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9/07/2011

From Farm to Fame: Chapter One


I hated my life growing up, tending to the farm from dawn until dusk, being homeschooled farm-style so I could do so. We never got anything out of it, we had hardly any money, even though we sold most of what we grew, everything was stashed away for the winter when we had nothing to grow and sell. I had no friends, not going to a public school made it hard to meet people, and living in the middle of nowhere made it even harder.  I wanted a better life, I needed a better life.

I left home on my 18th birthday, before dawn, while everybody slept. I knew how the day would go, I'd wake up and there be some massive delicious breakfast on the table, I'd be excused from tending the farm for the day, and my mom would make my favourite dinner. Oh and of course the gifts, a poorly knitted sweater from my mom because I'm lucky enough to have a winter birthday, a book from my brother for me to read and relax with at the end of a long day though he didn't realize i'd already read it, and some weird thing from my dad that was supposed to make farm work easier but somehow makes it harder.  It was the same thing every birthday, and I always hated it, but I knew they all meant well in their own weird way. I couldn't let them do all of that for me, when I was just going to leave anyway.

I made the long drive to Bridgeport, in the old pickup truck I had gotten from my dad on my 16th birthday. It had been given to him on his 16th birthday, it was new then, but that was 25 years ago...so it's slightly amazing that it still ran and that it got me to Bridgeport. It was ugly, rusted, and covered in dirt that was probably too settled in to ever come out. It was also a memory of home, and that my family would still love me, and I'd always have them no matter where I was. Our family, like that truck, was strong and durable nothing would ever stop it. Even on a cold winter day when that engine just didn't want to kick over, if you gave it a bit of time and effort eventually the engine would let out a roar and kick over, just like our family would fight and nobody would talk to each other, but eventually things would get better and in the end we'd always be there for each other...even on the coldest days.

I could see bridgeport half an hour before I hit the city limits, the brightly lit buildings rose up into the sky, vanishing into clouds and blocking out the moon. I guess there were always people awake in such a big city.  I'd have been in bed hours ago if I'd been home and not driving away from it. It was midnight when I pulled up to the hotel, I'd been driving for most of the last 20 hours, only stopping for food and bathroom breaks, and a quick nap at some roadside reststop. No wonder I was so tired, there was no way I was going to get up with the sun like I normally did.

It was about 10 in the morning when I finally woke up. I may have slept hours later than normal, but my day was just as busy as normal. I needed to find a job, so I could afford to find a place to live. I wouldn't be able to afford my hotel bills for long either, about a week, so if I didn't have something by then I'd be living on the streets. Not that they would be much worse then the hotel, it was a really cheap hotel...and the condition of the rooms definitely reflected that. I spent the whole day looking for a job, applied for every avaliable postion in Bridgeport... and got rejected for every single one. I know I didn't have any experience that related to jobs in the city, but I had all the dedication in the world. I tended to the farm all day every day, even if I was sick. I worked hard, stopping only for lunch or to quickly grab a cold drink in the shade to fight back the heat from the harsh summer sun. I was organized and had a plan for everyday so that I wouldn't miss anything because missing a crop one day could cost us that crop for a whole year. If my dad had to run  into town for the day I could manage the farm on my own, or we could work together as a team when he  was home. I was commited to my job, hard-working, and independent but a good team player. I couldn't understand why nobody would give me a chance, and I had no idea what to do next.