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?

Week Thirty-Three: Giving Thanks

Tuesday September 27, 2016

Hello loves,

It’s been too long since I last gave thanks. Work, life and usual and some unforeseen shenanigans happened and before we even know, September has come and gone.

Today, I don’t want to count my list of thankfuls. Instead, I want reminisce and recollect some of the people and times in life that have truly made me feel grateful (that may also not necessarily be limited to this week).

I am grateful for all the hardworking people. This can be anyone from the superbly infamous YouTubers I watch and waste my data on to the security guard basking in the sun trying to successfully make the most out of a parking lot while simultaneously hearing an earful from some drivers like me. It’s because of you that I am (most of the time) motivated to work and keep doing what I am doing. Sometimes, I may not like what I do. There are parts of my curious, supposedly pyjama-loving lifestyle of a job that has moments where I am needed to wear that dress and a pair of heels in order to go out and be social (no, I’m not an escort. Have you even seen me!) But looking at all the other hardworking people out there, it reminds me on how this being one step towards a what I call,  “successful rest of your life”

I am grateful for those who chase their dreams. Cliché but true. Too true even. Never has a generation been as blessed as they are now. More clichés coming at you. Neither has any generation before us been able to dream up or cook up career goals and actually achieved them. Most things are no longer #TumblrAF but are actual goals that people are able to achieve. It’s these sort of people that actually make me adamant on not working full-time and embracing this supposed-pyjama living life. Also, I may have not yet found the perfect fit to do full-time too, I don’t know. This twenty-something is still figuring things out. Also, I don’t own actual “pyjamas”. More like some shorts and t-shirts I pair together for sleeping reasons.

I am grateful for the little things that make my day. I sometimes try very hard (and fail) to capture moments through either photograph or text on how a little girl reaches out to hold her Mother’s hand while crossing the road. Or even better, when a dog crosses the road using a pedestrian crossing! Yes, I have something to do with pedestrian crossings, just in case you haven’t realised. Or seeing people celebrating love, happiness or even sharing the last cigarette until pay day while having tea from a nearby kadey. 

I am grateful for this year. It’s too early for an annual review just as yet but where the hell has this year flown by? It seems like it was only yesterday when we were playing Monopoly and nomming on my cheese stuffed chicken while New Year was dawning. It’s been a good year. There have been difficult times and the next few months to come will be filled with an anticipated few too. But we carry on. We hustle. We stay strong.

Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for in your life so far?

Why I Want to Write about Financing (or “Budgeting” predominantly)

If I start to count the number of videos I watched before starting this post, trust me I would’ve failed having tried to keep track of em. As far as most writers go, I am pretty Jon Snow when it comes to financing. The most I would’ve gotten as far as financing goes would be that o/level commerce class and a/level accounts option weirdly paired with some English literature. As most people would admit too, I’m not that book smart. I like to think that I’m street smart instead because let’s face it, if it’s not the books it has to be the “streets” until someone comes up with alternate terminology.

My “budgeting” days start somewhere in 2007-2008 when I did “odd” – but legal – jobs on the side. Then it was more on getting pocket money that I would dish out at once because, well, the chief finance officer = the mother!

Starting 2009, there were regular pay cheques coming in monthly that ranged from four figures to lo and behold, five figures every month. It wasn’t a steady stream of money but in retrospect, I actually did more with that money than I do now. This might also be because I didn’t use four-to-five-figure face products as I do now. Gah. I remember shopping for everyone after my first real “pay cheque” and even throwing a little birthday party for my mum with her closest friends and family (that amounted to around fifty people) – with only four-five figures!

Next it was India. No, my degree was neither in financing nor commerce. On the contrary, it was in communications (though I later went on to major in English with minors and psychology and communications, because I tend to be indecisive as fuck). My Mother paid for my degree and my sister for accommodation and survival as I was not book-smart enough to look out for scholarships.

I would like to think that my real journey in to budgeting and finances began then.

The first two weeks of the month was always glorious. My lovely Sri Lankan roomie and I would try out different restaurants that were forever in our bucket lists and the next two weeks spent getting as creative as you could get with sliced bread, Maggi noodles, lots of canned food (read: tuna) and the x-number of sauces. I would’ve said cereal but in reality trying to get creative with cereal sounds a little too gross.

