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Frustrated and Restless

I can do and be more than my location allows

By Shanon NormanPublished 7 months ago 5 min read
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I have so much frustration pent up and I've got to rant and vent again. I just spent my Tuesday morning watching videos of towns and cities around the United States that are swamped with homeless people and failing economies. Poverty, crime, and depression in abundance in many towns and cities and it breaks my heart. This is not the America I remember from my childhood in the 70s. This is not the America I remember as a teenager in the 80s. I know some things started going bad for America in the 90s, but now in this new millenium, things have gone from bad to horrible, and I don't want to sit here and do nothing but whine and cry about it. I want to get out there and get my hands dirty and do whatever I can.

As I scrolled through Facebook today, I saw a meme that read "Do God's work" and the first thing I thought of was offering my "services" to the nursing homes. I am an entertainer and entreprenuer. I thought maybe I could offer my brand of comedy and song to the old folks who might get a little lonely or bored playing checkers or cards all day. I called about five nursing homes and asked to speak with the Activities Director. I did not get to speak with one. I gave up.

A few months ago I tried to volunteer at the local library. The people who were either employed or volunteering made it very clear that I was not wanted there. I gave up. I asked in person and filled out an online form to volunteer at the animal shelter. Never heard a word back from them. I gave up.

I applied to work at several stores including the Dollar Tree, my favorite. I never got an interview or heard back. I applied and went on an interview for a telemarketing job. I was rejected because I have a felony and can not obtain the telemarketing license required. I went to see if I could get a job at the Gentlemen's Club as a dancer. I was rejected. (Because I don't look like Barbie?) I gave up again.

I'm 52 years old. I have plenty of employment experience under my belt which is why and how I get a monthly social security check. My monthly income is about the same or less as a worker who earns minimum wage. We can not afford to pay the rents that are advertised online or from the landlords of this city. If not for the kindness of our friends or gifts from the community, I (and those like me) would be homeless.

I get depressed often because I know I don't have as much time left in my life as I did when I was twenty years old. I want to do as much and live as fully as life will allow. Yet society and civilization seem to be blocking my freedom and pursuit of happiness at every corner based on prejudice and prices. It only makes my depression worse to know that this is factual.

Then I see other places in my beloved nation falling apart in a way that is so much worse than what I see here in Florida, and I don't know whether to cry for myself or cry for them; but really what I want to do is not cry at all. Just get in my van and drive to one of those lost forgotten towns (like in Arkansas or Mississippi) and set up my little shop because I could not afford to do that here in the thriving Tampa Bay area.

A tiny office space rents for at least $500 per month. A small 5x5 closet space rents for $70 per month. A lease for a commercial unit to set up a shop or business starts at about $2000 per month. A small space at the only flea market left costs about $150 per month. The little guy (like me) with big ideas and dreams and no capital to start with is completely obliterated before any idea or dream has a chance. This is Capitalism at its finest. The wealthy homeowner or home purchasers are quite happy here, but the poor people or old people are not living the same quality of life, nor can they even aspire to or dream about anything bigger or better.

I have toured most of this area that I have called home since the late 80s and I have even reported my opinions about what life is like here for a limited-income person or someone in poverty. It's not great even if the scenery is beautiful and clean and the economy looks like it's thriving. I am supposed to be grateful to live among the wealthy, but gratitude is not the typical daily feeling I feel when I wake up. I usually count my blessings (food, roof, water) and then I spend the rest of the day trying to figure out a way to get out of here because I don't fit in. Poor people and rich people do not socialize well together. They never did and they probably never will.

As I see videos of the West United States (including California, Oregon, and Seattle) my eyes get big with shock of all the tents and tent camps of the homeless. I thought there were a lot of homeless problems here in Florida, but we have nothing to that extent here. Today I saw another video showing that California authorities are "evicting" the tent dwellers and are going to build more housing for homeless. This problem/solution has been done before even in Tampa. We used to call that solution the "projects" and it got categorized as a racist endeavor to keep the black people down along with EBT cards and advertisements on billboards for alcohol. While some loyal and hopeful Americans are addressing the need for more education, training, and better budget planning, there are towns and people suffering all over this once great and powerful nation that boasted the highest quality of life and opportunity. It is beyond tragic and sitting here just watching it from television or a computer is not at all helping me in my depression. My desire to go elsewhere only gets deeper, and my resentment for my squashed hopes of finding employment or starting a business or even volunteering starts to burn inside like an angry fire.

So many articles and videos about "WOKE" people and "WOKE" culture. I don't believe a word of it. It looks more to me like people are in a COMA.

travelpoliticspoliticianslegislationhumanityfact or fictioneducationcorruptioncontroversiesactivism
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Shanon Norman

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