I have a dream in which I live somewhere I love, and spend my waking hours doing things I enjoy. I have a dream in which self sustainability and settling are not synonymous. I have a dream in which the concept of should has ceased to exist and in which I believe anything is possible. It boggles the mind to contemplate how governed our lives are by the family messages we receive as children. To this day the same sad tired tape plays endlessly in my head, go to school., get a good job, make a lot of money, have a new car and a mortgage and a couple of kids. Following these ‘shoulds’ my whole life has left me so utterly unsatisfied. I do what I hate because I think its right and I deny myself what I love because I think it’s wrong. The concept that I could just be happy for the happiness’ sake is so foreign to me. I design this dream in which the ‘shoulds’ don’t exist and I do what I love and am content to simply exist and when I gaze fondly upon this dream in the eye of my mind all I see is fiction. Joy is a fairy tale I have no real hope of attaining. In the lessons I‘ve learned, I sacrifice, I work hard, and someday I arrive at that middle class utopia and then and only then, may I experience a sensation of relief, posing as satisfaction in an utterly unsatisfying paradigm. Every day I feel as though I’m waiting, waiting for something else. If the day is good I wait for the other shoe to drop. Most days, however, I just feel like I’m waiting to live a life. I’m waiting to go to school, to get a good job, to have money and a car and a house, to have a wedding and a baby and a life insurance policy. I wait for these things as though they were all that could ever become of my life, and for what? To feel that I have done what I was supposed to. I wait for my shift to end each day at my ‘dead end’ job so I can go home and wait for the sun to set. I see counselors and psychiatrists and I wait to get better, I wait for my boyfriend to call and I wait for the summer to end. I have a dream in which I can just be where I am and be ok with whatever that may mean. I’m tired of waiting for all the things which may or may not ultimately matter. I’m unhappy and impatient with the wait for some promised future satisfaction. Someone please tell me how I can start to live now.