I never dreamed of what happily ever after looked like as a young boy. Always goal-oriented, I studied my surroundings, people, and from there, made a decision as to what was next (or best) for me. There was never a dream person I would marry or want to be with formed in my mind. Nor were there thoughts of where I wanted to live and grow as an adult. Flash forward to the present where I am thirty-three years old, a homeowner, dog dad, and married to one of my favorite people on the planet.
I approach this letter to you, reader, from a place of deep reflection as it relates to the notion of the white picket fence. The white picket fence is a symbol of the American dream realized. As children we are brought up believing that if you reach a place where you have that perfect home with the white picket fence, and the perfect family to go along with it, then you’ve mastered life. 2020 has been a challenging time for most of us so I’ve been considering what this means to my readers, and most of all, to me. I mean, “Building our white picket fence” is the tagline on GaysintheLife.com, so this warrants some reflection.
Will we crumble if our version of the white picket fence is threatened by outside forces? Coronavirus has collected over 160,000 lives in the United States and millions of jobs. This is a very real and terrifying feeling and reality right now, but it also forces us to consider what actually makes us happy as we progress through our lives.
Back in 2014 when Gays in the Life was born, my idea of the white picket fence was being in a stable relationship, supporting each other, and doing things like owning our condo, growing our home, and just being happy with who we were as a couple. Today, nearing the end of Summer 2020, I could give a damn about the white picket fence. First of all, I won’t literally be putting a white picket fence around my property and home. That’s not our style (laughs out loud).
We’re in our thirties now and have a fresh perspective of what this benchmark should be for us. We’re focused on being healthy and happy. Having a roof over our heads, stable jobs during a global pandemic, and the ability to not want or need for anything is a huge bonus. Not that materialism was ever a focus of ours. We could give two sh!ts about what kind of cars the Joneses are driving, what the neighbor’s house looks like, or what piece of technology everyone wants at the moment. That’s not happiness. Are we happy with ourselves as individuals and as a unit? Yes. We are okay, and that’s all that matters. Too many of us are worried about what the next person or couple has in their life. That’s them. Not you. Keep the focus on you and yours.
If there’s anything life has taught me up to this point, it’s to be able to reckon with if you’re satisfied with these facts. Are you chasing what others want in this life, or are you building your white picket fence? Are you happy with yourself, and as a result, able to give love and care to those most important in your life? Design your life how you see fit and own it. LIVE, darling! Get caught up and you’ll regret the costs you incur for having to tear down a fence you never wanted in the first place.