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Saturday, January 16, 1999

Changes and growth

I sat in the rain tonight and watched the lightning. It was an exciting and beautiful moment. I love watching lightning. It's awe inspiring watching the forces of nature at work. Listening to the sound of thunder, watching the electricity arc. Incredible.

I started moving this evening, and something amazing happened. I discovered some old photos of myself... With one of them I couldn't believe what I saw. I knew that I was thin at the time, but I didn't realise how thin! I decided to put three portraits in here, to show the changes I experienced over ten years.

1988

1988
(fancy dress party)

1992

1992

1988

1998

As you can see, 1992 was obviously a bad year for me. I look at that photo and all these memories of that period of my life return to me.

I was a salesperson for Kirby vacuum cleaners from mid 1990 through to the end of 1991, and then I was sales manager for Kirby up until mid 1992. For that two years, I was a commission-only salesperson, and believe me when I say it was bloody hard. I didn't eat very well, because I didn't earn enough money. There were moments when I earnt a great deal, but those moments were overshadowed by the longer periods when I didn't earn a cent. I've known what it's like to starve, and to not know when my next meal would be. The photo tells it all.

Why did I stick with it for two years? All because of a woman. I was in love with Samantha, who worked there as well. She was a little more successful than I, but she also knew what it was like to starve. It was her, and my persistence, which kept me at it for two years. Eventually I gave up and left, but that was after everything finished between Sam and I.

Memories. So many stories.

  • Walking around in the rain on freezing days.
  • Being sick with a cold for 3-4 months and still working anyway.
  • The anguish of cancelled sales, meaning that the money I was expecting that week never came (a common event).
  • Being in love with Sam, and the joys of being in her company.
  • Knowing that she never loved me and was using me, but putting up with it anyway because at least I had her attention.
  • Travelling to conventions in Sydney by plane and by bus.
  • Going out to nightclubs 2-3 times a week until 7am in the morning then starting work again at 11am.
  • 13-hour days, 6 days a week, for two years.
  • Losing old friends. Gaining new friends. Losing new friends (the staff turnover rate in Kirby is probably the highest in the world. The average length of time someone stayed in Kirby was about 2 weeks).
  • Discovering the 'joys' of marijuana...
  • Having a cop knock on your apartment door looking for another apartment, knowing the only reason he knocked is because he could smell the dope, and your friend sitting opposite with a crazed look on his face as he sits with his back to the cop...
  • The realisation that after 6 months of smoking dope I didn't need it anymore (and haven't touched it since).
  • Knowing that the only friends I had were my other sales team members, and spending two years of my life working, playing and living with them.
  • Losing my virginity when I eventually found the confidence to go 'all the way' with a woman, but having it be an embarrassing situation because all I could think about was Samantha.
  • Going out with a fellow salesperson (Katie) who ended up being a witch and changing my life from that of an atheist to a spiritualist.
If I had to pick out one reason why that two years was worth it, it would be having met Katie and having my life changed like that.

However, there are other reasons why that was all worth it, and it's for these reasons which I'm glad I stuck with it for two years.

  • Finding my self esteem and confidence.
  • Realising that I had absolute control over my life.
  • Learning what it's like to have no money and no food for weeks at a time.
  • Discovering that anyone can be successful if they put their mind to it.

What a pity that I never practiced that lesson back then. I was a bad seller of vacuum cleaners.

I often think back on my past, and I usually end up feeling absolutely fantastic about my life today. It's only because of my past that I am this way today, and for that I have no regrets about anything. I am a result of my experiences, and I'm glad that I've had those experiences. Who would I be today if I had different experiences? I'd very likely be still in Adelaide doing something completely different than web page design, because it was only through Kirby that I met a woman who I followed to Canberra.

Life is incredible. I love it. I love the twists and turns, the uncertainties, the excitement of not knowing what's going to happen next, but looking forward to it anyway. Life is what we make it, and I plan on making it wonderful.

Posted on 1/16/1999 03:45:00 PM Backlinks


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(C) Alan Howard 1998 - 2006