Where Do I Belong?

We all ask ourselves that question during our childhood years when our teachers send us home with the assignment of drawing a picture of what we’d like to be when we grow up, and writing a page on why. How many of us knew back then? Pretty much a majority of us strayed from that original ideal.

Why do we stray from those original ideas that shine in our minds so brightly when thinking about adulthood? It’s simply due to the fact that our minds aren’t nearly as developed during that time; we’re not thinking like adults when we say we want to be a fireman or police officer because the last thing on a child’s mind are the dangers involved in those heroic lines of work.

As we get older, those ideals fade, and we have no idea where we belong. Our school systems aren’t nearly as industrial as they should be, in the sense that our children get very few chances to learn a trade. They are given the option to, but do they choose it? Not generally. They feel coddled in the sense they are allowed to keep their innocence a lot longer, and are thrown out into the fire, and feel lost when they should have a clue as to what they want to do, or where they want to go.

In Japan, children first learn basic survival skills: how to take care of a home, each other, and themselves before learning about geometry and analytics since young teenage students going to university tend to move away from home to go to school by the age of fifteen/sixteen. Maybe we have it all wrong? Children there grow up respectfully helping the adults in their lives instead of screaming for a toy on the store shelf at eight years of age. Is learning survival skills and a trade at a young age instead of learning math they will never use a bad idea? I think not.

I watch people close to me struggle to find their path, and where they belong in the world, and it’s a struggle. It’s not such an easy statistical situation such as whether the job market is slow, or low, or what not. I’m referring to the situation of not finding where one belongs in society, such as having traits that stop a person from having a conventional work-life.

I have a friend who is wonderful, astoundingly adorable, beautiful, highly intelligent, funny, charismatic, and talented in many ways, but has trouble procuring conventional office jobs. She has a Bachelors in Time Arts, has worked for years as a Graphic Designer for varying companies, has also done freelance work in her field, but struggles to find a job worth her salt. With the new poverty pay being at $15/hour, she is not making enough to pay her bills and live on her own in her area.

Sure, you could say she could move to a lower income area to make ends meet, but truly, should she have to commute two hours a day to and from work adding up to four hours out of her day in her car? Sadly, the market for Graphic Designers is slim, and highly competitive since it’s a market for artists. It’s sad when even an artist making $16/hour is starving, and has an empty fridge.

The point is, whenever she tries to get a job in her field, and even if she gets it, not only must she deal with less than equal pay for the work she puts in, but also, the fact that she’s African American, and larger than life. She’s an artist who spreads the wealth of her wonderfully funny personality, and due to her being partially deaf, she’s loud when she speaks half the time, making her a target for reprimanding in the workplace just for sneezing.

That’s the problem, she’s passed up for those who disappear in the background. Now, this is not a post about racism. However, employers do discriminate frequently, even if they use loopholes, this is not the point I’m trying to make. The point I’m aiming at is she has come to realize she is not fit for the cubicle, corporate, ‘lording over you’ kind of job. She’s someone who is coming to terms with the fact that her path may not yet exist.

There are entrepreneurs out there who are making their way with businesses of their own. Unfortunately for her, she is not a business woman. She is someone who has a lot to offer, but not a lot of savvy when it comes to making it out there with her own business. She has explored the possibility of going into acting, and has a certification in voice acting. She can do many things with her voice; on more than one occasion, I have referred to her as the Black Robin Williams. However, she lives in the Chicago land area, which is not lively in the trade of voice acting. She would have to relocate to Texas, or Vancouver to really find a plethora of voice acting jobs.

Gotta love it when people say, “Location, location, location…”

It’s true, location does make a difference. It’s not as easy to become an established voice actor while working from home. You have to get a resume under your belt before they will even consider you to audtion for projects.

So, I say to the people who toil over education practices on a daily basis; shouldn’t we broaden our horizons on how our kids are taught in school? Not to look upon conventional positions and jobs that fit into society, molding them into the collective, but to encourage their tenacity to do something unheard of? New industries are born every day, and I applaud when someone comes up with something no one ever thought of before.

I think we, as a society, need to evolve further, and make something exist for others who can’t fit into the norm. I think thinking outside the box can help our society even more. However, what busts my cookies, is the fact that help and aid are so desolate in our society. Let’s face it, the “Every man for himself,” belief has got to end. It does not serve us, and it causes discord and violence because people are not being loved, accepted, or treated fairly.

Yeah, I heard the complaints about people feeding off the system every day, but think about it; why are they feeding off the system? Because they know they’re only going to be seen as refuse to society-Have you seen the play Rent yet? If you haven’t, go see it with open eyes. Put yourselves in their shoes, as it is still as valid today as it was when the play first came out. Rent should be a staple in teaching our young adults what life is truly like, and give them the opportunity to fix it, as those older than my generation obviously have destroyed our country.

My generation will be retiring soon, if retirement still exists in the next ten years. So, my generation is null and void from this. However, those about ten years my junior are struggling, and still have a chance. These changes should be encouraged, not stamped down. We all deserve a place in the world, as well as respect and love. So, why not drop the Duking Gloves, stop complaining about where our money is going, and roll up our sleeves to get down and dirty in workplace development? It can only help us all in the long run. With these people treated like they don’t belong in our society working and spending money they earned on their talents alone, our country will thrive, and people will be happier.

Without direction, we will continue to see these individuals continue down their destructive paths, causing issues for everyone in the sense that our tax dollars are going toward catching and incarcerating drug dealers, which pulls their money out of society, which then causes addicts to choose to die from an overdose because they can’t get money to pay to take their drugs responsibly and get help.

After looking into what it takes to get a single woman aid in our country, it turns out the aid programs are corrupt, and do no good; a single woman must have a child before any aid is offered. Why is that? It certainly tells women they are worth nothing unless they’ve popped out a child, and even then, it’s for the sustainment of the child, not the mother. Where has this sort of thinking come from? We, as a society, are not for the living, only for the dying if they are poor. We give the best drugs to those who are on their way out, but not the best aid to those who want so badly to live. It tells our young women they are worth nothing, and our poor that we don’t care what they do; talk about heartless.

All I’m saying here, is that there has to be a way for those individuals who don’t fit the norm to live fulfilling lives, don’t you agree?

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