My Distorted American Dream

I grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico in a small ranch where everything seemed quite perfect as a kid. I was allowed to play with all the children because my mom knew everyone in the little ranch and everyone trusted one another. As I grew up the vision of trust within my Mexican community faded, and not because of everyday drama that might have arised but because I began to realize there was a broader problem with the Mexican government.

I left Mexico at the age of 4, so maybe I wasn’t completely aware as to why I was abandoning my kid utopia. Despite my lack of knowledge, (like every four year old, focused on nothing but barbies and staying away from boys because they had cooties) my parents were completely aware of our inability to succeed in our hometown. College was practically inaccessible to the working lower class and I would be destined to be a stay at home mom. Fortunately, my parents crossed the border to try to seek a better future for their children.

While many die in an attempt to seek a more sustainable life, my parents were one of the lucky few to make it. Although, they didn’t find the life they thought they would attain, America sure seemed promising. My dad was able to secure a job which paid him better than most (minimum wage jobs) but still placed him in the lower working class of the U.S. (still higher income than Mexico earnings) As I grew up I witnessed my dad struggle, he struggled to put food on our table, he struggled to learn English so he could understand those around him, he struggled to be accepted. Seeing my hard working parents experience overwhelming amounts of stress pushed me to aim for success.

Currently I attend college and although my parents are proud, the amount of work that still lies ahead to successfully fulfill my American dream is overwhelming. The vision we once had of coming to America to pursue a future because America seemed to be the ever-so perfect country has completely faded. This is not due to the fact my success is impossible (because anything is possible) but because the government makes it hard for the immigrant community to succeed. While we thought it would be easier, we realize through racism, classism and sexism that success is still difficult to attain. We realize that the vision we had was simply a dream, a distorted American dream.

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