You know.. I’m not big on the stereotypical warm fuzzy feeling of Disney princesses and “dreams do come true”. I used to think of a dream, as in a goal, as something that I am competitive about achieving. Competitive with myself and competitive with others. You aren’t going to get very far without having at least a little motivation to be better than someone else. And it’s ok to want to be better than someone else, just be able to control your actions and your words I guess. My approach is, I pluck out all of the components of what I would like to be, who I would like to be, from other people. I think of the verb pluck because I imagine it like: I take an orange feather from my father, a purple feather from my mother, a yellow feather from my best friend, a red feather from my softball coach, a turquoise feather from my academic advisor, a blue feather from my favorite singer (and so on) and I stick (using a dash of self and wad innovativeness) them onto a once naked bird who becomes this unique being covered in a plethora of fabulous colors representing the all of the wonderful things I take from people who I have encountered in my life. No matter what someone has done to make me feel a certain way, angry, loved, hated, disregarded, embraced (and so on), there will be nothing that could ever change the color feather that I plucked from them. I capture this memory, could be an image or a feeling, that was attractive to me, that I intuitively add to my collection of feathers. This metamorphosis is like the change to becoming who you really are. So it is said..people search for this for their whole lives, but I say, that’s only some people. I think I’ve found myself already. I also believe that every experience can be used to better yourself for another life obstacle that comes along. But..once you have enough feathers, fly around. Feathers may be lost, feathers may be gained, your overall color may change, but your avian body remains.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
(what is a barren field anyway? it means an empty field, like where crops would grow but there are no crops and no living things)
This poem is by Langston Hughes, one of my favorites. He’s a Harlem Renaissance poet and known for being a pioneer of jazz poetry. I like jazz history and culture. It really interests me. It’s so fascinating not only because of how great jazz music is but because the jazz music genre was made up of various types of music (African drumming, church music, marching bands, blues, folk music, etc), and simultaneously, a mix of African American and “white”/”European” American culture. It’s all American culture to me, but at that time there wasn’t even racial integration in schools.
I loooove when poets use the topic of birds flying in their poems. As the reader it gives me such a sense of freedom and adventure. Then sometimes it could be symbolic of hope or a chance to get away and feel independent. And then it makes me think of my feathers theory. And and then it makes me think about how colorless life would be without “dreams”. Cold, bare, and hopeless. Interestless.
Langston is right though, without dreams, life is a drag. So I guess I should accept dreams into my life; but for now I’m going to stick with having strong interests that may result in a positive future outcome.