Happy New Year folks!

It’s this time of the year again! Time to write super long post summing up the past 365 days, do some reflection and make some resolution for the coming 365 days.

Honestly I feel this that New Year resolution thing hasn’t really worked out for me so far. The reflection does help but every year it has been a new challenge. Even to simply just trying to prevent the pass problem from occurring is a challenge to itself. Anyway, here it goes.

Let’s follow 2015 pattern and start with world. Too busy don’t really have time to keep up with the news much but the general feel is quite similar to 2015. Tragedy, arm conflict, terrorism. It’s just depressing that’s why I don’t really follow news that much anymore.


Now on to personal life. Let’s start with work. After 9 months at my first job in Cambodia, I was headhunted to a new place. It’s unlike me to switch job so quickly but after a lot of thoughts and discussion with family, I decided to give it a try. I decided to go for the new place primarily because I don’t have much to learn at my old place and I couldn’t fit into their super heavy drinking culture or should I say I don’t want to. Apart from that, it’s also because the new place is an MNC and I haven’t worked with MNC before. So I want to try working in corporate world.

Then time flies and now I’ve been at the new place for 3 months. It’s not that amazing. I face a new set of challenges. Let’s see:
The Good:

  • Better office.
  • Travel opportunity.
  • Stronger resource i.e. better learning opportunity.
  • Expatriates i.e. chance to work with a lot of foreigners.
  • Better bonus.
  • Better facilities.
  • More organized.
  • More training and personal development arrangement.
  • Lawful and official.

The Bad:

  • IT people are still a drinking bunch though not as much.
  • In my department, people are rowdy and rude.
  • People are more selfish. They only see their KPI and personal benefit. The general attitude is if-you-feed-me-I-feed-you. Both literally and figuratively.
  • A lot of work politic.
  • New boss not as good as old boss.
  • Longer work hour. Though it say 05:30 pm but usually, I only knock-off around 6:30 or 7:00 pm.
  • After-work social obligation.
  • More work pressure.

So yeah, once again, it just goes to prove that there is no place perfect. Not even in the big nice heavily decorated company. Honestly, I feel a lot more stressed in the new place than my old place. And the sad thing is that it was never about work. If it’s just work, I would enjoy it and breeze through. It’s the political and social obligation and pressure that are responsible for the stress. Personally, I don’t even understand why people here don’t like to go home rest and play some game or read some books and enjoy time with family. Even if go out, why not just go for a coffee or simple restaurant dinner or movie like people in Singapore? Why must it always involve alcohol and KTV? It’s basically like a mainstream culture where everybody conforms to. And if you don’t and you can’t fake it, then you are more or less and outcast. So that’s pretty much sums up the work portion.

Aside from my 9-to-5 day job, I’ve also started to take more outside responsibilities and invest my time on outside work and business opportunity. After a year plus at home, I begin to see a lot of potential for business in this country. I started to talk a lot more with like-minded people about various opportunity. There are also a lot of young people here who are hungry for success and freedom. So I started investing my time on seeking business opportunity with people. I know that I’m not a business person. I’m an engineer at heart. I don’t really like networking with people and such. This is where I rely on other people to take care of that. All I know is that I’m resourceful and business needs resourceful people to run. So that’s where I figure I can come in to play. So I spend my available free time to help my brother in their business, join my wife’s business group and help realizing their business idea. I kinda enjoy my time with all the young business-minded self-driven people. We are all investing our free time to start a project which hopefully can ripe into a fruitful venture.


