Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reality Sets In

The election is over, one of the most thrilling and expensive spectacles seen today, a nail biting event for some that ended with an outstanding loss for the challenger (and the super-rich), all the more amazing considering that about $ 800 million was spent to unseat the incumbent and grab control of the upper chamber. Instead, the data driven campaign of the incumbent functioned like a machine, each tasks meticulously planned in advance and executed without emotion, like a leviathan inevitably succeeding due to its massive movement.  Wealthy conservatives were astounded: people like Donald Trump, Jack Welch and Karl Rove were victims of reality as the country moved towards the Democrats despite their best efforts to engineer an upset. But their forecast was not supported by polling data, the incumbent leading in all the swing states, notwithstanding the poor performance in the first debate, a well-planned ambush that triggered a sudden move to moderation by the challenger. All for naught as the fundamental truths have not changed despite the horse race in the national polls.

Until now I read everything about the election despite its completion last Tuesday, a political junkie forever enthralled by the analysis of the pundits, borrowing more books and DVDs to deepen understanding. Last week was a milestone for me: the election and victory of the incumbent, the completion of a network event where I delivered a short talk (less than 5 minutes), installation of software in a new environment, significant progress in my other project, golf in the weekend plus watching the new James Bond movie. Life in the new house is also pleasant, more space – physically and mentally, where everything is where I had planned as if all my past furniture was bought for this particular area in the new home. It’s as if everything is now falling into place that I realized that my physical journey has ended. The journey started with my move to Singapore in 2002, living in a condominium (5 years) then a government flat (2 years), then my move to USA; living in a townhouse (3+ years) and, finally, a purchase of a house that I feel I have turned full circle.

The remaining mission is to complete my journey and be a novelist. It’s like the year is settling toward a predestined conclusion: becoming a project manager, completing the projects planned for the year, progressing as a Toastmaster (35 speech projects), visiting New York and meeting old friends, moving house and finally being a writer. The political victory of the incumbent was like a talisman, someone I had studied for a while, reading his books and following his career plus the political events of this country – an activity I have been doing since my youth, before moving here and, finally, witnessing first hand – his growth seeming to mirror my own meager progress. I have learned enough that nothing will add or detract from what I already know – it is no longer the numerous factoids that interest me but the living of life. But serenity has not come yet; I have trouble sleeping recently, my mind churning with ideas that I am forced to meditate; to control my thoughts but to no avail. I seldom do my morning Tai Chi, leaving early for the rush to work, losing sleep; mind and body persisting in disequilibrium – preferring imbalance than balance; thus preventing a return inward.

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