Tag Archives: Los Angeles

HOTEL CALIFORNIA – SMALL TOWN BLUES

July 3, 2015

I’m originally from Los Angeles, California.

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Around the age of 6 or 7, my parents decided to live in the Antelope Valley, which the real estate was cheaper and a better quality of living compared to the big city. Lancaster was the first stop. As a kid, it was difficult adjusting to the educational system. Around the early 90’s, there was a lot of racism in the school system from faculty and students alike. Even when I went to private school down the line, I felt like didn’t belong. People assumed that all black people were on welfare and ignorant, while my sister and I lived in a suburban neighborhood, talked proper, and dressed very nicely.

Next, my parents decided to move to California City in 1993.

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This was the first time they became homeowners. My Dad used his VA Loan, which helped out tremendously. At first, I enjoyed the country lifestyle and being able to play outside in the streets. Once I hit 13 or 14, I became highly annoyed, like I am now. I didn’t have too many friends. I was a nerd and most of my friends were military kids, so they moved away.

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I used to remember traveling to L.A. with my family and being fascinated with the big city life.

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I would have desires of graduating from college, owning my own home, living in the big city, and one day raising a family. I would always cry when we left L.A. because I knew what would be waiting for me in California City — no life!

Once I hit high school, my parents put me back in private school, which was a mistake (My mom and dad realized I was “boy crazy” and couldn’t imagine me being a teen mom). The school lowered their religious and moral standards, so any student was accepted. I would have girls threaten to fight me and everything. I decided to be home schooled around 10th grade and graduate early. I ended up working a few jobs such as a waitress, grocery store clerk, medical assistant, and then got laid off at my last job, which was working at a Chiropractor office. I decided right then and there that I needed some adventure and culture, so I swore in the U.S. Army in 2005 and headed out to Basic Training.

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Fast forward 9 years later, I moved back to my small town last year from the Army. I had a hard time with the divorce and the hectic Army schedule. It felt nice to finally be back at home in the arms of my family.

my house

(U.S. Air Force graphic)

I also landed a job 15 minutes away from my home and get to finally live in my house after 6 years. It’s been over a year and I’m starting to feel miserable. I live 45 minutes to 2 hours from all of the cities with action. My life mostly consist of work and college, which has been getting me down lately. I don’t feel motivated at all and feel like my whole life is dedicated to working hard to make a living for myself and to maintain my independence. Some days, I want to cry or punch a hole in the wall.

When I lived in NC, I joined a Yoga and Pole Fitness class. I felt relaxed, confident, and vibrant.

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(**Actual photos of my Pole & Yoga studio in NC)

In this area, the closest Yoga and Pole class is 60-100 miles away. Also, the mall was nearby, with a few other favorite stores and if I ever needed a break from Fayettiville, Atlanta, my NaNa, and “cray cray” cousin Miko weren’t too far away.

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Back to my physical fitness, I have a gym membership here, but due to small town living, a lot of drama goes on. For example, I went with my mom to the gym just to hang out (I wasn’t working out). I had on regular non-gym clothes (flip-flops, tank top, and shorts). While my mom and I are laughing and joking around, a staff member that was off shift and working out comes up to me in a nasty attitude and says, “You can’t be in here with flip-flops. You need to leave.” The main reason she came up to me is because when I walked in, all of the guys were checking me out. I guessed I ruined her “flirtation mojo.” I can’t help being a 34DD and a size 0. I was born this way! One of the staff members on shift came up and started hitting on me. He even told me that I can wear his shoes so I can stay, but I didn’t want to cause any issues with him during his shift, so I waited in the car until my mom was done working out.

Next, my job. I love what I do in terms of helping out the employees and serving our military, but I do bump heads with the other management. A lot of them don’t understand that I’m a manager and very young looking. I don’t get the respect I deserve. Most of the management try to throw me under the bus or make it like I’m incompetent. Being the only African-American in management doesn’t help either.

