Friday, 16 July 2010

My life since I was 4 in under 1500 words

My Life since I was 4.

I was asked to write this to help a colleague with a university topic. It was written in ink to start with but I transferred it to here for safer keeping.
To have to write such a long story, now I am 38 is going to be a big task, but lets see what kind of adventure it will be.
Well, my name is Luke, I am 38, Male, English, left handed and I am the Director of studies at EF English First Puri Indah, Jakarta. I have lived in Indonesia since January 2007 and I must say how fun and enjoyable it still is.
Before we delve into me, I must comment that I can’t or won’t get all the facts right and the timings might be a little out as 34 years is a long time to write about in a short amount of space.
My first days in education were are St Johns Primary school in my home town, Frome in England, where I spent many a happy day playing and learning. I have little or no memory of my lessons, just walking home with either my mum or neighbor as often my mum was working.
I guess the early days were spent playing and fighting with my brother. Our holidays consisted of day trips to the beach on the train, car journeys to Scotland or trips to Germany to see my family.
I had my own bedroom I remember that but we had a lodger so I shared a bedroom with my older brother.
At around 9 years old I moved to Selwood Middle school and stayed there until I was 13. I used to walk the 4km to the school everyday and it took about 45 minutes which was never a bother, except in the rain and because I went with friends it was always fun.
At this time I joined a choir in the local church, not because I was religious but mainly because I got paid to sing  and whilst not much it was certainly some extra money.
During my time at Selwood I went on a school trip to Normandy, France which was heaps of fun despite almost getting expelled or sent home for some reason but I don’t remember getting told off though, so maybe it was not all that bad at the end of the day.
At 13 I moved to Frome Community college and this was when I had to start making choices about my courses and really I suppose my future. I started to get more homework and more to do at school and it was generally a happy time.  I took up rugby and got a job as a paperboy before working part time in a local shop and stopping rugby to play American football with the local team.
The exams at the end of the day were not that stressful really and I did ok, yes I could have done better but we can all say that however my focus was somewhere else I guess. I had a job working in the towns supermarket  and I worked weekends and evenings, I had found alcohol and girls also and was playing a lot of sport so I was always busy.
At 16 I moved into higher education and studied business and finance for 2 years, earning a diploma in those areas and then again it was choice time. I had the opportunity to either go to university or to work. I had offers for both.  However I was earning a lot for my age at the supermarket, I had passed my driving test and I had bought a car so really there was not much more I wanted. The lure of work and money over rode the desire to carry on learning. And financially for both me and my family it would have been very hard to impossible to finance that so I went to work.
I was offered a job with my local supermarket ‘Safeway’ and I was a management trainee at the age of 18. I was still living at home and I had to travel around the southwest of England as part of my job which was always fun.  I was expected to work very long days every day but I was paid well and that allowed me to spend well, something which still continues to this day.
By the age of 19 I was the youngest manager in the company and it was always hard work and I had to work hard at it every single day to ensure I became the best I could be.
I was working away from home and travelled everyday and this meant over time I lost contact with a lot of friends as all I did was work.
I met my long term partner during this time  and we eventually moved in together. Our first house was rented and we stayed there for about a year, but with us earning more and getting promoted we found we could afford to buy a place of our own.
We moved to my partners home town which was also where she worked. We stayed in the same house until 2001 I think and it was a good time overall. We holidayed well and visited Rome, Cyprus, Tunisa, the USA and Canada a couple of times and travelled all over the UK.  After another promotion we moved to our final house , which was too big, too expensive but situated between our home towns so it was equal distance to both our parents homes.
I continued working in different towns and slowly but surely our relationship fell apart resulting in a final split in 2005. The split was mainly over money and I had also changed companies and that was not really liked by her.  Never mind.
So, I moved out, sold the house. I don’t really know what happened to her. I guess she got married, fat and had kids.
Eventually for me, I quit working after 16 years as I had choices – work or travel. I chose travel as it was something different as I had done the other too much. I talked it over with my parents in great detail and they were fully supportive and then at a family do I told everyone I was going to travel and so I had to, I felt obliged.
In 2006 I said goodbye to food retailing and sold my belongings (I had no need for a TV, sofa, Fridge etc), bought a ticket to the world. I ended up in Thailand for 3 months travelling around with one of my best friends. After which I went to Spain for a while then a month in Ecuador, visiting the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. The most amazing place I have ever been. 
Getting back to the UK I then studied to get my teaching qualifications before returning to Thailand, then Malaysia and Germany. I came back for a rest for a week before flying off to New Zealand for 3 months which was simply amazing.
I was offered a job here in Jakarta the day before  I flew to New Zealand so all credit to my mum who sorted the flights and faxes out for me while I was  away. I returned just before Christmas and 2 days after Christmas day I was flying again, this time to New York to see in the new year, something I had always dreamed of.  I went there with another very good and close friend and it was the best way to end a year of travel and to start a new life.
I landed in the UK on the 4th January 2007 and on the 9th I was in Jakarta and settling into my new home and adventure in Jakarta.  I worked in Cengkareng for around 18 months before being offered the position of Director of Studies at Puri. I took a short trip back to the UK at the end of 2007 to see my parents, something I am planning this year also.
And that’s it. 34 years in 1366 words
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