The “American Dream” Is Not A “Dream” At All

The “American Dream” Is Not A “Dream” At All | Straying Away From The Dream To Follow Your Dream | hawk + pearl

Straying Away From The Dream To Follow Your Dream

Today, I’m going to write about something we all learned about during our younger years. I’m going to write about what I’ve learned about that particular something as I’ve grown older. That something is the “American dream.”

I’ve always been a self-starter. I’ve worked in restaurants for about seven years where the schedule I was given each week was dependent upon my own hours and availability. I eventually started up a web development, marketing, and branding business. After this, I freelanced — once again on my own terms in regard to both workload and hours.

Then November rolled around.

This past November, I started working full-time as a content writer living the 40-hour-workweek, Monday through Friday, 9-5 lifestyle at a digital marketing agency.

I made it! Hired to do what I love and went to school for in a time when there are minimal open jobs in general, let alone in the field of writing — what could be better?

It felt really cool to be a “part of society” in the working world like millions of others are doing and have done before me. Throughout history and still today, people have come to America to live out their dreams. That’s essentially what I was doing — I was following suit of the “American dream.”

Here I am, six months and two promotions down the line, things are all different. I worked my last shift on Friday.

“What? You left?! But it sounded like you were set!”

At 23, I had a full-time job as the head of a department with job security, health benefits, a 401k plan, a biweekly paycheck, and room for growth both professionally and monetarily… but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t living my dream.

Although I may have lost all of the above, I gained experience, knowledge, and some really great friends. Most importantly of all, I gained back my happiness.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be happy where you are not only in your career but also with your life. Far too often, I talk to others and they vent about their current position and how unhappy they are, whether it’s about their job, their relationship, their eating habits, their mindset…

If you’re not happy, you can change that. It’s all in your power, and in your power only. It’s all in your being to make things happen and to change things accordingly.

If you’re not happy, become happy.

If you’re stressed, de-stress.

If you can’t stand the way things are going, change.

Devote your energy to the things in life that lift you up rather than drag you down. Work toward your goals, but never settle for less than what will make you happy in the short or long-term.  Find what makes your heart sing, and pursue that career, relationship, and/or lifestyle wholeheartedly.

I promise that you will adapt, and you’ll see that things will all work out the way they’re meant to. It’ll all get better, and you’ll wonder why you ever let yourself dwell in a situation you weren’t happy in to begin with. You just have to be willing to sacrifice a little to get a lot in the long run in order to truly achieve the “dream” you are so desperately seeking.

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Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex, health, and wellness writer and the creator of and You can read her content on Betches, BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog, and a bunch of other places on the internet. When she isn't writing, Morgan loves traveling, hiking, eating tacos, and training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else @morganmandriota.


  1. juliancordero

    What is your advice to people who don’t want to leave their steady job because they are worried about the financial ramifications of doing so? Is there some type of planning that should be taken into account? What did you do?

    1. Morgan Mandriota

      Julian! I’ll answer this question solely based off my experience.

      Leaving a job at the drop of a hat isn’t reasonable for most. Fortunately within my field, there are opportunities to pursue that could bring in a comparable paycheck each week/month, so I have some projects lined up as well as things in the works for the future. This is true for other industries as well — just need to research and find those available resources.

      The main question, though, is this: would you rather sacrifice financial stability to be happy, or would you rather sacrifice your happiness for a steady paycheck?

      If you’re in the latter situation, then yes, it all comes down to a plan. My advice would be to detail exactly what you want to do in the long term, including steps on how to get there and how you can live comfortably in the short term. While you work at your current job, network and focus on building the skill sets necessary for achieving that ultimate goal. You may have to work harder during the interim, but the payoff will be there in the long run. If you’re interested in learning more about that topic, I recommend reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich — his book is dedicated to that entire process.

      Thanks for asking and reading this post! Hope that answered your question. 🙂

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