Monday, January 28, 2008

I do!

By any measure, most weddings that we go to are pretty run-of-the-mill affairs. The same rituals, the same greetings; you go through dinner doing small chats because you’re invited. However, as I experienced recently, once you’re involved and the couple happen to be your great friends, it becomes such an exciting and wonderful event.

Eugeen and Winnie got married at a beachside resort a couple of weeks ago, and I happened to be his Kato (that’s super duper sidekick for you people who didn’t grow up watching 70’s TV comic shows) – best man, army general and dinner emcee. Some people say ‘one leg kick’. It was scary, exciting, fun, and I loved it because it was for two friends close to me.

It helped that the wedding was at a resort and we had to make a trip there. It felt like a short holiday and really set the mood for the weekend. As we haven’t gathered together for some time, it also felt like a reunion of sorts for our university mates.

The morning started off well enough with the groom’s dad giving us lads the lowdown on life’s three stages – dating, marriage, and kids. Mind you that was before breakfast, and I noticed we didn’t eat much after. When the time came, we had to drive EG out for a spin before coming back to pick up his bride. Well, we actually did two spins because there was no one to open the door for him the first time! Minor hiccups, but memorable J

We stormed the Women’s Tactical Front, taking on everything they threw at us, even though at some point it was more ‘WTF??’ than a tactical front. We endured oranges, push ups, ice cold feet, chillies, nursery rhymes and the rubbing of certain, ahem, bodily parts. All in good fun and great times, hehe.

The most meaningful part of the day for me though was the wedding ceremony. Standing beside my main man at the front, I couldn’t help but be welled up by emotions as I watched the bride walking down the aisle with her dad. Tears were in her eyes and I knew father and daughter must’ve had a good heart-to-heart right before. Their parents looked proud, and I’m sure they were. I don’t know how EG felt waiting for his bride, but I was enormously proud and happy for the both of them. At that moment, they felt close like family to me, and deserved nothing less than each other. The ceremony was simple, and yet very beautiful.

Emceeing for dinner was nerve wrecking as I had never done it, and it must have shown to the people who asked me why I was so tense. Mates, you try to be funny and witty in front of 30-odd tables! The butterflies were having a ball in my knotted insides. But it went well, everyone had a fun time and I’m glad my speech was well received. I had been working on it for weeks, revising and practicing with friends. I wanted it to be my present for EG and Winnie, and I wanted it to be good. Thanks goodness they all laughed!

I had lessons from the groom’s dad again the next morning with a reminder to quickly get one for myself too, but I took it all in like a soldier. It had been a great weekend, and it had been a fantastic wedding, what with all of us close friends taking part in the celebrations. I think all wedding should be at resorts now; it’s just so much more fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Secret, Prayers & Goodbyes

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne talks about the power of belief; that if you believe you are already at the desired state, it will come to you and it will happen.

I read that book a while back, and while I believe in the power of positive thinking, I also think that good luck will come only if you try and work towards what you wish. Looking back at recent events that's happened to me, I can't help but see some parallels to what the book has been preaching.

When I first got back from the UK, I wanted to do something different and was thinking of going into sales for the experience. So I searched for jobs and got interviews through recommendations. I did my homework and I managed to become a sales executive, though in an industry which I have never even considered. I then discovered that it wasn't for me, and I wanted to switch jobs. I applied for positions diligently and told myself that I would like to have a new job by the new year. True enough, I landed a job with pretty good prospects and an attractive price recently. I start work very soon and I'm hoping it will be enriching. Both jobs were very near my house, which was also another thing I wanted. From another angle, everything fell into place at the right time, which was important as I was balancing several events.

I don't know if that Secret really works, or if it's just pure coincidence. I would like to believe that if you want something and put effort into it, luck will come your way. It may not be in a form you expected, but you need to open up your eyes and recognize it. You will arrive there, but the journey might take you to places new and scary. Just ride it and have faith.

Of course, it helps when you've got the power of prayers on your side. I'm not particularly religious by nature, but I do feel blessed that I've got loved ones praying for my well being and protection on my journey. I'm sure it works in ways that are beyond me, but I'm appreciative nonetheless.

So, I said my goodbyes yesterday to my team during lunch. I never thought I'd be quite sad as I've only been there a short while, but I was. I guess it's because they are great, fun people - and I was the only male in the team...hehe. I'll miss my partner the most; working with her was such good fun. The sales environment wasn't too bad either with its liveliness and great energy. I hope the friendships made will be lasting.

Oh well, time to learn from the past, move on and look forward!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Well, there goes another year. Whoosh...just like that. Time really does fly supersonic.

Many ups and downs for me this year. I packed my backs and returned home after two years abroad. The final days in Reading was a blur of packing and rushing to get my affairs sorted, but I remember vividly the moment I touched down in KLIA. After the usual "we will jail you for bringing drugs' speech he said, "To all Malaysians, welcome home". I almost cried. Never had such words sounded so comforting.

However after just weeks I started noticing so many things wrong in my own country that I've never noticed before or were just ignorant about - the lack of decency and manners, materialism, the selfish pursuit of money, how we're still so far behind in public infrstructure, how funny some of our leaders are, among other things.

On a personal front, friends seem to be so engrossed in chasing money and success that I seem like a hippie lost in translation in 2007. I found myself at a slightly different frequency when conversing and in issues of interest. Fitting back in was suddenly a bit difficult at times. I mean, there's more to life than your boss and wanting to be rich right? Jeez, lighten up a little. And keeping up with friends who have moved up the ladder was a challenge as well. Somehow the mamak and hawker food is no longer good enough. The likes of La Bodega and Delicious is the standard now. Goodness. How do people save money these days? I guess time abroad has changed my priorities and thinking slightly.

Job searching was also a vast ocean that sometimes seemed to drown me. I didn't know what I wanted to do, and couldn't close interviews that I went to. There were times I was so lost and didn't know what to do. I wanted to start my own business and did experiment with it for a while, but I realized that it was very difficult to do alone and too crazy to risk it blindly. In the end I found work, but quickly realized that it wasn't for me.

Damn hippie right? All I want is love, peace, fun, and like...chill...dude. I think everyone should hug each other more. Seriously.

The past 9 months have been a time of adjustment and ironically finding my place in my own home. It hasn't been easy, what with no one that shares my experience. Some friends have mentioned that I've grown quieter, less fun and happy. I guess I have in some ways. It's hard when you're lost and can't find the answers, but I think I've almost come to terms with life right now. I feel more settled in and less anxious about what comes next. Que sera sera I guess.

For 2008 though, I want to try my best to live everyday in happiness. I have faith that things will bloom well and it will be a great year. I have always tended to measure my life in terms of the kind of person I am to my loved ones, rather than in career or monetary terms. So, for this year, I want to:
  • Love more.
  • Be a better son and brother.
  • Be the best friend you've ever had.
  • Be more charitable.
  • Be a great boss (I still have dreams of my own business).

I hope that everyone will have a smashing year ahead and live life to the fullest. Take risks, do something scary once in a while, and take more time to actually talk to each other. Life's too short to live with what ifs and regrets. :)

See, so 60s hippie.

Happy new year!!