The word “essay” means to try, to explore. Traditionally, the essay sought to explore an idea or a theme or a memory—often without coming to a concrete, actionable conclusion—and that’s what I’ll be doing here; exploring a New American Dream when the old one is not attainable (nor, to be honest, desired).

Topics will include identity, career building, house caretaking, parenting, traditional and nontraditional ways to build a family, community, religion, friendships, music, literature etc. Essentially anything that can be tied to developing and existing within the American ideals and all its complexities and contradictions.

I live in an upper Midwest city with my husband, child, and dog. I teach writing at a community college. I am myself and also a wife, a mother, a dog guardian, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a writer, a teacher, a neighbor and an American.

Thanks for reading and engaging. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

(Note: All opinions and musings are my own—I am writing from my own perspective and experience. I am a white, middle-class, middle-aged, mid-sized, cis-gender woman with post-secondary education and I acknowledge that this affords me many privileges. I know I’m going to get some things wrong here but part of the reason I’m working on this project is to interrogate my own culture and experience and to change and help shape, in some small way, a better future for all.)

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Melody Heide
East coast girl living in the Midwest. Wife, writer, teacher, friend, mother, sister. Trying to live in a New American Dream.