Listening

THANK YOU for listening.

To those who listen with their hearts to you and mean nothing but the best for you.

I know who you are because I know how you have made me feel, absolutely and undoubtedly supported through the ups and downs of my life. Without you I would be an empty shell, cast out into the ocean with no one to pick me up and listen to my tune.

We all need heroes in our life, we all need that wind beneath our wings that allows us to fly and soar above the clouds; so I hope you know that it is you who has made it all possible.

❀ Jason

Together

THANK YOU for my absolute LOVE to bring people together.

I find the most happiness when I am connecting people, when I am bridging the gap between you and me, between you and him and between him and her.

This is because I truly believe in the power of the mutual connections that we give each other, it is one of the few things that really matter on our short time on this Earth. This love to bring people together has made me feel loved by many, has helped me build real heart filled relationships with those around me and simply has helped me become so content with the life I have been given.

If there is ever a goal in life I cherish more than anything, it is that I continue to pass on the bright light that I have been given by you and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

❀ Jason

Feature images – On my 25th and 23rd birthdays, I invited those closest to me to join me in celebration, a celebration that to me, wasn’t for me but for all of us; to enjoy the little moments we have together and meet others who have no doubt shaped each our lives for who we are. Taken on the 17th of October 2015 & 14th of October 2017.

The Little but BIG Things In Life – Appreciation List

  1. THANK YOU for giving me the strength to be alone and be okay with that. To find and fall in love with who I am, to be my own self in a world that can sometimes feel like it’s tearing you apart.
  2. THANK YOU mum for being there for me, always. For always having the most beautiful smile in the world. Mum, I want you to know that when you’re happy, the world lights up and there is nothing but happiness in this world.
  3. THANK YOU dad for being the biggest and most incredible role model that any son could have ever hoped for. Dad, I want you to know that you are my inspiration in this world, your strength and fortitude, bravery and persistence to make a better life for you and your family has taught me everything I know about what it means to raise a family; no doubt this will be passed on to many generations to come.
  4. THANK YOU Michael, my older brother. You are the smartest person I know, most of the time. You give advice that is often sound and responsible and has always kept me on the right path in life. You’re the first person I go to when I seek guidance, without you, my life would not have the structure, the building blocks it does today and I can only hope that I continue to listen and take in your knowledge.
  5. THANK YOU Ken, my youngest brother. You have taught me that everyone is on a different path to success, that there is not one but an infinite number of ways that one can reach success. I know us older brothers sometimes can seem to have expectations that are not always easy to achieve; you shouldn’t have to live up to them because you are on your own path in life and I realise that now. Just know that we have always wanted the best for you and are here to support any decision you make.
  6. THANK YOU Jasie, my dear sister in Law. Far more than anyone else in the world, you have taught me to welcome others with the biggest open arms. Our family is incredibly lucky to have and welcome you into our home. I thank you so much for your patience and acceptance of who we are. I know that we are not always perfect, myself especially but know that we will always be here for you and the little ones.
  7. THANK YOU little Jasmine and Alicia, oh my two little beautiful nieces! You two are an absolute bundle of joy! The hardest question I’ve had to answer since moving abroad was what will I miss the most about home and the answer is not what, but who and it’s you two. It saddens me greatly that I am not there to see you grow up, running around the family house chasing each others tails. I hope that you will remember your old uncle Jason, known for his bravery to chase his dreams, to jump into the unknown and explore the wild corners of the world. I promise to bring you wild gifts and stories from distant lands, even dragons if he ever comes across one!
  8. THANK YOU so very much, my best friend. You taught me the true meaning of what that meant and it only took two decades to meet you; but oh my am I glad we finally did! You’re a big part of my life and a big reason why I can stand tall and not be afraid. I’ve always got your back and you’ve got mine, a great day? Tell me about it while I cheer you on, a really bad day? I’ll be here to listen! And ofcourse by the end have you smiling away πŸ™‚ stay strong, keep being you because you are awesome!
  9. THANK YOU teddy Beary for being there from the start. For being the light in the darkness, for fighting off the monsters under the bed and being the comfort I needed when I was young, scared and weak; so that now I have become none other than the protector.
  10. THANK YOU for the sun and warmth that comes each but not every day. It reminds me that life is not all sunshine and blue skies, but instead it’s how you overcome the grey to see the light of another day.
  11. THANK YOU for my good health! I know I don’t always appreciate it as much as I should, but I know my physical body is strong and in good health, that it can take me to places and move mountains at my call.
  12. THANK YOU to those of you who keep in touch even when I am so far away, even when it’s been so long since we last spoke. The little things such as “how are you” keep me going knowing people out there do care about me just as I do for them.
