Thoughts: “After a while”

My friend sent me the most INCREDIBLE poem today that I was immediately compelled to share with you guys. She found it on Instagram after someone else posted it (after someone else had written it). But before I posted again here, I decided to do some quick research so I can give credit where credit is due for two key reasons:

  • As a fellow writer/creative/word-lover, I could never share someone’s work without giving him/her all the praise and acknowledgement s/he deserves
  • Copyright infringement is a thing and I’m too poor to post any kind of bail

SO, research has led me to confirm that the following poem is titled, “After a while.” It was written by Veronica A. Shoffstall, according to the Chicago Tribune. Have you guys seen this before? I’m obsessed:

After a While

by Veronica A. 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 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 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 midflight.

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 learn . . .

With every goodbye, you learn.


Everything in your life is going to be OKAY. Actually, no. It’s going to be fantastic.

Keep loving and keep living

Xo Charlene

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