Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thinking About Dreams



Dreams

                 

It’s hard to dream

with an eviction notice

on my front door.



It’s hard to dream

when I sleep on

a living room floor.



It’s hard to dream

when I’m still hungry,

but there isn’t any more



It’s hard to dream—



But one thing I know

for sure,



when I grow up

I don’t want to be poor!





©Linda Kulp Trout




Today's poem comes from a combination of my own childhood experience and that of my former students.  


As a child, I was a dreamer.  But, like many children born into poverty, I didn’t think my dreams were possible. So, I pushed my them aside and did what I needed to in order to get through each day.   I started babysitting for money when I was eleven and by twelve, I was employed at my first job.  I didn’t mind working because I was determined to live a different life than I had.  Dreams would have to wait.


Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams and why we push them to the bottom of our to-do list.  For most of my life, my dream has been to write books that make a difference in the lives of kids. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I'm going to give my dream my best shot. I used to think about my childhood and resent the things I didn’t have.  Now, I choose to be grateful for what I did have. That has made all the difference.  I want to give a voice to the child I once was and the children I used to teach.


What I’ve learned is that no matter how busy our lives are, even taking the tiniest steps toward our dreams makes life so much richer.  This blog post, "Where Have You Been?" inspires me to make time for my dream.


If you have time to leave a comment, I’d love to hear about your dreams and what you’re doing to achieve them.

A big thank you to Jama's Alphabet Soup for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday.

17 comments:

  1. Linda, your backstory explains the plight of many children that I have taught. I understand the issue having to grow up in my pre-teen/teen years struggling along with my single mother and sister. Dreams are meant to be recognized and pursued. Good luck with your writing. Passion is on your side.

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    1. Thank you, Carole. Sadly, there are way too many children living in poverty.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your poem and your passion, Linda. I've been thinking similar thoughts lately about dreams and what it takes to hold on to them. Thank you also for sharing the link to Tim's post. It was something I needed to read.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I know what you mean about trying to hold on to our dreams. My all time favorite poem is "Dreams" by Langston Hughes. I recite it to myself when I feel like giving up. Good luck on following your dreams.

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  3. Linda, your powerful poem reminds me of my dream to make the world a better place for all children and adults. I think we have dreams at different times of our life. I have always wanted to write, but making a life, raising kids, working, putting food on the table, and cleaning house, got in the way of that dream. I was lucky to have the kind of work that enabled me to work on my first dream, even if it was only one child at a time. And of course, raising a family is all about making the world a better place. Now that I'm retired, I try to get involved in other ways to ensure that we leave the planet better for everyone. I also get to write when I want.
    That lack of confidence is a huge thing. I think it's more common than we understand. It's hard to acknowledge that who we are right now is good enough.

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    1. Cheriee, I can relate to everything you said. I've put off my writing dream far too long. Now, I'm trying harder to make it a priority. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place.

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  4. Thanks for candidly sharing your aspirations about writing. I think we all lack self confidence to some extent when it comes to writing -- and the dream of writing is especially challenging because it does require steely determination and persistence. What I have found is that any endeavor can be accomplished in small stages/phases. Often we assume we need huge swaths of time to write -- but it can be done in 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. I'm glad you're on track to make your longheld dream a reality. Always remember you have a community here for support and inspiration. Thanks for linking to Tim's blog; enjoyed reading about his accomplishment.

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    1. Thank you for your kind and inspiring words, Jama. I feel very fortunate to have found this supportive community.

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  5. Here's to taking steps toward dreams--thanks for sharing both your powerful poem and your thoughts. I think a lot of us share your struggles with self-confidence... but you are still writing!

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    1. Buffy, congratulations your dream coming true! I can't wait to read your book!

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  6. Oh, your dream poem...so real, too real for too many kids. And, your dream of writing. I get that too. I cling to advice I heard long ago. "Talent is not uncommon. The work to make it to publication is more rare." I would love to publish. But, truthfully, I love my day jobs of motherhood and library so much that I keep putting off the work of making it to publication. I keep thinking "someday." Don't give up on someday. Just work at it as you can.

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    1. Linda, I know what you mean. While I was raising my sons and teaching full-time, I pushed my writing goals to the background. Now, I feel like it might finally be my "someday." The poems on your blog are lovely so I know you're " someday" will come!

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  7. Excellent poem Linda! You paint a powerful picture both clear and sad and full of determination. Thank you also for linking to my blog. I appreciate the love. As for confidence, I am a fan of the fake it until you make it approach :) When I first started speaking I was terrified of the audience. Still to this day, I think about all the stuff I don't know, all the ways a talk could go wrong, all the sneers and snickers when I trip over words or maybe even the stage itself. It's not confidence that gets me through it, it's the determination to be who I can be not who I am afraid I am. Hope that helps. BTW, you're an awesome writer - keep going!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your strategy for dealing with confidence. Your determination has made you a successful speaker. I'll remember your advice. I appreciate your encouragement and support.

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  9. Thank you for your honesty -- for saying what we've all felt. Here's to courage and persistence!

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  10. When I first read your poem, I thought of so many of the students I taught who lived through similar experiences. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story. I can relate to the lack of confidence. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write but fear has often held me back. I am grateful for this community of support and encouragement. I now write regularly and learn so much from those who share their writing and experience here.

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  11. Linda, your poem is so powerful and full of truth for so many. May all our dreams come true.

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