You Taught Me – FG

5 years ago, we talked about where you wanted to be and what you wanted to do “growing up”. At the time, we were both still students, you were searching for work and doing the odd jobs here and there, volunteering for great causes that you excelled in (because of your bubbly personality!).

Look at you now! You are pretty much doing exactly what you wanted to do and you are loving it. The definition of someone who has made it to where they set out to be and more impressive for someone in a unique role as yours (I can totally imagine you in that lab coat #Abby haha). You remind me that nothing is out of reach if you aim all of your hearts and desires for it.

I also LOVE our conversation on the Disney movie Soul! How smooth was the subtle segue of the topic into our conversation, then letting it take off into so much more. Reminds me of conversations we used to have over text which were a bazillion sentences long because of your extra-terrestrial typing speeds hahaha.

As always, you are such a great friend FG, it’s a shame that you have replaced me with my little brother, although whom I am very alike, I bet it’s just not the same. Catch up soon and keep in touch!

You Taught Me – VD

What makes me most happy in the world is seeing my friends succeed and living a life they enjoy. Ultimately, isn’t that what life is about? Finding the balance between our “work” and our life? For those who say that our work should be our lives, in reality it’s unrealistic and unsustainable.

So, with that it really sounds like you’re finding that balance well! Slowly navigating the joys of life, learning all the way through. I love how you took the leap of faith away from what seems like the big and stable 4 to pursue something different, totally outside your comfort zone to try something new that you think suits you better. This mindset will get you far in life and there’s no doubt that it will help you find a place where you will be at peace. I think what you reminded me most is that there are friends of mine out there who are doing pretty well, moving forward in their lives, slowly but surely.

Even if you don’t think so yourself, I think you’re a great example of this! So I thank you for being a great friend and wish you continued peace and success in the future. All the best VD, and catch up soon!

You Taught Me – CP

How amazing is it when opportunities come when you least expect it!

During our conversation together, we defined what it means to live a life free of total control over everything and your recent experiences are the best examples of that. When you gave yourself the time and space to learn instead of expecting yourself to know, you inevitably invited everyone around you to see your true and vulnerable self (just like we all are). It’s crazy to think that sometimes the harder we try and expect results of ourselves, the more it actually backfires and hurts instead. We are truly at times our worst enemy but also our greatest saviour.

What I find just as humbling is that when the universe opens up to you full of opportunities, you stay loyal to your word and have belief in the path you’ve chosen. It’s so important that we do believe in the choices that we make with all our hearts and be accepting that it may not always be the right choice. I love how we both have found a place to call home away from home and really, it doesn’t matter whether it’s halfway across the globe or in our great Australian backyard because what it really shows is your drive to make the life that you want for yourself.

Looking ahead, you are absolutely no different. You strive to work with people, for people and give them the best experience wherever they are because to you, the way to make the world a better place is by putting us first; our sense of well-being through meaningful interactions. All I can say to that is thank you for the amazing catch-up and reminding me of this.

I look forward to where it takes you and will support you all along the way!

You Taught Me – 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 endeavours and support you along your journey.

A Dream Journal Series – Stories Come to Life

  • Date: 17th January 2021
  • Lucidity: 5 / 10
  • Vividity: 7 / 10
  • Realism: 9 / 10

In the middle of nowhere, a house stood out in the night.

A warm orange glow could be seen from miles, warmth enveloped those within. Inside a group of friends lay in their beds, wide awake yet half dreaming telling each other stories of far away places close to our hearts.

It was my turn.

But before I tell, I must explain the days or even weeks leading up to this moment. You see, I had this book that was with me all the time. A book of short stories with beautiful illustrations of the characters of which they tell. Flicking through the book, there were dozens of characters and their stories told, but many more of whom had empty stages.

And so it was that night when I read these stories out aloud, that we all realised, it was the stories of ourselves. The characters were them and the stories were real.

How this was so I did not know. What I did know was that when I wrote these stories, it wasn’t just me. There was another hand. As if I was entranced while doing so and the story wrote itself. Sometimes it feels this way when you’re doing something you love and feel so natural in and it all just comes out. It was like that when I wrote these stories.

