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  • Jameel Haiat

What a Difference a Year Makes...

Exactly one year ago, almost to the day, I was furloughed by the company I had been working with for close to eight years. Ultimately, this past October, I was eventually laid off. But, before you put out your "oh, I'm sooo sorry" comments and notes, let's get real about it...


My life, right before the pandemic, was early mornings, long days (including many lost weekends), stressful and not truly fulfilling, and all for the good of the “company”. Don’t get me wrong, I was good at what I did. No, strike that, I was fucking great at it, haha. Oh sure, we always put ourselves high up on a pedestal, and for every one person that would agree with me, there are many more that probably thought I was a real ass.


Lucky for me, those days are gone. No more HR requirements to “fit in” with a team. I don’t have to watch what I say. No more need to collaborate and settle for ideas I disagree with, no more driving half assed implementation. No more dealing with testosterone and stressed out meeting rooms or racist and sexist construction sites.


Now, I live the way I want to live, with a sense of purpose and a renewed concept of life. I wake up early, as my wife Hilcia prepares to leave for work. I take my time, breath in the air, check on my lovely plants and then head down to grab some coffee. It’s my time.


I love sitting at the coffee shop as I watch all the Hong Kongers pass through and pass by. I wonder to myself, where are they going, what will they do, are they stressed like I was? Do they love their lives? I see some looking down, in an obvious turbulent slump, contemplating so many worrisome issues. Others, I see looking up and forward, embracing the day, their life, their future.


I see all of this as I hear the wonderful backdrop of the local traffic whizzing by on the busy street. I smell the mix of coffee, city ambiance, sunshine and fumes. It’s all part of vibrant Hong Kong or any big city really. But, I absolutely love it.


Now, as I sit, and sip my coffee, all of it inspires me. It prompts new stories, fresh thoughts, creative ideas. Ideas that are mine and mine alone, not ones that are corporate owned or require an NDA. They are mine. Good or bad, I am in control of my thoughts.

If I choose to sit all day and just think, I mean literally just think, then I can.

I have no need to report to anybody now, of course, except my wife. Haha!

But she too encourages me to think, to create, to be inspired by this city, by it’s people, it’s sights, sounds and smells. And so, I do.

I think, I create, I live. This, this is my life. This is my time.


What a difference a year makes indeed....

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