My Life
by Alan Howard

Welcome to the story of my life! I hope you enjoy it, it tells you a lot about who I am.  Obviously there's a lot between the lines, and I hope that as time goes by, you'll get to learn about all of it.

This is most likely going to be a work in progress, which will finish the day I do.

I was born in Victoria, Australia, on 29th November, 1966.  Up until I was 10, my parents moved around from station to farm to station, mostly in South Australia, and for that 10 years the longest I had been in any one place was about 3 months.  When I was 5 I got a new brother, Phillip.  Three years later another brother arrived, Stephen.  We settled down in Quorn (pron. Kworn), a small town of about 600 people.  The claim to fame of that town is that it was where a great Australian movie called Sunday Too Far Away was made.  I remember that the movie came out while we were there...  Almost the whole town gathered in the school auditorium to watch it, and we were all picking out local buildings and landmarks.   It was also the very first big-screen movie I ever saw. 


After being there a year, we moved to another town called Port Augusta, where my father got a job as gardener at the Dept. of Electricity & Water Supply (E&WS).  I hadn't seen so many people until then!   With a population of 27,000 people it was just incredible for a country boy like me.

Today I consider Pt Augusta to be my home town.  I was there for 8 yrs before we moved on again in 1985.  In that 8 yrs I went through the last three years of primary school, and all of high school.  These were the best years of my life.  I had a few friends, but my best friend was a guy called Dan.  I met him in 1978 in grade six, primary school.  During high school we were inseparable, best mates.  We shared all our problems, and during our teenage years, boy - did we have some problems!

In Year 12, the last year of high school, I got drunk for the first time at the age of 17.  The legal age is 18, so I was doing something illegal, which made it all the more exciting, I guess.  I went to so many parties and got drunk so many times, I thought I would become an alcoholic.  I was averaging about 3-4 times a week.  Surprisingly I still did well at school.   Regardless of my life, I wanted to do well at school.

I had a lot of problems when I was a teenager, and it wasn't until 1996 that I worked out what the causes of my problems were.   Back when I was 12, I was sexually 'abused' by my father, which went on for only about 6 months.  I guess I consider myself 'lucky' that there was no penetration involved, but it messed up my head a little.  The reason I say 'abused' (with the apostrophes) is due to one thing...  There was never any love in our family, and so when I was given attention by my father I actually came to seek it out and was disappointed when it stopped.  This seems quite horrific now, but you should understand that any kind of attention to an unloved child is better than no attention at all...

During high school I had no confidence, no self-esteem, and no self-respect.  I was the butt of many jokes and insults, and I just tolerated them.  I never stood up for myself, however to this day I can say I've never been in a fight, although for different reasons in recent years than in high school.   I was a mess.

My parents weren't much help either.   As I mentioned, we weren't a close family, and there was no love shared.  My mother was unhappy with her life, and took it out on the family.  She blamed all her bitterness on my father, and on us.  If it wasn't for him, she would have married someone else - at least that's what she believed.  She was unhappy and blamed everything and everyone but herself.  Both my parents were negative towards their children.  Instead of trying to bring their children up, they constantly dragged us down, telling us we weren't any good, we wouldn't do anything with our lives, etc.   It really wasn't much fun living at home.

In 1985 my parents moved to another small town called Berri, pop: 7,000.  It was an opportunity for me to start a new life, away from the people who knew me as I was.  I could become someone I wanted to be, even though I'm sure it wasn't a conscious decision.

Before we left, I had the biggest night of drunkenness in my life.  My friends gave me a farewell party, and it was to be the last time ever that I would get so drunk...  After sculling three quarters of a large bottle of sraight Rum, I was a wreck.  I was emotional to begin with, and the alcohol just made it so much worse.  I can't remember much of that night, apart from loudly and emotionally declaring my undying love for all of my friends, and also the adventure of returning home.  My friends were guiding me up the driveway of my house, and we were all trying to be quiet as it was around 4 in the morning.  I was looking for my keys, and in so doing I accidentally pulled a few audio cassettes from my pocket which I'd taken out with me, and they went clattering all over the driveway.  My friends convinced me the keys weren't necessary and they then proceeded to break into my bedroom via the window.  One of them knocked over my stereo which was inside the window, so he climbed in to put it aside.  Then they helped me in through the window, and I promptly knocked over my stereo as well...  I don't remember anything else.  I do know that the next morning, when I asked my parents if they heard anything, they said that they didn't.  I didn't believe them, but to this day they swear they heard nothing... 

