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*