Life was fairly normal growing up . I had two parents who were present . Mom was an immigrant . Dad served in Vietnam . He found himself in port in the Philippine Islands . He met mom , she worked on base . They got married after just three days of knowing each other .
Forty — eight years on , they are having the time of their lives adapting to the changes of our digital age , adjusting their lifestyle accordingly . They have shed most of the remnants of their previous dreams & progressed along .
They returned to the good old US of A , Settled in dad’s hometown of Atlanta , Georgia . Now mother , being from the old country , brought her family to the States so they could get better opportunity than what they left behind . The first few years of life , mother & father lived with the entire clan in a mobile home parked out in the back of a house in South East Atlanta . Not the best neighbourhood for fostering childhood memories . Drug squads , gang violence , homicides , you name it , these events were all just regular , daily business . There was even a trap house at the end of the street .
Mom & dad worked hard . They were able to provide for things that were needed . Life was rough at times , sure, but who doesn’t hit a patch now & again ? Most days my parents were gone before the sun rose & before I woke . From a young age , it was pretty much a procure on site series of events . I wasn’t a fan of the extended family’s cooking style , so , if I got hungry , I had to survey what was on hand & hope for the best . I would not see my parents most days until well into the night .
While existence was challenging , and my grandfather on mother’s side ; forever the self sacrificing workhorse , lived in this country hand to mouth for the duration of his life here in America. He was the landscape manager at a local hotel . He eventually started his own lawn service . Even then , he never really had a penny to his name . His money was always going to the old country , to help those that were left behind .
The home he lived in , on the SE side of Atlanta was just nine hundred square feet . That home on the uncool side of town , housed eight souls ; grand parents , aunts , uncles , cousins . Mom , dad & myself lived in the back in a used Holiday Rambler .
There were times that we would do migrant farm work , plant trees , harvest & shuck corn & other labourious activities . The work was hard , but I look back fondly on these early events in childhood . A lot of these jobs were out in the open country , we had to build fires to cook & stay warm . Pay was based on production . Back breaking work .
As time progressed , I witnessed the change in our lifestyles , as my parents just kept improving themselves , pinching & saving . There were times that were unfavourable , like having nothing to eat but soup ; not soup with substance , but canned soups , grocery store label imitations of the stuff that came in that iconic American red & white label , the house brand from Food Lion . To make a long story short , we ended up with a white picket fence , home town pride , & the Starbucks on every corner .
You may be wondering what that has to do with the American dream . My parents have done well in their pursuits . That was the offer of their time . Work for a company , in mom’s case a national law firm & dad was in adjudication for veteran’s claims . How they got there took a lot of time & persistence . They got the house in the suburbs , the Suburban , the dog , charter & private schools for the kids .
The world we occupy presently is the age of the Jetsons . Laboured , physical work has been replaced by a man pushing a button , property is flexible & shared ; as are rides . Our entertainment sources are streamed & packed with practically endless content . There is no office as the professional spaces have been abandoned & are now leased out by the hour in beautifully restored common areas that once buzzed with life for a corporate interest . Now , you & I are able to do the work that once took departments of personnel to accomplish .
As for housing , it is not necessary to be tied to a mortgage as there are flexible leasing options . Presently , people no longer tend to their own lawns any longer . Most things in this life are now available in custom tailored sizes to meet our preferences .
Work is mobile & can be taken with us wherever we may find ourselves . The idea of receiving higher learning from an academic institution is dying a slow painful death .
In the sense of the dream that has been sold to us as normal life goals , a mortgage , a corporate job , the neighbourhood associations ; these are not goals that I am pursuing .
Sure , I want a personal space at some point . A place to call home ; presently , I don’t want to be tied to one position . I want to bet on multiple horses in the race . I want to explore the world , work in hand , see how other cultures live . This is the my American dream , better yet , the concept behind the tuis dream that somehow got warped & that is the pursuit of happiness . Through this careful approach of considering relations with all with whom we come in contact , this is how a co – operative globalised world , full of specialised service at our fingertips becomes a reality , each in his own pursuits , trading with others . Potentially over simplistic , but in all reality , after all our divisions are melted away , friendship is more profitable when providing service for your neighbour .
I want Rosie to bring me my ristretto espresso when I push a button from my iPhone .
While childhood was rough at times , this experience has given me an edge . A drive to push past the life my parents lived . A globalised world where everything imaginable is just an app interaction away & will arrive in a matter of minutes or days depending on what the current desire is . This is the world that is taking shape before our eyes . Don’t be afraid of it . Embrace it . Life will be infinitely better & there will be more free time to chase the light of our own choosing & design .
Morrissey croons here about a light that never goes out . https://music.apple.com/us/album/there-is-a-light-that-never-goes-out/800217913?i=800217975