Monday, October 25, 2010

The American Dream

We’ve made plans for our future as a family, and recent events have brought us to a realization that our plans will have to change. Not drastically. Just delayed. But it left a little fissure in my heart, wondering when will things just fall into place magically for us.

You see, we are not yet living the American Dream. This house we live in isn’t ours. We’re still trying to save up for the life we want. We are not married, but we live together with our daughter, who’s of course the love and light of our lives. But sometimes even her illumination does not reach these dark, hidden crevices of my mind.

When I see those who seem to have it all - the perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect marriage, the perfect kid and the perfect career - I am just baffled at how easily things seem to come together for others. But not us. Not me. And it leaves me feeling insecure. Where did I go wrong?

I look back and here’s what I see: a move across the world, a life riddled with homesickness, a change in career paths, a marriage (where we bought a home) and ultimately a divorce (where we sold the house), a new relationship with someone who on paper seems so wrong for me but in life seems so right, and finally a baby. My journey here took many turns, sometimes uphill, sometimes inadvertently into dead ends that meant starting over. And most didn’t happen by accident – I had a hand in the detours. 

So here I am, still chasing the elusive American Dream. It was once almost within my grasp. The house. The car. The marriage. The 2.5 kids. The dog. But it would have been with the wrong person. It would have been the wrong life.

Now, the Dream continues to hover on the horizon, mocking me with its manicured lawn and three-car garage. Again it seems beyond my reach.

But still I smile.

I may not live the American Dream - at least not yet - but I have the man of my dreams and together we have an amazing little girl. Really, I have the family of my dreams.

Sometimes in myopic moments, I lose sight of perspective. But today, the clouds have parted and I know with unequivocal certainty that the foundation of the Dream isn’t the house, the car, the career. It’s the family. In that respect, I think I have a pretty good start. My foundation is strong.

As for the rest, it’s only a matter of time.    


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Are you living your dream? If so, what’s your secret? And if not, does it matter if you do? Are you happy exactly where you are or are you striving for more? What is your idea of the American Dream anyway?