Today is a rant post, so please bear with me… (yes, it’s bear not bare, thanks grammarly.com!).
I am stressed! This stress mostly comes from work. Working late and on weekends has taken it’s toll on my mind and I am ready to throw in the towel. The catch of course is that I cannot quit working as I have to make money to pay bills and buy things. But after a decade of pursuing the American Dream. I want to give up!
Let me clarify, I’m not giving up on living, or on working, just on pursuing what I know does not fit me. The root of the American Dream is American work and we are all taught at a very young age to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, and start our life.
As a woman of the 21st century I am constantly bombarded with the messages that I can be as successful (if not more so), as accomplished ( if not more so) and as wealthy (if not more so) than the millions of men that have walked the Corporate path before me. I just have to ‘lean in’, be assertive, speak up, and climb that ladder! The perfect lucrative career is within my reach. I could make the American Dream my reality!
As a younger woman, I never thought I was not equal to men, but I bought all of the rhetoric around being a woman in the workplace and what I was supposed to want and work towards and what ‘having it all’ meant. I honestly thought that working hard, building a career, making lots of money, finding a husband, getting a big house, and having my 2.5 children would provide me with the life I wanted.
I quickly realized that having children was not my dream (although I have always been open to raising kids via adoption), dating in the 21st century is a nightmare (try being an authentic person looking for quality connections and you are out of luck in finding a life partner), and so I focused on the career and the money. I obtained two degrees, putting myself in enough debt to buy a home, and started building a career so I could make a lot of money to pay off the enormous debt and enjoy the sporadically distributed vacations I could now afford. Sure it has been stressful, but hey, that’s the price we pay for the office, the salary and the prestige right? I thought that was all there was, but I decided there had to be more.
Over the past year I’ve shed the idea that this is the life I want. My last company cured me of wanting to ‘climb the ladder’ because I found out the ladder was rigged and that when pursuing the American dream with work at the center of their life, people lose their character, their integrity, and their minds. People striving for status and $ all end up sacrificing what should be most important: relationships, real human interaction/connection, experiences, and life’s sweet and simple pleasures.
As of today I declare my own American Dream! It includes writing, traveling, living in other countries, cooking for my favorite people, being in a position to take care of my parents in their old age, and enjoying as much of nature as I possibly can (hiking, cycling, swimming, star gazing etc…). I am also still optimistic that I will find someone to love and be married for a lifetime. I want a life of leisure, the use of my free time for enjoyment, not using my free time working more hours for a company that will ultimately replace me.
Now it’s time to figure out what’s next…