This week I am going over the famous phrase, "The American Dream." A statement that many use to explain the template of life for most Americans. This includes going to school and getting good grades, attend college, get a 9-5 job that helps pay for a car and house, get married, have kids, save up a ton of money for retirement and live out your last days retired. All this to live out a "perfect life" of an American. Many of this was instilled in me the moment I stepped foot in America.
The first time I felt like I lived out any sense of the American Dream was when I bought my first home. I cried on the way back from signing my title paperwork. I normally dont get too sentimental or emotional over things like that but it hit me, I had accomplished what most Americans dream of. While I love my house and am proud of the accomplishment, the older I get, the more I realize how much the things I chased earlier in my life was due to the pressure and cookie cutter template life that was taught to me. Much of it was what the American Dream looked like, and not necessarily what I wanted for myself.
I grew up having high pressure to perform in school while also being beaten down for it. I was often told I wasn't smart enough for different degrees and schools by my own mother. I was often told I wasn't smart enough for engineering while at the same time being pressured to be an engineer. Most of my school days, I had a short attention span. It was extremely frustrating to learn, often feeling like the dumb one in the room. I spent most my days playing sports. In fact, I recall saying the only reason I would ever attend college is because I would be on a sports team. I had no interest to go academically. However, I tore my rotator cuff in my early high school days and that ruined my D1 college opportunities. At this point, I had to get serious about my future. I needed to go to school to make a future for myself beyond sports. While I struggled in middle and high school, I boomed in my college days. It was a place to tackle my education in my manner. It was the first time I felt like I had control of myself, rather that someone telling me how to learn.
I attended college, most of it working full-time, graduated (within IT: Cyber) and got a good job. I ended up going back for a Master's, and even debated on a doctorate, but that's just too much schooling for me. Plus, I have other things I want to pursue and time is the ultimate tradeoff. Something thats not well taught in the education system, you can either spend years going after a piece of paper or dive right in into the real world and learn on the job.
Ultimately, I was living out the American Dream, graduating college and finding a stable job. Although, I never really saw that as a dream, more like I have to do this to survive. In fact, the process I took was often questioned by my own parents. They were concerned on how I would make it in the world by not pursuing a "true" (Mechanical, Chemical, Aerospace, Civil or Computer) engineering degree, to them IT: Cyber was not real engineering. However, at this point in my life, I was paving my own way. The older I get, the more I continue to ask myself, what is it that I want and what is it that is ingrained in me to want? While I want some of the American Dream items, I have a ton of accomplishments I want to capture that isn't the typical.
I struggled with having to live out a perfect American life. Many of what was taught was to follow a life template. For one, I have never been someone who just follows along and not ask questions. I think this is part of the reason I had a rough relationship with my mom, someone who' s quick to tell her kids how to do it her way and thats the only way. Which is ok, but it doesn't work for everyone. It seems to be the same way for most of the people in America. There are a handful of people who tell them how to live their life and everyone just follows along.
For the people who are not from America and think the American life template is this perfect life, its far from the truth. Much of it is a trap to keep people away from pursuing their own desires and thoughts. Every person should have the ability and confidence to ask themselves what they want for themselves, not what life someone is telling them to live out.
I go more into the topics on my