After being in Berri for a few months, I joined the Army Reserves for 3 years, joining a heavy machine-gun platoon.  It was mostly fun...  I had fantasies of becoming a mercenary, going to Africa and joining the Rhodesian Police Force and shooting guerrillas in the jungles and deserts.  I was 18-19 at the time, and was only beginning to actually grow up.  While in the Army Reserves I had lots of training in how to use heavy machine-guns, SMGs, pistols, anti-armour weapons, and land-mine warfare.  To be honest, the things I learnt scared me.  I decided I didn't want to be a person who could injure or kill someone, or be injured or killed myself, and so I quickly grew out of my fantasies, being glad when my 3 years were up.

Also in 1985, in Berri, I met a guy called Trevor, who quickly became my best friend.  I used to visit him often and he, his girlfriend Estera and I used to talk a lot, play games on his Commodore 64 computer, and watch videos and go to the drive in.  They also had a child called Michael who was born in 1985, just before I met them.  Trevor was pretty confident, and being around him helped me gain a little confidence in myself.  In 1987 Trevor and Estera got married.  I'd had a crush on Estera since I met her, but said nothing to either of them, for obvious reasons.  There was just something about her which attracted me.   Initially, I'm sure it was her body, but as time went by, it was her mind too.

By 1988, I was 21.  I hadn't had a girlfriend in my life, nor lost my virginity yet.  I'd been working in the Public Service for some time, but that got boring and so I left before I went insane, which I knew would happen if I stayed there.  After completing my time in the Army Reserves, I moved to Adelaide, capital city of South Australia, and shared a flat with a friend.   I had finally left home, and was out on my own.  When I left, I made a promise to myself that I would not go back to live with my parents, because that would be admitting defeat to myself, that the world was tougher than I could handle.  I knew I was stronger than that. 

In 1989 I did a professional video camera and editing course and then became a freelance video cameraman, working for various companies and a television station.

Trevor and Estera moved down to Adelaide and since we were all good friends, I moved in and shared the house with them.  That was a fun time for me, as I got to see Estera more often.  Obviously I still had a crush on her...  I was with them for just over a year before I moved out, as they got a new child, and I didn't want to wake up every morning to the sound of a baby screaming.

There wasn't any permanent work, and I was doing contract work here and there with the camera work, so in 1990 I became a salesman, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners for the extra money.  That was a lot of fun, however it took me away from television for two years, but it was also the beginning of the new Alan.

You've never experienced the hardships of life until you've struggled selling Kirby vacuum cleaners.  More on that shortly...

I almost immediately fell in love with Samantha (Sam), a fellow salesperson.  I was with Kirby for two years and for most of that time I believed I was in love with Sam, but she never loved me.  We even lived together for a year, but to my greatest regret, she never had sex with me.  Looking back, I think it was more a time of lust than love.  I wanted to have what was unavailable to me.

In late 1990, a girl called Katie started working for Kirby as well.  Her and I became good friends.  She told me she was a witch, and then set about proving it.  She opened my eyes to a whole new world.   I'm glad she was a 'white' witch, and not the other kind.  She was one of the nicest people I have ever met.  Before her, I considered myself an atheist.   After the things she showed me, and taught me, I realised there's more in life than what we see around us.  Thanks to her, I began a journey along the path of self-discovery.

We were only together as friends for about three months before she ran away to Melbourne.  After she left I did some research into witchcraft and psychic abilities and decided that witchcraft was a religion for psychic abilities.  Since I believed in personal freedom, I decided not to pursue the rules and limitations of witchcraft, and delved into psychic abilities, trying to learn more about the world of ESP, etc.  Through that, I found the world of spirituality.

