The Reality of Living Overseas – Part 1

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life,
but my life has never been ordinary.
I’ve simply failed to notice how extraordinary it is.
Likewise, I never imagined that home,
might be something I would miss..”

Well, 10 months have passed since I came here to Abu Dhabi. And, as I become more and more settle into my new life in a new country as time passes, now it becomes less a question of how long I’ve been here, and more one of how long I’ve been gone from my home country.

I know, having overseas career is appealing for a lot of reasons. And, living in new country, even just going to the grocery store — when in an exciting new place within a new language — is a thrilling activity. And having to start from zero and rebuild everything, having to re-learn how to live and carry out every day activities, fundamentally excited me.

And at my home country, people that I used to know, nowadays just see me in a completely different way, and different level of respect. After all, it’s all about, very well, having dreams and hopes and aspirations however.

After all, being in my 20’s, I really want at this age to be the time in my life when I try new things. New jobs. Living in new cities. Meet a new people, with different culture, and different mindset.

But what about the realities of living abroad – do my dreams match the reality? From my own experience, my answer is “YES”, for the most part. However, as what always understand about life, there is no such thing as “perfect ten” in real life, so still there is “but” somewhere along the line.

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Embrace The Uncertainty Of Life

We can’t plan life precisely.
Because no matter how perfect our plan is,
life has a way to rearrange it.
If you could see a movie of your life before you lived it,
would you want to live it?

Well, I’ve been involved on several Engineering Project on the company I’m working now. Just like any other Oil & Gas project that I’ve experienced, there is similar pattern that I know very well which always happen. It’s called the uncertainty moments, where I didn’t know what, when, and how the best solution of Engineering Design shall be applied for the specific problems or issues on the project.

I know, it’s the uncertainty that life is all about. But, to be honest, you see, I confess that I normally hate to be caught on the bad feeling in those uncertainty time. The most difficult part of uncertainty, at least for me, is the inability to plan and feel in control, until I know all the answer.

But maybe, it isn’t the uncertainty that bothers me, it’s my tendency to get lost in my feelings and thought about it. The feeling where I’ve made speculation and speculation, that leads me to start indulging fear, then I get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts.

But, It comes to my mind occasionally, “If I could see a movie of my life before I lived it, would I want to live it?” As for now, my direct answer will be definitely not. The thrill of living is that, I don’t know what’s coming. In other words, uncertainty is what makes my life fun. My sense is that, that uncertainty rescues me from boredom.

It’s like this, “If you could see each future step along the way, you’d never get the chance to be amazed at what you can do”, doesn’t it?

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2013 : NOT “Walk The Path”, But “Surf The Sea”

After he hit the ball, he directly go to round first,
things that he never done before,
without realizing any other things..
Here’s what’s really interesting.
When he arrived on round first, people laughing at him.
Because, he didn’t realize the ball went over the fence.
He hit a home run and didn’t even realize it.
Yes, It’s a metaphor..

(~Moneyball Movie)

It’s already 2013 now. I’m brimming with optimism and happy to welcome this new year. Particularly, because what I’ve done back in 2012. I’ll always treasure the 2012 as the year when I able “to make things happens”, a chapter of dream come true, so to speak. And yes, it all look too perfect.

And truth is, I’ve never been in this phase of my life before. I used to live on “chasing the dream”, but once I got the dream, and continue living with all the routine in it, I felt that I need to adapt on actually “how for living in the dream” itself.

The thing is, previoulsy, I used to look at goal setting as picking a destination, then figuring out a path how to get there, trying to enjoy the ride, and be happy with the journey. Only, after I’ve arrived there, I realized that “destination” is not exactly like mountain that won’t move, but in reality, it’s the landscape that changing constantly.

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End of 2012 – De-Clutter The Mind

“Life is like a camera,
just focus on what’s important,
capture the good times,
and if things don’t work out,
just take another shot.”

New Year has almost arrive, and by the end of year, it is always good time for me, for de-clutter. Just like all previous end of year, it’s a time to shake off the cobwebs and clear the path for new beginnings, get rid of things that no longer have value to me. I don’t mean the material possessions, but mostly way of thought, habits, feelings, etc. It’s an excellent way for launching pad to embark on a new season, especially for personal growth.

