Small Town America

It’s hard for me to talk about where I’m from. It’s actually a little frustrating, because no one ever knows where I’m actually talking about, but I guess you never know when someone might surprise you and know something about small towns, right? I was born in rural North Carolina, but I’ve lived most of my life in either Cedar Bluff, Alabama or Sweetwater, Tennessee. I have family in both places, so I consider both places my home. People think that it would be really difficult for my mom to identify as bisexual in the country, but people don’t bother us. I’m gay, myself, and no one really cares – not the people I care about anyway.

Jacob at work

Jacob at work.

Plenty of Time to Choose

After high school I went to trade school, because it seemed more realistic than going to college at the time. You can’t get anywhere in life without some sort of education, you know. I chose culinary arts because it seemed pretty easy. Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad I know how to cook now, but it’s hard getting a good culinary job in a small town like Sweetwater when the fanciest restaurant is Waffle House. If I knew then what I know now I think I would have chosen the CNA [(Certified Nursing Assistant)] program instead. Every place needs doctors and nurses – even my town. One day I think I may like to go back to school to become a CNA, but my job as a security officer is good for now. The longer I do it, the more it interests me to maybe even become a cop one day. I don’t know – I’m only 19 so I have plenty of time to decide how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Jacob and his mom, Tonya

Jacob and his mom, Tonya

Family in Doses

On a scale of 1 to 10 I think family is a 10. I love my family, no matter how annoying they can be sometimes. I don’t know if I would take a bullet for anyone, but I’ll fight for my family. I love them. I’m the youngest, so my brothers were always protective of me growing up, so maybe that’s why I feel the way I do. Being the youngest also meant that I was the scapegoat for lots of stuff, though. My family will tell you that I was a handful as a kid, but I don’t think I was nearly as bad as they say. I love my mom most, but she still likes to take credit for everything I do in my own life. It’s just her way of saying that she’s proud of me. We don’t see each other as much as I would like, but a little distance is good for us. I think I like to take her in doses because I want her to see that I can make it on my own. I love her though – I’d do anything for my mom.

Jacob driving his friend's convertible

Jacob driving his friend’s convertible

I Like What I Like

I love long walks on the beach. Yeah, I know that sounds generic, but I really do! When I was 10 or 11 me and my family spent a little time in Florida, so I guess walking on the beach makes me think of that part of my childhood. I also love to eat. That’s probably the real reason I chose culinary arts as my trade in school. I think it’s really important to eat healthy, but it’s cheaper to just buy a pizza. That’s really strange, huh? Cars are my other love. I didn’t get a car until about 9 months ago, and ever since I’ve wanted to drive as many as possible. My friends think I drive a little too fast, though.

Jacob hopes to move to a larger city before the end of the summer where he will continue to work in security. Although he’s considered using his culinary arts diploma to find a job as a chef, he is focusing on his dreams of becoming a policeman. Sunny-side-up eggs continue to be the thing he tries to practice regularly, just in case.