2014 life update

As the end of the year is approaching, I find it will be useful for me to recap the significant events of the year happened in my life. When my grandma passed away, we discovered that actually she kept her dairy as long as 20 years, recording all sorts of event during her marriage.

Personally, I do not think this blog will last until 20 years. As I have said before, paper is still arguably better medium for storing information in term of durability compared to computer. However, computer and internet is better than paper in term of speed and mobility.

I wish for my old self to be able to read this post with thanksgiving in my heart. When I know that God has lead me throughout all kind of difficulties and still survive, it will be enough reason to continue life and changing the world is not required to be happy.

1. Feb 2014 – I started to give allowance to my dad 

At around the same time when my grandma passed away, my dad has told me he did not want to work anymore as his photo studio now has already bankrupted. Hence, currently he planned to sell his multi-storey industrial building to move to smaller house which is easier to maintain and just earning his living expense by bank interest.

Until that thing happens, I need to pay him for his monthly allowance and also my step-mom. He confessed to me that his saving is not more than S$3,000 now and it will be difficult for him to survive if he waited until his property sold.

My family admittedly has the dark past. My parents have divorced and then remarried. I am trapped in never-ending family politics from my elementary school. My mom got the child custody right and hence I rarely ever meet my dad. And usually, every time we meet there is always problem to fight about since my family has a lot of financial difficulty and internal problem.

I also initially rejected his plea for thinking in the past he has rejected to fund even my food expense. The given reason is that it is the courts decision that my mom should bear all costs of child custody and then his new wife controlled his financial decision.

However, upon further consideration and after my grandma passed away, I decided to change my mind. As I do not know for how long my dad can live and I think it is more healthy to live with peace with people around you. Furthermore, I tried to distance myself from thought that I reaped no reward for all my hard work in Singapore and my parents, who neglected me during my childhood, enjoyed it instead. For probably it is the fate that my reward is on this world but the next one. I cannot choose to my parents and hence I need to do this despite all their shortcoming.

2. Jun 2014 – I have been officially discharged from tuition grant bond

Having been working here for almost 5 years now, I am supposed to be released from tuition grant bond. For readers’ information, tuition grant is kind of semi-scholarship granted by Singapore government to international students to study in their public university. Singapore paid around 70% of your school fee but as the condition, you need to work here for 3 years.

Hence, I was enrolled into NTU (Nanyang Technological University) and graduated in 2009. So, by right, I am able to go back to Indonesia in 2012. However, after some financial consideration, I decide to stay here for awhile until 2016.

Reflecting upon my academic history, now I am feeling guilty and regreted for excessive ambition I have in the past. Due to competitive environment, I focused too much on my study and not building enough meaningful friendship during my time in university.

For no matter how much smart you are, you will be surrounded by those have the similar capabilities as you so sometimes it required a lot of self-control not to compare yourself against people around you.

Yes, I still lamented that I should be fully concentrated for the selection for IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad) and not be overconfident for good result in previous selection. I also regretted that I am not serious enough in my work after graduation that I cannot maintain stable job in Singhealth.

However, considering my awful family background: my dad did not even finish high school and my mom was disabled when I was 8. Due to family conflict, I need to move from house to house FIVE times for 3 years during my secondary years.  Despite all of that, I can fund almost my entire secondary and high school by scholarship, earned two-times bronze medals in National Science Olympiad and enrolled into and graduated from one of the best university in the world (NTU), I considered it as the grace of God.

3. Jul 2014 – My supervisor resigned from office

So now, after family and study, come real job in corporate world. Admittedly, during my time in university, I never really enjoyed to work in team project and also I never did extra study how to improve my efficiency for working in team. Probably, I am over-reliant on exam result because it constituted majority of our assessment. Implicitly, I assumed that technical knowledge alone will be sufficient to land me a good job.

Actually, it is partially true. Technical knowledge will enable you to ace during job test and secured good job with good salary. However, I soon learned that it is not enough. You can probably score high during interview, but to maintain your job, you need to quickly learn your company’s culture, the personality of individuals you are working with and how to deal with them, following certain methodologies (like proper testing, report and presentation) to be able to do the job properly, knowing how to persuade or argue with people and so on.

I must admit that I am severely lacking in some aspects in interpersonal skills. Before I worked in my current company, I was terminated once, was forced to resign once, and need to tender resignation because of conflict with my supervisor in my previous company.

Hence after frustation of feeling my own past incompetence, I am thinking of changing my career. I explored many possibilities including other engineering branches (especially renewable energies and mechanical engineering). But, due to my parents’ situation, I soon realized that that is not viable option.

And then, I prayed to God to show me the place with good boss. After awhile, I have an interview from Hiend and soon accepted into company. And I admitted that my current boss is extremely lenient (no micromanagement and continuous monitoring) compared to my first job in Singhealth.