  13. THANK YOU for my absolute LOVE to bring people together. I find the most happiness when I am connecting people, when I am bridging the gap between you and me, between you and him and between him and her. This is because I truly believe in the power of the mutual connections that we give each other, it is one of the few things that really matter on our short time on this Earth. This love to bring people together has made me feel loved by many, has helped me build real heart filled relationships with those around me and simply has helped me become so content with the life I have been given. If there is ever a goal in life I cherish more than anything, it is that I continue to pass on the bright light that I have been given by you and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  14. THANK YOU to all those who post recipes online whether that’s on my favourite Subtle Asian Cooking page, blogs or websites. They give a big newbie like me hope to cook things that I never thought I could of, to enjoy the food i make and most importantly to know what’s going into everything i make and eat.
  15. THANK YOU to the world wide web! How crazy does it sound to know that was a time when the world wasn’t even near as connected as it is today. Not only are we more connected to each other socially but more importantly, connected by information. This is to ensure I never take for granted how easy it is for me to satisfy my thirst for knowledge, more open to me than 99.999% of humans ever been in the past.
  16. THANK YOU to the sound of music. You move me. You have always moved my body and heart, made me feel emotions that I could not describe but only feel. Music really is the universal language that connects us all, vibrating strings is what we are made of and vibrating strings is what we are all changed by. I am glad that we have ears to listen, hearts to feel and our bodies to move along with it.
  17. THANK YOU to those who choose to smile. I often get caught up in the movements of the day to notice that I haven’t stopped to enjoy the moment, the life each day that I have been given. But you, stranger, with your smile remind me. You remind me of the good that is in the world, to not get sucked up in the pattern, the mindless moving. You remind me to smile back and give a smile once again to another stranger.
  18. THANK YOU for listening. To those who listen with their hearts to you and mean nothing but the best for you. I know who you are because I know how you have made me feel, absolutely and undoubtedly supported through the ups and downs of my life. Without you I would be an empty shell, cast out into the ocean with no one to pick me up and listen to my tune. We all need heroes in our life, we all need that wind beneath our wings that allows us to fly and soar above the clouds; so I hope you know that it is you who has made it all possible.
  19. THANK YOU to my outbound friends. Those of you who are eagerly finding adventure beyond the horizons of what you see and crossing borders to places you’d never thought you’d find yourself. It is you I seek out most because when I see you doing this; I want to join you. Often I will and I do, the stories we share with one another are unforgettable and the bonds we make are unbreakable because one of the things I do know is that friends who travel together, stay together.
  20. THANK YOU for giving me the chance to truly be proud of the work I do, of the projects that come to life in front of my eyes. Not often enough do I pause to remember that I and with the help of many others, change the shape of the landscapes we design. That we design and build things on this Earth that will stay for lifetimes past; places where people come together and bring joy and love to one another! That is much to be proud of and I am thankful to remember this each and every day.
  21. THANK YOU for my forever curious and wandering mind. You keep my on my toes with new questions and new discoveries each and every day. You keep track of my sensors and question the things I see, the scents that I smell, the taste that I taste, the sounds that I hear and the feeling of what It is I touch. Maybe more importantly, you make me think about the way I think and wonder about how it is to feel about the way I feel.
  22. THANK YOU for allowing me to give meaning even to the most mundane of things. Today I found great meaning in even the letters of the Alphabet. The T for Tau for example, used as a symbol for life and ressurection in ancient times was also used by the Greeks to symbolise death. Soon after, in biblical times it connected to the cross of Jesus. I realised that even the most simplest of things we take for granted weave across the history of time and space. There is meaning all around us, it is only for us to open our eyes and see. So beautiful.
  23. THANK YOU for the high life energy. One of the most profound things I have learnt about myself over the years is what makes me want to move. In moving I mean to excitedly jump for joy, to enthusiastically wave my hands up in the air and to sing on top of my lungs. It made me realise that it’s not something you’re born into, but it’s something that can be found and the secret is simple, to do something you love. When I do something I love, the energy I put into it feels like my all plus an extra battery pack to top it off. So, I think you for helping me find my high life energy.
  24. THANK YOU for my smile. I never knew the power of a smile until others made me smile with theirs. It’s contagious! Often, people say that I am that person who is always smiling, I’d like to think it’s because of the storyteller in my mind. The vivid imagination that is weaved by the subjects that it finds in everything. But also, I smile because I know it can make you smile too, it can brighten up somebody’s day even for a little moment so I think you for giving me the big bright smile I have (and the wrinkles that come with it!). P.S. that’s why the sunflower is my favourite flower, it makes people smile just by looking at those beautiful golden petals.
  25. THANK YOU for the music community during these times of incredible isolation (2020). Whilst we are more isolated than ever, the strength of communities like these to shift onto the virtual world has been amazing giving a sense of unity, support and love from afar. DQ 1 @ home is a great example of this, uniting the community through Zoom chat where we can all see each other and communicate over chat whilst we enjoy an event that would have been in person. There have been many more great examples of this with individual artists hosting live streams where fans can come together for the love of something common. This sense of community gives me a sense of hope that one day we will return to normal and we will be reunited once again.

