What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
This is one of my favorite poems for several reasons. When I was younger, I used this poem as my impetus, my inspiration for working hard to make all of my dreams come true. I did not know what happened to a dream deferred but I was certain I did not want any of my dreams festering inside of me. I wanted to live them out in freedom and celebration. As I matured, some of my dreams changed, but they were never deferred.
It was single parenthood that introduced me to deferred dreams. Putting the needs of my children before my personal amibitions, dreams and goals was the right thing to do and for that I have no regrets. However, as my children transition from dependence to independence, I have time to revisit my personal dreams that have been deferred.
My situation is not unique. Single parents have often had to defer their own dreams in order to help their children make theirs come true. This is the natural order of things and I hope that single parents willingly do this with love and without regret. However, to defer a dream is not to deny it. Single parents, don’t forget your dreams! Keep them safe until the time is right for you to revive them and make them come true. Write your dreams down. Keep them close to you where you can see them regularly.
Often we get so caught up in the struggle of making it from day to day that we forget our dreams and begin to think that the struggle is all there is. We live and breathe this struggle and its all we think and all that we know. One day, we even start to believe that it is all we are. But I say no. We are more than our struggle. We are still the dreams we had before this struggle began and because this stuggle won’t last for always, there are still some dreams we can have when we have overcome this struggle.
I invite you to post your dreams below. Who were you before you became a single parent? What were your dreams then? What are your dreams now? Do not push them aside and do not forget about them. Share them. Share your dreams with me. Share them with other single parents who need someone to help them keep their dreams alive. Whatever you do, whatever happens, whatever your struggle, don’t stop dreaming!
Single Parents, dreams deferred are NOT dreams denied. Post your dreams below.