In truth, one I tend to forget often, I am living my dream in this moment. While we stress about silly things like insurance premiums, birth fees, and electricity bills, I haven't been personally affected by anti-abortion laws. I do struggle with a healthy body image that comes with being a woman in western society, but I also know sex appeal is an attitude, not an image.
And as for living my dream? Which one am I focusing on? The tongue-in-cheek "dream house" that is laughingly spoken of with indoor waterfalls, perfectly manicured moss-covered stone walks that overlook the ocean, and a gourmet kitchen we will never cook in for fear of scratching the stainless steal countertops? Yeah, those are fun to dream about as vacation destinations. I don't really want to live there. I like it here, comfortable with all the real life that surrounds me (as my dog begs to go outside to take care of her morning business of walking the property and remarking her territory).
I do dream of being closer to my family, my sisters and cousins specifically. Of going on huge family camp outs and listening to my daughter learn guitar tricks from her uncles. Of having the freedom to add more "farm" animals to my backyard, afternoons of canning homemade jam with my sister, and paying off Sallie Mae.
Those things will happen in time, when I'm truly ready. Right now? Right now it's about cherishing the dream I am living: having time to spend with my daughter; prepping for a safe birth; enjoying the antics of backyard hens trying to raid the bird feeder at 7:30 on a Wednesday; living just slowly enough that we get to spend time with Peter, playing board games, going on walks and eating ice cream while listening to live local bands.
The time will come when politicians stop trying to legalize their personal morality, when I'll be thankful I never mumbled the words "I'm fat, ugly and unattractive" in the presence of my girls, when student loans are repaid, and when I wonder if I really need all these rabbits, goats and chickens running around. While I still cling to my college dream of visiting 40 countries before I'm 80, I know I am living my dream to the fullest right now. Texas is a foreign country compared to Oregon, right?
And in that future moment when the fox has got in the henhouse, or mother rabbit has consumed her kittens in fear, and I'm fed up with homesteading, hopefully I'll remember this moment: laying peacefully in the morning light and being content with right now.