The American Dream or the Millennial Dream?

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Photo by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels.com

We all know what the American dream is. I remember learning about it in school when we studied ‘The death of a salesman’ and even though I lived in Australia I could really identify with the idea of a white picket fence, manicured lawns and friendly neighbours I said howdy to as I collected the newspaper each morning. I look around at all my friends who are working so hard to make this dream a reality, who are all working crazy hours in high stress jobs to achieve the American dream or what I think should really be called the western civilisation dream. So what’s the millennial dream you ask? Well it seems like a bunch of Millennial’s and a few gen Y’s, such as my husband and I, are looking for something different. A way to spend their days doing something they love whilst having an amazing work life balance. YouTube is littered with people following the Millennial dream in so many wonderful ways like travelling the world, living off grid, building tiny houses or living in refurbished vans and buses, and most are living debt free (or close to it) and leaving a much smaller footprint on our fragile world.

This new trend in my opinion has been sparked by a few things, most obviously the internet. Throughout past generations there have been individuals seeking a different lifestyle from the norm that have had the odd book or magazine article written about them. Usually very little is known about their day to day life or how they make living in their alternative lifestyle, however with the launch of sites like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram the whole world has a detailed insight into how and why these lifestyles are being lived. Having such an insight into how people are achieving these alternate lifestyles makes them so much more accessible for the rest of us and they form a blue print for us to start our own dreams from. As time goes on and the internet reaches more and more corners of the globe, remote work spaces have helped more people be able to fund these lifestyle changes, meaning as long as they can get access to internet they can log on remotely to work normal jobs you would have had to attend an office for ten years ago!

Are Millennial’s lazy? I know a lot of gen X is under the impression that these alternative lifestyles have popped up out of laziness and simply not wanting to work. Our grandparent’s works so hard to make ends meet and give our parents the things that were needed in life followed by our parents who worked so hard to give us anything and everything we could ever want or need. I think watching these generations give so much every day to achieve the perfect house, car and newest gadgets has really made a lot of younger generations step back and say well I don’t actually need all of this stuff so I don’t need to work as hard. In saying that I think you will find a lot of these people are actually working extremely hard however with the flexibility of online work they have a much nicer work life balance and are better able to juggle their work life and their dreams.

So what will it be the American dream or the Millennial dream? After trying the American dream for a few years I think it’s time we give the millennial dream a shot and see where it takes us. It is going to be a huge adjustment for us; more specifically I mean changing the way of thinking that has been seared into our brains from birth. In the end if you don’t change and try new things you will never know if the grass is greener on the other side or if it was all just an illusion caused by light reflecting off the sun.

Week 2 of the de-clutter

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The online sales have slowed right down. Last week I was on a massive roll and this week is slow. The mountains of stuff piled up in the lounge room and dining room are making me anxious and frustrated. Jared and I are at a bit of a stalemate because he wants to spend the weekend painting and I want to have a garage sale. His reasoning is that the painting will take the longest and we can’t sell the house until it’s painted which is all true. My point is that I can’t live with all this stuff everywhere and it will need to be gone to paint anyway. The more stuff you have to move around while painting the harder it is. Also the garage needs to be emptied this weekend so the builders can get a trailer in there to start work on the deck and the only access to the back garden is in through the garage. We could spend Saturday for a half day on the garage sale then take everything left to the charity shop then spend all Sunday painting.

It’s already Wednesday today and the week is closing in fast so if the garage sale is to go ahead signs need to be made (thank god for those left over pizza boxes), price tags need to be stuck on to things and everything needs to be sorted into areas. I might see if tonight Jared can help me move some things in the garage to make room and I can start setting up the tables in there and moving things out to get it ready. I will need another hanging rail from somewhere so I might put up a post on the local Facebook page to see if anyone can lend me one for the weekend. The thought of all this is completely

Sunday evening has already rolled around and boy has it been a hectic week. My good intentions to get us back onto our Keto diet have failed massively with the appearance of Logan’s 1st tooth on top of a growth spurt along with Jared and myself painting till 11pm every night completing two bedrooms and getting a start on the hallway.

