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In a Blink of Eye

Don’t know what to say now
Don’t know where to start
I don’t know how to handle
A complicated heart

A trip to Bandung is always emotionally draining. Too many stories has happened, too many memories left to be remembered each time I drive in and out of the city.

Its all started in October 1999. Just few days after I graduated, I started dating a girl who were studying in Bandung. We had a long distance relationship. Almost every month she will come to Jakarta, to visit her parents and me. Every 3 months, I will go to Bandung, and spent few days. We explored the city, and made memories to more pristine Bandung in the early 2000s.

You tell me you are leaving
But I just have to say
Before you throw it all away

She graduated in 2004, and move back to Jakarta with her parents. And then everything started to changes. Probably our romantic relationship works better as a long distance relationship. So that we treasure the time that we have together. When we live in the same city, we value our time less, and get ourself busy with our own stuff. It is clear the the relationship started to break apart once we live in the same city.

And it all culminated in May 2005, when she told me that she wanted to break up and end the relationship. I didn’t argue anything, because deep inside, I know it was the right thing to do. Even today I still think that it was the right thing to do. The relationship had no future.

Even if you want to go alone
I will be waiting when you’re coming home
And if you need someone to ease the pain
You can lean on me, my love will still remain

The lyrics above from Michael Learns to Rock’s Complicated Heart is exactly the things that I would like to tell her when we broke up, and even today when we finally had a chance to chat. It was her mother’s memorial service, who passed away 2 days ago. It wasn’t love as a lover that I would like to offer, but a love as a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and help to ease the pain.

Those words are still left unspoken. As I drove alone back to Jakarta, I think there are words that are better left unspoken. Maybe, someday in the future, when I met her in a better time, and in a right situation.

So, finally, we come to the last day of 2016. In less than 24 hours, we will start writing 2017 in our letters and documents. New Year always bring new hopes, but also bring out the best memory of the year to pass, and the worst one that we want to forget.

To summarize 2016, it has been a year full of challenges and failure. But through the failure I learned and stand through. Towards the end, the seeds of hopes have been planted for 2017.

The New Year celebration of 2016 was still fresh in mind when I face my first failure. The big opportunity that we have been worked in 2015 had just passed under my nose, without me noticing it. It was days of hell when I got to explain on why we weren’t invited to participate in a big tender for a project, and to create new strategy on how we can participate. The mistake I made was clear: I didn’t put enough focus to win the deal, and was relying too much on the wrong people. Thankfully, even until the end of 2016, no winner being announced. Customer has no budget, and unable to resolve its political situation that the tender is put on hold.

But it was a nice wake up call to put more focus. And there are few things that at that time took my focus away from work.

The main thing that took away my focus was business that I started in November 2015. Entering the second month in January 2016, the business need a lot of effort to stabilize, especially in finding employee. It was stabilized sometime in March 2016, but still struggling for profit. At the end of the day, I decided that the timing of the business is wrong, and decided to close the business in August. It was never easy to close a business that we started. The process itself was tough, but the emotional drain was even more tougher.

I was even thinking to start another one, and was in discussion with a friend. We started to talk to some of our potential clients, did some public talk, but at the end of the day, me and my partner decided that we wasn’t ready for it. We don’t have capital that we can invest, and more important, we don’t have time to start the business. I still think that it is doable, so this is the seed that I might grow in 2017.

Situation thankfully improved in 2nd half of 2016. I signed up for a new role in my company, which will give me more free time. Many says that the role is a career’s dead end, that I will be overhead to the company, excess baggage. But I have a plan. I took the role to have more free time for my business, but at the same time, I would like to transform the role, for the benefit of the company. So far I have done well in the process to transform the role, getting recognition from the company management that it is the right thing to do. This should hopefully propel my career higher, proving the skeptic that they are wrong, that this role won’t kill my career, and at the same time provide more free time in 2017.

And the best part of 2016 was, of course, the Turkey trip that we took in November. I drained my savings, but it was worth it. It was my first taste to Europe, although Turkey is only half Europe. Istanbul itself is an amazing city full of history, and Istanbul Marathon took me to my first intercontinental running from Asia to Europe, while at the same time sightseeing foot tour  through the city. In Goreme all of us had our first hot air balloon tour, and snow experience. My son love it, playing with real snow instead of fake one in the shopping mall.

How do I look forward to 2017? As said, the seeds for 2017 has been planted, and I’m looking forward to whichever that grows.

