It can be funny how your life works out sometimes. The other day I was teaching my students about the Newcastle Earthquake. I was telling them how it felt to stand there as the quake struck when it occurred to me that on the 28th December 2009 it will have been 20 years since that fateful day. It got me to thinking about where I was twenty years ago. It also got me thinking about who I was twenty years ago.
In 1989 I was 17 in fact I turned 18 only 6 days before the earthquake. I was a 2nd year apprentice fitter and machinist working in a work shop at Warners Bay. I was still living at my parents house, still didn’t have my licence, and I was completely and utterly heartbroken as my girlfriend of the time had just left me.
I was your typical teenager. Loved hanging around with friends, going out late and just being teenage boy silly. I hated work and believed that music was the best thing ever invented (I feel the same way about both things still today). Yet all was not good.
Even though I was young and full of life I didn’t have to much going for me. I was directionless, had no ambition and severely lacked self confidence. I didn’t want to do any hard work and just wanted to skive off all day. I had no plans for my future and while I had, and still have, a great imagination, I had no dreams to follow.
While I know now, I never understood it at the time that that was why my girlfriend had left me. She didn’t want to hang around with some one that wasn’t ambitious and didn’t wanted to go out and explore life. Nor could I blame her. When I look back at who I was I wouldn’t want to date me either. Ok that just sounded weird.
Anyway, it is surprising what can be achieved in just ten years. In July 1999 I quit my job as a fitter and entered university undertaking a Bachelor of Business and later a Diploma of Teaching. By that time I had started to believe in my own abilities and had some pretty strong goals to follow. I had travelled and worked in England by myself and worked in the coal mines in Central QLD. Oh and I had my licence. Actually I had a few different licences, most for driving underground vehicles. I’m pretty wiz bang on a shuttle car.
Skip forward another ten years to now August 2009. I’m now heading towards 38 not 18. I currently work full time as a teacher of History, Geography, Commerce, Legal Studies, Retail Operations and Business Studies at Warren Central School. I have my Trade Certificate in Fitting and Machining, a Bachelor of Business majoring in both Management and Marketing, a Diploma of Education and a Certificate IV in Training and Development.
I have been to England, Fiji , cruised on the old Fair Star, plus visited numerous destination with in Oz. I also live in Central NSW in Warren and own my own house. I have two dogs, a cat and an over abundance of frogs.
I also run three different businesses, including window cleaning, a motivational business and a marketing business. I also write for two newspapers and I am a published poet. I have played drums in a band and was lead singer for the schools rock band.
I am now more confident than ever before, and have plenty of goals that I want to achieve. I have dreams of my future and know what I want to do. In fact I have been talking to people around Warren about doing a show next year with me being the headlining act. It will be a music show and I will be singing.
From a directionless child 20 years ago to what I am now, I don’t recognise myself. And all it took was a push, a wakeup call. It took a broken heart to shake my world and start moving forward.
Now I tell you all of this not to impress you but to impress upon you what you can achieve in life. There is no reason why you cannot go out and achieve everything you ever want in life. Set your goals, believe in yourself and start moving towards your dreams. It is possible to change your life, and remember that no matter where you are or what you are doing you do have one person that will always believe in you. Me. Because as they say, if I can do it, I know you can.
I’ll end today with one of my poems called 101 Ways.
Not only have I changed my spots,
I have also changed the cat inside.
See you next week.