An Ode to Comrades

I‘ve always hated saying goodbyes.  No surprises then, that my last day at Infocomm Investments should go by without any fanfare – no parting gifts, no warm embraces and certainly no teary farewells.  The rest had left the office by 5pm as last Friday was ‘Eat with your Family Day’.  I sat in the empty office removing all digital traces of myself from my trusty IBM X60 work laptop for the past 3 years.  As the machine zapped each file and document that I worked on, I dug deep within myself for traces of nostalgia.

I once came across a line from a poem by contemporary American poet Emily Dickinson that stuck in my head.

That which will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.

Believing what we don’t believe
Does not exhilarate.

That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate —
This instigates an appetite
Precisely opposite.

– Emily Dickinson

My two years at Infocomm Investments have been well spent amongst comrades.  I have had the opportunity to take shots at a long list of impossibles with a solid team, and have been trusted, empowered and relied upon by my bosses to make a wide range of decisions.  I have also had the chance to operate in a startup-like environment here – fast and furious, ever-changing external conditions and faced with constant adversity in the course of our work.  For these, I am truly blessed and thankful.

Dandelion along South Neville Road, Pittsburgh

Ephemeral dandelion - South Neville Road in Pittsburgh, PA

Just as the Chinese would say, “天下无不散之宴席” (all good things must come to an end), so too does Shakespeare – too much of a good thing can do us harm too.  And so I part, with a heart heavy with nostalgia, for as David Gates and Bread would sing in Goodbye Girl,

Goodbye doesn’t mean forever
Let me tell you goodbye doesn’t mean
We’ll never be together again
If you wake up and I’m not there, I won’t be long away
cause the things you do my goodbye girl
Will bring me back to you…

I borrow shamelessly from Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent words to bid my farewells to my colleagues in Infocomm Investments and IDA – I can’t meet you one by one (to say goodbye), but I hope to meet you all in the future (better days).

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.