I know I could've just done the same with my Scrabble board but we have Google to save our souls
I know I could’ve just done the same with my Scrabble board but we have Google to save our souls

But this was somewhere in 2012 and fast forward to four years now, I am a little surprised at how not much has changed! Haha. No, I’m not proud of it either. I’m laughing because that’s what I do in situations where I don’t cry.

See interestingly, the routine is still the same. Except that I work three jobs (+ odd jobs – all legal!) now and expenses and all that jazz have significantly increase. Let’s not even start with the other vices now, haha. I recently bought myself a car, or will continue to buy (or pay) sounds just about more accurate as that’s what I will be doing for a while and have decided on travelling far more than my travel quota the coming year completely disregarding my shaky job situation.

For the umpteenth time, I’m neither book-smart, nor am I feeling very brave but as the book of English idioms would have it, I’m feeling very “take the bull by its horns” these days.

Fingers crossed this goes well!

Week Thirty-Two: Giving Thanks

Tuesday September 13, 2016

Hello loves,

Happy September! I know forgot last week but let’s try to pretend as though it never happened okay. Because, it never did, haha – get it? ohgoshIlovemydryjawkssomuch.

Here are what I am grateful for this week:

  1. My sister, who is home this week – YAY.
  2. Holidays on weekdays, need I say more?
  3. Not allowing myself to work on weekends, unless it’s something that can’t wait. Because we all need to have boundaries at some point. Even those of us who work from home.
  4. Being published on Bad Yogi, again! YAY.
  5. Finally pulling myself together and editing my Cambodia video even though it was deleted the first time :/

Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for this week?

Week Thirty-One: Giving Thanks

Tuesday August 30, 2016

Hello loves,

My self-imposed deadline was 1500h but I was running errands at that time and tell me who can buy eggs, pay bills, pump petrol and blog at the same time?

Since I’m now back to making money for the day, let’s get straight into my list of thankfuls for this week:

  1. This week. Has been much better and big improvement from a lot of things.
  2. My family. For giving me the house for the weekend! Haha.
  3. For great friends, who come home with alcohol in exchange of cooked food.

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    Some matar-less paneer (some fool decided to eat all of it at the supermarket), murgh do pyaaza, bit of a failed dhal fry and jeera rice!
  4. The positive unexpected turns in life. Sometimes you find yourself in strange but good situations when you stop looking for it.

Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for this week?

Week Thirty: Giving Thanks

Tuesday August 23, 2016

To all you beautiful people,

It’s been a while hasn’t it. My last post from week twenty-nine tells me that it was somewhere in September when I stopped this practice. I don’t know why it happened, it’s not as though I haven’t been thankful since. I have been, more than I could’ve hoped for. But I’ve also been confused as at lately with a lot of things in my life (also before anyone makes assumptions, this has nothing to do with any of my relationships, lol) and what better time than now to revisit old practices and actually bring back the good?

I’m also going to kick right back in from week thirty as though there was no care left in the world.

This week I am thankful for:

  1. This week and week alone. It’s been ridiculously stressful the past few weeks (or months) and I’m truly grateful for the start of a new week. I know it’s only Tuesday, but it’s been a good one so far.
  2. My family. Who have time and again been so understanding to my weird ways of life and living. That is all I can say.
  3. For friends, who keep me sane and entertained.
  4. Sight. On Saturday, we were helping out Mum at one of her voluntary charity events for the visually handicapped. But what startled and even amazed me the most was how they function as regular people, families, have children and stay happy. It made me wonder how little I actually saw in life, despite being granted a relatively perfect.
  5. My friend, Anu who started giving thanks on her blog and automatically inspired me to do the same!

Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for this week?

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

Let’s Talk about the English Language – Part I

Before I launch into an ultimate rant, let me just put out a few disclaimers for all we care:

  • Yes, I’m aware that I speak in English than Sinhala when given the opportunity;
  • I’m also aware that my blog posts are entirely in English;
  • and finally, despite it not being my first language or “native” tongue, I’m quite aware on how better I think, write and make sense of when using the English language.

But this isn’t about the English language. Rather, it’s on the growing sense of uneasiness a lot of the people come across seem to have with the use of the Sinhala or Tamil languages.