We spent all day on Saturday and Sunday on our Garage sale getting up at 6am to set up and open the doors for 7am. I won’t say it was a complete success but it defiantly was worth it and we have learnt a lot of things to make the next one better. We finished the weekend exhausted but $1,100 richer. The best part of the sale was meeting some great people. Everyone was very supportive of our plans and had some great advice to share. It was surprising that a few people had done something similar, one lady had taken her four children around Europe for over 7 months and couldn’t speak more passionately about the fun and adventure her family experienced.

What’s planned for this week you ask? Most likely the never ending chore of painting along with selling more things on Facebook and Gumtree, hiring a graphic designer to create an amazing logo for us, setting up our Patreon account and draft some sponsorship proposals up. We might have to slow down a bit this week due to my body rebelling. I am nothing but aches, pains and sniffles. Overall we have had a very successful week, although there is still a long way to go to reach our goal however after chatting with everyone at our garage sale we are feeling pumped and motivated to press on.

 

 

Our Emotional Attachment To Objects

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Since we are selling everything we own and hitting the road I have had to take a real hard look at everything I own and weigh up not just if it brings joy to my life as everyone seems to say now days but also am I emotionally attached to this item and why. As someone who has filled the garage with boxes containing not only photos and birthday cards but also any note a friend ever wrote me at school and every school planner I ever received.

The first question is why did I choose to hang on to this stuff, I mean I never look at any of it? Is it that I am having trouble letting go of the adventures of my past? I started going through box by box and looking at everything I had kept and I thought this will be great I will take a photo of everything and share it with the people from my past so that we can all enjoy it. I quickly realised that no one really cared because really it was just bit of paper that don’t really mean anything. Most of this stuff when I really looked at it didn’t bring back great memories of adventures past or take me back through great memories. So after about 3 boxes I just started throwing everything out. I took digital photos on my phone of the photos but that’s about it. So far what I am left with is a small box of stuff that is a mix of a few items that do trigger a big memory and then there are the items I don’t feel like I have permission to throw out.

There are items in my memory boxes that I’m sure are also in yours that I do not feel like I have the right to chuck in the bin. When I was born I was given as gifts small jewellery to fit a baby and a set of silver hair brushes and looking mirrors. Now I don’t have any specific attachment to these items because well I was a baby and don’t even remember who the gifts came from however that doesn’t change that fact that I still feel a huge pang of guilt at the thought of discarding these items. So the question is do I keep them or maybe try to give them back to my mum and see if she wants them?

How can I have made so much progress in sifting through my past and memories and be stuck on these few items? I guess this goes to show that progress comes in waves and we are ever changing and evolving beings. One thing I will say about keeping all these items and looking through them is that I have come to realise I was a blog writer before blogging was a thing and I think that gave me just enough courage to start writing and posting these blogs.

Shall we move on to the big ticket items that also have guilt strings attached? Earlier this year we brought two big and expensive tv’s and 2 new sofa’s and although I keep telling myself “it’s just money” and “we enjoyed them for a few months if we sell them we can get some of the money back” I am still finding it hard to let these items go. I can imagine everyone saying “but you just brought all this stuff what a waste of money”. When I think about the decision we have made I am 100% sure it’s the right one. Not a single fibre in my body thinks this is a mistake and that is what is going to give me the courage and strength to get rid of these items.

Your memories will stay with you forever and no amount of items or keepsakes can take you back in time to those precious moments, all we have are our stories and our ability to create more memories and new precious moments. If you find you are hanging on to relics from the past maybe take a good look at them and ask yourself if, like me, you are hanging on to these items and memories in fear that there are no more adventures in your future. If this is you remember you’re the master of your own destiny and you can steer your ship in the direction of any adventure you choose.

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