“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?” These questions asked by prolific writer Langston Hughes describe the sentiments of those who left dreams unrealized while they went on with life based on reality. Some could no longer afford to dream. Some dreams died from lack of necessary sustenance. But with a little hard work, dedication and sacrifice, your little dream seedling could live to see another day.
I always had dreams of writing. It was the one thing I was fairly good at that didn’t make me roll my eyes when I had to do it for extended periods of time. I referred to myself as a writer at an early age, even though my extensive literary works existed only in my diary. I dreamt of writing books and traveling the world as an author of sensational and sought-after memoires. The world had seen nothing like the stories I would tell in my books. I was a star in my own eyes, if no one else’s.
But life had a way of pushing my dreams to the side, little by little, until they were completely out of sight. I no longer called them dreams, rather just thoughts from long ago, ages away from my current reality. Attendance at a fancy writing college didn’t take me up the proverbial corporate ladder and across seas, signing autographs and peddling my salacious books. Not understanding the different paths to fulfilling those dreams led me to working instead of writing. I saw others’ deleted dreams all around me, so I didn’t feel bad that I was joining an exclusive fraternity of dreamless people. I was one of many, once again, who during opposition, lost sight of her goals.
Over time, the deferred dreams around me sparked a renewed interest in me. It made me ask myself, as Langston had asked: what would become of my deferred dreams? I felt I was too old, too inexperienced, too tired, and too late to chase after those dreams anymore. But what I found was that with the experience I now had, those dreams had not died, but changed. I no longer wanted to travel the world and promote a book of my stories, but instead, scour the city telling the stories of others. I wanted to meet people, learn about their passions and help them tell the world. My focus shifted from me being the star of the show to standing happily in the shadows as someone else received the praise.
And by no means was it easy to go back to work while attending school. But I graduated and dove head first into an industry in which I knew only what I learned in the classroom. It was downright frightening! But with an enormous amount of dedication, hard work, positivity and perseverance, dreams deferred don’t dry up like a raisin in the run; they survive, grow and blossom into whatever reality you want to see.
This blog was written by level 2 intern, Calinda Dickerson.