The American Dream

I want to be a writer.

I wrote my first story in junior high – a murder mystery that crossed time, had a central core of characters, and an intricate storyline.  It sits unfinished.

I wrote my second great novel in high school – a historical novel with a charming family and heroine at its center. It sits, still, unfinished.

I wrote a short story in my senior year of high school – about a teenager in love whose boyfriend commits suicide as she watches, helpless. Then she discovers she is pregnant. It was finished and remains my only finished work to date.

I wrote my third “great novel” about 3 years ago. I rediscovered my dream and sought to write a heartwrenching drama, about a woman who finds love, and then loses everything, only to find love again. It sits unfinished as well.

There are so many times that characters and storylines for random things float through my head with no where to put them. This great villain is lurking just behind my ear, but I haven’t been able to put him to paper. I have dreams of writing a history book of the area I grew up, but feel trapped by limited funds and time.

Do I want to write a blog forever? No. Not even remotely. I want to be able to go into a bookstore or a library and see My Book there, in print. And know that people are reading it. It would be better, of course, if I go in and all copies are sold out/checked out. Then, I would KNOW people are reading it. 🙂 So, what’s stopping me?

Faith over at Minimalist at Home has a great post about how we tend to live our lives in a box. A box of our own making. I had never thought of it this way. Many of the phrases she highlights are ones I have said to myself. But there are others:

  • When the kids are in school, I will…
  • When I finally am able to stay at home, I will…
  • When we’re retired, we will…

I’ve heard many times the line, “You’re the only one standing in your way.”  Or “The only person who thinks you can’t is you.” But I’ve never tried to apply those to my life. You mean that I could travel the world with my family, take an RV around the country and homeschool at the same time, or maybe even be a writer? I can seriously do those things? Don’t I need a job? A house? The “normal” American Dream things?

But what does that mean? The American Dream.

We want our children’s lives to be better than ours. We want happiness. That’s about it, isn’t it? But we sit on this hamster wheel thinking that the harder we push we may just reach it. And when we’re at the end of our life, we’ll be rewarded with “free time.”

Screw that.

What are my dreams?

  • To be stay at home mom
  • To homeschool my children
  • To write a novel
  • To travel the country (and if I can convince my husband to fly: the world)

And what’s stopping me from following my dreams RIGHT NOW?

  • Debt: student loans, house loan, car loan
  • Job: to pay said loans
  • And my house is a disaster where free time is spent cleaning, organizing, and just tiring activities

So, here’s my first task: Get Rid of the Crap That is Strangling My Life.

Craiglist, Freecycle, and the local Thrift Store, Beware! I will be terrorizing you with my donations and listings. I want it all gone, but if I can make a little money at it, so be it.  And Crap, oh dear Crap. You have been given notice. By Memorial Day you are GONE.

Second task: Use Money Earned From Selling Said Crap to Pay Down Debt.

Third task: When Debt is Gone, Quit Job.

Faith, I promised. I am knocking down some of those cardboard walls.


Filed under Life

3 responses to “The American Dream

  1. Awesome! I love your strategy for reaching goals and how you’re confronting the challenges head-on. So cool. If you ask me, it won’t be long at all. Those dreams will come 🙂

  2. I was *just* thinking about “the American dream” and how limiting it is. I would love to have the guts to live an unconventional life.

    • Do it! Do it! Do it! Because conventional for you might be unconventional for someone else. It’s about figuring out what YOU and your family want, and then refocusing EVERYTHING towards that goal. And when you do that, you suddenly realize that the little material things are easier to get rid of.

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