HOTEL CALIFORNIA – SMALL TOWN BLUES
July 3, 2015
I’m originally from Los Angeles, California.
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.
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.
I used to remember traveling to L.A. with my family and being fascinated with the big city life.
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.
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.
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.
(**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.
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.”
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.
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.
L.A. is a heck no! The traffic and real estate is so ungodly. I refuse to struggle out there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.