As time goes on, this list will continue to grow, to forever be a reminder of how much good there is in this world and to that, I THANK YOU for being the biggest and most important part of it ❀ Love, Jason.

When I ask – Choose your one favourite place…

In my travels I have met many people, each and every one of them with beautiful stories to tell. What I enjoy doing rather than it’s opposite, is listening.

There are a number of topics which I love to bring up, that I love to ask and learn from others. Here is just one:

“If you could choose one place in the world you have been to that moved you, that you find incredibly amazing, where would that be and why?”

Here, I will tell you the where, but not the why, because the why is for you and I to experience ourselves. It is my goal to embark and visit these places, uniquely moving to those whom I have known personally. It’s not something that can simply be googled or seen on social media because these are the places that have truly been felt by those who have been. So, here goes, and in no particular order:

  • James says “Zermatt, Switzerland”
  • Stephanie says “Les Nympheas, France”
  • Matt says “Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom”
  • Erick says “Thaipusam, Batu Caves, India”
  • Carmen says “Naples, Italy”
  • Kim says “Pamplona, Spain”
  • Kevin says “Zell am See, Austria”
  • Agata says “Zakrzowek, Poland”

How could this list not be complete without my own right? As as tough of a question this is, i’ll do my best to answer.

  • Jason says “Queenstown, New Zealand”

Undoubtly this list is long and will only grow as time passes. I can only hope that one day I visit as many as I can and understand why it was their one choice.

With love, Jason ❀

Feature image – Rob Roys Peak, New Zealand. Taken on the 23rd November 2016

To You – Koala

I’ve always admired… your thoughts, your honesty and the banter that we gave each other.

When we last spoke…we talked about how awesome it was for us to see and hang out with each other overseas. How some of the best moments were made when we both felt free from everything, to just lay down and talk into that night sky. I think that was pretty awesome too! We’re a lot like each other, I think we kind of saw that over the years, but the thing that makes us most different is our sense of the world around us, you’re a true realist and myself a true optimist at heart. In so many ways I know sometimes that I should be more like you, think more about the reality of what my future might look like instead of having my head always in the cloud. It’s harder though, for me to do than you think. But in any sense, I think we’re both holding it together and doing well for ourselves either way. Maybe it shows that there really are many paths to one end goal.

