I’ve been thinking a lot about the American Dream; not just as a concept, but as someone who has LIVED it. It’s probably in the forefront of my mind because there have been headlines proclaiming the American Dream is dead; that we have lost the middle class which is what makes the Dream, the Dream.
As an immigrant, this hurts my heart. My dad loves to tell the story about how he came from India with $9 in his pocket. He arrived in Toronto, Canada and took that $9 and fabricated a Dream. I can’t even imagine how it feels to leave everything you know, embark into the cold and dark unknown, and trust that all will be well. Of course, it’s not all fairies and gold dust, there is SO MUCH HARD WORK that goes into actualizing the American Dream.
My dad was in the Indian Air Force, my mom had an English degree. When they came to Canada (a pit stop to get us to the Bay Area), none of that counted. They had to start from the bottom and work their way up. My dad became a Quality Control person and my mom started working in a factory on a production line (think Laverne and Shirley—and, btw, why don’t we have shows about the average American living an average American life anymore? Why are all the shows about rich, spoiled people who are vapid and live lives filled with nonsense? But, that’s probably another blog or something for me to rant about internally and not expose all of you to). With lots of hard work and sacrifice, all 3 of their kids went to college (never a question in an Indian immigrant household) and made something of themselves. My brother received a degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and worked his way up in Silicon Valley. He now owns a vineyard and almond orchard (he went back to our farming roots). My sister received a Business degree and she and her husband built a successful recruiting firm. I majored in English and am a Master’s School drop-out. I was a stay-at-home mom and began blue door in 2014—I’m the disappointment in the family . Each of us were able to pursue our paths because of the monumental sacrifices that my parents made AND because the American Dream was intact. They could buy a house, they could send us to college, they could think about retirement; all because of the American Dream.
I can’t believe that the American Dream is lost. I think we’ve taken a very bumpy detour and we will get back on the right path. We will get back to the point where children in other countries look at America and think, “I can be anything I want to be.” That thought was created and actualized by the American Dream. blue door and all that we have created together, as a community, is a testament to the American Dream. Thank you for letting my family live it.