First Official Day

I found this poem… sometime around my junior or senior year of high school. I’m sure I thought it applied to something going on in my life at the moment although I can’t remember what. Aren’t all things in high school trivial? But it really meant something to me. So much so that I’ve kept this exact paper clipping for at least 17 years… I find it from time to time tucked away in an old journal or notebook, in between pages of my Bible or this time at the bottom of a drawer in my bedside table.

The overall message seems to be about the end of romantic love, but I think it is about much more than that. I think it’s about things like friendship, insecurity, being unsure of a situation or just in believing in your self instead of relying on other people for happiness. To me, it’s more about learning from everything you live through. Good or bad. Kami Bible

After a While by Veronica Shoffstall

After a while, you learn 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 open,
With the grace of a women, 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;

And after a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much;

So you 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,
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth,
And you learn,
And you learn;
With every goodbye you learn.

No longer am I surprised when the exact thing I need appears at just the correct moment. And so it was today. Searching for something completely different I came across Kami Bible’s blog about Veronica Shoffstall’s poem. Here on the first official day of my semi-retirement I am grateful for the perspective this brought to my morning at precisely the time I needed it.

Are these things really better
than the things I already have?
Or am I just trained
to be dissatisfied with
what I have now?
 Chuck Palahniuk