Paul Reflects on the Year 2013
I moved down here to Avon Park, Florida in November 2009. It is a small town or city, depending on who describes it. It is considered a rural area. Avon Park is a part of Highlands County with about 100,000 people and it has a population of under 10,000 people, with about 59% white and 29% black people as residents. I am from New York City born and raised in the borough of Queens, in the Long Island City area. I am from a project complex called The Queensbridge Projects. Back in New York City is where most of my friends are located, here I have plenty of family but few friends if any, with the understanding that a true friend is rare anyway. And due to trust issues, I am slow to make friends now. And instead of a project apartment, I have small house to live in.
Now I am 54 years old going on 65 on 4 March 2014, I really feel like I aged over the past 4 years, quicker than I should have. Avon Park has a weak real estate market now due to the real estate crash in Florida and it will be weak for a few years to come before it recovers. So if I was in the market to buy a bigger home and I might be in a year or so, I could purchase something nice for a little money. Also, we have an office building, which is owned by a non profit organization which I am the President and Chairman of and as the agent of the NCNCHINC, I have a lot of say as to this real estate and it uses.
Our organization was designed by me and we are into artistic programs, such as a recording studio, live performances (giving and sponsoring shows), a non profit newspaper, a magazine, workshops for creative writing, music production and job search. So the organization by design supports what I want to do with the rest of my life, which is to make music and write stuff and share what I know with the younger generation. So I should be energetic and enthusiastic about our prospects, but I miss my friends and I miss New York City. I am not really happy down here to be honest.
I might be going into the hospital real soon for inpatient therapy dealing with an old issue that has gone untreated and unresolved for many years. And while at the VA Medical Center, I have to make major decisions about how I want to live the rest of my life. And because I feel my days are limited, as I said I have aged a lot in spirit the last few years, I have little room for error. Whatever I decide to do, I have to go at it with both feet in, knowing there is no turning back this time. If I buy a house, I know I will have to live in it for a while, if not the rest of my life. And for this reason I think I need to visit New York City next year (2014), because I remember something I did in the past that I have to also consider. When I was 18 years old and was in the Army in Germany, I got out of the Army to go back home (homesick), only to realize there was nothing there for me, which was why I left, only to reenlist and lose 4 years in my career in the process.
I now have an opportunity here in Avon Park, Florida to fulfill many of my dreams, but it seems like I am homesick again. And if things fall my way, economically I would be better off here in Avon Park and I have the setup to help others in the process of helping myself, while living comfortably. I do not know what I want to do, but I know I have to make a clear and concise decision soon.
The year 2013 for me is a year of finality. I have been working hard on the NCNCHINC for about 4 years now. When I got here, we had a skeleton with a leaky roof and we had no money to fix it. My sister Egeria RIP, left us money that we were able to use some of it to replace the roof and while we are still pending our 501 c 3 statuses, we have a fiscal sponsor, which now allows us to accept tax deductible charitable donations in the interim, something we could not do for years. So it looks like things are looking up and in my favor finally with the Veterans Affairs Department. I now have lawyer working my service connected disability case, who is doing a fine job I must add. So things might happen for me and our organization in 2014. And to walk away from this could turn out to be very foolish of me. Like when I got out of the Army the first time, to go back to nothing.
I think the right answers will come to me, when I go into therapy, which will last a few weeks, whereby the whole time will be for me to focus on me and what I want to do with the rest of my life. And now all I really want out of life, is to make sense of my existence. I plan to start my autobiography soon and all I want is for my life to have meaning and I understand the reason I was put on earth to begin with. And I just want to do something good before the end of the final chapter.
Frank Paul Jones
President of the NCNCHINC