Sunday, July 16, 2006

What An Amazing Year!

Just a chronology of events that had happened since September 2005:

September 2005
The third and final kaki-linux/business-partner/colleague/all-round-buddy left for UK to take up his masters. Shawn, following in the steps of Jay (2002) and Chuan (2004), went to Edinburgh to do his masters. I was the only one of the quarter left in Malaysia.

End of September 2005
My family had a major financial crisis as my dad's workshop just could not sustain itself anymore, after 20 years in business. Rising costs, increased competitions, expensive machines, change in market expectations all contributed to it. My dad even had mild depression and was admitted to hospital for a few days. We finally decided to close the shop and he went off to Tampin and became the service manager for a friend's Perodua service centre. Praise God cause the moment he reached there, he and my mum who visits him every weekend, started attending the local church and met very very great people there, who gave such strong encouragement and support. We were also able to refinance the business debts etc though the interest was very very high. Banks, nothing but legalized "ah longs":P

October 2005
My then girlfriend, Pohar, left for New Zealand for her 6-month working holiday. Started this blog and initially called it "Stuck in Malaysia":)). Also began my yearly masters applications to UK. Applied for British Chevening, Erasmus Mundus, Shell Chevening. Later on, added Khazanah Scholarship to the list.

November 2005 - Februrary 2006
Work was tough. Plenty of pressure, training the juniors, coping with finance department's demands to finish projects fast to get payment. Work motivation went down down down. In between, was called for scholarship interview by British High Commission wrt British Chevening. Wow! First time in 3 times I was called for interview. Must have improved since started applying in 2002:)

March 2006
Finally quit Open Source Systems (3-1/2-year first job) and went into Shell IT, thanks to the recommendation of housemate, Leng Chye. First day at work, found out no need to work shift as I was placed into the Unix Security team. Fun! Love the tasks I gotta do. So everytime people ask if I'm busy, they're always surprised when I said "I'm constantly occupied":P

April 2006
3rd setback of the year. Pohar decided to break up with me to concentrate on her work. She found a wonderful job towards the end of her working holiday and would be in NZ for at least 2 years. Though it was tough, I wished her all the best and blessed her. I believed God wanted to use this experience for me to really learn to rely 100% on Him and Him alone. Btw, I also failed the British Chevening interview:(

May 2006
By God's grace, everything turned for the better so so quickly. My family and I were able to turn the business loan into a house mortgage thanks to UOB. The rates were fantastic! We now only need to pay RM2k a month instead of RM3k, saving RM1k of interests alone each month!! (That's why I said, banks=> legalized loan sharks!). Praise the Lord!

June 2006
Even better news! I've finally got the chance to take up my masters! I secured the Erasmus Mundus scholarship! It's so amazing because God's timing was just perfect. Though I didnt get the British Chevening, I actually got the best scholarship out of the 4 I applied! Even more amazing: Khazanah and Shell Chevening actually contacted me for interviews as well after that. The callers actually sounded disappointed when I apologized and said I already had another offer. Wow, God's blessing just kept pouring in! I was really humbled by this whole experience!

July 2006
Started to handover my work to colleagues. As I reflected back on the 4 short months of work in Shell, I realised I actually did a lot more stuff than I thought. It was just that I enjoyed them so much that to me, it wasnt really an issue. Amazing how job satisfaction can actually make one work so much better:)) This was on top of the team-building, inter-D stuff I was involved in as well. This 6 months in Shell has been fantastic!! (Got one last event I'm joining, wont tell yet what is it:P) Also passing Pohar's car back to her family, after doing some minor repairs:P Finally free of a "under-powered, small wheels, high centre of gravity Korean car":P

5th September 2006
It will be my last day in Shell!

7th September 2006
Will arrive in Manchester and stay a few days at Jay's place.

9th September 2006
Hope to be in Edinburgh then.

11th September 2006
Course induction will start!

What an amazing year! What a turn-around! And one thing has been consistent throughout this major-ups-and-downs year! God's presence: in difficult times, He has kept my chin up and heart strong. In good times, He has kept my feet on the ground. Thank you Lord!


ayu_chi said...

congratulations chap.. during up n down..u remain strong..and now enjoy god's present..

good luck ya.

coolcat said...

Am encouraged. Keep pressing on, dude :)

ngyahloon said...

One more important element that made me pull through this year: good friends like you all:)

fadli said...

Walau badai atau taufan mengganas, you do not lose faith to god. salute to you, brother.

Anonymous said...

Praise the lord for his goodness!An amazing year for you....