What Does it Mean to Dream In 2020?
If someone would have told me a year ago that our family would be selling our house to jump onboard a sailboat, learning to sail and seeing the world as we go, I would have probably laughed out loud. A year ago, I was preparing to defend my dissertation proposal, immersed in piles of scholarly articles and sociological theory books, too focused on my own life to notice the perfect storm of unrest and turmoil that was brewing under the surface of our reality. Although 2019 me would have been able to distinguish the political and social forces that surrounded me, my reality had clouded my ability to truly understand the implications of those forces and how those forces would play out into the most chaotic and confusing nine months of my lifetime.
How Did I End Up Here?
In November of 2019 Bryan quit his job. After months of being unhappy, sleepless nights, and multiple emergency room visits, it was time to say goodbye to that chapter of his life. We decided that the money from my research assistant and associate editor positions at Sac State would be enough to get us by. In addition to leaving an unhealthy work environment, I was at a critical point in my dissertation and feeling as though I was having a hard time staying on top of the deadlines ahead. The research portion hadn’t even begun, and I was feeling the pressure of the next 6 months, so this choice made sense for us in many ways.
Once Bryan was at home with us full time, he decided to go back to school and attend a Data Analytics and Visualization course through the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education program. With my bi-weekly courses moving to once a month it worked out well and we both ended up finishing the semester in May. However, what should have been a momentous and pivotal time in our lives was clouded with the uncertainty of graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic with an ever-decreasing number of job possibilities. Corona-virus restrictions closed educational institutions and I had just received a Doctorate in education. Our hope for the future began to wane, as uncertainty filled our lives.
Graduating during the COVID-19 Pandemic After Graduating during a Recession
As millennials, Bryan and I had the unfortunate luck of graduating from high school in 2009, at the height of a global recession. To top things off we lived in a small rural town in the middle of the central valley of California and job prospects for young, uneducated adults were almost nonexistent. We had felt the heavy weight of the economy on our shoulders once before, and we were familiar with the overwhelming fear of the future. So, in July, when Bryan came to me with the idea to sell everything, including the home that we spend countless hours remodeling ourselves, I was doubtful, but also very intrigued. Eventually, the intrigue overcame my skepticism, and I too began to dream of moving aboard a sailboat, where we could wait out the pandemic safely, and realize our dreams of both working from a sustainable, tiny home while seeing the world with our kids.
Can I Dream a New Dream?
There’s something about the current state of our world that makes it feel inappropriate to dream a new dream. It feels as though the world is on fire around us and having the privilege to move on from fulfilling one lifelong dream to conceptualizing another feels bizarre. But there’s also something about it that feels completely necessary. In such an unstable political and social climate, where everyone seems as though they are teetering on the edge, I can’t help but feel like there is no other time than the present. 2020 has taught me that I can’t rely on those in power to create a reality that works for everyone, and I must create the reality that I believe in. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to tell stories, write, and dream new dreams. I have a goal to write at least one book in the first year, start my podcast and create content for a membership portion of this website to sustain income while we’re floating. I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.
Bryan and I bought this house knowing that it was an investment in our family’s future. Four years ago, I had no idea that I would be researching how to turn that investment into a floating home, but here we are, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Be sure to look for updates and follow along with us on our journey!