Thursday, September 22, 2016

First Post:  What is America?

I'm so, what's the word I want, disheartened? Upset? Worried? I'm not sure, but I do know that last night, watching the events in Charlotte made me feel something. I have a former professional associate who moved there a few months ago, and I hope she and her family are safe. I've had the pleasure of spending some time in Charlotte, and I always found the people of that city to be kind and welcoming.

As I write this, we're closing in on a presidential election that may well be the most critical one of my lifetime. I'm still upset that Senator Bernie Sanders couldn't secure the Democratic nomination, but I'm also hopeful that Hilary Clinton can be a fine president if elected. The idea of a President Trump scares me.

I'm a white, college educated male who is fifty years old. I have had advantages that many people never will have. I know that. But I'm also unemployed and have been told by a lot of people that my age is the reason they won't hire me. I appreciate the honesty.

But it hurts. I spent the last three years putting in insanely long days getting a degree that should get me a good job. My  former classmates are all doing well, and I have the same training. I took the same classes they did. I always worked just as hard as they did, and often harder. Between classes, travel time, working on assignments, working events, and everything else, my days often ran as long as eighteen or nineteen hours.

Am I making any sense?

My America is not the one depicted on network television. It is not all glitz and glamour.

My America is the bodega up the street where the poorest of the poor shop for basic groceries. I'm not one of them, but I shop there because it's a block away, it's open every day, and it's open till 2 in the morning.

I'm not sitting here just to bitch and moan. I have it better than a lot of people I know. I'm able to pay the bills every month. I have nice things that I bought when I was in better financial shape. I keep a well stocked bar, and that is my one extravagance.

If I get to the last week of the month and need a few basics, my Mom is always there to give me $10 or $15 to get what I need. Today, she bought me pain reliever for a nasty migraine headache. I'm grateful for that.

It's a weird feeling, to be honest. I'm the most content and relaxed I've ever been but I'm also terrified. Everything I have is based on what we've long accepted as being established and normal. But so much of what we've long considered as being settled is now being questioned.

I don't have all the answers. I may not even have a single answer, right now. I will have some, soon, and I may share them with you. Or not.

Thanks for reading this all the way through. Future posts will cover a lot of topics, most of which will be more pleasant. But today, I had to write this.

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