In time that I have been authoring Los O’Gradys in Mexico and that we have been living as Permanent Residents of Mexico, many a curious observer (genuine, respectful ones and a fair share of critics) have asked us if our children aren’t missing out on the “American Dream”. Some of the more brazen ones have suggested that we are “sellouts” or that we have renounced our allegiance somehow to our country of birth. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Of most interest to me amongst these various inquiries is that of the “American Dream”. I am truly curious to know what common culture’s popular definition of it exactly is?
Is it a home by the sea with a white picket fence, children who are raised by nannies, parents who are two ships passing in the night, slaves to their work? Is it sitting in rush hour traffic for hours on end, shopping at big box corporate-owned chain stores, eating GMO until your immune system says enough, spending a large chunk of your paycheck on medical care, commuting costs and over-inflated mortgages, trying to navigate a broken healthcare system that is pharmaceutical happy and bottom-line driven?
Is it about being disconnected rather than connected?
If so, I don’t want any part of that “Dream”—American or otherwise.
I don’t want my family’s access to adventure, fun and the gifts of Mother Nature to be limited to a hoped for bi-yearly vacation and break from the grind of modern day life. I want sustenance and soul to be built into the very fabric and ebb and flow of of our days—yes, every one.
Our Dream did not realize itself overnight, upon a single wish or in the blink of an eye. We are not trust babies, lottery winners nor highly skilled investors. Life hasn’t been perfect north nor south of the border. We have experienced our fair share of setbacks and heartaches—health, financial, loss of loved ones…you know, life.
If you are not particularly smitten with your current reality, there are other ones. A dream and a dash of courage are good places to start. Planning, budgeting, marketable skills, resourcefulness, attitude, persistence, connecting with other like-minded people…all of those help too!
As Oprah Winfrey so eloquently states, “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”
We are choosing to maximize our experience here on planet Earth and to provide access to a multitude of opportunities for our children so that when they venture out on their own, they too will have the skills to design their own purpose and place in this human experience. As I tell them at bedtime kisses, “Be true to yourself, and the rest will fall in place.” Simple and true.
This is not our American Dream nor even our Mexican Dream. It is just simply and joyfully, Our Dream.
What is yours?
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