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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 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.

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.

You learn

and learn...

With every goodbye,
you learn.


"I spent [so many years]

shaming myself

for not being a better,


[more beautiful] caterpillar,

without ever considering

that being a butterfly was possible."

-Geneen Roth


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