With that being said, my job offers mobility, which means I can travel all over the U.S. and the world as a manager. I can also participate in the HR Management Trainee program and get promoted from an HR Tech to an HR Manager I, which means more money. If I do not go mobile, I will stay in my current position and once I reach my pay maximum of $21.00 per hour, i go no further. Also, I’m the only HR person there. People expect me to be in a million places at once and I put O/T in without getting paid, because its not allowed. When I went on my random business trips to Fort Irwin, i noticed that the HR Teams consist of 2-4 people. Even though the stores are bigger, the team can reach out to each other. I feel like I have no support. I don’t think I want to be the ONLY HR person for 20+ years like the last one. So if I don’t go mobile, I will stay stuck and not progress. When you don’t grow, you basically DIE — on a professional level. I don’t think I will get a raise either once I graduate from college in a few months. One option would be that I can go Civil Service, which means I can buy back my military service time and retire in 11 years. I will also make more money, and I can still travel. Or….go with another company. I even thought about deploying to the Middle East as an HR Tech (with AAFES) for 12-15 months, but they will not have opportunities until next year.

I discussed my concerns with my parents, but we argue all of the time. They say, “God has a plan for you being in this town.” or “You cannot make decisions until you pray. God might not want you to move. You need to be closer to Him and find out what you need to do.” Also, I have 2 lovely dogs and my mom says, “If you travel, they will have anxiety all over and I’m not watching them if you deploy for a year.”

Crossing out Plan A and writing Plan B on a blackboard.

I get more frustrated and angry. I believe these discussion/arguments create a big divide between my family and I hate that. I want us to get along and for them to understand how I feel. I know parents always want best for their children, but if my family really knew how I felt. I feel so defeated and discouraged. I feel like I get no support from them. Today I told my mom about the deployment idea and she replied, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT! You need to ask God and you can’t leave your dogs.” I said, “I’m grown last time I checked. You need to say ‘I shouldn’t’ not ‘I can’t.’ I can do what I want.” I’m starting to feel resentment towards my parents and my Christian upbringing. I feel like “The man upstairs.” is not understanding my situation and basically punishing me. There is always these “do not” rules and it’s getting pretty played out. I know that sounds wrong, but I feel so trapped. I couldn’t imagine residing in Cal City being His ultimate and divine plan for my life.

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I would love to move somewhere like Las Vegas, where I’m 3 hours from home, but I can start over and live in a big city with more opportunities.

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L.A. is a heck no! The traffic and real estate is so ungodly. I refuse to struggle out there.

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Also, my company is in Vegas, so if an HR slot opens, I can transfer. Lastly, the real estate is cheap! I would have to sell, rent, or keep my house for when I come and visit, but it would be worth it. The best catch with my house is that my mortgage is only $500 per month and it’s a beautiful home! My sister stays with me, so I pay $250 per month for mortgage. I save a lot of money.

The last point is a love life. Some days I feel so unlucky like I wasn’t born under these stars.

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I never had a real boyfriend growing up in this town. When I joined the Army, I got a little wild, then married, then divorced, and did some more playing around, but decided to be celibate back in 2013. I moved back here and I feel like I’m 16 all over again. I get no dates or attention. You would think that I work on a military base and that would help, but no. I guess I don’t look “plain Jane” or need a green card — or overweight for that matter. Because of the limited availability of men and my work/college schedule, I decided to do online, which I’m starting to regret.

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I’ve been on Tagged, POF, and OK Cupid. Most are looking for booty or a place to lay their head. i have standards and refuse to be a “flunkie” in my 20’s, so I’m not going for it. I finally cancelled all of my accounts and started E-Harmony. I could find better quality of men and someone that wants to settle down….or so I thought. I got hits as soon as I got on, but when guys realize I’m not easy, I gets no love folks! I was supposed to go out on a date tonight with a guy in the local area and he cancelled because “Even though our chemistry is great, you are looking for a serious relationship while I’m looking for a casual thing.” Really? Isn’t chemistry the best factor? I believe if you don’t have chemistry, you have nothing. For the last 3 days, this guy has been talking about getting to know me, goals, and sharing mutual interests. But since I pulled out the celibacy card, I go out of the window. Ugh….the struggle is real. Who the heck goes on E-Harmony for casual sex? I even state on my profile my true intentions, which is celibacy and settling down. I guess people can’t or don’t want to read.

