Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Hope You Dance

So I finally move on to a new job. Maybe job is not the best word to describe it, not even assignment. It’s a new phase actually.

A lot of our big decisions are usually influenced by considerations for other people. When you have a family to look for, you think about putting the food on the table first and foremost. When you are a father, your preoccupation is to give the best to your children.

My main preoccupations before I made the leap were mostly related to my family (parents, siblings and anak buah) and batch members (and yes, one loveable cat called Kristi). So much of our life has been intertwined that a decision by anyone of us (especially one who is as heavily involved with the batch as I had been) will have an impact (to a certain extent) on the majority of others.

Perhaps the following email; sent by a friend whom I spoke only less than 10 times in MCKK; illustrates some of the realisations:

Btw, aku lupa/lambat nak wish the customary good luck for your new job - aku xnak wish congratulations coz there aint anything to be congratulated for pun:-

1) you earn less (much less?) than what you got previously - so nak mintak ko support (financially) sini and sana for any 9094's activities pun rasa tokleh dah..

2) you wont have time - as much as previously - to hang out (or at least interact) with 9094 - come on la kan, paying attention to ***** or to a group of 32 y.o guys yang kejenya 24hrs dok buat jokes and asyik beremail (read: gossip) kejenya ngalahkan ahli mesyuarat tingkap - we know where your priority lies now (and we do understand)

3) you have to exercise censorship on your act, words etc well, almost everything la.. hahaha.. takkan **** nak keep mentioning "konek" in his every other sentences kan? Depan public/semi-public lak tuh.. And with that, we wont get the old (original?) **** anymore.. sanitized **** aint fun no more.. hahahaha

4) etc..

5) etc..

Whatever it is, I presume 9094 will always be on the losing side on this but we will always be behind you I guess.. just don't side track laa (and I really2 wanna wish a huge good luck on that!).

So good luck laa ****.. you yourself know best what you are doing..

I didn't reply to the email because I was very flattered, and thought that something like that should be immortalised here in the blog.

Ever since the last few months, I had less time to spend with the batch. I struggled to keep up with the emails – usually I’ll read the emails quickly before I sleep or while I am stuck in a traffic jam so my response is always one week late. And now with the new assignment, I am not sure how it will turn out.

Yet one of the biggest motivations to do what I did, was knowing that this is what is expected of me by the batch. Crazy as we were (and are), we have a unity of mind that is quite rare among a group of 100+ people whether or not we went to the same school. Since we were in school, we predicted each other’s path and this is the path that everyone had predicted for me for as long as I can remember.

Fortunately, the expectation is accompanied with a very strong support system that I can be more daring than other people in my shoes. When the question was first posed to me, I called Jita and he was in Australia. I did not tell him yet my decision, but he was as good as telling me to do what I was meant to do – so go with the flow.

So we come to this junction – I worried about whether I can update the blog as regularly (or if I can, whether I can still immortalise the fun of growing up together year after year, since I will not as much time to join); or whether I can hang out as regularly; or whether I can be as candid; or whether Mighty Ducks will slowly die away.

But then again, we join public service or public office because we want to change things, not to be changed by the system or the very thing we wanted to change. That reminder has been constantly on my mind and I want to be reminded of that regularly – that I am not meant to change. If I have enjoyed every bit of the last 20 years because of certain people who coloured my life; I should continue to enjoy their company (in fact, it is even more important now). If I have made time before to rush for a hockey game in Kuala Kangsar, I hope I still can make time to attend a batch reunion or annual sahur.

And I hope I won’t look back and realise it was a wishful thinking (ha ha).

In this spirit, we will go ahead with all the crazy plans for 2010. We shall have the new AJK Batch re-elected, we will see through the formal process of nomination, we shall continue with the inter-house Biggest Loser competition, we shall plan our 20th year with the same merriment we had done all these years. I may be a bit slow in my response nowadays, but we’ll make time.

In one of the most celebrated fantasy books of all time – the Wheel of Time series – as the key character moves towards the final battle, his strength was failing because he had become too bitter and too worn down by the war; that there was a group of wise ones around him who always reminded him what laughter and sadness used to mean. Because the moment we forget what is laughter and sadness, we dehumanise everything that we touch.

The 100+ brothers that we have become (and their subsequent families) are the testimony of what laughter and sadness is. Even if anyone of us is sucked away for whatever reason, try to stick through so that we can remember what laughter and sadness is.

FOOTNOTE 1

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Reconsider
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

As I was trying to make sense the irrational choice that I had made – the song went on and on in my head. We always dance, we were always taught to dance. We may choose the wrong side or fight the wrong battle, but we dance nevertheless. We are never by-standers.

FOOTNOTE 2

Long ago I shot my bow
Where it fell I didn’t know
Much later in a huge great oak
I picked it up still unbroke

I have a debt to pay, so let me get over and done with it.

12 comments:

  1. badak lembut5:31 PM

    i think things are falling into place perfectly. dont worry. your batch will support you.

    you are the subconscious of all the good guys.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ha ha badak lembut?
    ni rhino yg lembut or hippopotamus?

    ha ha on a serious note, thanks. i'll reorientate myself and this blog will remain the politically incorrect private space for the batch.

    ReplyDelete
  3. soldier on bro, soldier on...

    kalau nak nasihat, kami boleh je bagi...FOC.

    ReplyDelete
  4. e-commerce5:58 PM

    selamat la en noni...next time aku jemput makan, it will be in Seremban ya..bukan KJ

    ReplyDelete
  5. e-commerce,

    bila nak buat BBQ ni?kat rumah ko la.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 900539411:22 PM

    Woi Romelo,
    congratulations and all the best in your new role. As you accurately described, this is what has been expected (maybe quietly) by your family, your batch and your closed ones.
    I have every confidence that you will succeed. Just keep your head high and feet firmly on the ground. The rest will (hopefully) take care of itself.

    Fiat Sapientia Virtus
    Strive Forever
    Membujur Lalu Melintang Patah
    On and Onwards
    (aku lupa Leman punya moto !)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Encik Noni Kapet

    Socrates says, "It is not living that matters, but living rightly".

    Arnold H. Glasgow thinks, “A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down”.

    All the best! God bless..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ha ha Calon Pres

    Thanks a lot. Leman punya is "Towards Greater Achievement" (meaning from last to 3rd). I wonder whether DR & DF already know ha ha.

    I am in Shah Alam, funny enough the first time I was in Shah Alam was at your place doing projek sejarah when we were in Form 2. That was ages ago.

    Anyway let's not get sentimental, we have a batch election to run!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hahaha
    Jgn sebab sorang ni, kor boleh demotivated plak...

    ReplyDelete
  10. apa kau membebel ni mtop?
    tinggi sngt la ilmu kau, aku tak paham.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Eli Stone11:11 PM

    1) I hope you dance = theme song for tv program so you think you can dance ke? cat deeley still (kinda) hot lagi
    2) melalui pemahaman nippon mattop, die ingat the email writer - for highlighting the -ve thingies of ur decision - somehow can demotivate you.
    3) sent by a friend whom I spoke only less than 10 times in MCKK <- but you ogled over him more than 10 times in MCKK aite?
    4) In an interview with the edge, TS Hassan Merican said "Petronas is not all about Hassan Merican", so my dear brothers, let us make sure "9094 is not all about Raf Romeli.." (well, maybe 95% of 9094 is about him, but the rest IS about us!)

    ReplyDelete