What is the American Dream?
All of my life I’ve had ingrained into my head: “Go to school, get good grades, buy a house, get married, have kids, etc.” You know, the typical American dream. I wanted to be “grown up” at a very young age, so at 12 I got a job bailing hay at a farm that I could ride my bike to. At age 14 I stopped bailing hay and started washing cars, age 16 started a chain of fast food work until I found a construction company that would hire me. I worked there until I finished high school and tech school, then started working as a biomedical equipment tech with my new degree. With a good job, I started buying properties; first it was my personal house, then two rental houses, then another.
I’ve been at my job since 2009, I love the company that I work for and I feel respected here. I’ve received multiple promotions and I now manage the department. There is a problem though, the hospital I work at was sold; they don’t want us here any longer!
What to do?!
First it was feelings of uneasiness, followed by fear, then panic… But after a few weeks and some number crunching, my feelings now are happiness and excitement! The 7am-3:30pm Monday – Friday schedule really isn’t for me anyway… I spent many mornings driving to work with the same coffee cup in my hand wondering why I’m doing any of this. What am I saving money for? What is the purpose of my existence? What do I want out of life?
My American dream is to be homeless…
As it turns out, all that stuff I own: cars, motorcycles, a yard, a house, lawnmowers, garden tools, televisions, etc really just seem to add stress. It seems that the more stuff you own, the more expense is associated with it, so the more you have to work, and the more you’re stressed. “More money, more problems,” is a rather true statement. I’m much happier just being outside listening to the birds sing, swimming, or feeling the mud between my toes. Why would I want to come home from work to cut the grass and clean when I could go hiking or explore?
Our lives are fragile, I couldn’t imagine not living now to save for a future we aren’t guaranteed to have. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and taking control of my life back!