the american dream
Earlier this week at work, I attended a presentation that essentially highlighted the results of a poll regarding how those polled viewed The American Dream and the optimistic/pessimistic feelings toward their lives and situations now and in the future. It also went on to show how the current economic situation has altered The American Dream.
It was pretty interesting and during it, I began to think about how I would describe my American Dream. In the 1950’s and even today, most believe that home ownership is an integral part of the American Dream. Having a family (marriage & kids) is part of the American Dream. Having a career is part of the American Dream.
All three of these things are items that I strive for myself, but I have to think that even if I don’t get all of them, I’m not failing my American Dream. So, then what exactly is my American Dream?
I suppose at this moment in my life – right now – my American Dream is so basic and simple and doesn’t include anyone else or anything materialistic. I just want to be happy and content. I want to really love who I am. I want to look at myself from the outside and appreciate who I see. Not to say that I don’t love myself, but I do see lots of room for improvement, both mentally and physically. I want to work through all of my emotional and mental road blocks and get back into solid/strong running shape.
But if I need to put down in words other things I want for myself, I suppose I do have a list that includes other people or actual tangible goals.
Part of my immediate American Dream is to get a serious handle on my finances. I spent my twenty’s digging myself into debt, because even though I didn’t earn the 6-figure salary that my attorney friends did, I sure lived like I did. What a colossal moron I was, though I did have a fabulous time. I have a plan in action (self-imposed strict budget) and am determined to fix this problem as quickly as I can.
Fixing my finances will allow me to set myself up for my future, be it home ownership, more travel, adoption (!), or just ease of mind of saving for my future retirement.
Career-wise, I’ve been taking on more projects at work that will hopefully lead to the transition from my current role into one that is more appealing and beneficial for me. I’m finally feeling like someone’s got my back and looking out for me. I haven’t felt that in 2 years.
I’m not even putting “relationship” into my American Dream right now. I mean, yes, it’s something I would like. But I am not going to let my pursuit of one dominate my dreams of how I want my life to go or what it should be. Right now, it’s more a back-burner thing. If something materializes, great. If not, well, I’ve got a lot of other things on my plate to keep me busy.
One of the main takeaways from that presentation was that The American Dream is very much still alive. It’s just been modified to fit the times. People are much more aware of what is in their reach and what is not. However, they still possess a lot of optimism regarding reaching their goals.
My American Dream is still very much alive. It might look completely different from what I wanted 15 years ago and it will likely evolve again over the next 15, but it’s still there. I never want to give up my dream, whatever it may be. And I hope that you never give up yours…