The American Dream

I’m about 30 pages away from finishing a book. And I needed a breather. I needed to write about it–process it a bit before I turn to the next page. I know the ending; I’ve seen the movie. It’s gonna hurt.

Revolutionary Road book cover

The movie Revolutionary Road (2008) was directed by Sam Mendes starring Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio. The book came out in 1951 by author by Richard Yates. This book and movie is one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read/seen. The book is more misogynistic, painting one of the main characters, April Wheeler, as a narcissistic, nagging shell of a woman. But this is also fascinating to me. It’s Yates own feelings towards his wife. Towards women in the 1950s. I didn’t get this vibe from the 2008 movie. I’ll spare us my wordy, yet well-informed [re: a B.A. in Film and Videos Studies] review.

Basically, this story is all of my worse fears rolled up and laid out into 337 pages.

It was the 1950s, when white picket fences and 2 1/2 kids and a dog were the ideal. That sounds familiar… OH, wait, because it still IS the ideal. At least in Oklahoma it’s the cat’s meow.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this book has it all–it’s about marriage, love, hate, children, work, and death. All at the expense of said American Dream.

Sometimes I find myself dreaming of the American Dream. It really sounds cozy there. Fluffy pillows, animals, cute little kiddos, dinner on at 6:30pm, with soccer practice mixed in here somewhere.

It sounds cozy…for all about 10 seconds and then I have a panic attack. No, not really, that’s dramatic and thank gods I’ve never had one of those. But I do start squirming a bit and pulling at my imaginary turtleneck.

The American Dream terrifies me. Not because of what it actual is. But because of what it implies. Yielding the American Dream implies that I will be bored…feel useless…stop all creative things…be drone-like…wonder “what if I had…?” on an hourly basis…and worse of all, be unhappy even though I have everything I American Dreamed up.

I just want to make sure that what I want and go after is MY Dream. Not The American kind. If they align in anyway, cool then. But if not, I have to remind myself that it’s OK if I don’t want to live on Revolutionary Road.

It’s just hard sometimes when you live in a place like Oklahoma, Americuh…where it surrounds you. Day in, day out I’m told that happiness is to have a house, have a family, have a job, have a dog…have a fucking drink.

Marriage semi-terrifies me. I thought it was going to happen with MF which is one of the reasons that relationshit has been so hard to surpass. But it really scares me. Not because I think I will lose who I am, but because I don’t know who I will be. I will still be 25swf at heart- questioning, curious, loving, persuasive, adventurous, random, sometimes smelly, and consistently geographically challenged. But will I have the same drive, the same passion, the same yearning to grow and to be a better person? I don’t have the answers. But I don’t want to be cozy.

I want to be challenged.

Yours pushing away Revolutionary Road where warm fuzzies grow and the weeds of reality creep their way in,

25swf

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2 thoughts on “The American Dream

  1. 25swf — it’s not just Oklahoma where these values are pushed upon young women…it’s everywhere. At my job I read scripts about pregnancy EVERY DAY…among my friends, it’s a competition over weddings, rings, husbands, boyfriends…the most important thing is living the life YOU want to live…and not one that someone else is ascribing to you. you’ll find your own american dream…one that brings you happiness…and I don’t think you have to know what it is yet…that’s what it means to be a 25swf!

  2. Pingback: Settling Down | 25 single white female

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