The other guy looked like a pedophile and is really weird on the phone. He claims to be a Christian, but is really weird. He has never dated an African-American woman before, so I think he’s searching for the “experience.” He wants to get married in 3-6 months, explained to me all of his disabilities, likes bondage, we don’t have much in common, and he wants to take up a hobby in “gambling.” I’m not going to risk my money and livelihood for your pleasure of Black Jack & Russian Roulette.

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Lately, I’ve been re-thinking celibacy as well. It’s so frustrating and disappointing to come home alone, sleep alone, and just do everything alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gained much clarity and sanity since I started my journey in 2013, but I feel so unhappy as well. Most of my old Army friends tell me I need to get laid, but I don’t think that would solve anything. Well….maybe….I did a post awhile back about the show “Gigolos” from Showtime.

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My favorite gentleman is Ash and I see the struggle most women deal with. They get stood up on dates, taken advantage of, or abused. At the end of the day, they want sex, love, and affection without the drama of being rejected. I promise you that I’ve thought about it. I know it’s a taboo subject but I’d rather pay for sex then be caught up in the friends with benefits bs. I’ve already done that and it’s not fun. Friends with benefits is non-existent.

In conclusion, I am a small town girl with BIG DREAMS! I don’t want to feel isolated or miserable by residing here. The world has so much to offer and I feel like I’m missing out on everything.

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Do 4 Love

Do 4 Love

August 11, 2014

By: Tijera Slack

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Wow! I had a “Blast from the past!” I had a gym/spa membership while I was stationed in North Carolina. I wanted to cancel it because I have left the military and returned to California. Sometime last week, I made sure the gym had the proper documentation to make this thing happen.

I get an e-mail stating this:

Dear Member,

We are in receipt of your documentation for cancellation. Upon review of your documents we have noticed that your are the primary member of a joint account. Unfortunately we cannot cancel your account until the secondary account has been paid in full. It was sent to collections on 07/11/14 for non-payment of dues. Please contact your account manager at 910-483-4837 to pay this off.

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WTF?!?!? So…after reading this, I realized that the secondary account holder is my EX HUSBAND! He told me before the divorce that he took care of the gym membership, which was a $99 cancellation fee. This means, he has had this bill since he left in December 2012. Trifling bastard!!! Because he signed the contract, He is responsible for the secondary account payments, but I cannot cancel my membership until he is paid in full. So, I decided to e-mail him this info and sent the gym my divorce decree & separation agreement in regards to our own bills.

So, if you did not know, I’ve been divorced for over a year now. My ex and I met in Europe while I was stationed over there.

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He was crazy about me, but I did not pay him any mind. I just felt like he wanted some #%$. A few months down the line, we start dating, but we were always arguing and fussing. When I met his mom for the the first time, all of the rude comments came out and he accused me of stealing. This should of been a SIGN not to get married!!!

Well, on May 3rd, 2010, we tied the knot in Las Vegas! I lied to myself and thought it was the best day of my life. One gets tired of going to the club, one night stands, and partying. I loved him, but also wanted to settle down. Remember that Tupac song “Do 4 Love?” That was ME!! I would try EVERYTHING and would not give up!

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Our relationship was still hell + add the 60-80 hour workload to it. Juggling the Army and a war zone in my home became too much for me. No on wants to clean a 5 bedroom house after a 24 hour shift. Did I inform you that my husband would be drunk and playing Playstation the whole freakin’ time? My place was filthy. I would be in tears using bleach and cleaning out my tub while he was playing Call of Duty at the neighbor’s house. I literally had a “nervous breakdown” and was in the hospital 3 days before my birthday and Christmas.

crazy breakdown

So, after my trip to the hospital, we vowed we would stick through anything despite my demotion, losing all of our savings to the German Utility company and other things. But do words and vows mean anything in the 21st century?!?

