About thecolorofred

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is what I tell acquaintances and relatives when they ask me what I’m doing for work. So far, although I see on their faces that they can’t imagine what ‘researcher’ does as clearly as say, a teacher or engineer, does, no one’s attempted to follow up their question with, can you elaborate? They’ve only said, ‘oh, wow, that’s great! keep it up!’, and because I usually don’t or too lazy to explain myself, I leave it at that.

This brings me to Julie & Julia, in which the iconic Meryl Streep is the enchanting Julia Child finding her calling at the stove, at the same time that a young woman, Julie, decides to leave her job for a stay-at-home cooking project that’s been eating at her (blogging about the experiment on the side). The project turned out splendidly, and she even got it all pinned down into a book.

Like Julie, I’ve also left my job, or more accurately, salaried employment. I’ve been employed ever since I was employable under Philippines labor law, and after more than a decade dedicatedly plugged into the standard income-earning model (much of it in international developmemt work), I felt that I’ve entered a phase in which I wanted a more balanced work-life dynamic. My superiors – my boss + his boss – didn’t want me to go, but sadly couldn’t convince the organization to acquiesce to what I’d asked: 3- or 4-day work week. I knew that it was a hard ask because my typical work week involved a lot of meetings and travel within the Metro and/or to our field offices in the different regions, but I was also hoping that somehow the higher-ups would walk our talk of supporting women in the workplace in the name of gender equality. So when the organization said it can’t grant me less in-person time (meaning, if they said yes to me, they’d have to say yes to everybody down the line– haha), I wasn’t too surprised. Just a bit sad that the time hasn’t yet arrived for when employers see the merits of what I’d asked for.

Like Julie and Julia who find themselves in cooking for and feeding others, I’ve also a few other-oriented projects that will surely keep me active and productive as I figure out the exact shape of this new phase of my work life. Like Julie, I’ll blog about it. But, because I’m a typical Aquarius, my interests are wide-ranging which means I can’t be relied upon to write only about work. I hope readers find my blog posts to be the good sort of clutter.

Happy reading!

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