Fun Fact: I’m turning my blog into a podcast on Spotify and Apple!
To my tens and tens of readers, I am sorry. I have no excuse…well, kind of. First, I just had writer’s block, then I was lazy but then, in 2020, there was a little incident which put a hinder on my typing skills. I do have a voice texting program on my laptop but it seems I’m a more creative writer when I type than when I am speaking into the mic. So now it takes me twice as long to type up what’s going on in my head.
Since it’s been so long, I thought I would take the time this episode to do a quick recap of my past stories and then next week, begin back in 2003 where I left off. If you remember that’s when I decided to leave Tampa for Ft. Lauderdale chasing a dream job that would have me travelling all over the world with the rich and famous.
But first, who am I and why are all of about 35 people so interested in my stories????
In 1972 I was born in Gary, Indiana, about 10 blocks from the Jackson Five, but didn’t know it at the time. Back then Gary’s black community was growing larger than the rest of the races, but we never noticed. People were people, everyone was just trying to survive. My mother’s background is 65% Hispanic, which I didn’t notice either as a child, it’s a shame today how the media’s destroyed that innocence.
My father is a Marine who spent a few years in Vietnam before hooking up with my mom and popping out a couple of kids. PTSD wasn’t quite recognized and many of our Veteran’s weren’t cared for after returning home and suffered so much because of it. Families were torn apart, marriages dissolved, the Vet’s suffered alone which led to thousands of suicides. So when I was about three, my parents called it quits and mom was somehow able to move us out of Gary, where the crime rate was skyrocketing and over to the next town. She raised us three, on her own, as a waitress in the hood. Still amazes me how she did it!
Dad married Val a few years later and she was a great co-mom. Altogether, between the two families there were five of us kids. We would spend the weekends at Dad’s, which was super strict, military style with lots and lots and lots of chores. Dad had a big yard and we were always mowing, raking and bagging, felt like we were in prison. But us kids were terrified of my Dad, we got the belt, a lot and at the time I hated it, but now I’m grateful for the spankings. I’ve grown up to have an immense amount of respect for anyone in uniform as well as for humans in general.
Then during the week, we would be with Mom. She worked nights until one or two in the morning so us kids ran wild. My oldest sister had a kid when I was 10 who I babysat, by myself, all the time. I was the youngest of mom’s kids, but I would have to say the most responsible. Mom worked her ass off for very little money, so we didn’t have much but she always made sure we had what we needed.
Since I was unsupervised five days a week, my schoolwork suffered but not my social life. We would ride our bikes until all the other kids had to go home and then just keep on going. I also loved working at a young age, really young, around 9. Often, I would bus tables at the Mexican place mom worked, babysit in the neighborhood for $1 an hour, take odd jobs and then as soon as I turned 15, scored a job at the High School hot spot in town, McDonalds, right on the border of Gary and Merrillville.
Being that mom worked all the time and my co-mom was busy raising five of us on the weekends, I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about boys. Now, I was a huge tomboy myself, which meant boys were for beating up, playing sports, riding bikes with and playing in the woods, not kissing. (eeeww)
For those of you who aren’t aware, a tomboy is a young girl who likes to wear boy clothes and play all boy things. I wasn’t into dolls so much as I was shooting BB guns and building tree forts. I thank my lucky stars every day that I didn’t have some crazed lunatic convincing me that I should take hormone blockers and cut my tittie’s off before I even hit my teenage years. I remained a tomboy through most of my 20’s until I met a group of girls in Tampa who helped turn me back into a girl…I LOVE BEING A GIRL! Imagine if times were like they are now and I did alter my body to get rid of my girl parts, I would be pretty fucked up now.
Anyhoo, I digress! Growing up running the streets from a young age is a great way to learn responsibility, strength, courage, smarts, adventure and how to get away with EVERYTHING. People underestimate kids and how much they can handle when we are young. Problem was when it came to schoolwork, I couldn’t be bothered. I was happy making a C average with the occasional ‘A’ when it was a class, I enjoyed but only because I loved school activities. I played volleyball, basketball, football, lifted weights and was on the halftime dance team. Without those, the constant bullying and harassment on a daily basis for the last three years of High School would have been unbearable.
If you hadn’t guessed yet, I was not popular…why? Well turns out because I was a threat to all the popular girls who thought I wanted to steal their lame boyfriends. My freshman year I had a one-year boyfriend and then started dating a boy from our rival high school the first week of my sophomore year for two years. I spent so many Saturdays in detention just for defending myself. High School sucked but I never backed down from a fight. Between having a Marine, Vietnam Veteran Dad and an older brother and sister who would beat the crap out of me daily, I knew I could handle those bitches!!
So, this leaves me with college and my 20’s. You can go back and read all the juicy details for yourself but here’s just a teaser of what you will find:
- Lots of bad decisions with boys.
- Always broke, scraping the car seats for toll change.
- A terrible drunk, terrible person which is why I weighed 140 pounds. (picture above)
- Many jobs at once.
- My experimental drug phase towards the end of my 20’s, that was awesome. Glad it only lasted a couple of years. Trying cannabis, extasy, all kinds of funds stuff for the first time.
- Awful, awful boyfriend choices.
- Moving a million times from NW Indiana all the way to Florida, typically always either following a guy or running from one.
- Faking it till I’m making it.
- Always being on my own, taking care of myself, never asking for help.
- Crash and burn, hitting rock bottom.
- Then somehow surviving it all without going homeless, growing up and steam rolling into my 30’s.
Which brings me back to where I left off in 2003 after just moving from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale to land a dream job working on the private jets. For a girl who’d never been out of the USA, putting me unsupervised in foreign countries for weeks at a time was risky, and I have the stories to prove it!!!
Can’t wait to tell you more…see you next week!
Carrie Lee – The Mid Life Traveler