Five years is a long time, no matter how I look at it. I've been in Yahoo! for half a decade now or to put it in perspective, half my adult life.
If I had to describe the last year of here, I'd use almost the same words as I'd used to describe my first year here (with fairy godmothers and unicorns inked in). And it almost feels like all that was yesterday as I stare at that gumball machine at my desk.
No matter how I look at it, working here has been a huge personal event in my life. Not just professionally, but with everything else that I've managed to accomplish over the years. I guess that's what's kept me here, year after year.--
The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.
-- Oscar Wilde
I've left too many things behind with 2009. And I'm better off for it.
It wasn't exactly a pleasant year to begin with. Betrayals seemed the theme from the start. Which I could've dealt with, except my inability to deal with betrayal was treated as some sort of personal failing on my end. As if my disappointment was some hint of immaturity I had to grow myself out of.
Anger boiled, seethed in my veins. But I held my hand, because I still believed that people would do the right thing, albeit eventually. Patience lasted exactly a month. Then it was time to blast off, blow everyone off, leave the liars and traitors behind, to cleanse myself of the grime and corruption of their world. Yes, I still don't think as my trust being misplaced ... it was betrayed.
But perhaps, adversity is a forge of character. I revved up
thunderbird, cruised along
20/20: Twenty meals alone. Once you're through that barrier, being alone hardly holds any terrors. Life flows around you, every face a stranger's, every smile an accident. And you're in no hurry, there's nowhere to be, no one to meet, nothing really left to do. Sitting there, as you watch the world rush about, you feel content to just be a spectator to the human race.
Rock bottom is a pretty productive place to be. Wrapping myself in a cocoon of solitude, I spent hours, nay days scribbling bits of myself into my little diary. An outpouring of self, a vignette of modern urban life, my only story, a fictional biography of someone I used to be.
Perhaps it was cathartic. Perhaps it was inspiring almost to examine myself through an honest mirror, instead of relying on the judgement of others. Brutal honesty cut through the threads of self pity tying me down. I may have had a crappy time for half a decade, but I've come out of it scarred, but smiling. And again.
Resurrection. Life's a little less serious now, I think I have most of it figured. Simple rules to live by - smile, don't give a damn about what "they" think and do what you really want. If you're good, you'll float ... else, you sink. But there's no room for pretending.
And that was 2009.
 - Wait, that was only four months? The rest of the year? A blur of fun, parties, travel and stuff that'll eventually be a footnote to such a page.--
Strike me down now and I shall be more AWESOME than ever!
Spend every day watching your life pass you by. The days, they go on interminably without any identity of their own. Your thoughts become memories, turn into dreams and fade away like breath on a window pane.
Freeze a moment in time, store them away and chase them back down memory lane. Lay down the breadcrumbs marking your way, mementos held close to your heart, of a day that you'll never forget.
Click, *click* ... and that's all it took.--
The moving finger writes; And having writ, moves on.
The writing, it stays written.
One Monday morning morning four years ago, I walked into an office.
In retrospect, it was a very important moment in my life. But all I did that day was to dump my bags and go to the cafeteria.
But it was going to be my home for years to come. Lived in that little sheltered world for four years. Made friends, made enemies, got a life, then gave it up, discovered myself, travelled the world, grew my hair & shaved it, found love, even lost it, lost a father and nearly killed myself too - picked my life up out of a rut, ran alongside my career and didn't have to give up either.
Ah, good times ...--
We are so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take the time to enjoy where we are.
As I leaned on the wall of the bathroom, huddled down to reach the payphone to my ear, all I was waiting for was the voice at the other end to smile and say Hello. As much as I wish I could talk to it, just listening didn't seem to help. People walking by constrained me, timezone you were in restrained me and thus the payphone betrayed me. Couldn't shout what I wanted, couldn't hear what I needed - not even hear a goodbye right, nor say those thoughts which burst into my mind. Perhaps it's the hope that brings the pain, that to talk to you would fix my day - but to have it denied again & again. You are busy, I'm eating lunch, reasons many and then a bunch. Can't blame the system, can't blame the phone. It's just that you & I can't find the time. Miss each other, but miss the time.
I guess sometimes what you really run out of is time. It's a long way round to the start and I guess it'll just take time, what I have & what I don't.--
Perhaps the magic would last. Perhaps it wouldn't. But then, if it doesn't, what does?
I got my tickets to Sydney confirmed on Thursday evening, for an extra 200 USD, making it a round 1400 USD. Right now I'm sitting in the lobby of Changi airport, literally chained to the power plug by an office laptop with a b0rked battery. It must've been the lack of sleep, jet lag and the location in combination, but I found myself reminscing about my trip last year (without the aid of my blog).
No, it isn't the talks that I remember about the conference - well, with the possible exception of the Damian Conway keynote. Other than the thrill of my first foreign excursion, the conference didn't quite have the sterility of the average technical conference - wasn't a single lecture in what I attended.
But the people were more interesting than the talks. And I think the 24x5 nature of the conference, because of the hostels, plays a big part in encouraging interaction. And when such a large number of interesting people are thrown together, stuff's bound to happen.
And then there are the conversations - I remember one which started off about Women & FOSS (remember D00d3tt3z on ILUG-d ?), which turned into a discussion comparing unicycle hockey with unicycle polo.
As someone said - couple more sleeps till lca '07.--
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
As 2006 dawned, I had dubbed it my Year of Travel - but little did I know that it would turn out into the Year I Stayed Home.
Not that I didn't wander far and wide - from the islands of Aotearoa, to the high reaches of the Himalayas. But in more sense than one, I've stayed home - for more than a quarter of this year, I've been with my parents & grand-parents (they looking after me, more than the other way around).
Personally, it has been a year of great losses and lessons. Punctuated regularly by the death of my role models - the baton passed on from hand to the other, with sadness, yet hopefully. As if something new, something great has been transferred from one vessel, too old to bear the load, onto one fresh, young and willing.
I've come to terms, in a manner of speaking, with life, death and taxes.--
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
-- Lord Tennyson
With all this discussion about What are you doing on new year's eve, I was just thinking about how simple life was last year.
When 2005 was slowly dawning, I was sleeping in an APSRTC semi-luxury bus headed for Bangalore with all my earthly possessions in a couple of bags.
Of course, now that life is a lot better - I can feel genuinely depressed that I don't have anything to do this 31st Dec. Ironic, isn't it ?--
The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader