For as long as I can remember I had a burning desire to live what many people term ‘The American Dream‘. To foreigners, it is streets paved with glistening gold, opportunity coming to you, and the absence of struggle.
It is a utopia where people of all nationalities come to live a life of harmony and prosperity. To natives, it is a life of security and happiness. A large house centered inside of peaceful neighborhood, with the only trouble being what fun things you are going to be doing with your family during your free time. Social dominance among peers and a reputation of success and achievement.American natives don’t just want riches, but stability and prominence. At least that was true of me. I always dreamed of being the topic of discussion amongst my friends. There is no greater joy than being honored like royalty.
Years past when monarchy was still an accepted form of government, kings were deeply respected, feared, and at times, even worshiped. It wasn’t just their riches that gave them power, it was their social influence.
I wanted to do everything that it took to achieve money which would lead to social prominence, and eventually influence. Unfortunately I had to fight against reality. Reality and dreams cannot co-exist. Dreams can do either of two things, manifest, which in effect would be a dream becoming a reality, or exist separately within the confines of the human mind. They can at no point operate in the same planes of existence.
Reality in my case, was different than the dream that I wished to live. The great thing about having a dream is that you don’t have to toil. It can be created instantaneously with no effort on your part. Reality works different than a dream. You simply cannot wish the reality that you want, and you have limited control over it. You have to toil and toil more in order to turn your dream into a reality, but is that all?
There is a price to pay for everything in this world, and for the dream that I wanted to live it was very big. You see America is often objectified for its wealth by many outsiders who don’t reside there, but there is a different side of the coin that they don’t see.
Amidst all of the wealth is gross inequality of the distribution of wealth. A small percentage of Americans posses most of the wealth, while the lower class is forced to work with that small percent that is left. People struggle endlessly just to make ends meet, myself included. The only difference was I was able to fake not only making ends meet, but having the riches that people seek.
I was able to take the dream within the confines of my mind and turn it into a reality. I had the house, the family, and the social prominence. There was only one issue. It was all a facade. I was living one big lie. To people on the outside, I had everything going for me, but it was the exact opposite. I had paid a very huge price for turning my dream into a reality, or at least it looked like I was living the dream to other people.
I was in over my head with the mortgage. I had well over a half a million dollars of debt that I put myself in trying to live my version of The American Dream.
The price for living The American Dream was very large. I lost most of my self-respect, and my family looked down on me. I am Edwin Rich, and my life is hell on earth. Each day to me is like a nightmare that I cannot wake up from. The banks hate me just as much as I hate myself. I am depressed and dejected. The only happiness that exists in my life is the fake one that I project to those in my social circle. I have a reputation to uphold. I am a king in their eyes. Kings cannot be unsuccessful, and they certainly do not mope because of a lack of riches. They have everything they could ever need or want.
My relationship with my wife is at an all-time low. She wants to separate from me and take the children with her. This will look very bad for me. Kings always have a perfect family. A family that never splits. I live the American Dream and I will do anything to preserve myself.
I think it is time to start over with a new identity, it is time to wipe the slate clean and free myself from this nightmare. I want to be able to wake up after all these years of suffering. It’s time for me to move on. I have to leave behind everything, including my wife Teresa, and all four of our daughters and change my identity.
I know it is a selfish deed to change my identity, but one that I am compelled to take. I am no longer Edwin Rich, but from this moment onward my new identity is Harold Hope. It is the middle of the day and the kids are at school and Teresa is at work. They all think I am at work as well, but this is a lie I told them to keep them ignorant of the truth. The truth that I am planning to change my identity.
I pace around the house and notice a picture of my youngest daughter Sarah. She is such a beautiful girl, and I know she will accomplish very great things in her life. Things that I won’t be able to see after I took on my new identity.
My car is parked outside by the garage and it’s time for me to go. I don’t know where my destination will be, but I know it will be far from this nightmare. Changing my identity is not easy, but I see no other choice.