Country Girl goes Big

Big city that is. Her days in the country being packed away into the back of a horse trailer hitched to a big Dooley truck. Off it would head, south from Oklahoma, straight into the heart of the big city – Dallas, Texas. Nothing could stop her. No one could tell her the risks, the realities, or the brisk way of life. Nope. She was eighteen. She knew what she wanted. She knew better than anyone.

Since age thirteen, she wanted to beat a path to the city. The bigger the better. Her one horse town, without even a stop light, just wasn’t cutting it. Where was the excitement? The interesting jobs? The interesting people? Where? In the city, that’s where. In this dusty place, she would find the same ol’ dreary life as everyone else. Her jaw set, her chin pointed up, and there was grit in her eye. She was MOVING. Moving to the city. She would survive it and no, she wasn’t coming back. Ever.

It didn’t take long to pack up her stuff. Her childhood bed. Her one dresser, nightstand, and desk. Even her classic lingerie chest. Yes, she had a lingerie chest – skinny and tall. The furniture was a gift from her Aunt Lizzie when she was a small child. Antiques is what her mom called them, whatever that means. It would do until she could buy more contemporary stuff. Stuff city folk would use in their rooms.

She had purchased a couch. Wisely, she chose one with a pull-out bed, since the apartment was one bedroom. Unfortunately, it was heavier than Pappa’s old gun safe. Also unfortunate? Being carried up a flight of stairs to her second floor newly rented apartment – in the city, mind you. Her dishes were a gift from her mother. Her TV a hand me down. Luckily the apartment had a fridge and a washer and dryer already.

After the long five-hour drive, and too many tanks of gas pulling a horse trailer, she arrived. The young girl from outside a plain Oklahoma town of twenty thousand, smack dab in the – everythings bigger -Texas, where she shared her air with several million others. What a rush.

Her first day wasn’t hard. She gathered all her furniture in place. No parents. No big sister. No big brothers. No authority. Just her and HER place. She twirled. She skipped. She bounced on the couch. Finally, she was on her own. Yahoooooo!

Finding her way around, without getting creamed proved the most difficult part. There were many highways with loops and exits. Following an exit ramp to what they called an access road just confused her. Was the yield sign to her, or to them? She always used caution and yielded, but still – confusing. Another tiny drawback, her job required that in case of emergency, she was back up delivery runner to the back up delivery runner. Yeah, seemed far-fetched, but guess what happened her first day.

In this year of 1990, the best way to navigate was to consult a map. Specifically map books, called Mapscos, for the Dallas, and surrounding areas. Looking up an address required finding it in the index, then it gave a page number, and a graph matrix code. Following the code and page number to your destination, which was only on one page. To access the entire route required investigating the pages it directed, as the before or after page, depending on which direction you coming from, or heading to. Huh? It was not easy.

As a country girl she knew landmarks; not street signs, not numbered routes, tollways, looped turnarounds, one-way lanes and certainly not all printed out on pages. Which way was North anyhow? But her first delivery. The pressure.

She hopped in the delivery car. Sure of her direction, sure of her map skills. Ignorantly confident. Important urgent document in hand to deliver as soon as possible. It was only twenty minutes away. No way could she get lost, at least that’s what the boss said.

She got lost. Hopelessly lost. Nothing matched the road maps. Nothing went the way it seemed. Each turn she thought was right – wrong. She was entirely off the map. The only thing she could find was the airport. AN HOUR went by. She cried, but refused to give up. TWO went by. Stubborn, and torn she called in. Shame burned. Country girl ruined. Beaten by the city. This was the life she chose?

Finally, the directions from the company she was delivering to led her there, she delivered and actually made it back without a problem. Facing her boss, however, would be. She was scared to death.

Rent. Furniture. Bills. A life started, and dreams potentially shattered, what would happen? Two and half hours it took her to take one item. Who in their right mind would keep, a bumbling bumpkin, like her on staff? She tucked her humiliation away, swallowed hard, and went to face the music. She entered into her bosses office head held high. But he just laughed at her and promised better directions next time.

Country girl vowed to never get lost on a delivery again. The city life was hers for the taking, and thus it began. A new beginning from open land to paved roadways. From empty spaces to shopping malls. From hometown girl to city slicker.

Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts” -John Wooden

Photos by-Angelia Sims

*previously posted on Real Bloggers United*

43 thoughts on “Country Girl goes Big

  1. Ooooo! I just love the way you told this story.

    I remember being lost in Texas. I was frustrated because I could SEE where I needed to be, but couldn’t get there! I hate when that happens.


    1. Terre-Thank-you! Yes, the freeways were a BIG change, plus I am severely directionally challenged. Nowadays with iPhones, and google map – it’s so much easier!

