26 August 2007

My first MAJOR blog entry

Woah, it's been officially 6 months since I started blogging and that means I need to write a major blog entry. Well, I'll try to break this down into different bits so I don't burn out trying to write it all out in one go and end up writing total shit.

So how is life treating me these days? Honestly, it's good. I've grown a lot in the last 6 months and a lot has changed. Don't get me wrong, I like change but sometimes I also like stability. At some point you need to know that some things aren't going to change -- like my family. I know that when I wake up tomorrow, my real parents are still going to be my real parents. But then that brings me to the issue of what is real? I mean think about it, anything can happen at any moment so it's like do I find ways to draw the line of what is required before I consider something to be real? Or do I just take nothing for granted and live each day not knowing what will happen tomorrow?

I guess it's really hard to have nothing stable because it's like having a machine with too many moving parts, alongside all those parts, you need something that is stable to act as the root of the machine. I guess in its own way, the only thing real to me is myself. As much as people change even within themselves, at least I know one thing for sure, how I feel now is really how I feel now. It's Sunday and I've had a long, hard week and I know I'm going to have yet another long, hard week ahead of me, so today I'm going to let myself just calm down and relax a bit before I dive into my full-blown work mode. I guess one thing I've learnt in the last 6 months is that in the end, you've only got yourself. As much as it is so fucking discouraging to think, that my reality. I have family, I have friends, but in the end, the only real thing to me is me.

The good thing is, I know who I am. Sure there are moments of weakness where I might change a bit to fit into the situation, but at the end, I still know who I am and what my values are. I guess it took a lot of self-thinking time and self-growth for me to discover this and in its own way, what I've been through in life has really made me think and re-think about a lot of things. I really have to admit, I am who I am because of who I was around and what I went through. I've gone through shit just like anyone else, but I guess I've come out a stronger person with a stronger mind and a stronger sense of who I am. Yet, sigh, at times, it's hard to accept who you are.

Sometimes, I look in the mirror and I see a person. I love that person. I love me. Yet at times I see this person and I think "Sure, I'm a nice guy, I think I'm a nice guy at least but is that what the world really needs?". I mean, I've heard so many people say aww, there are no more nice people in the world anymore and well it's true, they're running out. The world is turning into total shit right now if you ask me and it's consuming people's values and nice-ness to the points nice people are changing into jerks just so they don't get consumed. Which brings me to another topic -- faith. Yes, faith. No, not religious faith, but faith that you won't be consumed. It really sucks when you find yourself slowly slipping as you realize being nice just doesn't cut it, and when you see jerks being rewarded for their shitty behavior. It's like watching all the girls fall for the assholes and coming to the nice guy for help, and when they're ok, they're back to the jerks and the nice guy finishes last.

Nice guys finish last. That's something that I'm battling with because a lot of me believes it. The issue isn't so much about being decked around, it's more like how do you define nice? For a person who likes alcohol, a glass of whiskey is nice. For a person who doesn't like the taste of it, that same glass is horrible. It's so damn subjective that it makes you feel like you're playing a total random game of hit-and-miss. It's a matter of being in the right place at the right time I suppose. And so what's the point of being nice in the first place?

A lot of things to think about, and a lot of things have been thought about in the last 6 months. I guess at least I can say I know what soul-searching means. It's only of those self-journeys that everyone needs to take to really understand where they've been, where they are, and where they want to be. I have an idea of where I want to be, I know where I've been, but the issue is it's tough to place yourself in where you should be now so you're positioned for the future you want. The problem is that it's another hit-and-miss issue of if you decide this is the road you want to go, you've got two outcomes -- success and failure. Once you go down that road, you're basically making an investment of your time and effort based on your best guess of which is the best path that'll get you to the future you desire. It sucks, but that's reality to me.

The more I'm picking up my own life and leading it, the more I'm realizing we all don't know what we're doing. We really don't. When I was young, I used to think oh, it's OK, I'm sure these adults know what they're doing. Even teachers in school may be teaching you stuff they're not too sure about themselves! I've worked with professionals who are just amateurs with a name card. It makes you wonder how much do people like doctors know about their trade!? It's scary. In so many ways it's a matter of guts that'll get you to where you want to be. No one made it big by playing a risk-less game in life. I guess what we're all searching for is to calculate our risks and profile our own personalities and accordingly decide if the risk's benefits outweigh the potential problems it may give. In many ways, life is just like financial management.