So the group wanted to know Shane’s story and although I refused at first to write, it came to me in a dream and I had one to tell. As everyone stared at me from their beds, eager to hear the story, I knew it was one that I could not tell for it was evil, it was death at one’s door.

The group, convinced that if once told the future could be altered, was more eager than ever to hear. And so I told the story knowing that it was false hope, that once death was at your door it could not be stopped and if anything, it would be worse.

Shane would die that night, the story foretold. He would fall asleep no matter how hard he tried. He would wander away, leaving the warmth of the orange glow and into the cold dark abyss of the night. And in this darkness, he would be struck by an oncoming car and there was nothing he could do.

The End.

A Dream Journal Series – Careful Where You Move

  • Date: 16th January 2021
  • Lucidity: 4 / 10
  • Vividity: 7 / 10
  • Realism: 8 / 10

We’re in our new place in South London. Recently moved as planned.

The first thing I see is how large the place is. It’s wooden floors and simple furniture, it’s shelves unmoved. It’s exciting as always being in a new place.

But that all changed the moment we took a step outside.

In front of our home was an area filled with young crazy people (which whom I recognize as hippies) dancing and waving their arms around to music unknown to me as if they were seeing and hearing something that I wasn’t. Whatever it was, I had the thought that it was induced from some sorts of drugs and having people like that right outside my doorstep was definitely not the plan.

At that moment my older brother, Michael turned up at my doorstep requesting me to come home to Sydney. He was quite convincing in that he was using the classic tactic of  telling me how there’s nothing here for me, that there’s no path forward here, that the family needed me back home. He said and quite randomly that my dad wanted to start his own railway business which did strike me as really odd and worrisome as if something had triggered my dad since I was gone. In any case, I was rejecting any notion of it, I was enjoying it here and still believed there was much to achieve.

We all started towards our van. I don’t recall where we were headed but wherever it was it didn’t matter because before I got there, the hippes from the party outside were already gathering around. One had taken up the drivers seat (which was in the middle section of a 3 section 6 seater van?) with my girlfriend next to him. Another two hippes had taken up the front seat whilst Michael was out back. I tried to jump in the drivers seat and remove the key but it was too late, the van had already begun to move! So I did the only thing I could of, was quickly take the back seat just to be in the van.

The hippy was crazy! His driving was definitely under the influence of substances and I was worried for our lives as he swerved left and right on the road ahead. After a few short minutes of his driving and extremely annoying hippy chants and in-car dancing, I had enough. I whispered into my girlfriends ear who was in front of me and told her to prepare to take over the wheel. When the time was right, I took the hippy by the neck from behind into a headlock. I was absolutely pissed off about the situation and was yelling to my girlfriend to park the car ASAP! She of course panicked and was doing the same, going left and right trying to find the perfect spot which made me even more anxious because I could see multiple spots where we could have stopped. This made me bring out my pissed off sarcastic self and I kept yelling here! here! here!

Eventually we did make a stop, I jumped out of the car and dragged each hippy out of our van with a punch to their face and a kick whilst they were on the ground for good luck. I was tempted to kick them some more before I decided otherwise and decided to leave, and so I did.

The End

A Losing Battle

“I realised a long time ago that the harder I resist and fight against my destiny, the more I am fighting a losing battle. Yes, you do create your own destiny but to an extent only, and when you start to see the difference between the two, everything changes.

JayysNotes

Personal Context – There’s somewhere I’m meant to be. Someone I’m meant to be with. I think about this all the time. The more I think about it, the more I think I am ready.

Goals of 2021 – Through Thick and Thin

How do I see through the fog of which I am about to embark?

At the end of each and every year just like a tradition, I write two letters to myself. A reflection of the year that has past and a look into the future, a year ahead to see the possibilities that lay before me. This is of the latter and I must admit, it is the hardest one I have ever had to write.

It would be easy for me to sit back and repeat the goals of 2020, many of which had been incomplete, put on hold because of world events. But that would mean that there had been no insights this year, that not only was the world put on hold, I was as well. Luckily for me, that’s not the case, upon pondering through my thoughts, 2021 looks to be one of the most important pivots of my life and below, my goals reflect that.