      Oh and it sounds like you were in downtown Dallas. HA!


      1. I KNOW. I LOVE that big blue dot!

        I was in Austin, I think actually. And I was on one side of the freeway (or whatever it is called there) and I wanted to get to the other side. I could see the building. But I couldn’t find an overpass or anything that would allow me to get over there.


  2. Sounds like my Lu. She’s off to the big city in August. She’s had a small taste of that life and now craves more. No settling down, getting married, getting pregnant like everyone else she knows for her!!

    I was the opposite, I went from big city princess to small town mama.

    Great post Angelia!


    1. Spot-Oh my goodness! That’s got to just tug your heart to bits, but you gotta love her adventure and determination. I can relate so well.

      I sorta went to a small(ish) surburb town after awhile. At least Sydney goes to a country school anyway, only 300 in her class rather than 1500! LOL.


  3. Courage to confidence, right there… it’s a beautiful thing to experience, huh? That story is eerily similar to my move to Austin, where I didn’t know a soul. I was bound and determined though, which ended up making all the difference in the world.

    So well written, as usual.


    1. Foxy-Courage to confidence, I like that! It is something to be proud of. How many give up that seek the lights? Great to know another seeker of bigger things (in Texas!). HA.

      Thanks a million. 🙂


  4. Well…I can see the determination and the will to survive and make it go right. 🙂 You did just that. My kids keep talking about moving on and moving to different states. I just look at them and smile. 🙂 I am ready for whatever. 🙂 Good srory. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂


  5. I found myself moving in the opposite direction- NYC to Tucson to a small town in upstate NY. I guess it doesn’t matter which way you go-as long as you’re moving and experiencing life.


  6. At eighteen we always have the world by the tail until we land in unfamiliar territory and get that so called slap in the face of reality, part of growing up 🙂

    Enjoyed the read Angelia, Nice Post


    1. Jimmy-Your story was similar, just packing up and moving too, except you had your dad and grandpa when you got there. I had my best friend from high school and her husband. It would have been a lot harder with no one plus I was only 3 hours from home. As always, thank you kindly Jimmy for your heartfelt comments.


  7. Oh Girl! I lived in that area for 11 yrs and all I knew was the major highways and how to get to work and back alive!
    Hubby uses Mapsco all the time, I just bought a new one for him last month. He loves it and wont use any other.

    So glad you adjusted well and didn’t lose that first job.


    1. Heather-Mapscos ROCK! Once I figured them out and then would ask directions and get it all straight, I had no problems. I worked there 7 years. I wasn’t delivery the whole time but quite a few years I had some hairy deliveries. Then I moved all over the metroplex and even lived in North Dallas. I think I know every area now! (took 20years).

      I am in awe of what your hubby does. He doesn’t just have to know the roads but the height of bridges everywhere as well. That’s something!


  8. What an awsome story!! It reminds me of the times, back in my early 20s, when I’d get on a plane, head to some city, rent a car, and find my way to various companies, conferences, trade shows, all so I could report on the wild world of plastics 🙂


  9. erin

    wow what a brave 18 year old you were!what a crack up! Delivery driver in a brand new city and lost for 2 hours??yup I remember those map books up until about 2 years ago! I moved out the day I turned 18 to a house on the beach with 3 roommates I didnt know and i never saw.Pretty cushy exit onto adulthood:)…and then the fun began;)


    1. Erin-In retrospect, it was LITERALLY a straight shot. I had to go around the airport and that is what messed me up. I really went around and around the airport. HA.
      I would have liked to live in a beach house much better! FUN!!! And guess what? You are STILL having fun! 😀


  10. Wonderfully told! I have to admit I didn’t leave for the city it grew around me and my land marks are gone, so I am regularly totally lost in my own home town.


    1. Kerry-Thanks Kerry! It was a big move for someone who was born and raised in one small town. I am glad it worked out. I miss having my family closer, but love all the things a big city offers. 🙂


    1. Frank-I’m still old school I like checking a map AND GPS. My favorite thing of all time is the visual street view that Google maps offers. OHMYGOSH that is the coolest. It has helped me not miss a turn too many times to count. I guess I am a visual person. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.


  11. izziedarling

    Oh girl, I grew up in and still live in a bigger city in Texas and I get lost all the time – like yesterday! Yay, you, for pushing through … you write so well, and I enjoyed this so much!


    1. Izzie-If it’s Houston that you live in, then by all means, that is sooo much worse than here. My sister lives there and I even lived with her for a few months at 18. STILL terrifies me to drive there. Ahh!

      Thanks for the compliment too!


  12. Wait, you’re not going to stop there, are you?! Please post more on The Red Dress Club next week, or direct me to your archives with more of your story, I just love it! {… a bit like The Pioneer Woman in reverse, maybe?}


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