So I realised how important it is for me to document this journey and it’s up and downs that have helped me to grow so much thus far. I went to a seminar recently where the speaker shared about the good in problems because they lead to solutions in business. To take it a step further, I think the problems that surface for me every once in a while are constantly training me to have a limitless instead of a limiting a mind. It’s really through the many breakdowns when new problems crop up do I realise just how panicky and weak I really actually am, to cave in easily instead of seeking, asking and being open to impossible ideas. But I realised the problems tend to push me too. It’s amazing how much I have grown and continue to grow, as a person and more amazing how I am meeting countless amazing people in this path of life, that has veered so far from the one I loved but was perhaps too comfortable in. Letting go of inhibitions, acquiring new skills to keep afloat, seeing the good in everyone and every situation, broadening my perspectives on situations, being sincere and helping others as far as possible in spite of own circumstances…truly enriching and fulfilling that even the current financial loss seems worth the sacrifice.
I saw a quote by Anais Nin recently on a friend’s Facebook status on which his friend commented, “I think I must a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depth and a great fear of shallow living.” and I fell in love with it instantly. How the challenges of trying to start something new comes with deep anguish and deep fulfilment at different stages of the journey continually and I relish in it.
On the recent Easter break Lombok trip in April. I had a most amazing group of people on the boat trip and I know if I don’t blog about it, it would be unfair to my life to lose the memory of the magic that came with it. Thanks to a really awesome underwater photographer (bless his blue heart and love for the oceans) I met at a TEDx youth talk I attended some months back (save for how unimpressed I am by the curator, of which that topic really deserves a whole new blog post of its own), Andrew Lim, who relentlessly offered help in documenting the marine life on the boat trip we go on and who kept on encouraging and reassuring me to believe that everything will fall into place in spite of the financial and logistical odds (and they magically did!). Right from arranging for a dive master and dive gear to be transported from Kuta to Tanjung Luar (thank you Discovery Divers for helping to make the impossible possible by agreeing to my crazy requests) to ensuring that Andrew managed to get to Lombok given the short window of time he had before his major leg operation and amidst limited leaves from work left for him then, I think it was really a miracle that everything aligned and we pulled it off. I just can’t wait to see and show off the lovely underwater photos Andrew took while diving in the snorkel sites we frequent. The boy is truly talented and I would love to see him take this passion in underwater photography to greater heights and for greater oceanic good.
I even had the honour of having a once National Geographic photographer on this trip as well, coming along to document the trip as part of his independent film project on shark fin and Indonesia, titled Findonesia. He was all heart and I had the most hearteningly deep and soulful conversations with him about how depressing and disheartening it can sometimes be, being burdened by the ills of the world upon the environment and the oceans, yet pressing on in faith of the goodness of mankind to make positivie change with increasing awareness of problems. I believe awareness should be empowering and not disillusioning. Thank you for the sincere and heartfelt review on Tripadvisor you gave for The Dorsal Effect, I have been greatly humbled and encouraged by my encounter with you.
All the amazing fishermen I have met at Tanjung Luar who now call me kawan; Sidik, Abdul Karim, Suhardi, Ophi. I long to transform Tanjung Luar into a place with sustainable income options through marine conservation educational ecotourism and sustainable fishing options for you. Where only live and not dead sharks are seen in the waters off the fish market. I don’t know how exactly to get there yet but as Xander, suggested, I think I should hazard asking Richard Branson for a hand? ? Because really, nothing is truly impossible as long as the mind can conceive, right?
For the many moments I have felt so helpless, I must remember too the countless moments where the stars aligned, real life angels appeared to give a lift and miracles happened.
On the flight to Lombok yesterday, I realised I have been on budget flights so much I haven’t seen a TV screen in front of me for a plane ride in such a long while that I kinda wanted to cry, thankful in my heart to Bill O Donnell for sharing about the Voucherlicious cheap flights deal for Qatar Airways, Singapore to Bali, on his Facebook wall a month back. I chose to watch the movie, Mandela, because I needed to be inspired and reminded of the importance of patience and biding one’s time. Thank you for having shaped my life since reading your book Long Walk to Freedom back when I was 15, Mr Nelson Mandela, you’re my long standing hero whose spirit I want to emulate and bring greater good in the world.
So here I am back in Lombok right now with the DDB team who are helping Our Better World on their first collaborative project of a video on The Dorsal Effect, I am truly blessed that they chose to give us a hoist by filming the project, and eventually sharing the story. There are many many more good things to come too, a TV crew in June and even possibly Blackfish movie screenings on the Sharksavers side for World Oceans Month. Soldiering on!