I challenge myself not only to take on the goals of 2020, but new daunting yet exciting ones as well. 2021 isn’t going to be easy, but then again, who said life was anything but, right?

  1. (On hold from 2020) A sense of community – One of the things that really surprised me this year was the overwhelming sense of shift in the community from an in-person perspective over to the virtual space. I’ve connected with a lot of great people within this online space but there’s always the missing element that only being next to someone can give. What this is exactly I am not yet sure, but I hope when we can all get together again without fear, I can rediscover this. To summarise, I am in search to make a deep connection with a community here in London, i.e. be an integral part of at least one community organisation or group by the end of 2021.
  2. (On hold from 2020) Travelling and exploring – 2020 was not the best year for eager travellers and explorers like myself and leading into the new year it still looks grim. I’m hoping that in the second half of 2021, we can rekindle this fire. It’s important to remember that my travel plans will continue to be led by my love for music, culture and people just as it was in the previous years. What I must do this year however is to make sure I meet more people along the way
  3. Healthy cooking and advanced baking – 2020 was a great year to explore my inner chef, being home all day for every meal meant that there was great opportunity to be creative. Now it’s time to take that to the next step. I want to really know what it is I am eating and how that fits into a “balanced” diet everyone keeps talking about. I’m looking at the food triangle as a good start for this but through this new year, I want to learn healthy recipes, eat less meat and more greens like mom always used to say. Baking on the other hand still feels like the dark arts! How does yeast work? why does flour quadruple it’s size in the oven, how can I bake something healthy without using a ridiculous amount of butter and sugar, really? If you know me, you know that i’m not much for sweets and I’ve always connected baking with being sweet. I know now that this is not always the case and will seek that out this year. Included in this is the making of baobaos and traditional Chinese baking!
  4. A new venture – Some of you might already know that I have something I’ve been working on through 2020. 2021 is the year I will try to build a new skillset to accompany that something. I’m talking about things like basic coding and website design, learning about business structure and finances. No matter what happens on this journey, there’s something I can learn and take from it.
  5. Reading at a higher level – 2020 was a great year for establishing some amazing reading habits. Every night now, I can’t fall asleep without having read my book! So the question for 2021 is, how can I top that? I’ve considered early morning reads, it’s a possibility and might be a really good start to the day. But one thing I know for sure is that I want to read a much more wider range of genres and go through a lot more books while I’m at it. Let’s set the goal at 25 books for 2021 and a large number of them to be non-fiction.
  6. Meditation & lucid dreaming – I began the practice of meditation over 10 years ago and what ties closely with that was the ability to learn to lucid dream. A few years back, I put this on hold. It was on hold because my sleeping patterns were off, I struggled to recall dreams and I was always moving from one place to another. This year, I want to bring that back. If this year permits, I’d like to attend some regular meditation classes and recall more dreams than I do now. I need to get into a regular pattern of dream journaling and finding a community out there who can support that.
  7. Social media frenzy – One of my big goals this year is to know exactly what information I take in day to day and from where. It’s crazy that in todays world, algorithms determine almost everything that you see on your social media feeds, so much so that you are drowned and lost in it! Today, my social media feeds are a total mess but with this goal, I want to clean it up. This includes improving the level of security on all my accounts, understanding how my data is being used and what I will and will not allow to be used, ensuring that I see my friends posts first before all else and making certain that the news outlets, articles, stories and content is one that is highly reliable from respectable sources and is of a high quality. Yes, that means this is the beginning of the end for many so called “news” outlets that use cryptic memes and comedic articles to subtly feed you their views.

So with that, I leave you with one thought. What are your goals for the year? How have you set them upon these uncertain times?

Thanks for reading. Happy goal setting and here’s a big wish for you and your family for good health and prosperity in the new year! Love, Jason.

Feature image – The opening celebration held at Tomorrowland, a famous yearly gathering of people from all around the world for the absolute appreciation for music, culture and love taken on the 18th of July 2019. It is only a matter of time that we are all reunited not only for the love of what this represents but the love for each other as a human species.