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Everyone Tells Me I Need to Grow Up

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Sarah has always wanted more out of life than just a traditional 9-5 job 5 days a week.

The American Dream

All our lives we've known about the so-called "American Dream". We see the "American Dream" portrayed in movies and tv series, we see it in our own lives with the rich and wealthy living in our cities. Sometimes even our neighbors have this "American Dream". What is the "American Dream"? The definition of "The American Dream" is to have a big mansion-like house with a fancy and expensive car, a wealthy and loving spouse, and usually one or two kids.

We always see this fantasy being played out on tv or sometimes by those around us. Since most people will never be able to achieve this dream, people start to feel frustrated and depressed. Some people end up working themselves literally to death to achieve this impossible dream. Only about 10% of the population can actually achieve and afford this lifestyle, the rest of the 90% either live normal average lives or are living in near poverty. So why do people keep trying to achieve this? That's because the media shows us that unless we can achieve this, we won't be happy and this gets permanently set inside our minds.

The Traditional Job

Pretty much everyone knows about the traditional job you're supposed to have after high school or college. After graduation, you're supposed to work a 9-5 Monday through Friday job in the office and you're always off on weekends and major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. However, the reality isn't like that and it can be hard to get this traditional job. Most people after graduating end up working in their nearest grocery store bagging groceries or working as a cashier. Many people also work at fast-food chains like McDonald's for the first year or two after college. This is because that traditional 9-5 job isn't realistic anymore, it's a thing of the past. These jobs are now very hard to find and are very competitive so even if you have the skills, most of the time the company won't even hire you. Getting employed at a good company is no longer about what you know, it's about who you know. If you didn't make good connections while in college, you will have a hard time getting into these large companies.

The traditional 9-5 Monday through Friday job that's always being portrayed on tv is dying out. In the past, that was the reality but nowadays unless you live in a big city full of offices, it's not realistic that you will get this job. Most people have to work long hours, barely get two days off a week, and have to work on most holidays. Many people also work two jobs just to be able to pay their rent, feed their kids, and afford basic stuff so the time of the traditional 9-5 job is over. Nowadays with ever-rising prices, unless you get lucky to get that high-paying job, you just work yourself to death.

Grow Up

When I decided to quit my normal full-time job at Disney, I felt so relieved. I always wanted to be able to travel when I want to, work when I want to, and have freedom. However, my loved ones were less than supportive of my decision. My spouse told me that I'd be making a big mistake and that I wouldn't be making any money so how was I supposed to help pay the bills? He knew how miserable I was every day having to commute to work for one hour and then that one hour drive back home. I was always complaining about what things happened at work on each given day and I wanted a way out.

My mother was also very unsupportive of my decision. She thought the same, how was I supposed to make money working at a not-stable job? She told me that if I didn't make enough money then we'd be poor without food or a place to live so I needed to be an adult and be responsible. She told me that I needed to grow up and get a real job. Perhaps apply back to Disney because she was positive that they'd take me back. However, I don't want to go back to a normal job, not ever.

My spouse also told me the same yesterday that I needed to grow up at some point and realize that my job doesn't pay the bills. I don't work at a traditional 9-5 job and I also don't work six days a week for ten or twelve hours a day to support us. However, I do pay all the important bills for the house including mortgage, electricity, water, internet, and HOA dues. Therefore, I don't understand what more do people want? I already pay for everything with my independent contractor job and am enjoying life so I don't understand what the problem is.

I believe that the issue is that the media portrays unrealistic standards for everyone. Unless you are working at a traditional 9-5 job or working yourself to death at two jobs ten or twelve hours a day and six days a week, people don't consider you to be working. People will continue to see what you do for work as inferior or useless and a waste of time. However, I feel bad for people that are stuck in this mentality because they will never know what freedom feels like.

My Dream

As a child, I knew that I never wanted to be one of those people working myself literally to death. I knew that there had to be something more to life than school, work, retirement, and death. I don't want to wait until I'm 65 years old to be able to enjoy life and travel. I know that there's no real way to get rich quick and no cheating the system but I've seen people living their best lives not tied to a company. Therefore, I know it's possible and with a lot of effort and hard work, I know that I can do this too.

To all the naysayers that tell me to grow up and be an adult with a responsible adult job, I am an adult. I can think outside the box and become my own person. I create content on Youtube, Hubpages, and Medium because I want to make something of myself rather than follow the crowd. I don't want to work underneath someone for the rest of my life and make their dreams of success come true so they can have a nice retirement someday. I want to make my own dreams come true and make what I want my reality. I know that this won't happen overnight and it looks like it can be useless right now but I know that I can accomplish this. Even if it takes the next five or ten years, I am setting up success for myself and no one else.

© 2022 Sarah Wong