A Dream Deferred
By Langston Hughes
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?
One of my favorite poems growing up was Langston Hughes “A Dream Differed.” I remember having to answer the question “what happens to a dream deferred?” in a school essay. I never imagined that it would sum up this past year of my life. Sometimes, we have to put dreams on hold; what happens to them after that is up to us. My life has always forced me to put dreams on hold and then, I eventually get back to them. In addition, there are times when life forces us to change certain dreams and leads us in a different direction but it is how we handle the blows and the outcome that is far more important than the deferment of our plans. I have had to defer plans and now looking at what we have lost in 2010, the deferment of dreams is the least of my worries, sorrows or pains.
The reason I picked the Meaning of Life post as one of my favorites for 2010 is because 2010 has taught me so much including what is really is important. As I note in the post, the meaning of life isn’t really anything special. The secret, if anything, is to “Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations,” as noted in the Monty Python movie.
The meaning of life is anything you want it to be. My brother was perfect example of that. He lived his life with great humility and he was content with everything life handed him. Even in his weakest moments, he accepted the cards he was dealt. I always thought that I was exceptional because I always refused to accept the cards I was dealt but it takes more courage to walk into the fire than to run in the opposite direction.
Because I am a deep thinker, I ponder often about what I can do be a better person and in the recent weeks, I have learned that being a better person means giving more and taking less. I have spent so much of my life wanting more and working for more that I often forget that life is really about. In the end of our lives, we take nothing with us but our good deeds. Success in heaven is about the good in people and not how much money they made.
For 2011, my goal is not to be better; it is to allow others to be better. I have spent too much time being competitive and less time focusing on what is important and right now, important is those I love because life is shorter than we think. So often, we get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget what’s most important in our lives or even how to be content. I only have a couple classes to finish up my master’s degree and after that, any dreams I have will be deferred and I am okay with that. Because right now, I need to focus on being a good mother and a good daughter and I know that is what my brother would want for me, my kids and our Mom. R.I.P. my brother.