We tried so hard to fit in.
I drove off every morning to go sit in my high-end corporate office (my job was for the manufacturer of the office furniture, so it had to look awesome).
I spent my days there while MsBoyink was at home with two college degrees and two toddlers, wondering daily which pair she should devote her time to.
We were living the suburban formula.
We bought a small ranch house that needed updates. I’m generally handy, so spent weekends and vacations working on the house building sweat equity.
We had multiple cars. A hobby Jeep. An RV. A small boat. Bikes. A collection of two-stroke things to maintain the house and yard.
College degrees, home ownership, corporate jobs, family.
The American Dream.
We should have been happy, right?
Maybe we needed better furniture. Certainly the next couch would have made life better?
Or was it the next house? The one we’d be proud to have people over for dinner in so we could impress them with our accomplishments?
Or maybe it was the next car, the one bought new rather than used? Then my coworkers would notice my success as I drove out of the parking lot each day.
Whose dream is this?
The house was never done. We could never quite afford the new furniture and the new car.
Whatever we had, whatever we made, it wasn’t enough. We stumbled and slipped off the suburban treadmill.
The American Dream ethos is baked into our American psyche - let’s look back at the source:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.US Declaration of Independance
At some point it struck us.
We weren’t dreaming our American Dream.
We weren’t equal partners in our own life.
We were chasing a dream that someone else had designed for us. The bank. The mortgage company. The aggregated effort of every mass-media advertiser.
We ditched suburbia. We sold our house, gave away most of our belongings, and began traveling the USA by RV fulltime.
We can’t imagine going back. We’ve learned to live simply. We’ve grown closer as a family. We’ve had richer homeschooling experiences. And we’ve had uncommon family adventures.
We are ruined for suburbia.
Claim Your Life
Are you living a formula like we were? Following the expectations of a previous generation? Getting your cues from mass media?
You have the power. You can arrange your life with purpose. And maybe impact the world in a greater way than you ever imagined. Books like this one can help you get started.
Quit letting your family, the TV, or the Internet tell you how you should live.
Once you’ve resolved to claim control of your own life you can now enjoy the freedom - the liberty - to do what you want. Live how you want. Live where you want.
Sell out of that soul-sucking suburban life. Get rid of all that crap you’ve accumulated. Travel. Learn to farm. Start a non-profit. Donate at a level you never thought possible. Volunteer more.
Experience the world in a way that you thought you had to be wealthy to do.
Pursue Happiness - YOUR Happiness
We all find happiness in different ways. Our daughter loves being around animals. Our son loves working with youth. My wife and I love hearing live music. We all love making new friends and being challenged to learn new things on a daily basis.
It’s so much easier to find and do those things once you aren’t owned by a house, spending all your time and money keeping up those suburban appearances.
There are many ways to live and ways to find happiness, but you won’t find them until you get out of the rut that you are in now.
Will THIS year be that year you can point back to and say “that was the year we changed everything”?