You see, how much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack, feel the straps on your shoulders. Now, pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. Feel the weight as that adds up. Fill it all into that backpack, people who has negative influences in your life, fill it also with memories that used to drain you, add it with habits that overwhelmed you, add the unrealistic ambitions or “fantasy goals” in your mind”, and add the “If Only” situations in your life. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it?

I think, this is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. Now, I’m gonna set that backpack on fire. Let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it? Because, I’m sure that I don’t need to carry all that weight, I just want to set that bag down.

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Cultivating A Peaceful Mind

Peaceful Mind does not mean to be in a place,
Where there is no noise, trouble or hard work…
It means, to be in the midst of those things,
and still be calm in your heart..

It’s been a while I haven’t written. It’s not that I lose interest for writing, but since last month, it’s been quite exciting busy time. Stability routines at the office are mixed with some interesting events (work-related events, City events, and Indonesian community events) and completing the closed-out of engineering projects. And the thing is, I feel like life just “come together”. It’s the feeling that I’m happy with who I am and what I do, and being able to go to sleep feeling fulfilled.

And the thing that I’ve notice about myself for now, I’m finally on the phase on my life where I’m able to just feel a peaceful mind, a feeling rest, and free of worried, so to speak. Although I just realized that, writing during “hard times” are much more “flowing” rather than “peace” time, but yes, I’m enjoying these moments of inner calmness, and freedom from lot of obsessing thoughts.

This is really the way of my life that It should be… Just peaceful, calm, relaxing, simple, uncomplicated, stable, and faraway from worries. 🙂

Having Boundaries

To be honest, being far away from my home country, actually give me an easier time. I can have a lot of alone time, which makes me rethink often, everything that is important to me. I start to really think about myself and paying less attention to what those around me are saying. This doesn’t mean I’m being selfish, it just gets me focused on what I want in life.

Because the main different thing that I can notice is that, It’s honestly good to have clear boundaries between professional life & personal life outside of work, because there is clear boundaries between co-workers and friends. I think, it help me a lot to feel more peace, since what happenend in the office just stay in the office completely. Why we should discuss a stressful project outside of office anyway.

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Oasis – Little by Little

“We sow our thoughts, and We reap our actions;
We sow our actions, and We reap our habits;
We sow our habits, and We reap our character;
We sow our character, and We reap our destiny.”

“Little by Little” was perhaps the most controversial Oasis’s song, receiving mixed reviews from those who felt it was a classic example of an upbeat Oasis anthem and those who felt it was a twee, patronising, sycophantic melody. Regardless of this, I can feel this song is pure poetry… the lyrics is amazing, indeed.

I like to listen this song, because it remind me that any goals can be achieved in life always start with small steps, making a step of progress little by little, all things that I wanted will come slowly but sure. There is no quick fix nor “instant” in life. And while this may at first seem daunting, the beautiful fact is that it is in small habits, small action, that I partake in every day consistently that will create the life I want.

We all like the idea of being able to make big, sweeping, massive changes in a short period of time. A lot of us have found that does not always end up being the way that things happen and sometimes it’s not even all that practical to expect that. Because oftentimes in life, there is a process that must play-out in sequence before things happen. We learn things, we grow, we are challenged through process, and all that, slowly but sure, little by little, the result will come eventually.

You see, the truly grand things in life will always require hard work, focus and patience. All aspects in our lives that matter most to us – our relationships, our financial security, our peace of mind, and a healthy grasp on the meaning of life, I can’t help but realize, that each require time & genuine discipline to make those things become real success.

This song “Little by Little” helps me to gain the right perspective of life, so I can have right guidelines for making decisions, and help me to be able to navigate through the storms & uncertainties that life brings. And as long as I keep smiling and moving forward, the road ahead is going to be far better than I can imagine. Sometimes, the best thing that can possibly happen to me in the long run, is not getting exactly what I want right now… But eventually, through all its twists and turns, it will come…

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That “Someday” is Today

No matter what you want in life,
you’ve got to take that first step..
Regardless how much metawork we do,
or how much we talk about what we want to accomplish,
in the end, it’s our actions that define whether we fail or succeed.
Take a step, even if it’s a small step..

