What happens to a dream deferred? I believe Langston really had some concerns about dreams that are cast off to the side for a while. Although he directed his writing towards the plight of African Americans during a difficult time in America’s history, every person from every background gains something from reading his poetry. I wonder what thoughts ran through Langston’s mind as he wrote “A Dream Deferred” (also titled “Harlem”). (I always refer to my favorite writers on a first name basis. However, when speaking of Shakespeare, I prefer to call him Ol’ Billy Boy).
Do adults dream? I should rephrase that. Do adults dream about anything of substance? As a child and teenager, I dreamt about everything. I had BIG dreams of doing fabulous things in fabulous places with even more fabulous people. I imagined myself as a writer living in a big city never far from a good cup of coffee. As I got older my dreams shrunk in a sense. By the time I was about to graduate from high school, I had decided I wanted to marry a local farmer and become a high school English teacher (This is because high school English teachers are some of the most intelligent people in the world. I do not think of myself as one of the most intelligent people in the world, but it sure would be fun to be part of that club.)
Now that I am a semi-adult (not at full-fledged status yet, as I have no children, do not own a home, and I still love anything with glitter), it seems that my dreams and the dreams of those around me have died down, and it really bums me out. Adult dreams are boring. To illustrate this, I have created a table.
|Learn how to rock climb||Lose five more pounds|
|Move to a big city||Install new flooring in the house|
|Have an awesome vehicle||Have a Subaru Outback|
|Go on a backpacking trip in a foreign country||Go on a vacation that requires no more effort than turning the page in my book|
So, what does happen to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or, do we get so caught up in our grown-up lives that we forget to accomplish the things that our sixteen year old self dreamed endlessly about? I was a much truer, genuine (although a little crazy) person when I was sixteen. I fought for what I believed in. I had passion and energy for the things I loved. Maybe we all need to take a minute to reflect upon those dreams, and possibly try to accomplish something in honor of our younger, more carefree selves.
Have a Dream-Filled Weekend,
The Displaced City Girl