So, we get transferred to the states. I chose Fort Bragg, NC because I wanted him to see his family in Kentucky as much as possible (before we made our final move to California).

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Before we got married, we decided and agreed to move to my home state California, because I owned a home out there.

mi casa

Once we got to NC, moving to California was not an option. I got more threats about divorcing + going back to his mother’s house in Kentucky, my dogs are terrified of him, and holes in our apartment walls.

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After his terminal leave from the Army (He completed his contract), being confused on what his career choice was (he turned down 2 job interviews), and after I paid the bills for the month (he is suppose to give me half once he gets paid) he decided to take his $1,500 check and leave (and bought a new lap top, no GROCERIES in the house). I was so hurt, but also believed with all of my heart that we could work out, so a month later he came back.

STUPID, stupid, mother %^#$’in STUPID!!!

So, he comes back after 30 days, and we are attending church + marriage counseling. Everything is lovely for about a month, then the arguments get worse. He decides he wants to be a “stay home husband” (once he got out of the Army and I was working 12+ hours a day, the house was FILTHY!!!), wants me to drop out of college (he thinks I will leave him once I graduate), and wants me to have a baby. Explaining the fact that we need to be a little more established and the fact I was getting out of the Army the following year was not GOOD ENOUGH! Night after night, we are yelling and screaming in our little apartment. I’m surprised no one called the cops.

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Punching a whole in my door and calling my Dad drunk (who by the way is a preacher) about ending our marriage was enough for me. Somehow, we kissed and made up through all of this.

THE FINALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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So, December 18, 2012 was the day. I told him that if he wanted to leave NC for a bit and be a full-time college student, then that was fine. I trusted him and he could live in LA for a bit until I got out of the Army.

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We would then reunite in California. I would look for employment and also continue school. He was happy and all over the internet browsing http://www.roomates.com and different universities. Next thing you know, he says, “Babe, I never used Army Tuition assistance and my GI Bill is only $36,000. If my tuition is over, how am I going to pay?” I said, “Too easy…school loans.” Then he says, “Well even though my credit is good, we can use yours for me to get a school loan.” NOW HOLD THE $#%@ UP!!!!!!!

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Me using my credit for his school loan? He’s already inconsistent. Hell no! I told him politely that me using my credit would not happen. His credit score is good and he can get a school loan. Also, I told him he is just attending school in L.A. I own a house about 1 1/2 hour(s) out, so we will live there instead of L.A. I explained how expensive L.A. is. He started cussing, screaming, threatening to cut his wrist in the kitchen, then wiped his tears and started packing. I was tired of him there that I decided to helped him pack his belongings. I even told him to stay until January so we can make sure bills are out of his name and transferred to mine. Also that he takes himself off of the lease. Nnnnoooooo!!! That was too difficult (the reason he is in the mess he’s in – The Gym).

Me STILL trying to be the good wife, i told him he could come back as long as he didn’t cross the NC state line. I also offered him our Yorkie and the 56′ in. Plasma TV. He just needed to rent a U-Haul truck to get the TV and everything he owned. Now, this boy had almost $2,500. Some of it was from our joint savings. He decided that he didn’t need a U-Haul truck or the TV/Yorkie. The last thing he said was. “It’s sad cause you will get out of the Army and have everything. I will have nothing. Your a good woman and will be more successful than me, but I cannot do this marriage anymore.” After his award- winning Oscar speech, He drove off to a friend’s house in the area.

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The next day, I get a phone call at work and he wants me to come to a nearby Wal-Mart to meet him. I show up and he’s fussing and crying. I told him to come home and we can fix things. He told me, “If I come back, I RUN EVERYTHING!! You will not have a say so in regards to the finances, your education, or moving to California.” I looked at him with a blank face and said, “You might want to get on the road, the weather is getting bad.” That was the last time I saw him.

