It’s not that I intend to be very political. But I guess I do care and that’s the point.
I seem to keep coming up against instances where I am faced with very narrow mindsets and/or stereotypes. And it annoys me. And then I have to do something about it.
Or sometimes someone gets shocked by what I do for a living or some part of my lifestyle or some part of me – something that’s always been inherently, well, normal for me and I realise I have been passively doing something about it.
Then I get tagged in some people’s minds as a rebel or in some cases, “a very special/adventurous/brave person”. Something along those lines.
Now I understand the reasons for why people have these misconceptions in the first place and in fact I understand the science behind it. But that’s another a story for another time.
There was the time when I met two very well to do Australians (I can hardly even remember how or where I met them) and they complimented me on my English and told me I was “very articulate”. They were very lovely people and they meant well and it was heartbreaking to joke back and say “Thank you, it’s my first/native language.”
Then I had to explain, yes I was born elsewhere but I spoke English first – it just happened that way.
Or the South Asian woman who was amazed that I was being allowed to live by myself in a foreign city or that I have travelled all over the world alone.
Or the people from back home who still sometimes cannot fathom why my family hasn’t set me up in a “proper job”.
I still think that perhaps some people see my name and wonder why the hell I am working as an editor/journalist because presumably I wouldn’t be very good with the language. I know that one of my examiners on my Honours thesis definitely thought so.
Then there are other things like “all journalists drink like fishes” – I don’t. “All editors are white haired women over 50″ – I and quite a few others are not. “Editors are very boring people who argue over grammar and spelling.” Well, we are picky and you don’t want a discussion to start over whether it’s “Shan’t” or “Sha’n't” but we are exciting too. I know one editor who used to be a ballet dancer, another who’s travelled the world, another who’s trained as an archaeologist. Now I have danced, travelled AND worked on an archaeological dig.
So here’s my proof:
And as far as travel goes: Sri Lanka 1983 – 2001 (with excursions to almost every corner of the globe); US 2001 – 2003; Sri Lanka 2003 – 2004; and Australia 2004 – present (with side trips to Malaysia, Singapore & Fiji). To see some more pictures go to Light Refracted.
Editors aren’t boring. We live wonderful varied lives so we find it easy to tell when your characters haven’t. I hope this post has gone some way to enlightening you on how wonderfully varied and eclectic people can be.
I don’t care if I am an editor, journalist or writer. I don’t care what title I have. I pretty much care about the kind of life I have and the people I get to share it with. Everything else is secondary. Almost everything I have done that seems exciting to others (I played drums in an indie rock band for example) just developed naturally from a point where generally I was presented with an opportunity to try something new out and I just nodded and said “Yes”.
I can only be myself and I am so glad I am who I am because if I was someone else I probably would just be bored stiff with my own company.