That brings me to another topic, when I was younger, life was simpler. All I cared about was how much pocket money I saved. I didn't think of stuff like lemonade stands or using my money to make me more money. All I knew was, I had pocket money, I had desires and I bought the object that got me the best bang for my buck and I was happy. Today, my mind is thinking of ten thousand ways of how to best use my money all because I'm more educated about the options I have. In its own way it's good, in its own way it's totally killing me. I guess I kind of understand why rich kids are so upset. They have too many options so they're going nuts trying everything and never being satisfied. It's like a food-addict at a buffet, it all sounds like paradise on paper but you realize you go nuts because you can only eat so much at one time. Your mind says you can technically eat everything in the buffet, but you can only chew so much at a go! Yikes! So is ignorance the way to go? In some ways, I believe so. Think about the person who has a simple job and a simple life. All he's worried about is getting his pay check and paying his rent and feeding himself. He's satisfied with just watching TV every night and going to bed. The key here is he's satisfied. Compare that to an investment banker who's got all the money in the world and has ten thousand options of how to do everything. When he gets his paycheck, his mind's telling him how he can use that money and do so much more, he gets back at home and sees a letter for his rent and then thinks maybe he should invest in properties that'll return some rent back to him. He continues the loops of trying to find ways to improve his life. The key here is he's better off but less satisfied.

I guess maybe I'm better off but less satisfied. I've chosen the path of knowledge over ignorance because I want those options. I can't stand being left in the dark even if the lighter side is too bright for my own good. It's like two people seeing a boulder coming at them. They know they're going to be crushed, one just looks at the ground and ignores the bolder totally pretending like it doesn't exist. The other goes nuts trying to find ways to stop it. In the end they're both crushed, but for the last few seconds of their lives, the first one enjoyed it by maybe looking at the little flower on the ground as if he was safe and free on a mountain while the other was stressed out. At the same time, you may say but if the other one didn't try, he'd be worse off because he'd be thinking "shit, if only I had tried I may have been able to avoid it". It's one of those things where it comes down to personality profiles and also I guess knowing yourself and what makes you happy. Like I said, I'd rather be burdened with options than in bliss with ignorance. That's just me! At least that's me of today. Maybe in 10 years, I'd rather be stress-free, but today I'm not like that.

I understand change is normal. The me of 5 years ago is not the me of today. I used to feel insecure in many ways back then, I used to feel no one really wanted to be my friend, they were just being polite thats all. In many ways, I still feel that today because I've had so many people fool me into thinking they really cared when they were just trying to act nice but when time came, I'd be as good as an unknown stranger to them. I've been used and abused before, much like anyone else, but maybe more so in the emotional way where people have taken advantage of my nice-ness for their own benefit. It sucks but it's one of those tests of who you really are. It's like me and smoking, I don't do it because it's not me, it's not the image I want to portray or even feel I need to portray. In it's own way, maybe it's my pride where I see smoking as oh-so-not-classy. I really don't, it's a serious turn-off for me. I don't know why, but maybe it's just associated with a mental image in my head that I don't like. Also, I think the health issues play a part as well. I've tried to stay healthy and so I guess I want to associate myself with healthy individuals much like I won't want to surround myself with idiots because I always believe that if you surround yourself with geniuses, you become a genius. It's true, because you end up complimenting each other and growing more. Isaac Newton said that he could see further because he was standing on the shoulder of giants. Having surrounded himself with knowledge of wise people, he became even wiser and could push human potential even more and made the discovery of gravity. Maybe in a way that's what I want. I'm not saying I want to be an inventor or someone like that, but I want to push myself and everyone around me further. Maybe that's also my flaw because I believe in the unlimited potential as human beings.

Seriously though, our potential is unlimited! Saying we can't fly because we don't have wings is the wrong way to see it. Saying we can't fly because we may not fully understand what is required for flight is better. I guess that's how I see it, I keep seeing potential and that gives me hope and combine that with faith and well, I've got a winning combination of possible success. The only issue is, what if I was wrong? Then all my investments would be wasted in a way and I'd be back to square one. But then again, I'd still be in square one had I not even tried at all. Ahh well, so where do you draw the line for trying?

I guess one thing I've learnt in these past 6 months is that we're living in gray area. There really is no black and white, what is wrong and what is right is still subjective. I think smoking is wrong based on my reasons while others think it's right based on theirs. It's all a gray area.

In conclusion, let's hope that in 6 months I'll be able to learn a lot more about the gray areas of life and better have a grasp of where I need to be so I can get to where I am. I must say, I'm a happy person today. I have a lot of good things going for me but I'll admit, I'm not satisfied right now. I can't yet see myself sit back and say "ahhh, I made it". I haven't. Which is a good thing :). Because that'll force me to constantly work towards getting satisfied. I know what I want, it's in my head, and I'll know I've reached it when I get there. It's just a matter of time and faith in the future.

