what do you do
when the things that you
are trying to do
before your very eyes
and you run around
trying to find the glue
to piece it together
before anyone sees
to make hope bloom
but it's too late
because they already know
but it's too late
they claim they told you so
and you go between depression
and immeasurably hot steam
wonder if this will always remain
a deferred dream?
Queen of Spades
© February 2007
Lots of people speak about dreams.
Dreams of something better.
Dreams of the best.
Some people wait around for the best to happen. Wait around for something better. They want to be there in case opportunity knocks, they will be around to answer.
But what happens when it comes and you're not ready?
What happens when you're ready and it comes too late?
What happens when it never comes and you're never ready?
Can the dream still be achieved without effort?
There are people that don't waste any time.
Where there's no way, they have to make a way. Impatience is their guide; impulse is their vehicle. They don't want to wait for an answer; they come up with their own. They not only search for opportunity; they kick the door down.
But what happens when haste makes waste?
What happens when behind the door you kicked down, there's nothing there or even worse, a brick wall you have to drill through?
What happens when the answer you come up with is the wrong one?
Can the dream still be achieved or has too much damage been done by your hand?
I say all that to say all this:
Achieving one's dream is a combination of hope and hustle. It doesn't depend on just one thing; the both of them go hand and hand.
You have to believe in what you are doing. Even when it seems dark, depressing, and agonizing. Even if you have people telling you, "You can't do it." Or "You'll never make it." Or "Try something else."
If you love what you are doing, and if you believe in what you are doing, there is NOTHING or NO ONE on this earth that can take that away from you.
Hope is the fuel that keeps you going when the rest of you get shut down.
But Hope cannot do it alone. You have to put some muscle behind Hope; therefore, promoting your own Hustle.
And one can Hustle in many ways. Researching your craft. Networking with folks like you. Saving up money for the building blocks of what you want to do. Getting funding from other sources to help you out, if possible. Going back to school for more knowledge that is necessary. Getting folks behind you to encourage you--to energize you to do more hustling and maintain hoping.
But you have to hustle SMART.
Sometimes, QUICK isn't always BETTER. At times, quick can end up hurting you in the long run. The same goes for EASY; struggle is put in place for a reason.
Struggle is put in place so you will appreciate shit once you get it. You don't value it nearly as much when it is given to you.
Struggle keeps you on your feet. Keeps you focused. You may not like its' tactics, but if it gets you to where you need to be, you can't get too mad at it.
When my plans to go to college for my master's fell through last fall, it was quite a devastating blow to me. I almost second-guessed myself. I thought about not pursuing it any further and just being content with what I was doing.
I thought to myself (and still do), "I'm doing better than some. Some people have no place to sleep, not enough food to eat, have no money, have no means."
And this I am thankful for.
During the time I had decided to put my teaching plans on hold…(aka "licking my wounds"), a few experiences came up to renew my hope, my passion.
One of the most prevalent actually occurred while I was at work one day last week.
There was this child and her dad. They had ordered a pizza and some breadsticks. After making them, the kid was talking and asking me things.
So I answered them, and as I went back to check on their food, I overheard her tell her father, "See, she is so nice. I wish I had her as a teacher. My teacher's mean."
My heart just stopped for a moment. Like skipped.
And when it began beating again, I felt the fullness I had before my college plans were met with obstacles.
And I realized that I had to go about it in a whole new direction. Same dream but different method of HUSTLE.
I would get in through the back door. Teacher's assistant; getting my certification for substituting; get the experience I need there; save up to get into the alternate certification for full time teaching.
And sure enough, opportunity presented itself for sub certification at a college close to me, starting in April. So I will seize it and let the tide take me where it may.
So for my people wanting to go from a job to a career, do your dream.
For my people trying to get their big break, do your dream.
For my people trying to design and build their own, do your dream.
For my people trying to give back to their own, do your dream.
Your dream, whatever it is….