The American Dream is a bunch of bullshit.
We all know that, but do we really know it?
No, of course not. The idea that upward mobility exists and that some day I too can own a house that has a four-car garage if only I work hard enough is cemented in my mind.
Blame the media, blame optimism, blame whatever.
We watched as tiny little bungalows morphed into giant, sprawling houses with three-car garages. Those giant homes became the norm. Suburban settlement at its finest. You’ve made it.
For the record, I dream of owning a tired, old house and turning it into something magical. I love old wooden floors that creak and leaky faucets and the idea that so many people have lived there before you. I love the cramped rooms, the feel of warm rugs on worn floors. I want that. My only requirement is a sweet bathtub.
But at the same time, I’m threatened by the idea of never having enough.
What is enough?
To live, to love (and to be loved), and to breathe in every beautiful moment that I can find. But also to someday have a garage (not four!).
For the next month, I’m going to try to implement small changes that will hopefully make me a bit more optimistic about my current situation. Lately, I’ve been wallowing in the pit of despair that is these months and I feel as though my wallowing is only making it worse.
I’m determined to be a little bit more hopeful, rather than so exhausted. So we’ll see. (Start taking bets now about when I’ll have my next “oh my g-d, what am I doing with my life” miniature meltdown)
Also, for the record, I am super awesome and got a raise at work! Friday was yearly reviews. I was terrified. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I was a really well-behaved child or the fact that my generation was super coddled, but either way, I don’t take criticism well. (My wonderful lady-boss popped into my office on Friday morning and told me not to worry, and after that, I didn’t. She really made my day with that.)
My boss offered me a 5% raise. I requested more. He came back with an offer of 12.5%. Of course I took it. I was so proud of myself for being super calm and absolutely realistic and logical about the whole thing.
Baby steps, dear world. I am taking baby steps. But at least I’m moving.