What Happens When Your Dream Is Deferred?

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?"

Dreams deferred are your life goals. Deferred, postponed, put off--however, you want to look at it. So, what happens when you don't move on your dreams or life goals?

When I think about dreams deferred for several years for one reason or the other, I felt overwhelmed because I continued to think about them. What became even worse is that I began to fear that I might not ever see this dream become a reality.

In Langston Hughes' poem, he writes, "Does it dry up like a raisin or fester like a sore." The "sore" that I left untreated (my deferred dream) led to somewhat of an inner battle. Knowing I had a dream, I continued to think about it yet left it "untreated." Like the sore that festers when not treated, it led to me feeling overwhelmed and sometimes on the verge of depression, thinking it might not ever happen.


We all have life dreams--some have been nurtured, others may not have been. But what happens when it's deferred, when life doesn't go in the direction of your dream or on your anticipated timeline. What happens when the year you thought you'd see your vision become reality passes, then the following year, then the year after that. You look up and years, sometimes even decades, have passed and nothing. Your dream is just that, a dream.


One might think that the dream dies or loses its usefulness and value or fades away. However, it never actually dies, you may allow it to stay dormant, but it never dies. Instead, you may find that you become restless and dissatisfied with where you are in life because your dream has been deferred. You're feeling this way because the dream is still there. You may not acknowledge it, but it's still there.

Dreams deferred do not have to be dreams denied. The choice is yours.

Take time to think about it. What were your dreams before "life happened" to you? Then, write those dreams down and revive them.


I am a firm believer that if you woke up this morning, you can still go after your dream. That said, I encourage you to make 2022 the year of dreams becoming a reality.


As we go into the year, this will be the last post as I retire the blog to pursue yet another dream! Thank you all for reading!


Remember, deferred is not denied!


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