It wasn’t long ago I looked at my life and realized how great I have it. My parents are happily married, my parents both have jobs, my little sister seems happy, and I am happily attending college and enjoying every minute of it. As much as I would like to think that the same is true for the rest of my peers, I know it isn’t and this realization can be a bit upsetting. What is worse? Looking ahead at what I have to do to match the success of my family.
My family came to America before WWI from Russia on ships through Ellis Island carrying little more than the clothing on their backs. They sacrificed for the future of my family, living uncomfortably on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, squeezed into a tiny apartment, barely making ends meet. Today, things are different, a candy bar has at the grocery store has become a “sacrifice” when in reality, we must all remind ourselves how lucky and blessed we are. We are living in a world that not only has advanced far past the street carts my great-great grandfather sold from. My family rose from generations of tailors living in shetls, oppressed by the czar. It makes me wonder what my great-grandfather Samuel Gohd would say if he saw my family. What would he say about my father’s job, a consultant working in an industry that didn’t really exist when he was alive.
It may not seem obvious, but this all serves a purpose in my story. I am the son of a baby boomer, making me “unlikely” to surpass the success of my father according to so many sources. If this is true, I will be the first in my family since arriving in America to not improve the standard of living for their family, which is really a strange thing to imagine. One day, I could be an attorney, successful living the American dream, but in reality, I wouldn’t be living my dream. It is scary, the goal is to surpass dad, but that bar may just be too high for me. Yet again, I won’t know until I try, so here goes nothing.