It could have been during Mrs. O’Neill’s English class, I can’t remember exactly. But I do recall flipping open the pages of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and being met with the following:
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?
I read it over and over, in awe of its brief poignancy. While short, so short it only took up a single page, it felt heavy to me in a way I couldn’t explain. That could never be me. Not live my dreams? Ha! But something else was gnawing at me, as teenaged Jax was beginning to pick up on the fact that life doesn’t always allow us to bring our dreams to fruition. Would my dreams be just that – dreams? And not only that, but would they be put on pause, in sight but always out of reach? Would it shrivel and shrink and be left unattended? Nah, no way. I was gonna be who I wanted to be, I decided.
Doubt seems to strike in the most inconvenient of times and this past Tuesday was one of those days. I started to wonder what all this struggle has been for. Is this my dream? I don’t think so. If not, then when would I have time to work towards that dream? Have I been settling for smaller, more attainable dreams, resigning myself to the “realities” of life? Will that dream just stay like a word on the tip of my tongue, there but unable to be articulated? A star of Jerusalem I can always see but won’t ever be able to stand under? Will a little bit of me diminish within every time I say “I like to write but I haven’t in a while?” Is my dream of one day walking into Barnes and Noble and seeing my book on a shelf laughable? What do I do with my dream to buy a home (or witch’s cottage, however you wanna view it) with a beautiful office and walls lined with books? What about the dreams that I envisioned for others in my life that have yet to come true? In the middle of phone calls and emails, I took a few minutes to lose my shit.
Through sniffles, I collected my shit and kept it moving. About an hour later, I returned someone’s call and wished her a happy new year. Her response? “Feliz año nuevo, Jackie. Que todos tus sueños se hagan realidad.”
Happy new year, Jackie. May all of your dreams come true.
Couldn’t make it up even if I tried. Sounds to me like the universe wanted me to know everything will turn out just fine.