I have faith, I have time and I'm going to make my future... starting today :)

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15 August 2007

...but when it's your baby...

Woah, It's been 10 days already? Well not really since I was late last time. Speaking of being late, I'm 1 day late again :\.... sigh. Work has been hectic and I'm slowly realizing the power of being messy. A lot of stuff is happening to the point I'm excited but exhausted at the same time. By 8pm, I really am mentally dead because I've had to deal with so much stuff it's not funny. I'm loving my freelance life but now that it's really picked itself up, it's quite a challenge. In the time I've returned to my freelance life, I've learnt so much it's not funny! One thing I've recently realized is the power of putting yourself as busy on MSN. A lot of people don't just chit chat with you anymore. Sure it makes working a bit dull but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's already Wednesday and I'm working uber hard to keep myself on track so I don't find myself working into the weekend.
I'm slowly learning how I'm most efficient and that is when I've had an early start and planned my whole day out and all my goals I want to accomplish. As much as there are many times I encounter things I never expected, at least it keeps me focused. Another thing I've realized is that I need good music. I'm not saying my metal is bad, but I need to know what music does what to me. When I need to think, I need proper music that really opens my mind. Today I was listening to the original Phantom of the Opera and I was totally inspired. Like as I listened to it, I felt like I was on stage and it was my time to perform! I think I need to get some more music like this and really get my work process right and have it all mapped out so I know what I need to listen to for what job.
Anyways, so what's today's day-10-worthy-topic? Well that life is tough but often the road less traveled is the road worth traveling. I could have easily stuck to a 9-5 job but in its own way I love this life now. I can control my day's fate and as much as self-discipline is a very, very important issue here and I have to admit I have slacked off a lot when I really shouldn't, but it's just that control that I love. If I need to be out today, I will be out. But anyways.
I have to say, now that my workload is increasing, I have to learn and grow and expand myself a lot, I have to change my processes. My old ways just don't cut it anymore and I can't keep doing this. The only issue is that I'm really so fully loaded that it's hard for me to find the time to learn of new processes so I can improve my own! Catch 22! So do I sacrifice work time so I become better for the future? Or do I get what I have now done first? Ahhhh..... wish me luck :)

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06 August 2007

Ahaha I'm getting worse

Ahaha, day 10 was 2 days ago, but oh well. So what has been up with me you ask? Well let me ask you back, who are you?! Seriously though, I'm curious to know who's actually reading my blog so leave me a comment or something with a I was here so I know I'm not just talking to myself!

Boy, life has been hectic, so many things going on and I'm slowly losing it! The cool thing is all the stuff I've been developing, work processes, skills, connections, etc. are all paying off now! If I didn't have all this from before, I'd be so lost right now! So anyways, I have been slacking off on my reading partly due to too much work coming my way and the other reason is because I've just been lazy. Lately, when I've been traveling, I just enjoy the chance to stare into the dead space and let my mind draw a blank. In it's own way it's nice! I mean it really lets me digest where I'm at and where I want to be. I used to be so busy walking uphill that I didn't stop to appreciate how far I felt and also make sure I'm still heading the right direction! I think that's something I've realized more and more. You know how when you work out, your muscles actually grow the most when you're not working out! When they're recovering! So all you gym freaks who lift weights daily and try to target the same muscle group 24/7, stop! Anyways, sometimes I just need to not let myself work so I can get more work done when I do come back. I'm trying my best to pull myself away from even thinking of (let alone doing) my work on the weekends, Sundays are quite easy because my mind tells me I should be taking a break, but Saturdays are still tough because a part of me is like "let me just finish this then I'll stop" but this never ends, it starts with 1 email, then a few more tweaks to some code, and maybe a few more touch ups to some graphics.... and boom! I'm back to square one working like I did during the week!

But anyways, one thing I must say is I'm loving the freelance life, not because I can be lazy, far from it, I'm actually working harder than before, but I'm working under my control and for myself, for my future! I'm creating something of my own which feels sweeter than any high-flying job could offer (but then again, I haven't had very many high-flying jobs other than going on the helicopter :P). However, I do admit, I think I'm going to need to stop and re-access where I am at and where I want to be, it's already August and I'm nearing my birthday which brings me to my personally-set deadline of wanting to do so much before next month! So to the me one month from now, good luck! :D

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