First at the office. If the transformation that I started grows and recognized by our management, and if the stars align, I might get a promotion. This will hopefully enable me to carry the transformation to the wider organization and give bigger impact to the company.

Second, to start another business. I wrote that I have a business plan that I put on hold. I have another business plan that I and a fried discussed towards the end of 2016, about starting a small coffee shop. We are building our networks, and getting some insight on how a coffee shop should run. Eventually, if it is started, it will be my first step towards running a full bed and breakfast.

And third, it is the bed and breakfast itself. I was impressed with the Bed and Breakfast that we stayed in Goreme, Turkey, and have a good chat with Jay, the owner and reception of the place. I bought a piece of land in Bali in 2015, and we are thinking to sell our house here to build the land into villa, or bed and breakfast. It might be a long term plan, and 2017 might be a start towards longer journey.

So, I hope you all had a good time in 2016. Looking forward to even more good time in 2017 that will started in few hours. Happy New Year!

In response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel. Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

And the year happen to be 2008.

The most significant, meaningful and unforgettable things that happen in 2008 was that, I started dating a beautiful lady, which today become my wife for 5 years and counting.

IMG_8490 Large

In response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Burnt. Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

Alright, so the fire is out, and I’m sitting out of my house, cigarettes in one hand, and bad beer at nearby convenience store in another hand. Looking down below to the 5 precious item that I have saved, I’m mourning for the following stuff that I wish I can took with me:

  1. My Books. Before the kindle and e-book era, I have a lot of books, to name few, the Lonely Planet Guidebook. There are some romance in looking to the book rack with tons of book lining up in it, although I’m not planning to read it anyway.
  2. My Wedding Ring. It was lost somewhere in the house, and yet to be found. Too bad, the house got burnt before I can find it
  3. Photo albums. Well, the fact that I have my photo backup hard drive with me make it easy to just reprint the whole thing. But there are still photo that exist pre digital photography. That is the one that I miss.
  4. My Lego. It took a while to collects all those minifigurines, you know.

Bye bye house……

Fire in the House

From my travel experience, I kind of have a list of travel essentials that I need to make sure to have with me all the time. There are only three things, and I think all of them is applicable in case my house is on fire:

  1. Wallet. In it is ID, driving license, money, ATM and Credit Card, good to buy anything that I need
  2. Passport, because getting a new one is a hassle, and so I can still travel somewhere else if needed
  3. Mobile Phone, so I can be reached, and I can reach my friends and family to tell them that I’m safe

And these additional 2 is something outside my travel packing list, but I would definitely secure if my house is on fire.

  1. My backup hard drive. In it is all of my photo during my young, adulthood, and my son’s photo and video. Irreplaceable.
  2. And finally, my iPad, so I can still keep writing and blogging

This post is written in response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House. Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

In Response to Daily Prompt: Brain Power

So, if it is true that at the moment, I’m only using 10% of my brain capacity, and have access to 90% of the rest, this is what I’m going to do:

  1. Keep using the same brain capacity for today’s daily function: 10%
  2. Invent Faster-Than-Light (FTL) Travel: 20%
  3. Invent teleportation: 15%
  4. Learn everything about healthy living: 15%
  5. Be a spiritual leader: 15%
  6. Become stock market investor: 15%

There it goes, total of 100% Brain Capacity

In response to today’s daily prompt Oasis

When someone mention the word “Oasis” to me, the first thing that come to me is ocean. The word Oasis is generally attached to an area with water and lush vegetation in the middle of dessert. Oasis was, and still provide water and relieve to the weary soul that has been passing through. And so does ocean to me. Whenever my soul feel tired or weak, getting to the beach, or even just inhaling the smell of ocean wind will usually recharge my soul.

Waiting for Surf

There are one occasion in 2004, when I was traveling to Bangkok fur business trip. I was so tired, weary, and uncomfortable from the trip, for the reason that I don’t know why. The symptom was only relieved when I smell the ocean from the boat that is cruising along Chao Phraya river.

Another oasis that is less potent, but still able to provide significant relieve to my weary soul, is not actually a place, but an activity. Running has been my escape when I need to catch my breath, whenever I feel tired. It is much easier to do than going to a beach.

Of course, the most perfect oasis to catch my breath will be running on the beach, barefoot.

Edit on 9 Jan: Starbucks have also become a new Oasis to me (Thanks vinuhwin for the reminder). Each time I need to catch my breath, a simple chat with Starbucks barrista (sometime as simple as: how is your commute today?), and people watching will provide the necessary relieve.