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  • 'This is a true account, a story I know I must tell, for the sake of the experiences I went through, because many are going through them. Yet they feel powerless to speak what is just. In keeping quiet, they are adding to a vicious cycle that can kill our spirits. Thus this should never be hidden and left unknown. Not anymore. I knew these happened for a reason for it is my voice that is needed for the bigger picture to unfold.'

    I might have come across the term ‘social enterprise’ in the past. Maybe. But whether it has a relationship to waste management and sustainability agendas, I wouldn’t have known. The closest I got to green living was to not litter, only for fear of getting fined. In Singapore that is. It was only when I shifted to Adelaide that I got more aware of my insensitivity towards mother earth and her resources, that I’d then responsibly separate the plastics and glass bottles from the refuse. But it was more to appease my Australian housemate because he’d get upset. ‘Those guys actually bother about the planet’, I thought it rather mind-boggling when compared to my fellow countrymen. This seemed like an alien concept amongst my people.

    But in just about a year which is today, I’m running my own business, a sustainable entrepreneurship.
    This month there will be a piece by me as one of the features in exploring methods for information technology’s incorporation into sustainable innovation, in order to engage the triple bottom line. On a US social innovation centered web publication. Not only that, I am about to begin regularly contributing to another clean technology site.

    I'm sure any Singaporean would be lost by now. The last sentence must sound like a foreign language. This is a far cry from just recently, where my idea of going green couldn’t get past paper recycling.

    What is more impressive (at least to me only) is that from once being labeled a technology dummy by my friends, I’m actually creating visual and blogs, and writing about digital content. I was never a gadgets person and my first laptop (a spare from my dad) came by only when I realized my funds were depleting at a rate that didn’t justify purchasing of books anymore, not in our era of digital information. After 20 odd years reading from paperbacks, it is an intimate relationship that I was reluctant to part with.

    That’s not all. Another surprise is that I’ve practically never had an interest to run my own business. I’ve never felt like I had an idea compatible enough with the market to ensure I don’t end up with a loss, not to mention being stuck with a responsibility that will likely turn out cumbersome – I’m quite known to be vacillating in my career choices, seldom staying put for more than a couple of months with one. Yet the people I meet commend me on my dedication and persistence to see my business through. They are assuming I am doing this to earn as much money as possible while I’m still young. Well, yes and no.

    This is but the start of a series of what I will write about, an irony of my supposed life path.

    If I were to factor in the other points, like continually facing struggles due to a lack of monetary resources; mainly the lack of funding support and the need to have to pay for (extremely costly) rent and overheads, then the pressure to remain positive, to not be disheartened and to assure those who care for me that I do know what I am doing, yet myself being the most weary having to face the onslaught of battles, you must either wonder about the large sums of money I’m expecting to earn or whereabouts in my head am I displaced enough to propagate such distortions.

    …Keep guessing, I’m not done yet.

    Anyway at some points, one after another, my friends and closed ones left. Some probably thought I was being ridiculous and there are those who didn’t see the point of sticking around. Understandably so as they’ve got their own problems to spin their heads over too. On a third party’s perspective, they made perfect sense because you’ve got to be delusional to hang around.

    But because they’re not me. They couldn’t see the vision I saw. They couldn’t say with conviction that this is it.

    From a huge circle of friends that I usually keep by I’m now left with 2. They stayed by, being supportive of me but getting less interested in my work, to naught. We had more than our fair share of disagreements and that caused me huge amounts of distress. Yet the beautiful thing is that they’ve quit questioning, accepting my stubbornness being the likelihood I was onto something substantial and they just continued to support.

    Then there is the mother of a friend of mine. She is a wonderful blessing to have. I can never express how grateful I am for her emotional support throughout. Somehow in my darkest moments, she’d appear and it gave me the strength I needed to see me through my hurdles.

    A journey that started with love is quickly replaced with hate, the same hatred I once felt for people. The only saving grace for me not to go down the spiral I was once locked in is my awareness constantly acting as a reminder that I have the sanity of mind to comprehend the reasons behind the actions people take, and where a moment’s folly could lead to a life of regret.

    With compassion reasoning with me, even though in that moment I might be feeling trapped and victimized, they really are the ones who are suffering. I tried my very best to be as just in my dealings with them.

    It sounds like an arduous journey. It is. From there, I felt the pain of the abandoned, the hopeless, and the homeless even. The utter disappointment leading to seriously questioning the love that came by my family, that I’ve always thought I had in abundance, is but a delusion. I felt so down to the extent I couldn’t see the point to continue living, although I knew that I’d never commit suicide.

    Furthermore I needed to be strong to see this through for my kitten, the sweetest, innocent little thing that had to endure this journey with me. I needed to give him the stable home he deserves. Ironically, it was him who finished the last piece of the puzzle, where I was thrown onto this path, of which I know is my life’s calling.

    (to be continued very soon...)
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