I’m leaving Malaysia

I had an intriguing work collaboration opportunity; there was a girl I wanted to date. But just as Malaysia was getting very interesting, the door has abruptly shut on my time here.

As I re-entered Malaysia, the customs officer too one look at my passport and sent me to the side immigration office.

I had almost expected it. My first departure sent off a feeling in my gut. And I have learned to trust my gut feelings. I have learned to use it to help guide my decisions and prepare for changing circumstances. So I was prepared to answer honestly.

“Malaysia has denied you entry.” He essentially said. He asked a few questions and I calmly answered them honestly. He made a remark that I hadn’t been thinking. I had a smart ass comment immediately to what he said. Of course I didn’t say it. Even in these circumstances, I can think of a smart ass comment. I guess some things never change.

He asked a few questions then told me to sit down. After sitting down for a minute, he told me to come back. No idea why. I told him I was waiting for my PVP visa. There wasn’t actually a lot said in the entire conversation. He gave me a 7 day special pass and told me to report to Putrajaya Immigration. Since I was waiting for my PVP visa, I essentially had 7 days (or whatever Putrajaya gave me) to sort out my visa or else I had to leave.

How I felt a bit immediately after

How I felt a bit immediately after

I was told by my friend to be “optimistic”. Sometimes I hate it when people say that. It’s like when people say, “just be happy, don’t dwell on it”. Optimism in this case does little to help me. I needed to consider the possibilities and act accordingly. Another friend tried to give me flirting tips for my next visit to immigration. I laughed and had not planned to use them.

I was placing my own chances at 70/30 (against/for). But I was preparing for worse case scenarios. This is not because I am negative. I think it is the smart thing to do. When you are given the time to be prepared, it is better to have thought about possible scenarios and solutions. Entrepreneurship (and arguably life) is about taking calculated risks when possible. One must weigh circumstances to make the best decision or to find the best possible solution.

Fast forward 24 hours later, I had my visa submission documents and a letter from the Malaysian company sponsoring me. I was ready for Putrajaya. Naturally, the immigration office was chaotic. Everything was in Bahasa Malay so I was quite confused as to where to go. People were everywhere and the queue seemed long.

But I got my answer fairly quickly. I was prepared to answer many questions, but there were none to answer.

“Your visa application has been rejected”. The officer told me. We spoke briefly and they spoke with my representative from the Malaysian company. No deal.

Easier to reach that goal if you don't reject my visa you know?

Easier to reach that goal if you don’t reject my visa you know?

I requested to have an extension on my visa to get my affairs in order. It was granted (yay Canadian passport!) so I have until July. After that, I am gone.

The lost work opportunity lost does sting. I was being given the opportunity to be an in house entrepreneur with them with no skin off my back. I had some of their resources to back me up and another entrepreneur to provide some mentorship. Best of all, it wasn’t a full-time commitment. It was unique and I don’t think it’s easy to find something like it. An appeal to the visa rejection won’t be likely either.

How do I feel?

I feel good. I feel happy. I am obviously extremely disappointed that this hasn’t worked out like I wanted to but I don’t regret taking this opportunity and this chance.

A lot of times people say that happiness is a choice. I don’t think it is. Happiness is a state of mind. Partly chosen but it’s about being in the right frame of mind. I feel that I am in the right frame of mind. I talked about internal happiness in this post, and even prior to this, I felt like I had more internal happiness than I have ever had. For that reason, I feel good despite what has happened.

I am happy that I got a chance to start things my way. I am just getting started. These past six months were a warm up to bigger things to come. By some divine miracle, maybe something changes and I stay, but I’m not counting on it.

I used to be scared that I didn’t know the answers. I used to think life is all about plans.

But life is unpredictable. But it is that, which makes it beautiful. As my ex wrote to me once,

“I guess that’s what makes life so interesting – the uncertainty & not-knowing, and that crazy feeling when your expectations are completely entirely blown out of the water.”

I am hopeful. I am grateful. And I am more hungry than ever to see where I can go from here.

Learn. Explore. Create.

-TUS