The American Dream is dead. What we're really living is an American Nightmare. Here we have the illusion of freedom, while we are truly bound by invisible ties of the government, money, and society in general.
We must get a job in order to sustain ourselves and our future families, and we want one that pays well and is desirable, so we go to college, which is expensive, and unless we receive generous scholarships each year, are able to spend every minute of free time working a decently paid job, and/or have parents who are loaded, we're probably going to end up with some debt.
After four years or so, we graduate, and chances are, we're in a lot of debt, and our job options are extremely limited. We take a job that isn't our dream job because we have to make money somehow.
We try to save up so we can live on our own and pay off our debt. Marriage, along with starting a family, is also not far down the road, but unfortunately, it's going to be hard making enough to raise children and provide them a home, so whoever we marry will also have to work, and we can only hope daycare doesn't cancel too much of our income. Plus, we also have other expenses to consider such as utilities, a cell phone, a car, insurance, medical care, etc.
To save money for all this, we have to eat cheaply. The only things we can really afford are the processed and/or frozen foods packed with preservatives, MSG, artificial flavor/color, high fructose corn syrup, and about a hundred other chemical ingredients. Not to mention McDonald's has an appealing dollar menu.
Now we're stuck to an unhealthy diet due to a lack of funds. We gain weight, our skin breaks out, we get headaches, we can't sleep, and we're always tired. We skip breakfast and lunch, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and try a bunch of different products to help the bad skin, headaches, and sleeplessness. However, we continue to suffer from the side effects of our poor eating habits, so after we try some fad diets, weight-loss pills, and a plethora of over-the-counter drugs, we realize we're not going anywhere, while our money is. Finally we go to the doctor and discover we are overweight, developing stomach ulcers, and we have high blood pressure. After paying for the doctor visit, we pay for the drugs he/she prescribes us, and we start taking the pills. Somehow though, we aren't feeling much better, and the side effects are horrid.
Now we're really stressed out and anxious, as we see our health is deteriorating. Not to mention we have added stress from working a job that we don't enjoy, and worrying about bills and what the future will hold. Despite that we go to church and try to focus on how this is all part of God's plan, all of this anxiety builds up, and we wish we could get away. But we can't do it, so we choose the next best thing - a big screen TV, which we put on the credit card.
When the workweek ends, and we finally get paid, we want to have fun, so we go out and get drunk with everyone else on Friday night, because somehow, it helps us forget the day-to-day stress. Yet, we wake up the next day, and grimace, as we face reality again. And since we're afraid to buy/use pot because it's illegal, we stick to drinking, and it becomes a habit, and we slowly dread the days more and more.
As this continues, we get depressed, and realize that we're unhappy, and our relationships start to fall apart. We buy some crappy self-help books, and try meditating and following others' advice for how to live happily, but this endeavor is short-lived, as we still find ourselves in constant despair. While we're unsure of the actual causes for our sad state of mind, we decide to see a mental health professional, who says we have a "chemical imbalance" in our brain for which the cause is unknown, and prescribes us an anti-depressant. And we think, "this will be the cure".
Meanwhile, we're getting older, working an unsatisfying job, money is tight, we have a bunch of debt/bills to pay off, we're trying to own/maintain both a house and at least one car, we are killing ourselves with harmful food and drugs, we try to escape by zoning out in front of the TV and getting drunk, and to top it off, our relationships are failing. And we haven't even started a family yet.
While all of this is going on in our lives, we realize we are showing early signs of aging, our hair is thinning out, our teeth are getting yellow, our skin is drying out, it's hard to move around, and we feel tired, constipated, and sore. So we go to the local drug store and buy a product or two for each of these ailments, hoping they will fight the symptoms of living in America. Yet, one day we will discover that we must fight the cause rather than the symptoms, and we will finally leave this crumbling country to live a real life elsewhere, where we can truly be free, happy and wonderfully accommodated to pursue our dreams.