Monday, March 8, 2010

One of my favourite poems + advice

A poem 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 doesnt mean leaning and
company doesnt mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contacts
and presents arent promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head
up and your eyes open with grace of an adult
not grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s grounds is too uncertain for plans
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if
you get too much
So 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 that you really do have worth
And you learn and learn
with every good-bye you learn.

Back in the days when I used Myspace some guy posted this in a bulletin and I loved it so much I saved it on my computer. So I'm very sorry I can't remember his name and give him proper credit for this.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; Oh never mind; you will not understand the power or beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at the photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked... You're not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind...the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life... the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary... Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either- your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can... don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time it's 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

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