Growing up, I have been surrounded by picture perfect families living the so-called American dream. Big families, stay at home moms and suburban homes are the new normal. I cannot blame a specific people group or region for the cookie cutter expectations of goals for American families. Since the founding of our country, it has been a growing problem. But when did these "goals" become expectations?
My family will tell you that I have always been the rebellious, stubborn child. Whether it be the 48 hours in labor before my arrival into this world, extensive piercings or the many times I have walked to the beat of my own drum, I have never been a fan of expectations for my life. I would rather live on my own terms than conform to our society's expectations of what my future looks like.
I don't want to drag through life checking off each accomplishment that I am expected to make. I'm not set on a obtaining a four year degree. I don't want to be married in my twenties. I don't want to have kids young. I don't want to drive a minivan to sports practices and music lessons. I don't want a big two-story house in the suburbs. I don't want to be a stay-at-home mom. Most of all, I don't want to stay in the same place.
I need to make clear that I have no problem with those who follow this lifestyle. Many women dream of the day they have their own children and can take on a full-time mommy role. So many people work hard to buy their dream house and drive the car they've been eyeing for years. If that is your dream, go for it. My issues is with the expectation that everyone aspires to this "great American dream."
I want to travel the world. I want to explore new places not necessarily alone, but with a friend who shares the same dreams as mine. I don't want to settle down with the first man who promises me a big house and a nice car. I want to fall in love at the right time with the right person. I don't want a boring desk job. I want to pursue my passions and do what I love. I don't want to be stuck in the same city with the same people forever. I don't want to ignore my instincts and pursue a path someone else is expecting of me.
My "plan" may not look like what the majority of people my age. I'm OK with that. I don't want the American dream. I don't want the expectations. I want to live life making the most of every day. I want to create my own checklist of accomplishments and failures. I want to do what I want to do.