As a definition, spirituality is about freedom and choice.  It's about love of humanity.  An aspect of it is Karma.  This is where for every action there is an equal reaction, almost like physics.  If I do something bad, then something bad will happen to me as a result.   The same is true if I do something good, something good will happen as a result.   There's many aspects of spirituality.  It includes the spirit world, and the reality of multi-dimensional existence.

What's multi-dimensional existence?  If you're really interested, go here.  Until then, I won't bore you with stuff you might not want to know.

As a commission-only sales agent, selling vacuum cleaners that were over $2000, life was tough.  I was evicted from 3 different houses in that two year period due to being unable to pay the rent.  I often went weeks and weeks without making any money whatsoever, but then there were the weeks where I earnt thousands of dollars.  Once I was the top salesperson in Adelaide.  It was the good times and the potential rewards which kept me going at it.  And it was Sam.   My desire for her, and hope that something fantastic would happen was the greatest reason why I kept going.  In a way, I was her motivation for staying as well, as she wasn't a quitter.  She was also a better salesperson than I, and she often said to me that if I could hang in there, so could she...

That two years was the hardest, the greatest, the most unpredictable and the most incredible two years of my life.  It was also the saddest two years... 

In 1992, at the age of 23, and while still in love with Sam, some friends set me up with this girl called Debbie.  Things were fine, and we got along well.  The only problem was that I was sexually frustrated because of Sam and was not only unable to 'get it up' with Debbie, but all I could think about was having sex with Sam.  Needless to say, it didn't last any longer than a couple of weeks, although I did lose my virginity with her.   It wasn't as special at the time as I would have liked it to have been.

Sam was living with me at the time, and had been for about a year.  It was after having my experience with Debbie that I really thought about what I was doing with Sam.  She was using me to help support her, which I had been happy doing, but I was getting nothing in return.  I told her to leave.   She wouldn't.  It was then that I did the hardest thing I have ever done - I told her that if she wasn't leaving, then I would.  I signed the flat over into her name, and I left the next day, moving into a friend's house.  For me to separate myself from her in this way felt like taking a rusty knife and cutting out a cancer from my body - it hurt like hell, but if I didn't do it, it would eventually kill me (figuratively speaking, of course). 

At about this time, I'd spoken to Estera after not having rung for some time, and she told me that her and Trevor were separating, as their marriage just wasn't working.  Just as a joke, I asked her out to the pictures to see a movie at some time.  She agreed, which surprised me incredibly.   The only difficulty with that was that I forgot about it because my life was pretty hectic at the time.  It was to be two months before I remembered, and by then I'd be in Canberra, which is 1200km (750 miles) from Adelaide - a long way.

I was more confident by now, having spent two years as a door-to-door salesman, and was now a Sales Manager, with a team of salespeople working for me.  One of them was a girl called Kate (different girl to Katie the witch).  An attraction developed, and even though she had a boyfriend, she didn't want to be with him and so I eventually asked her out.  She left her boyfriend for me, who threw around a fridge when she left, but couldn't bring himself to throw me around!   Phew!  It seemed that I needed Debbie in order to help me get over Sam, because the time with Kate was great.  I had no hang-ups any more.

After a couple of months Kate and I left Kirby and moved to Canberra where her parents lived.  I moved to be with her, but we split up about a month after getting here.  I decided to stay in Canberra and make the most of it.  I wrote a letter to Trevor and Estera, telling them that I'd moved, since I forgot to tell them before I'd left.  In that letter I'd mentioned my interest in psychic abilities and how I was now able to do some psychic things.   Estera wrote back telling me she finally kicked Trevor out, and to tell her more about the psychic stuff, as she was interested in it too.  So I started writing to her regularly, teaching her all that I'd learnt.