After a few months of being alone, I find out that he got back with his ex, he now wants the TV and Yorke (lied to his parents and said I wouldn’t give him anything) and would just use colorful words every time he calls. It got to the point where I had to move to another apartment unit because he would threaten to come down and take everything while I was working, due to him still being on the lease. Once I moved and got a lawyer, those threats ended.

Our divorce was finalized July 23, 2013, but I didn’t get papers until later. I cried my eyes out when I got those papers, but on the other end I was going through big time financially. I had to get more loans to make ends meet and was eating once a day. I was being medically separated from the Army and would receive a nice check, but I needed release papers first. Those were not coming for a lllloooonnnggg time. Some days I wondered if I made a mistake and was all wrong about standing my ground and letting my husband leave. Or the fact I let my parents down because they have been married 30+ years and I could not last 2-3 years. I realized that he wanted to leave. He left 2 times, which means I can’t make anyone stay if they don’t want to. Also, that things will get better!

Between my ex leaving and receiving my separation papers, everything I lived and experienced was a test; a giant pothole in the road to a better existence. No matter how hard a tried and was willing, I could not turn or walk away from it. The reward was at the end of the rainbow and greater than my struggles, but I just could not see it. For the thought and splendor of my reward was shielded with pain and anguish. The loneliness, vulnerability, trouble, and despair looked into my soul. It was a fight I could not turn down. I had to throw my best punches and kicks. I could not remain a coward in all of this.

A few months after my husband’s departure, I was seduced into getting back into the dating /friends with benefits scene. This idea was by far the WORST ever and a crock of $#@%. I felt like a fish out of water and was just too vulnerable. I got played and lied to a few times (see my “Your so THOTFUL” post) and it was just too much for my mind to wrap around. The same friends convincing me to get $@#% were like, “Damn, what the hell just happened? Everything seem good. You shouldn’t of slept with him!” Really?!? I wish you told me that a week earlier, but you were “cheerleading” me on to get under someone new to cure the hurt and loneliness I was feeling. So…to get over someone is to get under someone new is NOT TRUE!!!

How is it that I was a kept woman for 5 years (dating + marriage to my ex), then I’m running around town like a mad-woman smoking cigarettes like a train wreck, and looking for love in all the wrong places? After awhile, the drams & bull-#@$% outweighed the passion of sexual encounters and affection.

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As the days went on, I grew stronger and stronger through my pain, tears, and troubles. At this moment, I have my days of being single and feeling lonely, but I’m more happier than I ever been.

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Even my dogs are happier! They used to become scared of people and were really skinny. Now they are very sociable, gaining weight, and enjoying being in a backyard. They don’t even make mistakes in my home, which is a surprise! My carpet was ruined in my old apartment, due to my husband not wanting to take them for walks. It’s very depressing when an animal cannot enjoy God’s beautiful earth and always crammed between 4 walls. When you corner a deer, it will eventually buck!

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I’m finally out of the military, back with my family, doing well in college, and living my life to the fullest! God’s grace and mercy is what kept me through this difficult time.

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The question is, “Do I still love my ex?” To a point, yes, but at the same time, he took me through a lot. My sanity and happiness is the most important thing for me and I lost that while I was married. I always felt like I was losing because I wanted to stay marriage and live and remain in this fairytale called a marriage or a union joined by God. For awhile I went with everything he said, but was never satisfied with the final result or argument. When I started to stand up, then I changed or was not the same woman he married. It was there all along, I just buried it, then resurrected it at the appropriate season. Maybe I was wrong or the guilty one as well. Lying to yourself is the most deadliest sin! It consumes you from the inside out and robs you of your true identity or self.

I believe marriage is a beautiful thing, but you have to be CAREFUL who you marry. Some are looking for love, and others, are playing for keeps. I’m just riding on the #SOLO wave for now. It will happen for me again…ONE DAY!

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XOXO,

Tijera