“Strange!” is the keyword I’d start with. Strange as in the farmer who suddenly found himself stranded in an island. Strange as in the reason why a dog might chase his own tail. The moment you caught yourself experiencing a déjà vu. The breathlessness you feel when you look into your lover’s eyes and the energy it takes to look away. “Strange!”, yes, it is the keyword I’d start with.
When I was working for an employer, I had my responsibilities of a developer defined and design or running a business isn’t a part of my concern as much as the farmer needs not to be concerned about how he could manufacture the boot he was wearing. The moment I landed back in Yangon, I find myself lacking with literally everything to do the thing that I do best at, i.e. coding. There isn’t internet, the quiet place to sit down and have my coding zen nor a chair and a table to sit at. It was the equivalent of the farmer who was stranded on a deserted island. One has gotta start somewhere though. I imagine the poor farmer has to find/build shelter, craft the tools he needs to do what he do best: to plant crops and survive. I (and my co-founder) started looking for and building up a place to call an office. We got ourselves connected to the internet. Finally, it is now running on its feet.
As somebody who is self-employed, there are times you get frustrated and restless! You realize that you have risked many things: income, career, a comfortable 9-5 life, may be love life even and your ego to do something that you are so deeply and madly passionate about. You feel things are moving slow. Your dreams and hopes aren’t coming to you fast enough. Your customers aren’t coming to you fast enough! That’s when you start chasing you own tail! You keep reminding yourself, “Hey! This isn’t done yet. Hey… that has been long overdue.”. You also put much pressure in yourself and your co-founders. That was my “chasing my own tail” experience. It didn’t get me anywhere, but for the sake of reminding myself that I’m doing something, I keep running in circles. I’m glad to say, I have noticed that pattern and have moved on from that. That’s not to say, I wouldn’t repeat that again. However, if that’s to happen again, I feel I’m equipped with the experience to tackle it easily enough.
Once the dust have settled, you start to get into the rhythm of getting to work, doing your thing. You realise, “Déjà vu! it’s not very different as you would expect it to be”. You realise you are back to doing the same old thing except the difference now is that you feel very motivated about doing that same old thing.
There were times too, that I got so involved in work and the fun of the way things are going. At those times, even getting out of the chair to do something else, like taking a piss becomes such a hard thing to do. Late lunches and dinners were the norms of those days. It’s also strange to discover that it doesn’t necessarily have to be the activities I enjoy to get into that flow. I could be doing something as mundane as keeping books and I could still get into a flow like that. I guess the lesson for me is it doesn’t matter what kind of activity you have to do, it only matters for you to put your mind to it.
“Strange” is the keyword, I’d end this blog post with. Because no matter what the challenges are and no matter how tough the future seems to be, I am strangely enjoying and looking forward to whatever that may come.