YOU taught me

Throughout life, there are people who come into your life and change you.

It’s often that these people never know how much they’ve impacted on your life, because to them they are just being themselves; but to you, they are the heroes in your story. They are the ones who make us a better person inside and out, who teach us something valuable that we often look back upon in times of uncertainty and ambiguity. These people are our heroes, our guardian angels that come into our lives as swiftly as they leave but have imprinted a part of themselves in you for a lifetime.

Take notice of them. Remember them. Choose to be better because of them.

For those whom have changed my life, this is for you and this is what you have taught me.

CM – “If you’re not going to do it, then no one will”. Powerful words strung together, it is the vibe you gave off when I first met you and it was the same vibe when you left. The more I go through life, the more I realise how true this is. It’s rare to find people who are willing to take charge of everything they do, those are the people who actually move things along because they absolutely hate how slow things can move in almost all aspects of their life. They’re not satisfied with the status quo, that things have always been done this way because to them that was is incredibly inefficient and slow. You are one of those and you get things done because you do them. Sometimes you say that it’s because no one else can do it (who knows, maybe your right, or maybe a bit more leadership will help those whom struggle do better? not sure). But the teaching is there, that if you want to change something, if you want to get things moving, get things to the way you like it, sometimes you just have to take it in the chin and do it yourself. Thanks for showing me this CM.

FA – Family first brother. That’s what you have taught me. Above all else, you are to your family what the planets are to its star; the pull that holds each other together. You have always done everything within your power to make this so, even at the expense of the the things you enjoy, the things you love and even just yourself. But that is not a weakness. That is within itself one of life’s greatest strengths because just as you will do anything for them, they will return that favour two, three, four fold; and you know that. Not a lot of people in this world can say that they have an equally strong relationship with their family as you can. It is a blessing that only few experience and many seek their entire lives. You have taught me the power of strength in unity, with family at its heart and I thank you for that.

IP – Calm, even when the world around you is burning to the ground. Stoic is what people would call you even if you didn’t know it. Over the years I’ve been around you, I’ve enjoyed one aspect more than any other, to observe you (in a humorous way not creepy ha!). I find it fascinating how put together your sentences are, you talk slowly but very succinctly in an easy to understand, easy to follow manner and in such that everyone in the room knows that we’re all moving towards the same goal. This isn’t just in the normal day to day, it’s during times of incredible stress and hardship that it shines the most because you don’t change, you still have the same, calm, relaxed, “everything will be okay” vibe going about you. Wish I could do the same and I do try, but thank you for showing me how it’s done.

JB – You’re the JB so you know who you are without introduction. You are a great friend, infinitely more caring of others than people can see at first. Maybe it’s because that inner circle of yours is really the only people you care about and everyone else can get lost is probably what you would say. You show you care by doing the exact opposite, it took me some time to realise this but I look back now and everything we’ve ever done is a million times more hilarious and fun. Making us do ridiculous things by egging us on and threatening us if we don’t has always made for a funny but scary experience; In the end there’s always a stupid story to tell, someone making a fool out of ourselves only to have you make sure we get home safe and sound. You are a true friend and JB, thank you for that.

JB No.2 – “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” by Abraham Lincoln. You told me this on one sunny day when I was young and eager to learn. I’d never at the time managed any projects on my own but when I finally got around to it, this quote just kept coming to mind and of course, you, the person who reminded me of it. I’ve extended this further than work but into my own life because come to think about it, how often do we actually sit down and plan our actions towards the goals we set ourselves? not nearly enough I would say. With every project I lead, every goal and dream I have, I plan now more than ever, I leave room for spontaneity, but don’t allow any spontaneity to push me off track. Thank you for teaching me that planning is the path to success JB.

JK – It was an absolute pleasure catching up with you. It’s always amazing when you reconnect with someone that you haven’t seen or talked to in years and you just kick it off with really meaningful topics. What I found fascinating was our conversation around keeping one eye on the future at all times. What large organisations lack is this ability to create this vision that they’re supposed to have from within and that’s where you come in with you conceptual designs and framework thinking. But as much as it is enjoyable, what you really want is to see is the results, the actual implementation without all the politics. In a world full of process driven design, it’s hard to see where we can just make things more focussed, optimised and far less long winded but you’re on the journey to find out what that is. The one thing that you and I both know for sure is that whatever the future holds, we will always need that human touch and the roles we’re both taking on, ensure that is what we’re learning. In the near future, you’re excited and open to where you might end up, whether that’s across town or on the other side of the world. You’ve never lost your heart for the world and want to be doing something that helps heal and sustain it. The most humbling thing is that you seem to really know the true value of things. You see yourself from the perspective of others and realise that we, as Australians and as individuals are really well off and are in the prime position to drive the change we wish to see, without the struggles that much of the people of the world has inherited. JK, you’ve taught me a lot in this short time and it’s absolutely humbling to talk to you, I wish you all the best in your endeavors and support you along your journey.