I would speak mostly for the Sinhala language though as the encounters are higher there.

If you know me in person, you’ve probably heard multiple rants of mine where I tell people on how it’s “okay” to actually get the English language “wrong”.

Yes, I am also one of those people that finds secret humour in ridiculously misspelled words, but this is about the spoken language and not the written. 

One of the things I still remember from my uni days was this lesson from my English Language Teaching class: the LSRW system or method or whatever. So, LSRW stands for “Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing” and is a method (in that order) followed when teaching second or foreign languages. However more often than not our education system practices an exact reverse of the same method where most children end up “listening” towards the end of their learning.

Now you wonder why young and older adults have arguments with each other and often throw in “you don’t listen to mes” – haha. It’s also not surprising how my aural skills are shiz and I had the attention span of a fly when it came to my music practical exams!

But leaving out LSRWs aside, when it comes to English or any other second languages, something we must all understand is that it’s okay to not be accurate. I used to teach English once upon a time in my life. I gave up for two reasons:

a) I was convinced that I was a terrible teacher and

b) I did not agree with the teaching system that was set out for us teachers.

Because for an individual like myself that harps on the fluency > accuracy formula, the system just did not work

However, the funny thing is that (at least from what I’ve seen here in Sri Lanka) non-native speakers of English and other “foreign” languages garner more attention and praise from the general public when compared to those who either do not speak non-native languages or those who speak it with “flaws and inaccuracy”.

In my posts, I usually try to refrain from dragging in the line of work I do. Mostly because my blog is separate from work and while I am influenced by what I see and experience during my tenure, I try not to write of it specifically. And no, in case you were wondering, I’m not a spy, or you weren’t but I just wanted to type that line out, haha. 

As a “communications” person and as a language enthusiast that picks up languages fast, one of my key personal objectives at work and in life is to “communicate” messages. Now these messages need not be communicated verbally. It can be pictures, hand gestures, miming and you know the rest of things we do when in search of a bathroom while travelling within a country that doesn’t praise the English language as much as ours does.

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However, in the context of verbal communication, the motive remains the same. The goal is to communicate a message from one party to another (or more). For which, the kind of language used in communication is secondary. If you live or work in Colombo, chances are that you speak more than one language. And if by chance you as a recipient are aware of the speaker’s language capabilities, it is your responsibility to ensure that you speak the language they are comfortable in.

Do you know that when an individual is comfortable speaking the language they do, they usually bring out their best most authentic self, which is a great way to build your relationship with them? 

So, why do we stop people from speaking in languages they are comfortable in?

  1. Shame – Quite similar to Cersei Lannister’s walk of shame, there are those who get uncomfortable and squirmy when someone speaks in a native language (in our case, Sinhala or Tamil).
  2. Classism – Stereotyping yes, but those from “upper” classes, do not speak in their native languages. Not all, but some for reasons I do not know.
  3. Upward Social Mobility – Similar to classism, this refers to the aspiring upper class.

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If you wondered why me, as an English writer chose to write this in English and not Sinhala given my supposed opinion on it, my reasoning is surprisingly a little similar to what’s listed above:

  1. Shame – I am not very fluent in Sinhala writing. I was nearly a decade ago, but I have stopped writing in Sinhala, especially long form. I am aware that it would be a bigger shame to speak incorrectly the language you were taught in school as opposed to the language you picked up through media.
  2. Lack of Adequate Resources – As a writer, I have no shame in saying that I refer dictionaries, Google and other websites when I need to clarify grammar and ridiculously big words I don’t understand. I’m also more familiar typing in English. However, while there are some resources available in Sinhala, there aren’t as much and kind of removes the guarantee otherwise vested when writing in English!

Speaking in a native language is a good thing. Most languages are on the verge of extinct today because people don’t speak them and newer generations aren’t taught the language for any of the above reasons. It’s funny because then you have countries like China that, with the help of their massive population have managed to make Mandarin / Chinese (I’m not sure of the difference) among the main languages in the world.

Perhaps this all goes back to the time of colonies where post-colonisation, the colonisers left with the colonies the need to spread and “colonise” their language and present it as more superior to others. *

*”Colony” word count: 05

Until next time and more rants and writings.

P.S. – The Part I is obviously an indication of more rants to follow, haha.