Friday, March 01, 2013

365 days later...

Pic from FB
Anyone who has worked steadily at any job will understand what a dilemma it was, for me, to decide whether or not to retire early.

For me, it's almost a surprise to find that a year has passed by.  Three hundred and sixty-five days have come and gone!  Just like that!!!!

I never would have pictured my life to be the way it is now.  So much has changed.  I feel a tremendous surge of joy when I realise that I didn't lose anything, in terms of happiness!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After nearly a year, I returned to the Embassy.  I had expected to visit my ex-colleagues earlier than this but somehow didn't get to doing it until just this week.  The deputy Chief of Mission asked me the most common question about my life, "Do you like Singapore?".  I replied, "I don't like it, I love it".  

I had expected to miss my salary but I didn't.  Really, it is never about the dollars and cents at all.  It's the people that I have missed.    I didn't know how much until I was back there with them.  The familiar faces of Sumathi, Loga, Anita, Ivy and, of course, Carlos!    We were a great team.  The feeling of being among people who know me and who I know have missed me, genuinely, make me feel so rich.  

My office at the Embassy of Peru

I looked at my old office and there is no twinge of regret.  I only miss the camaraderie that was shared during the coffee breaks and lunch time.  Oh, the things we did in the office when no one was around!  Those are the moments I remember most.  They make me smile.

My 20 years at the Embassy taught me so many things about everything.  I don't think I would be who I am today if not for all the experiences and the people who worked with me.  I am thankful and grateful to all of them.

I still feel a strong sense of loyalty to the country and to the friends I've made along the way.  I will always have a soft spot for Peru.  20 of my 50 odd years were spent serving the country: that is 2/5 of my life.

In my own mind, I like to think that I have showcased the best of Malaysia to the diplomats.  I hope that when they remember Malaysia, they think of me.  Hearing everyone say that they have missed me makes me happy yet sad.  I wish I could be there for them; with them.  In any case, I am just a phone call or email away.

I was told that I am a legend in the Embassy.  I am sure that is stretching the truth a bit but it did make me feel on top of the world.

Was it worth giving it all up?  Yes.

Am I glad I left it all?  Yes.

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