JL – You are truly an inspiration. Seriously! and you don’t even know it! Why is it that those of whom who are truly inspiring to others, don’t see it in themselves? You have one of the strongest human spirits that I know of. It doesn’t mean that you are always perfect, or that you’re always happy and smiling and energetic . What it truly means is that you persevere through all of the thick and thin and come out on the other side ever stronger, more aware and more insightful than you ever were before. Not everyone can say that they have gone through the trials of life as you have and come out of it with a positive and optimistic outlook on life as you do. It’s absolutely exciting to hear you talk about what you have installed for you in the future with the biggest and brightest of smiles, and as with all great thing’s you understand that the best things in life come with time; that time heals all, that it brings out the best of us, healing wounds and giving the gift of wisdom. I have no doubt that when the time comes, you will be the star that shines brightly, as you’ve always dreamed, that your growth will be exponential. JL, you taught me the fragility of life, but you also taught me the strength of the human spirit to persevere and overcome, and for that I will always be thankful.

KC – HOW ARE YOU? is pretty much the most common statement we have both said to each other. Seriously, I’m pretty sure we both don’t actually mean it because I hope things are doing shit without me back home; yes, I just want you to miss having me around. hahaha. In all seriousness though, you are a good mate, you’ve taught me what the most sociable butterfly looks like and that’s you man. You’re a wildflower, you grow a bit of your wild self in every person you meet and I think that’s pretty awesome. You actually care a lot about people and you definitely know how to show it. This is one of the most important lessons that you have taught me, how to show that you care. We text each other nonsensical texts on most days that consists of one liners such as “WAKE UP” “GO HOME” “OI” ” I HOPE YOU DIE FROM ALCOHOL POISONING” and the reply’s not too dissimilar. For readers, please don’t read too much into this but all I have to say to you KC is cheers mate, take good care of yourself and MY, and don’t fuck up, but if you do, I’ll catch you.

KK – A kind, loving and forgiving heart is the gift that you have. You taught me how to take care of myself, how we shouldn’t be so harsh to ourselves when things don’t work out the way we want it to. You taught me that there will always be people around you who are experiencing or have experienced similar emotions that you are feeling at this moment and together, you can get through anything life throws at you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Many years ago, we reached out to each other and helped each other get through some of the toughest times of our lives and there’s nothing more I can say but thank you. We will always be great friends because of that. We only have to look at how far we’ve come since then to realise what felt like a dead end in our path was only a small hump in the road of life!

NM – You’re always so well spoken my friend! Conversations with you flow so well not because we have a lot of topics prepared but because we agree with each other on a lot of core topics, from self-improvement to seeking a passion in life. I enjoyed our conversation about problem solving when you don’t know where to begin and and support doesn’t seem to be near. I empathise with the times when you just don’t know what you don’t know, when the limits of your knowledge are tested, when even Google struggles with your predicament. You taught me something on this, that as stressful as situations like this can be, it’s important to take a step back, to not be hard on yourself and break down the problem into smaller parts, parts that you can solve. And if the support is not near, then look far, look into the distance elsewhere externally or otherwise. Among the conversation you talked of your short term goals, the realisation that parts of your work are not where your passion lies, that you know it’s important more than ever to move forward onto something new and that you’re currently in search for that. You spoke of your longer term goals to become someone that can inspire others, a “life coach” because that’s what you know get’s you excited in the morning. To serve others, to mentor, to understand and help people on their own journeys through life. I wish you all the best on your journey and no doubt our paths will meet again!

PS – maaatteee, I’m going to miss having you around but you know what, everything happens for a reason right and we’ll make the most of whatever comes our way. I’ve never seen somebody who loves music as much as you do. How are you still alive right now with all those late nights at pubs and clubs watching gigs till the am’s. It’s a big part of your life and I can see it, it shines out of you like an emanating glow. You’ve taught me how easy it is for ones passion to shine right through them and feel like it’s overwhelming and even influencing yourself. The power to truly be passionate about something is what I seek for as well, it’s a question I’ve asked myself for many years. I think I’ve found some of it and I can only hope that it emanates from me as much as I can see music does for you!

WT – High energy! is what I can say about you. It’s quite incredible to watch actually. You are at your highest of highs when you are surrouded by good friends and good music and I think that’s where you shine. Even for someone like me, who can also have quite high energy, you manage to top that and show me how exciting it can be to get to know other people. We don’t know each other as well as we’d both like to but that will change soon. What I do know is that althought in person we always see the highest of highs in you, when you’re alone, it becomes your lowest of lowes. It’s something you’ve mentioned to me before and maybe in the next few months, it’s something I can show you too, how to be comfortable in your own shoes when all you have is yourself.

Author: Jason Li

Jason Li grew up in the big bad city of Sydney. After all these years, he’s still growing up; or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. Most of the time, however, he has no idea where life is taking him, living life just one single day at a time.

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