I got another sales job, working for a guy called Marcelo, who quickly became a close friend of mine.  I started as a sales assistant, working 2 days a week.  Within a month I was promoted to Shop Supervisor, and three months after that, I was Area Manager of 4 stores.  Marcelo and I got along famously...

The relationship with Estera had progressed dramatically, via letters and phone conversations.  By early 1993 I was telling her not only about psychic abilities, but also about my feelings for her.  I guess I decided that all those years of having a 'crush' on her should be mentioned.  At this stage I had learnt how to communicate with spirit guides through a form of automatic writing.  From my guides I learnt some amazing stuff, and my life was changing incredibly. 

Estera decided to move to Canberra to be with me, and to change her life as well.  Our relationship together lasted for almost two years, and I came to believe that I was in love with her, and that if she wanted to, I would marry her.

It was an interesting time for me, because she was my 2nd girlfriend, and along with her came her kids, so I was a 'father figure' for two kids, who were aged 8 and 4 when Estera and I became a couple.  That was so much fun.  Estera and I shared many spiritual experiences during our time together.   At one stage I ran a spiritual development group, and then changed it to a personal development group.  The people who came along had some trouble learning how to improve their lives because they didn't understand themselves and how they related to their life.  So I taught them how to understand themselves.  It taught me an important fact in life - it's better to teach about life, than about spirituality, because through an understanding of life, the person will then likely become more spiritual in nature anyway.  I had entered the stage of personal development with a spiritual emphasis.

Obviously you could say that I was a different person by this time than I was in the early to mid- '80s.  I had more confidence in myself, I had a better self-image, and I considered myself capable of teaching others how to improve their attitude towards life because I had done it for myself.  I looked at my past, knowing the kind of person who I used to be, and I looked at how I was now...  I knew that if I could improve my life and attitude in this way, then I could do the same for others as well, teach them how to improve their lives.  I also knew that I would need to learn a lot more than I knew now, if I was to succeed in being a teacher, or motivator.  Another goal had arisen.

Marcelo decided to sell his business in Canberra (he was based in Sydney) and so asked me to move to Sydney and take over as Area Manager there.  I declined, as I loved Canberra, so I had to find other work.  I was working in a car yard selling cars in late 1994 when Estera decided to call it quits.   Apparently she "didn't feel the chemistry" anymore.  This came as quite a shock to me and I was naturally devestated.

Because of our relationship and level of 'spiritual maturity', we parted as best friends, which lasted until early to mid 1998.

After selling cars for a while I got back into freelance camera work.  I'd stuffed up my back in '93 (getting a collapsed disc in my lower spine) so I couldn't carry the heavy news cameras, which meant I was limited to studio camera work, which was boring as hell.  It didn't last very long before I left.  Then I got a contract as an Administration Officer at a Business College for 6 months.  While I was there, I started my own multi-level marketing business, and met a number of great people through that. 

Tricia was the lady who introduced me to it.  She was the ex-girlfriend of Marcelo, and her and I became good friends as she taught me ways of doing the business, which was called Omegatrend.  An Australian company styling itself after Amway, but focussing on Australian products and methods of sales.

One of the people I met and introduced to the business was George, who owned a pizza shop.  We became good friends and one day he needed someone to deliver pizzas for him, and asked if I'd like to.  Sure.   So I was doing that while working at the college, and when the college contract finished, I was at the shop 6 days a week.  Early 1996, after doing that for a year, I decided to lessen my hours there, while I focused on building my business.  

However, my involvement in the business ended around this time, as I realised that I was doing it for all the wrong reasons.  I discovered that the reasons I was doing the business was because I'd become very attracted to Tricia and was only continuing my involvement in the business so that I could remain close to her - once again, seeking the possibility of a relationship with her.   Memories of Sam returned to me...  I had no choice but to leave immediately, as I did not want to commit the same mistakes all over again.  Tricia and I parted amicably, which was another sad moment for me, but I believe necessary  for my state of mind.

Also early in 1996, Estera moved house and asked if I'd like to share with her.  I agreed, as I was thinking about moving from where I was as well.  So her and I were sort of together again, but only as friends.   Neither of us had a problem with that. 

Between the time Estera left me, and up to this point, I had still been in love with her.  I always felt that she was my 'soul mate', and that one day she would change her mind and her and I would get back together again.  It wasn't until after living together again that I realised the chemistry really was gone, within me as well.  I needed to live with her again in order to realise I didn't love her that way any more, and I appreciated the opportunity for that to happen.

Then the lease ran out in November '96, and we 'split up' again, moving into different places.

I stopped delivering pizzas for George, and instead worked outside his shop a few nights a week on a pizza stand, selling pizza slices to people who wandered by...  those who were out nightclubbing and were hungry, etc.   That was actually a lot of fun.  I got to meet a lot of different people that way, and enjoyed the social interaction - although it was a strange way of being social, I guess.

For many years I've had an interest in the secrets that governments and corporations keep from the general public.  I think the world would be a better place if car engines were water-powered.  I think they should tell the truth about the UFOs out there.  And the list goes on.  I decided to campaign for the truth, so to speak, and I became a freelance investigative journalist' and started my own on-line newsletter on the internet in mid-1996.  (I had been sold a computer by a friend, and immediately connected to the internet - a new toy!)  By investigating some of the things that I hear as rumour, and then finding that they are true, by writing about them I would be doing something positive to enlighten the public as to the truths that are being kept from them.  People don't know what's happening around them, and through ignorance, they fail to keep their governments 'under control'.

As I learnt how to put my 'newsletter' onto the internet, I also realised how much fun it was designing web pages for myself, and so I developed that into a new business and learnt how to design web pages professionally in order to actually make some money from doing something I enjoy.  I spent a lot of time and money upgrading my computer to something modern and efficient, all the better for me to run my new business with.

My excitement at my new business and my new webzine was extremely high.  I wrote a letter to my parents telling them everything that I was doing, and in particular what my website was about.  My dad rang back and we had the most amazing phone conversation I've ever had in my life.   He believed that one should NOT question the government, and back during the war people like me were arrested for what I was doing, and so he didn't want to be associated with me.  My family disowned me for what I was doing.

It was just a nail in the coffin of my belief that there was no love in our family, and so it was over a stupid thing like that which made them decide they didn't want to know me anymore.  To this day, I still don't think that I've fully accepted it.  I haven't been in touch with them since that time, just over 2 years ago, when before that I maintained regular contact ever few months and saw them every christmas.  It all ended then...  It's an experience to not have a family anymore...  Have I dealt with it?  Probably not.   Maybe one day it will happen.

Late in 1997, I met a guy called Scot via an internet chat channel.  He owned an ISP (Internet Service Provider) and was interested in my web page work.  He and I struck up a friendship, and in February 1998 he asked if I'd like to start working for him as an in-house web designer.  I thought about it a bit, and dedided to take him up on his request, mainly to help me gain more skills and establish a greater presence as a web designer.  It's been a great experience, and a good time, but as I write this it is mid November 1998, and I'm about to leave him, to return to freelance web design.

In October two friends of mine and I started a business called Strategos, providing the service of marketing, graphic design and web design.  I'll be working with that as soon as I leave, and I'm planning on it going well.

Back onto the personal side...   At the time of updating this story (16 November, 1998) Estera has been the last girlfriend I've had, and that was almost 4 years ago.  I've been on quite a few dates since, but nothing has ever been serious.  I'm sure that the special woman is just around the corner, but which corner?  And how far do I have to walk to turn the right corner? 

I know this story has delved a lot into my relationships with women in my life, and I'm sure there's a good reason for that which some psychologist somewhere might be able to tell me about.  As far as I'm concerned, this is about the major events in my life, and the women in my life have certainly been major events...

These days, when I look back at who I used to be, I'm amazed and happy that I am who I am today.  I'm a great guy, and I'm not scared to say that.  I also know that I'm destined for great things.   I have a little quote for myself (I can't remember if I made it up, or if I found it somewhere):

"Great men aren't born great, they become great"