Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekends are for thinking, and talking together, and thinking more, and apparently for g-chatting articles to one another from our home work stations across our tiny home.  A good deal of this today circled around the ways John and I are already becoming hurried along in the so-called American Dream.  Growing careers, a home, dreaming of a dog, and then babies. But that means late nights of work, and Sundays working.  It means a world pushing in on us - managers and deadlines telling us they're our number one priority if we want to keep up - keep on.

We're also not the American Dream.  We're living small, and seeking to live smaller across the board.  We decided 5 weeks together on an adventure was a priority, and we decided our careers, and managers, and deadlines could learn to accept that. We decided we wanted to provide a place for others, some small semblance of community where we share what's ours with others.  And we decided we'd learn what it means to be business owners. Then we decided that wasn't enough - we needed to learn how to be business owners that were a part of solutions, not contributing to the greed.

So we're somewhere between the dream, and this non-american dream.  But lately I hear as much of one as the other.  I think the alternative story I keep hearing over and over is almost as big of an idol now - maybe it's the new American dream. The one where you gloriously quit your jobs and travel the world on a yacht, or in a van, or with just a backpack, and somehow you're still stylishly dressed and your legs are tan and somehow hairless, your wayfarers are on, hair dyed, and your makeup is natural and perfect. People follow you from their desks at work. Now I'm convinced, it's the new American Dream. You escaped - your beauty intact.

But I don't really want to buy into just another stereotypical perfect world.  I mean, I do, I really do, it's a dream.  That's the point. But it's probably still not quite right.

What I know I want is to not spend my early marriage away being dragged behind one deadline after another.  I don't want to wear myself out for a company, rather than give myself to meaningful goals, and being present with the important people in my life.  Five weeks together gave us a taste of something so wonderful - and it wasn't standing under the Eiffel Tower or on the Cliffs of Moher that we continue to hunger for - it was holding hands on a street corner we didn't recognize at 2pm on a Tuesday. It was falling asleep together every single night.

I buy into that new American dream, and I buy into the old one - not for the house, or the dog, or the photo atop Machu Picchu - but for a home you share with a real partner, and for working out a fight in a dark square in Barcelona, waking up knowing it's just the two of you forever and this is something to go through, not around today.  Not to make it all about "couples" - if you're single, it's still as much about who you're living that dream with, yourself included.  But chances are, marital status aside, you have a handful of deeply meaningful relationships. Dreams are about these.

We've got to find a way to get more of that part of the dream.  Less of the rest that keeps us exhausted in pursuit. I'm just not sure how to entangle them.

Remember, it's the long game - but the rules of the game aren't clear for any of us.

No comments: