aaron gayah

just a personal photo blog and journal.

Filtering by Tag: time

Evening

The walkway to the main entrance was lined with a single row of chairs on either side along its length. He got there minutes after 6:00 pm just as the setting sun dipped behind the hilltops of bamboo bowing to the darkening pink skies left in its wake. Visiting hours were just about over but the steady stream of people, for the most part, looked like they themselves needed to be admitted through those very doors which they were hurriedly entering, anxious to check in on their loved ones.

He sat in the first spot he saw to his left that had a vacant seat and it creaked and rocked backward with his weight. He was probably in that same chair when his own father was admitted there some years back. Directly across from him sat a family with maybe six children playing amongst and distracting themselves - they had to - because the three adults in charge appeared too distraught to even consider engaging them.

He sent his aunt a WhatsApp message. She was just on a minute earlier it said. He called her. No response. He sent her an SMS. Nothing. Then he called her mother’s phone thinking his aunt would answer if she had it on her. Nope. So he did the next best thing. He sent a text asking her if she needed anything - coffee, tea, something to eat, whatever. And he waited.

She did call back after a bit and came outside to meet him. ”It's crowded in there” she explained. ”The doctor didn't see her as yet and the beds are so close together. So I can't answer my phone. It's down to 40% and I'm looking at these outlets and it's not appropriate to put it to charge.” She looked up at him, his expression bothered. ”Come for a hug.” He groaned. ”Don’t you know we’re huggers in this family?” She sent him home because there was nothing else he could do. He was instructed to fall asleep in front of the television as she had seen him do several times before. He was hesitant but she assured him that they both were okay and that she would call if anything. And she did. At 8:56 pm. While he was in front of the television, but not quite asleep.

He wasn't sure how to take the news. There was a measure of regret. He should have done more, made a larger effort, shifted his so-called priorities that suddenly didn't seem as important as he had made them out to be. So what now? He would be thankful, he decided. Because, for her, that would be enough. And maybe, he thought, in the end, that's all people should ever aspire to be in this life.

Kon Tiki

(adrift on a raft, having just survived a shark attack)

“Three years ago, I shot four men. The Gestapo finally found me with my radio.”

“It was war.”

(scoffs) “Yea...Torsten says the same. He helped sink the Tirpitz. A thousand men went down. That doesn’t bother him.” (long pause) “Thank you.”

“You saved my life.”

“That’s what I mean.”

Ten Weeks

She always found it curious how she could spend hours perfecting a document on screen only to find the printed version riddled with errors. In this instance, her agony was due to the carefully-chosen scarlet-colored theme being reproduced as an inelegant dull red on paper, rendering the embedded white modern Sans-Serif font illegible. She frowned. This could not pass. She began again.

At one point, the whole situation felt strange to her. Past aspirations had never amounted to anything because she was always too busy, preoccupied, or something else. So although she was fully captivated by those ideas once upon a time, they would inevitably fade into nothingness, victims of inaction. But this time was different - in fact, she had started off with a burst of energy and inspiration she hadn’t felt in years. However, only a few weeks later, her doubts had managed to catch up to her when her momentum stymied. But slowing down didn’t mean stopping altogether. She had already charted the workflows and derived the organizational structure necessary to manage it all, with everything thus far supported by the requisite analyses and stated assumptions. But there were new challenges now.

Financial strategizing would have to go beyond fundraising - it had to also navigate the obstacles identified from the onset and those that would crop up along the way. As naïve as she was, she was adamant that the figures and projections be realistic. There’s a world of difference between concept and reality, and her plans had to incorporate the essences of both for success. So she researched numerous online courses and decided to spend the bare minimum to gain the necessary insight. For eleven dollars she was able to register for a five-hour, four-star Udemy course on the ins and out of the subject which she completed in just over six days. The content wasn’t impressive by any measure, but it was succinctly packaged in a manner that helped her craft her way.

As the days passed by, the reality slowly sank in that she needed to take up iOS app development for herself. It wasn't only about cost management, no. Rather, it had become increasingly evident that she had to take ownership of her vision, and not relegate that responsibility to a dispassionate third party. She hadn’t actively coded in almost eighteen years, and the thought of learning something that technical from scratch was a bit daunting. But that wasn’t a valid excuse. She was smart, good with design, had experience with C++ and VBA, and was ever-so-structured in her approach to new undertakings. In this instance the Udemy course was 55 hours long. She sighed. And logged on.

Next, she leaned on her friends, now professionals in their respective fields, to form the team to help create and administer the solution. One of them didn’t seem particularly interested and though she was a bit soured by that, she realized it was because the idea wasn’t tangible as yet. But this was no time to be discouraged. Her target customers would have similar apprehensions and here was a chance to dissipate these in the early stages of development. If she could convince him, a frugal, methodological project manager that this made sense to pursue, then she was on the right track. Another friend was more supportive, offering guidance regarding the aesthetics and branding of the concept. There were less than five people she knew that were as asinine as she when it came to such matters, and she was thankful to have her on board. Then there was the engineer who relished the technical side of problem solving, a brilliant mind eager to start tinkering. She had known him to be like that since he was a teen - which was perhaps twenty years back. And finally, there was the believer who immediately saw the underlying purpose and the potential for scaling. He pledged to assist as and when needed, any which way he could.

She had been at it for about ten weeks in all, a short time in the grand scheme of things and there would be no escaping the long hours, frustrations, disappointments and doubts inherent in the undertaking. But now, at this point in her life, time and experience had already refined her thresholds of patience and tolerance. And while she would no longer tolerate shit, she would be gentle with herself and her failings because she understood that her life would unfold in the ways it was destined to. There was certain joy to be found in the mundane, fueled by this recently-acquired sense of purpose. And so she pressed on. Because it made sense on so many levels to do so.