I remember when I was teenager, that I used to say, “Someday I’ll become that person, someday I’ll get everything that I want, someday, and someday”. Even when I was in college, this “someday things” became part of me also. “Someday I will be rich, someday I’ll go looking for better job, someday I’ll travel the world, etc, etc”..

The truth is, this someday things are growth with me, that make so accustomed that there will be a someday in my life where everything will finally come together. I have to admit it feels good to write today in these new ground rules. Because these someday things are lies, lies, lies… It’s seems almost unfair that at such a young age we buy into these lies and get stuck forever in this fairy tale idea of life.

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Emotional Security From Within

This year have made me understand better than before,
how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way,
and that so many things that one goes worrying about,
are of no importance whatsoever…
I’ve been waiting for this phase in my life to begin,
a phase where I can just feel secure to be myself..

Here we go, the september almost over. This month, I’ve been focused to re-think about everything that is important to me, slightly quiet and enjoy the silence faraway from others, and paying less attention to what those around me are saying.

You see, within this year, I’ve tried hard to improve my sense for self-acceptance and be a friend to myself. To be honest, since few years ago, I used to be living on fear & wondering whether I’ll be able to achieve something big or not. Of course, when you do something out of fear, it will always result in failure.

I do remember the day when I felt a lot of doubt and insecure, I used to seek for the opinions of others before proceeding. It’s like I was ready to be lead by anyone who appears to know more than they do. At the time, I had no sense that I could control my path through life. I would simply wait for things to happen and then react to them.

But since I’ve became a friend to myself, and practicing the self acceptance, then I got those sense of purpose. The first step is to openly accept where you are right now, whether you feel good about it or not. Because, you won’t get any stronger until you accept where or who you are right now.

The main question is, “Do you want sympathy for creating what you don’t want, or do you want congratulations for creating what you do want?”

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26 Years Old and The Big Picture

Destiny is a pretty big concept..
Where you are in life, how you got there,
what would have happened if one thing or another had been different..
Well, It’s funny looking back at those days,
knowing now exactly what I am heading towards,
and what heading towards me..

Well, today I’m officially 26 years old, and wooooow, this is also my first official post on my new blog. A blog that using my own name as domain. It’s still hard to believe that I can reach this big milestone in my life so far. It’s indeed, my life is really going in a good direction now. I couldn’t be more thankful with everything that comes into me this year. I’ve got everything I’ve been dreamed of since I was kid this year.

To be honest, when I celebrate my 25th birthday last year, I’ve never thought that my life would be changed so much as it like today. I still remember that last year, I was asking myself regarding, “What makes a man who he is? Is it the worst things he’s ever done, or the best things he’s trying so hard to be?”. After I was being able to answer that question, I was ready to accept reality, and starting to begin to be a friend to myself.

But then, every big changes came this year. I’m finally able to take a massive step on my career. Today, at this 26th of age, I have more confident and become accustomed to learning to think bigger.

Because, after what happened this year, I realize now that I don’t want to wake up someday at 65 years of age, sighing over what I should have tried. I just want to do it, be willing to fail, and learn along the way. At least, I’ll give my best shot. At the end of the day, whether I choose to go with it, flow with it, resist it, change it, or hide from it, life will always goes on.


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The “What Next” Question

A wise man,
is one who after many years of learning,
still able to say “I don’t know”..
Because, life, all life, is about asking questions,
It’s not about knowing answers..

(~Allie Keys – Taken, The Series)

 You see, for me, life can be seen as a series of chapters – stepping stones, opportunities, branches splitting off into a million different directions, big and small decisions. These chapters may have obvious beginnings and ends, and sometimes those definitions are blurred. The key thing to keep in mind is that all segments flow together. Everything falls into place, whether we plan it that way or not.

With all chapters, there are underlying themes. There are questions that come and go with the passage of time. One of the questions that I could never shake was “What comes next?” No matter how far I ran in my life, it kept pace. Wherever I went, it’s like accompany me.

I remember when college graduation came and went, there it was again: “What comes next?” And this time, it wasn’t only my mind asking the question – it felt like the entire world was fixated with what my response would be.

It’s hard to think of it. It seems that I’ve done my part, you know. I did what I have to do. And, what to do next in life? This question is always asked by myself for these few weeks. Especially, when September is coming next, and I’ll celebrate my birthday, and it’s always the month and time where I reflect about my own life.

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