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Monday, October 17, 2005

Where am I from? What have I been doing?

I've had an interesting life so far, doing many things and living in many places. Apparently I've been typical for a Sagittarian, never settling down, always seeking out travel and excitement. It's the fresh air blowing in my hair, and the excitement of new places that drives me, the astrology books say. Bullsheet, I say. It's circumstance and that feeling of being lost, not knowing what I was doing or where I was going, that drove me from one thing to another.

So let's begin. I was born in 1966 in a small town called Rosebud in the state of Victoria, Australia, but was there for only 3 months before my parents packed up and moved on. This turned out to be the story of my life up until I was 10 years old, as we apparently (and to my memory) were never in any one place for more than 3 months. My parents were itinerants, travelling from farm to station to farm to station... you get the idea. This means that if we take an average of 2 months in any one spot, and divide that into a year and divide that into my first 10 years, I've lived in around 60 different locations in Sth Australia and Victoria - before I was 10 years old. (I've never looked at it like that before... holy cow!)

When I was 10 we were in a tiny town called Quorn. Surprisingly, we were there for a year, before we moved to Port Augusta, only half an hour away. I was to be here for 7 years before moving with my family to Berri in 1985, the year after I left high school. I was there for 4 years until I left home and moved to Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. After living there for 4 years, I then moved in 1992 to Canberra, the capital city of Australia. (If you're American, Canberra really is the capital of Australia. It's not Sydney, so please don't argue with me like an American did about 8 years ago, calling me the world's biggest idiot for not knowing that the capital of my own country was Sydney. *sigh*) I lived in Canberra for 8 years, finding a spiritual comfort there that I'd never found before, until I moved in 2000 to Wellington, New Zealand, where I've been ever since.

But then there were the times within some of those locations that I moved around, from house to house to house... Adelaide was to be the first of such adventures, with me living in at least 8 places within the 4 years I was there. In Canberra, I was in around 10 places within that 8 years. And in Wellington, I've lived in 8 places in 5 years. I've lived in the last of those 8 places for 2 years now (meaning that I was in 7 places in 3 years), which is literally the longest I've lived in any one place in my entire adult life.

I feel a lot more settled inside of myself these days, and that's probably reflected in my job (5 years now - the previous longest job had been 2 years in 1992-94) and in my accommodation (2 years - the previous longest had been just over 1.5 years, back in 1993-94). I wonder how many people in this world can claim to have lived in over 90 locations during their life - and before they're even 40!

And now we get onto the jobs I've had...

In Berri I was an 'administrative assistant' for the government, working in the welfare offices, helping administrate the local welfare system. Bored the hell outta me. I was also in the Australian Army Reserves when I turned 19, and was in it for 3 years, spending the last few months of it in Adelaide when I moved there. While in Adelaide I did a video camera and editing course, and ended up as a tv and freelance cameraman, working for myself and a tv station to film the news. Definitely not boring. It was the fulfillment of a high school dream/goal, to be a tv cameraman, but after a couple years it ended, when a bad back prevented me from shouldering those heavy cameras any more. I was then a vacuum cleaner salesman for 2 years, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. Interesting and challenging times, not to mention character building. Then I moved to Canberra and got a job as a salesman selling histories of surnames and coats of arms. I did that for a couple of years before being a car salesman for a month. That didn't work out as I made the General Manager look like an idiot (which really wasn't that hard to do) and he fired me. The only time I've ever been fired in my life. Not that I'm complaining, as being a used car salesman really wasn't my cup of tea. I was a receptionist for a while, and then a 'pizza delivery boy' for a year, and then 'moved up' to 'pizza seller', standing in front of the shop and selling pizza to drunken nightclubbers passing by. It was cold work, but fun. Then I started my own business as a website developer, and gained a large enough reputation for me to be 'headhunted' by a local ISP. I quit the pizza job and started work for the ISP, quickly moving up the ranks of web design, tech support, administration, reception, and finally management, over a 3 year period from 1997 - 2000 (with a year's break in 1998). In 2000 I left and moved to NZ, where I've been with the same company from a month after I got here. In this company I've been helpdesk analyst, software trainer, service delivery manager (for a month or two, as it didn't really go anywhere), and am now systems administrator.

That's my life, in terms of living and working. It's not including all the emotional journeys along the way. That'll be enough for a book one day, I'm sure of it.

Anyway, I hope that's been of interest to you. It's been interesting to me to write down these aspects of my past, and I've surprised myself with how many places I've lived. Phew! But things are slowing down now. I'm getting older, and I'm feeling more settled, which really is reflected in everything I'm doing. I love it. The journey has been challenging, and yet interesting, and I know it's going to continue into my future in similar ways.


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Posted on 10/17/2005 12:26:00 PM Backlinks


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2 Comments:

Anonymous lee pletzers said...

Us Sagittarians are all the same!
I've been all over NZ and Kansai in Japan.

10/18/2005 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

Still on my list of travels is Japan, China and the US... when (if) it settles down and is safe to wander around the country

10/18/2005 08:02:00 AM  

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