I met this gentleman some weeks back. As a mountain tortise all my life in Singapore, every individual I met here had been very interesting to me. Jason was exceptionally interesting. He reminded me of an ex polytechnic school mate whom I knew and even worked with throughout the three years but we never talked anything personal before. To put it bluntly, we were never friends. Just like the guy back then, what struck me was the kind of indomitable confidence that he wore as his aura, minus the arrogance. That was the kind of guy who could have nothing but everything.

When he told me he was playing semi professional soccer in Perth, I didn't bat an eyelid. I did when he told me he played as a goalkeeper. When boys were boys, everyone wanted to be the striker. Or at least a scoring midfielder. At worst, a defender who could contribute somewhere, if he was not good enough to be anywhere near the attack. A goalkeeper was NEVER an option.

I didn't tell Jason I began my soccer adventure playing as a goalkeeper. I didn't have the skills with my feet initially so that was the only way I could get involved, rather than not getting a chance to get a look-in at all. I wouldn't say I knew all about goalkeeping but I certainly knew the agonies behind the lonely figure behind the last line of defence. Later on, I moved on to playing as a sweeper in a surprise turn of events which I wouldn't elaborate here and my outfield adventures began there. I ended up playing a striker in my poly days after my teammates found me useful being able to strike impact shots with both feet.

Hmm, sorry for the blabber. My point was, I would expect Jason to be different. Someone created elsewhere, out of the Singapore printing machine. He didn't disappoint me. Every of his worldly views were unconventional (from the typical S) and I lapped up whatever bits of it my goldfish memory could take in. He also shared that he left for Perth 10 days after his wedding. That was certainly a bit worse than myself, returning to work 2 days after my own wedding. A different league really. Throughout the conversation he mentioned his lovely wife [see it for yourself] a lot. It was apparent this couple had a strong relationship. 

They should make very good parents too, since they studied in Nordic parenting style and had first hand experience how things were being ran in places like Finland. Jason took some time elaborating other finer points than what I read here [link] sometime back. I told Jason if Jen and I were never parents, we would never have met in metropolitan Perth as who would know where we wandered to by now. He cited a Swedish couple he met as an example who went nomadic with their little baby, almost nonchalantly. The barrier, in his opinion, was in the mind.

I found myself agreeing with him. After all, I already did that once. I moved to Perth with my wife in her third trimester without a job and knowing a single person here. I couldn't even understand a single word in the conversations on radio though I was supposed to understand English. Such was how unfamiliar I was with Perth and Australia. Since, we moved thrice. Albany adapted to each new place like fish to water. Most, if not all, of the time we parents were the ones resistant to changes, not the little ones we assumed. We thought we were standing within Albany's comfort zone, not realising that it was the other way round.

Where would we be today if we had chosen to give birth to Albany in Singapore? As for Jason, he taught us a very important lesson. 

If you want something different for your life, 
you have to be different. 
If you want your life to change,  
you have to be the change.

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