the dreamer within: a poem for 2021

What does it mean to dream?

I wrote this poem a few months ago when I was asking myself this exact question. I think any time we approach a new year, questions often emerge: what are we doing with our lives? What would we like to create for the future? Where are we going and how do we want to get there?

After a year like 2020, I think it can be easy to feel hopeless. It could be easy to give up on the dreams we’ve had that have be derailed by the uncertainty and challenges of this time. But we don’t have to. We don’t have to give up on wonder, we don’t have to give up on dreaming, we don’t have to give up on hope. We don’t have to succumb to the idea that we are helpless, that we don’t have any control over what happens outside ourselves so what is the point of even trying?

We can, at any moment, choose to get up and begin again.

I wrote this poem for myself in the curiosity of what it would be like to let myself dream again, what it would be like to feel that spark within and be a little audacious with my ideas.

Perhaps it’ll awaken something in you, too.

The Dreamer Within

What would it be like
To feel excitement again?
What would it be like
To let yourself dream?
What would it be like to believe
Impossible things can happen?
What do you long for?
Where have you been?

Where have you been?
I ask of my dreamer self
The one who felt crushed
Beneath layers of hurt
I pull her crumpled form up
Out of the dirt and
Hold her close to my chest
Wondering what it would be like
To see her smile again

Amidst the failure + rejection
I forgot what it’s like to have hope
To dare to think beyond this moment and
Reach for more than what I know

Where is the line and
Why am I doing this?
I ask myself often
Maybe I ask too much
Maybe there doesn’t need to be
Some elaborate reason
To live out a dream
That lives in your heart
And we don’t need to
Explain everything

When does self-inquiry
Turn to self-doubt and
You getting in your own way?

Such a funny word
Such a funny concept we chase after
I think it’s simple – there is
Purpose in the present
Purpose in your presence
In being present with whatever it is
You are living through in a time

Take this moment, for example
Isolation, uncertainty
Where are we going?
We can’t know how things will look
A week from now, let alone a year
I have to constantly remind myself
Hey, that’s not your job
It’s not your job to tell the future
It’s your job to write it
To write your future
One page at a time +
That writing happens
In the present
So be there;
Not in the future
Not in the past
But where you are right now

Even in the moments that don’t feel so pretty

You may dream, to see where you’re going
You may reminisce, to see how you’ve grown
But the present is where you live
One day, that future you’re
Fearing or leaning towards
Will be where you’re living – so
May as well get intentional
About creating it

We are not helpless here

There will be days, to be sure,
Where all you can do
Is survive; you’re human
Human emotions spike
Up and down
Some days are hard
Hit harder than others;
When we resist the hard …
Well, that’s when then pain sets in
Clings to the skin +
Forms ridges to
Remind us where we’ve been

That’s when we lose our dreamer
In the inky darkness
Of pain + regret

So I’m learning:
Rest when you need to
Give yourself a few hours to
Lean into that pain
Let your thoughts wash
Through your body
Sift through the negativity
Then move
Do something physical to
Bring yourself back to your present

Always the present
That’s where purpose lives and
The magic happens

That’s where we find our wonder breathing again

You’ll be surprised
How quickly you’ll move through a funk
If you don’t cling to your emotions
Like a lifeline

An original poem by Maia Thom.

If you liked this poem, you may enjoy my full-length collection, Kitchen Table Talks: Simple Reminders + Thoughts on Life. Inspired by the conversations we have around the kitchen table when we’re just figuring life out, this book is a space for you to breathe and come home to yourself. Find out more here.