Deferring “The Dream” May Be Hazardous to Your Well-Being

When I hear the phrase, “Girl Power!” I feel inspired.  I think of women taking control of their lives; modern feminists changing the world. Yes!  Then the contradictory reality hits hard as I am meeting countless women who are working in a career/vocation that is NOT of her deliberate intention.

Deferring “the dream” is still a popular practice among the female species as marriage, family or societal expectation takes precedence in their lives.  While women have been traditionally socialized to believe these elements are an essential component to their wholeness; our innate desires scream of suffocation.

I remember a time when my life was consumed in the ambitions of my partner, his business and what he wanted. Being the resourceful, make-it-happen, go-to person that I am (and so many women are), I become the driving force behind much of his success. Yet, I had never felt so unhappy, so unfulfilled.

Okay, so I wanted to write. Something about a freshly sharpened pencil and a stack of blank paper prompted that inner urge in a way that only a writer could appreciate. The diamond of desire demanding of me the time and space to burst bright with novels, film scripts and stage plays. Without fail, the dream would call me every morning and the thought of composing a story one day kept me alive. Can you imagine?

Many a day I secretly wept; the endless hours absorbed in tasks of which I had no interest and sometimes feeling physically ill. I was an imposter in the story of my own life. Regretting every unproductive year that passed, I protested my all-consuming existence to anyone who would listen. It was difficult for people to understand how I could even fathom giving up all the trappings of success to pursue a calling.

Well, I learned that the vision for your dream is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY!  Approval from anyone—NOT REQUIRED!  Responding to one’s calling is a personal journey involving YOUR understanding, YOUR faith, and YOUR work. Gone are the days of a “bread winning” spouse (for most women) and since you are required to work, why not pursue the endeavor that YOU were purposed to fulfill.

So I woke up early one morning with a made up mind. I limited my hours at the business and dedicated several hours of the day to my writing. Feeling liberated and physically renewed, I went on to complete my doctoral degree; an endeavor I had begun some years before. Soon after came the novels and the screenplays.  Attracting like-minded women came easy and in no time I was surrounded by a supportive network.

That relationship of mine eventually came to its demise. In spite of the so-called modern thinking, many women find themselves smothering aspirations to keep the fragile egos of their counterparts secure and the relationship intact. In an ideal world, the personal fulfillment of any woman should in no way conflict or have to compete with her partners’ interests.

Is the career of your dreams calling you? Get clear on your goals and listen to that inner voice for guidance.  Read for relevance as much as you can and if for only 15 minutes a day, engage in some thought or activity that inspires your movement forward. Like hope, “the dream” deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is the tree of life.



About the author

Jennifer Burton

As an author, producer, screenwriter, founder of ALEXZUS Media and BurSel Black Wine, Jennifer inspires women to live boundlessly. Engage with her on a variety of issues from lifestyle and wellness to topics impacting women's social and economic empowerment.