Having been spending quite a lot of time at temples lately. It’s easy to forget the troubles of the world when you’re on top of a mountain hastily breathing in after climbing 700 steps of stone stair or rowing boats through dark caverns of old North. It’s even easier to leave it all behind - all the hassle of living, hustling in a hard and unforgiving world - to just sit, breathe and pray silent words of modest wishes for a good year.
Vietnamese has six different words to call a temple. I don’t know why but I think it’s significant. Maybe one day I will find or invent a meaning for it, like how the French don’t have a word for ‘home’ yet their word for missing someone is still the most beautiful thing I have ever heard of.
I met this man who has been rowing boats for twenty years. Two kids in college while he’s working to keep them there. There were these mountain goats wandering across the steep cliffs as if they could fall at any moment, picking up alpine vegetations that keep their blood running. The boat man told us how every year, people would find their way across these cliffs to catch these goats and families and customers would watch from their boats underneath with a brazier aglow with warm fire and burning alcohol to keep the heat inside. It’s amazing how living things manage to survive in any condition they are thrown into. Life just goes marching on.
"Some hustle for respect. Some hustle for love. Others hustle for truth. But we all hustle to survive."
On some day, I have this intense longing for Korea. My ex-Korean girlfriend used to send me indie songs when I was at work in Seoul. It was a nice feeling knowing someone out there was thinking about you and wanted to make you happy with just a little song. I couldn’t believe it had only been two months since I left Korea. Felt like it was a different life from decades ago. My friends still ask me if I miss Korea, and I often brush them off, saying there’s really nothing there to miss now. But the fact is, Korea was where I spent the most youthful and beautiful period of my life, it gave me wonderful friends and great memories to look back to, and for that alone, it’s enough to call it home. And do you ever miss home? Always.
It is amazing what you can achieve in one week. Today is the first day in the last 8 days of marathon running which will probably become the most memorable career-turning point of my life that I can take a proper breath and reflect on what has come to pass. And if I factor in all the little coincidences and chance-happening, it’s nothing short of a miracle that things have gone the way they did. There’s still so much work to do but the possibilities are endless now. Everyday there’s a new purpose, a greater goal to strive towards, an impossible dream to make true.
It has been the greatest summer of my life. A summer filled with new friendship, great colleagues, beautiful family moments and a little summer romance that will fade away in time, but the sentiments will probably be there for the rest of my life.
What I realized when I first studied French is that they don’t really say ‘I miss you.’ They say ‘tu me manques’ which is ‘you are missing to me’ as in you are already a part of me. Such perfection in expressive language. I will forget to miss Paris ever so often, but Paris will always be missing, to me.
- Got invited to be part of an exclusive team of cross-national businessmen constituted of ambassadors, First Ladies, CEOs and the likes. Now I need to prove that I’m worth it.
- Met with representatives from Google, Taekwang Vina (which produces 41% of all Nike shoes), Worldnets group’s Board of Directors, and several entrepreneurs.
- About five highly classified projects going on at the same time. I hardly have time to think about anything else now except how to make them work. If only one of them succeeds, my God.
- Several ideas for some business models. Will need time to polish them and develop a sustainable growth engine for each. Will probably take at least five years.
- Became friends with an awesome lady and her children. Mixed kids are the best. They make me want to have kids right away. And now I will always have a place to stay if I ever want to visit the Caribbean.
- Became best bros with a model who knows almost everyone in the showbiz and supermodel world in Vietnam.
- Met a girl whom I have a slight crush on. But she’s from another city and I have too much on my plate right now to handle a relationship. I hope she will still be there when I’m done.
And I haven’t even started my day job yet. Three days in Sai Gon has been the most rewarding experience business-wise. Seriously thinking about moving there permanently. I haven’t felt this energized and focused in years. Life’s finally moving at a pace that I hope it would.