This is not to say that my job is easy. My supervisor resigned for further study in Jun 2014 and hence I need to take over all projects he handled (3 in total) plus my own projects from previous resigned employees (5 in total). I think the total increment I got (S$300) is still not proportional to the increase of my workload.

So, I am handling 8 IT projects and on average there will be tasks on 3-4 projects every day. However, having now worked for 1 years and 7 months (my longest record) here, I feel that God has shown me the way for me to survive in my current company. Thanks to that, I do not need to change career and I can still pay allowance of my three parents of S$1000 per month.

4. Sep 2014 – My study in Chinese Medicine started

I always want to have a hobby which I can enjoy to use during non-professional contexts (like family and church). However, due to my previous overemphasize on course study, extra-curricular competition (like IMO and ICPC) and church ministry, I hardly find some time to cultivate hobby. Previously, I have tried many things like playing violin, learning Japanese, dragon dance, aikido, gardening, and so on, but I do not take those things seriously and always stop doing after awhile.

I observed that many of my friends spent their extra money earned from their good job into expensive entertainments like traveling, buying personal transport, newest gadget, game console and so on.

For some reasons, when I graduated, I like to follow news about problems in society (And conspiracy theories). During that time, I am thinking of doing something which can at least alleviate problem to the world.

So, I am thinking instead of using my money into something unproductive and just providing entertainment, convenience or hoarding like rich fool man, I think it will be more useful for me to spend it for self-development. And I started to think about some hobbies to be learned which can be useful.

Earlier, I learned about renewable energy. But due to my financial commitment and the withdrawal of course subsidy, I decided not to continue the course.  Then, I read an article on website Zero Hedge about increasingly unaffordable healthcare cost. Previously, I went to pay for my grandpa’s hospitalization bill and it costs around S$8,000 and witnessing that Western medicine is extremely ineffective in treating my mom’s chronic disease, I am anxious about my family not able to afford it in the future.

Then, considering that I will have many people approaching their 50s and 60s (my dad, mom, step-mom, my aunt, and even my maid) living near me, I decided to take Chinese Medicine course to be at least able to cultivate health for myself and to do simple health check to my own family. Personally, I think it will be more useful hobby instead of traveling to exotic places.

 5. Now – The search for spouse

Now, about this last topic, I need to admit that I am not very good with befriending woman during my time in school and university. Also, after you graduated from university, the chance you meet opposite gender decreased dramatically, especially because I came from engineering field. Usually, even the women who are software engineer have already engaged.

So, the only hope to meet opposite gender is probably the church especially cell group and youth service. However, unfortunately, I have asked for dating two of single women inside my church and they rejected. And adding into that, my cell group is extremely diverse and we have people from different nationalities (Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Singapore).

As mentioned previously, since I planned to go back to Indonesia, I will prefer those from Indonesia or close country and able or willing to learn speak Malay. That criteria alone has already disqualified most girls inside the church.  The nationality consideration is for parents-in-law. It will be extremely unfair if one side of spouse will need to separate almost permanently from their parents and I do not think it is the right thing to do.

So, I tried online dating but failed miserably so far. One of the common stated reason is that they cannot do LDR seriously or that the girls disagreed with my principle of finding spouse (like stating criteria first without need to become friend). As I have stated previously, I found that that principle is more reasonable than the commonly believed myth about ‘befriend’ first and then marriage come last.

Question for girls – if two guys are approaching you:

– One is extremely attractive atheist guy with fanciful movie-like characters you dreamed about (romantic, humorous, creative (can dance, play guitar, compose song, magic, etc), well-build body)

– One is average but devout Christian with clear life principles and beta qualities like excellent education, stable job but a bit of nerdy and serious and cannot make you ‘tingle’

How many of you will choose second one instead of first one?

From what I saw so many people there online say they are ‘serious’ want to marry but say they want to ‘befriend’ first without mentioning any criteria about values (belief) and principles. If ‘befriend’ is the first thing you ask then you should just hang around shopping mall and cafe instead of commercial and need-to-pay online dating website.

I just feel they are not serious enough for not thinking this one through and probably will need to wait for some times.



About edwin2026

I am currently Indonesian expatriate working in Singapore, graduated from Nanyang Technological University with major in Computer Science in 2009. I am also working as software engineer, developing and maintaining systems for Singapore civil service. I write this blog to share to readers about my life principle on various aspects, like religion, politics, business, relationship, and technology. I am interested in alternative worldviews because I found that many things taught to us by establishments are not true and harmful. My dream is to become self-sufficient in food and energy. Hopefully, someday I can have my own fruit garden and my own power plant and able to sell my electricity to power company. I hope readers enjoy my blog.
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