What struck me most…was our conversation on love and life. You alllwaayysss like to poke at the things I say, break them apart to make me see a flaw in my own argument. That’s not always fair though. I say things even I don’t fully understand, but that’s not a lack of me trying, I’d like to think it’s a lack of depth in the English Language. I know you’d laugh at that when you read it. *giggles*. I can, however say that I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation on the topic and I came out of it with more questions; for myself. Upon some of the favourite things I will remember is that, and as lame as it sounds, love really does come when you least expect it; and that time, perserverance and choice are factors that come into play when it comes to that love and life.

In 5 years time…you’re not exactly sure where you will be in life, but you do have a 3 year outlook. You seek some more stability in your life, a good job that challenges you but doesn’t cause you stress, a good boy who supports you through life, a place you can call home. We’re both feeling older each and everyday (but still I push that we are so youthful at heart). I think a lot of us at our age feel the same way, we don’t want to use the term “settle down”. Our generation is stuck inbetween two strong rifts of change, the more traditional past which emphasises a stable long lived life and the modern generation of youthfuls who have grown up in a world of change so fast that to stay in any one place causes so much unease. I just want to say that I understand you Koala, it’s something I think about a lot too.

I’m sad…that things have moved so fast! we’ve only hanged out a handful of times over the past few years, but even then we can talk and catch up so easily. Fear not though, we both may very well see each other in Europe next year! πŸ™‚

I’m happy…that you have good friends (and a singular very good friend πŸ˜‰ ) and family that surround you and your life. I’m happy that you are taking on challenges that are way beyond what even you think you can achieve, but I must remind you to not give up, that it looks like you are learning, growing and becoming a more incredible person each and every day. Trust and believe in yourself and you will go far, plus, we all have your back!

I wish…you all the very best in the future. Good luck on that job search, that change in pace from the over-responsibility you’ve received in recent times. Good luck with you and your boy, he sounds like a great catch! Honesty and preserverence remember? πŸ™‚

To You – Nugget Patronus

I’ve always admired how knowledgeable you are, especially with those things in which you’re most passionate about.

It always feels like we havn’t known each other for long, but maybe that’s because there’s still a lot we don’t know about each other! Much more for our future selves to learn then.

When we last spoke, we talked about how our lives have both been very different this year. That this year we’ve both been spending our time and energy on something rather different from the past; we could both say that we have become a lot busier in our lives. You took a small step back from some of the things you used to enjoy doing from putting your incredible blog on hold, to your unique cooking and travelling adventures. You haven’t been exploring and hiking as much as you used to as well; was it you showing me your new area or was it me showing you? πŸ˜›

But all of this, we realised that maybe this was not actually a bad thing, it has taught us so much about the value of our time and energy. We concluded that it is okay to put things on hold to expand and build ourselves in other areas. You shifted your time and energy on your studies and found an interesting area of work that you might now want to pursue. Meanwhile, I shifted a lot of mine towards my work, learning as much as I can before I make my move in January; to me, there’s nothing more important to me right now than to be a valued member of my new team. So maybe this “busy” is more like concentration, it’s more like what do we have to do now to ensure our success in the future, and some of it just happens to be some temporary sacrifices for the greater good.

Aside from this, you couldn’t help but be difficult with your choice of food again but we settled at somewhere super yummy and photo-worthy for you. I was adamant in saying that the dessert we had was THE best dessert I’ve ever had, you were quickly taken aback by my rash conclusion, a mere few bites after entering the realm of sweetness; big call for me to make you said. Maybe by the end, you could see how powerless I was over the desert and you’d changed your mind as well.

There’s so much more we talked about that evening, from the beauty of the river and Melbourne like feel of the Parramatta city to our enjoyment of ducks and interesting way birds fall asleep, the truth is it is so easy for us to talk about almost everything, if only you’d not walk so fast ahead!

There’s a few more thing’s I forgot to ask you, but I’ll leave that for another day πŸ™‚