After a while you learn… by Veronica A. Shoffstall (1971)

After some time you learn the difference,
The subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts,
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats,
With your head up and your eyes ahead,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn,
That even the sun burns if you get too much,
And learn that it doesn’t matter how much you do care about,
Some people simply don’t care at all.
And you accept that it doesn’t matter how good a person is,
She will hurt you once in a while,
And you need to forgive her for that.
You learn that talking can relieve emotional pain.
You discover that it takes several years to build a relationship based on confidence,
And just a few seconds to destroy it.
And that you can do something just in an instant,
And which you will regret for the rest of your life.
You learn that the true friendships,
Continue to grow even from miles away.
And that what matters isn’t what you have in your life,
But who you have in your life.
And that good friends are the family,
Which allows us to choose.
You learn that we don’t have to switch our friends,
If we understand that friends can also change.
You realize that you are your best friend,
And that you can do do anything, or nothing,
And have good moments together.
You discover that the people who you most care about in your life,
Are taken from you so quickly,
So we must always leave the people who we care about with lovely words,
It may be the last time we see them.
You learn that the circunstances and the enviroment have influence upon us,
But we are responsible for ourselves.
You start to learn that you should not compare yourself with others,
But with the best you can be.
You discover that it takes a long time to become the person you wish to be,
And that the time is short.
You learn that it doesn’t matter where you have reached,
But where you are going to.
But if you don’t know where you are going to,
Anywhere will do.
You learn that either you control your acts,
Or they shall control you.
And that to be flexible doesn’t mean to be weak or not to have personality,
Because it doesn’t matter how delicate and fragile the situation is,
There are always two sides.
You learn that heroes are those who did what was necessary to be done,
Facing the consequences.
You learn that patience demands a lot of practice.
You discover that sometimes,
The person who you most expect to be kicked by when you fall,
Is one of the few who will help you to stand up.
You learn that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences you had
And what you have learned from them,
Than how many birthdays you have celebrated.
You learn that there are more from you parents inside you than you thought.
You learn that we shall never tell a child that dreams are silly,
Very few things are so humiliating,
And it would be a tragedy if she belived in it.
You learn that when you are angry,
You have the right to be angry,
But this doesn’t give you the right to be cruel.
You discover that only because someone doesn’t love you the way you would like her to,
It doesn’t mean that this person doesn’t love you the most she can,
Beacuse there are people who love us,
But just don’t know how to show or live that.
You learn that sometimes it isn’t enough being forgiven by someone,
Sometimes you have to learn how to forgive yourself.
You learn that with the same harshness you judge,
Some day you will be condemned.
You learn that it doesn’t matter in how many pieces your heart has been broken,
The world doesn’t stop for you to fix it.
You learn that time isn’t something you can turn back,
Therefore you must plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure.
You really are strong .
And you can go so farther than you thougt you could go.
And that life really has a value.
And you have value within the life.
And that our gifts are betrayers,
And make us lose
The good we could conquer,
If it wasn’t for the fear of trying.

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25 thoughts on “After a while you learn… by Veronica A. Shoffstall (1971)

  1. Thank you for that beautiful message or more like messages. So many lessons wrapped in one post. I really needed to hear most of these things :)
    Keep posting and I’ll be sure to check out your blog every week.
    Thanks again,
    Sameen

  2. I’m seriously framing this poetry, it’s beautiful! ♥ Everything from love, life lessons, friendship in one posts! Very Inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to share with everyone. God Bless ♥

    • Thanks so much for the kind comment Nereida, I really appreciate you. This poem was a ‘gift’ from a teacher many moons ago, and it’s been cherished for years ever since, so glad you like it! Blessings & love, Hxx

  3. Pingback: After a while you learn… by Veronica A. Shoffstall (1971) « Simply Phenomenal

  4. Pingback: After a while you learn… by Veronica A. Shoffstall (1971) | Femininity Regained

  5. I came across a poem with the same title and in trying to establish the author came across your post. There is some confusion as to who wrote the poem and the exact original wording. I have seen it named as and attributed to: ‘After a While’ (Veronica Shoffstall), ‘Comes The Dawn’ (Judith Evans), and ‘You Learn’ (Jorge Luis Borges) with minor variations on the wording. The version you have posted here is different and goes a bit further as it seems to include extra verses and the extra verses seem to come from snippets from yet other poems titled “I’ve Learned” either by authors Omer B Washington and Paul Coelho (which are similar, yet different). there is also a poem by Maya Angelou by the same name ‘I’ve Learned’.
    Do you know where the one you have posted has come from and its true source?
    Thanks

    • Hi Elizabeth, I can only tell you that the first time I read a stanza of this it was credited to Veronica A. Shoffstall, it was many years ago and I never forgot it. I guess it’s a popular topic, to reflect on all that we have learned, and as good art it inspires us to consider, and possibly pen our own learnings. I think Aristotle describes all art as imitation :) Hxx

  6. Pingback: After a while you learn by Veronica A. Shoffstall | Inspiring Short Stories

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