July 9, 2012
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May 27, 2012
May 25, 2012
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May 22, 2012
May 15, 2012
As a woman growing up I was never seriously interested in dating and intimate relationships. No I am not gay and I am not trying to deny any thing about not being the usual woman who would have been married with children and living the typical family. But its just that having see so many things during my growing years I paid more attention to stability in life through a well paid job, positions and perks. Only when I did begin to mature I realized that even job stability could not address some of the challenges that single women had to deal with-especially when you happen to live in a society steeped in culture, rituals, religion, traditions etc.,
Going back the years and to explain as to what and why made me to have a different outlook...My dad died three months after I celebrated my 4th birthday and since then (within sporadic memories) I could see how my mother struggled to raise me and survive both. Not being a professionally educated woman the challenges in finding a sustainable income to keep us both going cannot be explained in this cage. Together we have moved a lot living in many rented houses. We never had a house to call our own, Even christmas was always spent in our cousins' home. Seeing how my mother struggled marriage, relationships never fascinated me because I could not see the connection to stability in life. I sometimes thought that she would have been better off without me. Or it was me who brought in all the bad luck on her ? Besides that my family had many troubled marraiges with drunkards, thieves, husbands who disowned their women claiming the child she bore was not his. One one family lived upto the marital vows.
I began working when I was 17 years because my mother could not support me to pursue the next 3 years of education. I was trained for one year learning office secretarial work and ended up working in many private companies in Colombo. I didn't stay on for a long time in many of the offices because the pay raise was measly in most places. As we were always moving to different houses, each time the rentals increased it was tough to manage with the paycheque I got. My attention, thoughts and brain constantly revolved around wanting to get a better paying job.
Somewhere down the line while taking on a few copy writing tasks for one of my employers, I just realized that I had a skill that I could put into better use. By that time I was really tired of being just a office secretary taking on large volumes of work on a 6 day work week with working hours streching from 8 to 9, 10 in the night. Three of the companies I worked for exported tea and often got very busy to cater to the different customers in international timezones. Thus the reason for my ungodly working hours. As time went by the ungodly working hours were grabbing a good portion of my personal life and I ended up not having time for anything in life except working, eating, drinking and sleeping.
I decided to change this because it was getting unbearable. It is then that I landed in an international development agency as an inhouse roving reporter. I was delighted to be able to get a foot in the door and the thought of being something else just more than a mere office secretary was pure bliss. Of course as always, good times did not last for long and three years later the agency decided to wrap up operations in Sri Lanka. By this time the infection to travel and write in me was very severe and I was determined to find a job that would let me have the same kind of satisfaction. Another agency opened its doors for me and I walked through only to be faced with the same situation an year later.
Without a job, having to pay a rent, keep both my mom and myself going was really tough. Personally I do not like being dependent financially and took on some freelance writing assignments to survive. Having been in the non profit sector without realizing, my attitudes had changed to being more socially conscious and often felt when the 'underdog' was crushed by the different forces. Maybe this is also because I have personally been through a lot in life, having to face discrimination at the workplace in different forms.
During the many long walks I take to ponder on this and that I have often felt the urge to do something to bring in some change. I do not want to be just another fancy frilled NGO but just an individual who can spend more focus in doing more in the name of social change-simply put giving a leg up for the underdog !
I am really interested to connect with like minded individuals - I am on a couple of common social media platforms.
my facebook profile - JaniceColombo
Twitter - JaniceColombo
Linkedin - Janice Corera
My blog : http://chutneytalk.blogspot.com