that too was lost after growing into adulthood. And on being sensitive and sentimental, but we’ve spoken on that before.

Instead of me speaking my mind, I want you to read my mind. No one is psychic here I know, but I can gauge your feelings. In a similar way I want you to do the same too. Because you wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t tell you otherwise.

I also don’t ask for things. If I get something I take it but if not I don’t. Because if we are close and I were to do things for you I would expect that you knew on how the drill worked. But if it doesn’t turn out that way that doesn’t mean i would care less about you. But you should know that I don’t ask. On the contrary if I do ask or say I want something, please by all means give it to me if you can or if you can’t say so. You see it’s part ego and part social anxiety that prevents this happening often.

Continuing on the note of asking, if I ask and you don’t respond because you may have simply forgotten, I won’t ask again.

You see, I’m not a very second chance type of person. My Mother is heavily into that but to an extent I’m unforgiving and I don’t know why. I suppose it’s because I don’t forget easily. I would want to ideally forget, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind style, but I don’t. This means I will ideally never (or not for s very long time) ask anything related on these lines again.

I also want you to remember. Mostly again because I remember.

I suppose a lot of these sound like I want you to be me, haha

Because for me if is always the little things. Also because I’m just tired of constantly reminding.

You should also know that I get lonely. I like being alone and we all know that, but being alone and being lonely are two different things. It’s probably again due to my social anxiety and female hormones, but I get lonely and because I don’t communicate, I don’t tell and I would want you to know. I want you to know and be there for me without me having to ask you for it. Because I don’t ask. But if you don’t, that’s alright because I wouldn’t love you less.

Finally, if you are wondering on what you get out of all of this, all I can give you is unconditional love. I will also give you little material or edible things when I can but it’s my “love” that you will always have and it’s not because love will save the world. I will also make sure that no one around you tries to hurt you and if they do I would wish nothing but unspeakable things on them and to the rest of their generations.

Overall, I’m asking too much. I know. But I can’t help it and the person in me is too adamant to change her ways. But if you are already here in my life, thank you for being there for so long. If you are new, welcome and I’m glad to you have here too. I hope this letter explains my behaviour because I’m simply a little tired of trying to explain myself.

Love,
Seni.
Open Letters

On Motivation

While the agnostic living in me might be questioning the creation of life in itself, the child in me cannot help but be marvelled at how one thought can ever so subtly relate to another. Just Monday night I was lying in bed, having those few minutes of explosive-creativity before drifting off to sleep, half tossing and turning in exhaustion and the other half cursing in laziness on not being able to get hold of my laptop, five feet away and put my thoughts to a structured layout. I didn’t voice memo either, because I knew I’d fall asleep, but my sleeping thoughts were on motivation.

However, my waking thoughts the following day were on Blank Space by Taylor Swift.

It’s Wednesday now and I cannot stop listening to Ms Swift.

However, I ranted about this already over here (and seem to have done it here before over here), but midweek holidays are always the pits. Sometimes they can be refreshing yes, but when it is closer to the weekend (read, Thursday), like last week back home, then the slack hits in and the next thing you know all hell has broken lose. Apparently, this wasn’t a singular case it seems. A few people I know did also go through the chaotic after effects of the wretched midweek holiday and ended up in a rut, slack and the core of for those anything but productive.

But the time has come ish, and the system is slowly gaining consciousness and life seems to be settling back to work mode. The plan is also to work over the weekend to catch up on days missed. But throughout it all was a constant notion that dominated my waking and sleeping thoughts (there wasn’t really much of a distinction between the two either): I was demotivated and no amount of Madagascar (a recent favourite), Taylor Swift or shopping sites would get me back on track.

It’s something I had known since my India days and would probably trace its roots to the time I began reading Game of Thrones during the ten days of study leave for my finals. The urgency didn’t hit because I had found a better distraction to studying. Working out didn’t help either. What did help was pushing myself out there, studying and eventually graduating. <confetti>

It is the same “motivation” drives me to either get work done, work out, eat healthy or even bring myself together to do chores. 

What I have also realised during my hours of talking to myself is that this “motivation” cannot be outsourced. You can receive encouragement yes, however motivation from the little I studied (and remember) from psychology is that it is an intrinsic factor. Before the psychologists throw bricks at me, I do agree (to an extent) with studies conducted on extrinsic motivation but my inner-voice tells me that it isn’t, you know, as effective.

Continuing with my very bias opinion, let me tell you that demotivated people are a big no-no for me. I do put up with them, but unless you are family, I will leave you stranded in the Sahara. Something I have learnt and observed within the past year is that I choose to avoid being around those who are neither driven nor motivated. While I do accept people as they are, not only do I find such people to be negative energy, but they are also the type to definitely to drain energy from you. Lily had a video recently and she speaks of the sort of people that depend on another to help depend on all of life’s moments, both happy and sad. Like seriously. While I’m all for lending ears, eyes and help to my family and friends, I’m just glad that most of them are independent enough to deal with basic emotions in life, alone.

