Have you ever dreamt or thought about being a different person living another life in a faraway place? I sure have.
I remember growing up in a very sheltered environment. My parents were first generation immigrants. They both emigrated from different countries, and it was after they were both in New York that they met through one of my mom’s male cousins (whom my dad worked with at the time), began dating and got married. They did everything quickly. Dated for only a year before marrying. The year my brother was born, they were living in a rented apartment. By the time I was born, I too lived there for a short time before my parents moved into a house they bought. It’s the same house I still live in today.
What is most prevalent in my memories is that my parents were busy a lot with work. They had the house mortgage to pay off, in addition to monthly bills and having to raise two little kids. There’s so much, during my angry teen phase of hating the world and my parents, I didn’t know about (until years later) concerning all the sacrifices my parents made just to keep me alive and fed. For better or worse, they were thrust into parenthood and they did the best they could. I’m forever grateful to them.
Living in the city, it feels like I am just another speck on the map. I don’t even know my own neighbors. There used to be a nice family next door. Italian, and three generations living together (grandmother, mother, son). Casalino was their surname. I seldom spoke to any of them, and even less once my social anxiety got worse, but I liked Rose (the mother) best because she was always nice to me. Later she moved to an upstate nursing home. My parents had me write cards to her a couple of times. One time they went to visit her. In the end, her health declined and she passed away.
I drift off into daydreams now and again. I may have grown up in a city neighborhood, but if someone gave me a million dollars now, I’d probably jump at the chance of moving elsewhere.
It may be romanticized since I haven’t experienced this in real life, but I dream of a simple life, tucked away on a farm in a small town where I actually know everyone there. I love animals, so it’d be exciting to raise and be responsible for my own, and to do honest, hard work by growing food and selling them at the local market. I long for a slower paced life, where people actually talk and hang out without their phones being a favorable distraction. In the city, it’s hard to tell if strangers actually care how I respond after they say to me, “How are you?”, a question that is so commonplace that it’s mundane and comes across as almost disingenuous. I guess this kind of life would be most appealing to me because I believe it might help with my anxiety. Some dreams stay as dreams, though. I do question if I dream about living a different life because I’m unhappy with parts of the one I currently have, and if I could live out my wildest dream, would it be everything I imagined it would be, or would the reality be too different than what I was hoping for? Either way, I don’t think I will be able to fulfill my wildest dream in this lifetime. Who knows. I’m twenty-seven now. Maybe in another life at a different time in history, I was a simple girl tending to a farm who had big dreams of making it in the city.