That’s pretty much work. Still sucks but a necessity to feed family. Here comes the core of it all. Marriage and family. How’s everything? I honestly don’t know but at times, I feel that I’m not really handling it well enough. Marriage life by itself is great and easy. But when other complication like work, duty, or family come in it turns into one big horrible mess. And logic doesn’t help to solve and tidy up the mess. And that’s where it become a major challenge for me. I’m a very logical person and I do what is logical but when logic doesn’t work, it becomes very tricky. For a guy, I feel the responsibility as a provider. So when we are in financial pressure, I feel the need to step up and provide. How to? The only way I know. Work hard. Both at work and outside work. Invest more time on various opportunity. And working hard doesn’t mean just sitting at desk and working but it also means fulfilling social obligation that potentially, or more like definitely, eats up your personal time and attention that could otherwise be provided to your spouse and family. The lack of attention make people upset and depressed. Basically, to me, everybody and everything needs a lot of undivided attention and I am only able to provide to one at a time. And when I distribute my attention poorly (base on logic), people get upset, things get complicated, and the hair on my head start falling. I have to start making sacrifices which I don’t even feel that it’s making anything much better. I always thought that I’m already doing my best to be the best version of me for those I love. I work hard. I get decent pay. I seek growth. I reject bad influence even at being alone. I despise drinking. I dislike party and big social gathering. I do house chore. But it never seems to never suffice. I don’t know. Some time, I became very confused. I’m losing myself and not know what is the right thing to do make everything great again. You are told to be yourself but when you be yourself, people don’t like it. People wants you to be happy but when you do thing that make you happy that doesn’t involve them, people get upset. How is that logical? No, it’s not. It relies a lot on faking and talking your way out of it. If you are just an honest good nature person who tells people you are simple family man who just want to be left in peace to work and go home spend time with family and hobbies, you will be sorry. All in all, I think 2015 for marriage has been quite a rocky year. There are calm and peace times as well as there are stormy weather. A lot of learning, reflecting and changing to do.

Family – one of the major contributor to complication in marriage. Unlike western community where marriage pretty mean tying a knot between two person, over here marriage pretty much mean extending family commitment. We no longer just deal with our own family but also our partner’s family. And that takes a huge toll, especially on the one who tries the hardest. It would be amazing if everybody is perfect and play their role well. But like any organization, there are black sheep and weak link. If these type of people are you colleague, it would be okay because there are many ways you can avoid the person and if you really can’t you can just change your job. But when it comes to family, there is no changing family. All I can do as an eldest son is to try my best to put up a good example hoping that people see, appreciate and start playing their part. Personally, I don’t believe in scolding and giving orders. I don’t like it done to me, I also don’t like to do it to others. And I believe everybody is a sensible grown-up. But so far not everybody is. At times, I feel very very upset and I don’t know what to do about it. I keep wondering why people doesn’t want to grow? why people doesn’t help each other? If it’s outsider, I don’t real care since it’s their life. But when it comes to family, and you see that you feel hurt because you want everybody to be the best and not be a burden that you will eventually had enough of and start ignoring. I think this is why people in western world start giving up on family value. It’s because it only works if we value each other and love each other selfless and be willing to sacrifice for each other but when it’s just a one-side affair. You know what happens to one-sided affair. Honestly, the only 2 persons in my eye that can uphold this family value unconditionally and one-way are my mom and mom-in-law. They literally do everything for everybody without asking for anything in return. Not even fairness. All they do is just have this optimistic hope that all their children will turn out to be amazing people making good money, having good family. The two people that I respect most and try my best to model myself after.

In conclusion, if I were to play word association with 2015 for me, it would be tired, exhausted, stressed, eventful. Actually, it’s not complete that bad, but it’s just probably I’m just having a very high standard and I care way too much about family happiness. I always feel that our surrounding is put way too much pressure on us and try to hurt us, so as a family the logical thing to do is to stay strong, stand united and battle for happiness together. My mom said I try to hard and care too much. Self improvement blogs say that people can’t change, either let them be and live with it or leave it. That just sad. Anyway, so what I learn in 2015 is probably to care less about anything and everything. Like they say the less you care the the less it hurts. I felt that this year reflection seems very gloomy but that’s how I generally feel about it as the year closing. I learnt many things but still not sure how to deal with them beside just stop caring and practicing avoidance. I keep thing about the sentence my fellow engineers always say “I hate dealing with people. Machines are way more straight forward and logical.”

2015 did end on the high note though, I managed to take an undisturbed holiday with just my wife. The way we’ve always wanted. No one else, nothing else. Just two of us in a different environment doing whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want. That’s the time, when I get to truly see and appreciate that marriage and having a life-time partner is truly a wonderful thing. The problem is the everything else that comes and messes it up making the two persons working their ass off to keep everything together. With that, again, two of us are preparing to enter 2016 hoping that we can do better than last year. =)

“Life is hard but it’s worth living.”