One of our partners invited my company to Bandung to attend a launch of their services there, and I was sent to represent the company. So very early in the morning, I prepped my stuff and went to the train station early, just in case the train was packed; I wanted to at least get a seat, not a standing ticket. The night before had ben very tiring, because I had all this stuff to carry around from the office, and arrangements to go to Bandung were only done at the last minute.
So off I went to Bandung with friends from another company, and arrived there at about 9 am. The event we were about to attend wasn’t going to run until about 12 pm, so we just went to the location and hung out at one of the restaurants near the designated area.
The place was called Cihampelas Walk, or more popularly Ciwalk, a relatively new commercial area with a mall, dozens of eateries and cafes, and places you can walk around, or sit and chat. Pretty nice place, and it’s open much later into the night than most places in Bandung, much to the pleasure of young couples in love or kids having the night out.
The event itself only started at about 3 pm, because of the rain, but it was pretty good. A few local artists sang their popular songs to the delight of fans and audience, and there was the share of games, door prizes and such.
After the show, I went over to Tanti’s house, who had been sick in Bandung for about 2 weeks, to pick up something, and also lend her a book to wind away her recovery days. Later I met up with Pandji and Gamila for dinner… and apparently, I got carried away discussing anti-monopolism :P.
I crashed at Pandji’s place, and took the 6 am train back to Jakarta this morning. So I have not reached home yet… when there is a lot of stuff I need to settle…. the project I’m doing has not finished the reporting stage…
During the rather mundane routine of work today, I have had this urge to write something here other than my post below. Something more… of the mind, more transcendental… something more reflective. I’m still not sure of what, but I’ll put it down anyway…. here goes…
Why does the word ‘beauty’ keep repeating itself in my head? But I can’t make anything of it ‘m not sure what I’m trying to say. I’m second-guessing myself on the subconcious level, so nothing really comes out.
Well, anyway. After the first round of uploads yesterday, I met up with an old friend, and we chatted over ice cream (ice cream that God must of created Himself, because it tasted like heaven!) about work, and the obligatory nostalgia. It’s always good to reflect, not just the fun parts of nostalgia, but the more introspective part. I must say, the conversation was wholy entertaining, informative and at once good for the heart and mind. And the chocolate ice cream made it even better.
One of the points of the conversation was, you never really know how friends appreciate you, but you ultimately always know when friends are dissatisfied with you, even if they are talking about you behind your back. So, I’m trying to make it a point to show more appreciation to others, more than before, at least. It always feels good when you’ve made someone’s day.
A few days before, a friend told me to smile more. At the moment, I was in a very bad mood, and if somebody comes along and tells you to smile, you just get more pissed off, right? Well, maybe it’s right. More to smiling inside, rather than your average garden-variety plastic smile. Be more optimistic. Well… I’ll try.
Ah.. here’s the sentence that wanted to come out, finally…
Beauty emenates from the heart and the mind.
Okay, now what the hell is that supposed to mean? Isn’t that something that ugly people say?
Hahahahah. Forgive my crudeness, because as usual, I’m writing everything that comes off the top of my head.
Today is supposed to be the deadline of my activity report submission. The problem is, the report from Bandung got strangely delayed in the mail, although my counterpart there already sent it Thursday; and the partner in Surabaya came dow with typhod fever to the point he had to be hospitalized, so the activities in Surabaya are delayed. Yogyakarta just wrapped up yesterday, and I don’t know when she will send the papers to me. And here I am, in a freakin’ cyber cafe, uploading all the data that I have before tomorrow.
The connection is damn slow as well. Takes a damn long time just to upload a freakin’ photo.
The keyboard is shit, you have to press every key with extra power, or else the letters wont show up.
It has got to such a point that I have to squeeze in any moment I have to finish up the activity report due Sunday. I stole a couple of office hours (with the irritatingly slow computer and connection) to upload the reports, now I’m uploading while waiting for Sacha at her office.
Um… so, I better get back to work.
I just realized that my last post was this Monday!
There has been either so much to do or nothing significant to say the past few days, although I did keep track of my blog and others. There has been a ton of work at the office, and the project that I’m running on the side is nearing critical moments as well, because the deadline is this Sunday.
Monday evening, after work, I went to Sacha’s office again, because she had some sort of problem with her PDA she described over the phone, and I had no idea on how to fix it by talking her through the phone… so I just went there. Maybe I should start charging by the hour for these things. Anyway, afterwards I chilled with Sacha and her office friends until about 1 am, since it was somebody’s birthday.
Tuesday, was proposal-making day. Sent out a couple emails and proposals to prospective clients, and trying to pin down the technical side so that the user scenario would be feasible. Hopefully, some of the proposals would stick. After work, a friend asked to meet, needing to talk about break up, but didn’t say much about it… so we just sat there eating pizza and talk about other stuff… and still, later in the night, had to meet up with some people regarding the project.
Wednesday, still project proposal day. Pinned down final specifics for a certain proposal, and distributed it internally for approval, so hopefully I can send it to the client today. Afterwards I went to Plaza Senayan with an office friend; she wanted to get a Christmas present, a doll, for her niece. And I was going hey, you don’t have to lie, it’s okay if the doll is actually for you, haha…
Somehow… I think I’m trading very carefully forward, because,… this is somehow new territory.
Since I came in this morning until very recently, the computer network at the office was down, specifically the uniquely elaborate internet connection. So all I could do was access my files on the local server and not much else. The thing is, most of my work depends heavily on communication via the Internet, so when that doesn’t work, I can’t do anything.
Good thing the files I needed for a morning meeting were on the local server, so I printed that up and went to the meeting with my boss, for a relatively very fruitful meeting. Back to the office after the meeting, nothing still could be done, so I went to lunch. After dawdling for at least half an hour, finally the computer network went back on-line, much to the relief of many (especially the IT manager, boy, did he have a bad day). The funny thing is, I was already planning to cut the day short when the network just popped back online… hahaha. I guess I really have to do some work today, as I was sort of feeling like lazing around instead. Oh well.
Back to work then…
Revisiting my past, replaying the days that have gone by, I have come to some sort of revelation to myself: I almost always go for something out of reach, out of my league.
Now, I’ve never thought of myself of such a person; logically, I always think that the best solution for anything is one with a feasible execution, something that can benefit the most people (including myself). Now, what happens when the problem or the goal potentially benefits (or causes loss) only to myself? Usually confusion ensues.
You know what I usually do, in hindsight? Do the thing that nobody expects me to do.
In high school, I played in a band, and was outwardly known to be one of the guys who stay at school after hours to play basketball or cards in some remote corner. Then I’d get my top marks in class. Or maybe the other way around, so to keep everybody guessing. I don’t know why I do it.
Graduating high school, some people expected me to continue to a more science or technical course in college…. and I entered ITB’s Design Department. Now that, my friend, was more to the fact that I had had enough with either the number crunching or social studies, and wanted to learn something that I wasn’t really good at yet, that is drawing (I never was as good as my brother, who majored in architecture in university). Of course, also to learn something new. That itself is something out of my league, because I still can’t draw properly by hand, although the good technology of the later 20th century provided me with tools to overcome it (if you don’t know what it is, you’re using one, right now). The good thing is Design is supposed to be about being a good planner, a good manager, rather than be a good artist. Even, a good marketer. Anyway…
Graduating from university with, I most humbly say, high marks and with a deep understanding of the concepts and theories around product design, and after at least 2 semesters serving as an assistant lecturer, everybody expected me to continue as a full-time lecturer there. I said to myself, I don’t know why, “that’s too easy”. Easy, as in, so simple that the puzzle falls into place for me, and suddenly I could see far into my future. It’s like the scene in The Matrix, before Neo is brought to meet Morpheus, he wants to get off the car. Trinity stops the car, opens the door, and shows him a vague street fading into the night. She says, “Do you really want to get off? You know where that road ends.” Neo closes the door and goes on to meet Morpheus.
Now… I have the utmost respect for the profession of lecturer, but I couldn’t see myself anytime soon in that position, with so much in the world I have to see first. So I declined the offer, and looked for an obscure job elsewhere, and finally landing in Jakarta in a job that even more people wouldn’t of guessed I’d be in.
So again, I went against everybody’s expectations, and decided for the bigger challenge of trying to find a job in the private sector.
During my 6 months employment in Bandung, mid 2002, a close friend once told me, she didn’t think I’d be suited for Jakarta life, and at that point I tended to agree. I was very much in love with Bandung, and I could be set for life there, with all the friends, the connections, a house (my family’s house is in Bandung, while my Dad’s job was in Serpong, so I lived in Bandung by myself), a car, and basically a pretty good job. The problem was, the pay was not much, the job was pratically dead-end in my view, and, I got restless again, and the only place left to aim for was Jakarta. So after going through a couple of job applications, interviews, salary negotiations etc, I started my new job in Jakarta in January 2003. Nobody saw that coming, either…
Now I’m with the second company I’ve been with since coming to Jakarta, accepting an offer from my former boss at the old office. I’m not going to elaborate any details there, but that action itself, was somehting that nobody expected me to do. Something that at points I myself, thought I could not do for various reasons.
Now, it’s not that I always intentionally go for the bigger challenges. I mean, if I’m playing any sort of computer game, I always pick the ‘easy’ level. Other than the fact that I suck big time with any sort of computer game, I never felt the need to try the ‘bigger’ challenge of going straight to ‘expert’ mode or something, which would sometimes reflect most of my decisions in real life. But then again, games for me are for entertainment, not challenging myself, so if I’m not entertained, I forget about it. Thus, I suck big time in playing games.
I always thought of it that I should stick to something that would be more beneficial in the long haul, rather than get a quick fix (thus I have never averted to drugs and such, as they never help out solving anything, but would just create more problems). I don’t like problems, I don’t like puzzles, I like everything just going smoothly. But if problems do arise, it’s always better to look for a solution that would be beneficial in the long run as well.
So generally it’s always been about making the harder decisions that would only be fruitful in the long run, rather than something that could be evident right now. Thus, the bigger challenge.
Now that I realize that I have always gone for the bigger challenge unbeknowingly… I’m like, “So THAT’S why I’ve been in so much pain! This is only beginning!”
Like I mentioned to someone yesterday, growing a wisdom tooth is painful enough, not to mention growing pains…
Here’s the clinch: sometimes, even though I know without a doubt the outcome of something I pursue would end in utter pain, I still go through with it if deep inside I know it’s the best thing to do for me, or it’s the thing I really want to do.
So, I guess I better stop complaining about everything and start blaming myself for everything.
Hmm, no, that didn’t sound right, did it? Better if I just slap myself in the face and say “SNAP OUT OF IT! YOU ASKED FOR IT ANYWAY!”
The conclusion: I am stubborn as such that I really need to learn everything the hard way. Better that than not learn at all, I guess…