The latter thought also comes from the fact that I am a happy loner and as someone who celebrates solitude, I cannot understand someone who cannot stand to be alone or deal with their shit alone. Jeez. This leads to these creepy crawlers having to be constantly motivated in order to go study, cheer them up, console them and who knows, even make them do their laundry.

Please do hug your screen if you feel my frustration right now.

Of the many things I don’t understand in life, this is no different. Why aren’t people naturally motivated to do things that they have brought unto themselves? Is it difficult to see the consequences of procrastinating? You might even lose a job for crying out loud. Unless of course all these circumstances are governed by a tragic and (un)expected event in their life, then it is justifiable but that is the exception and not the norm.

Now that the rant-essay’s done, I’m off to go catch up on a backlog of missed content.

IMG_5023
In my defence I did this at work and no, I couldn’t wait until I went home to do it properly. lol

 

Hope you babies have a wonderful weekend.

❤ 

Running Away from Reality

But then what is reality, if not what we define ourselves? Reality and normalcy are the world as we know it. It is not within our control, which is why seek a world outside it.

***

Hi there!

So I was to write this over the weekend, but that never materialised. So what else is new?

Well a lot of things to start with but let’s not get in to that. I’m not too sure if it is nostalgia from four years past but somewhere this time, or a little before this time in 2010 when I left to India. I sought India as a place of solace, escape and moreover peace. Not that I was a “troubled” person. Well I was, yes, but no more than you are. Over the years I have grown to accept that we are all troubled in our own sense and if we think we are special coz we are not, then there is something absolutely wrong with you. I am no more troubled than you are and vice versa. So quit being a punk about it. Mind you, this is advise and reassurance I’m also giving myself.

Truer words have not been spoken. (c) Google Images
Truer words have not been spoken. (c) Google Images

I am not too sure where it all started but there were some boy issues then and there were certain spatial issues (you know my issue of “space” noh) I had a while to get used to and well, I needed a new start. I am thankful to my mother who was willing to see through my education and for my sister too for having paid for a fair share of expenses. Would I ever be able to pay them back? I am not too sure, but I do hope that my actions would be on the lines of something that would make them happy.

It’s perhaps that time of year again, perhaps driven by nostalgia and philosophical conversations that make me wonder if we all need to constantly run away from reality, and why.

It’s not as though I seek happiness that I already do not have, but then perhaps it is that constant message of underachievement, underperformance and a lot of other negative cues that make me feel this way. In times and circumstances such as these, it is only a sadass blog post that would help me get by.

I hope there are sunnier days ahead. The clouds are messing with the sun and making the rains comes down. I’m not too sure if that is a good thing.

I hope all you babies are having a good week.

An Open Letter to the Man I Never Met (or have and don’t know yet!)

Hi there,

Apologies on phrase in parentheses. I couldn’t help myself. This post was driven by this, something a friend had shared on Twitter this afternoon.

I have nothing against what Philip has to say. In fact, a few of the guys I know are actually hopeless romantics so much so to the extent that ‘chick flicks’ are no longer accurate.

I was never a romantic. I had seen and been apart of too many broken relationships, abusive relationships and unhappy endings since my younger days that didn’t provide me the capacity to be pro-relationships. I began dating only after I left school and then left abroad for college a year later.

To this date I’m glad I was in college, away from home, because I wouldn’t know how I would be in a relationship had I lived in the same country as my ex boyfriends did.

As a result of not believing in the success of relationships, I was glad for the distance. Since childhood, I was looked upon as the opposite of my sister. Friendly and talkative in social situations, yet quiet at home and often ‘kept to myself’. This, I carried with me to the rest of my childhood, teenage years and even to date. I do not open up. I do not express feelings. I care for people who are close to me, it comes naturally but that does not mean I cannot be indifferent to your existence as well. I am a happy loner. Nature and HBO tells me that the wolf pack survives better together but I survive better alone. I do present myself when required, I do not complain about what’s on the dinner table because more often than not, life is mere existence and the reason why we survive, continues to baffle me.

I’m not too sure if you would be able to accept me for who I am, but once we do meet I hope you do. I will not cheat on you as that is something I could never bring myself to do, but you must understand that space is priority for me. It’s a concept the previous generation struggles to understand. It’s a concept they understand as physical space, which is not entirely true. I would explain it to you in detail when we meet, but if you are able to understand me without me having to tell you this, I’m sure you would be what hopeless romantics call ‘The One’.

I know this is an overly personal letter to you, especially because we are yet to meet, but if you stumble upon this someday, I hope you would be able to read me better. While I do think that communication is important to a relationship, I also think that the ability to understand each other without having to communicate becomes more important. I might be seeking a mind reader and if you are by some stroke of luck, welcome aboard.

Romantic relationships were never a priority for me as I know that they are bound to fail due to some shortcoming from my end. I’m not trying the method of portraying myself innocent, but it’s bound to happen.

If in the event I don’t meet you or perhaps may remain indifferent to your existence, I truly apologise. I constantly keep myself occupied, as it is one of the most successful and lucrative ways to keep me distracted. I’m a happy loner and if we never meet, I wish you well and all the happiness and sunshine in the world and if we do, I hope the sun would always shine on us.

Much love,

Me.

 Open Letters