Harlem 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?”
The words haunt me, but it also triggered something in me, now let me explain this, this poetry may mean something else to you entirely but it got me thinking about all those dreams, those fantasies I had when I was a little girl and the ones I have now that I am grown. When I was little, I spent most times in my own pink coral shell dreaming of another blissful world, that was my own form of escapism, I got to play different roles in my fantasies, today I am a doctor who had just found the cure for HIV/AIDs, tommorow I am the young smart lawyer defending my client and winning, next tommorow I am the superstar singing while my fans scream and yell for more. The dreams took different forms as I grew older, I stopped dreaming of being the Doctor who hopes to scream Eureka! one day, I dumped the Lawyer’s idea when I began to see more to life than wearing a black or white uniform.
As I grew older, I became more greedy, there were choices to choose from but why can’t I have everything all? Why can’t I be everything all? I found the limits to how far I could go stifling, I needed to stretch my tentacles, I was the proverbial ant that was not satisfied with just a flat plain ground. I needed to build my anthill.
I smile everytime I remember all I wanted to do, to be, to have, in my dreams I had deposited a giant sand in my territory, building it was the problem, the task overwhelmed me perhaps I was too too greedy I became the little ant facing a pyramid of sand, I shrank into my little hole too scared to come out, little did I know nothing is gotten in a rush, you start little by little, why bite more than what you could chew? Why run faster than your own shadow, yes I dream big but I forgot Rome wasn’t built in a day, I wanted to complete my anthill in nanoseconds, I didn’t want the stress of carrying sands bit by bit with my tiny hands, I wanted it big big big in my head and even that scared me into inaction. I learnt my lesson and I started bit by bit, I learnt as I search through every nook and cranny while I was trying to build my own hill, I learnt cunning and survival from the Fox, the Elephant showed me a whole new perspective to life, he made me erase the thought of my tiny frame being the reason why I think so little, the Chameleon taught me how to blend in and adapt to any changes in life, the Lion asked me why I wanted to build an anthill when I could build a pyramid? each all have a different thing to say and teach me, I learn and follow up as fast as I can, I won’t let this small frame deceive me. This applies to we humans too, different people and experiences have different lessons to teach us about life, the ordinary person you meet out there may be a source of inspiration for something you are working on. Just as an ant needs it colony at times, so do we humans need one another.
Then, I discovered after the zeal and energy I put into working towards what I dreamt off I would become discouraged again at a point, and I would stop working towards what I wanted, I would become withdrawn after seeing another person get what I wanted “easily” I would go back into my shell, stop everything and sleep myself into dreams again but I realized at a point, that a work half done is as useless as the one that was never even started, what is worth doing is what doing well.
Don’t give up on life, that thing you are creating in your head is even more beautiful when it becomes a reality, don’t be discouraged, we all should be like the ant, it keeps working and working, it doesn’t get discouraged, come rain come shine the ant would make sure it meets it goal. Start little by little and make sure you live out your dreams. Do not let it dry up like “a raisin in the sun”.