After a while you learn the difference, the subtle difference between giving a hand and chaining a soul; And you learn that to love doesn't mean to support yourself, and that company doesn't always mean security. And you learn that kisses are not contracts and that gifts are not promises. And you start to accept your loss with your head up and eyes straight ahead, with the grace of a grown-up, not the sadness of a child. You learn to build the roads of today, because tomorrow's land is too unknown to make plans and the future usually falls from nowhere. After a while you learn that the sun burns if you expose yourself to it for very long. And you learn that it doesn’t matter how much you care, some people just don’t. And you accept that it doesn’t matter how good someone can be, they will hurt you once in a while and you have to forgive them for that. And you learn that talking can be a relief to emotional pain. You learn that it takes years to build trust and just seconds to destroy it, and you can do things in a second that you will regret for the rest of your life… You learn that friendship continues to grow even with the distance and that what matters is not what you have in life, but who you are in life. And you learn that you don’t have to change friends if you understand that friends change, and you realize that you and your friend can do nothing or everything and still have good times together. And you learn that the people you care the most are taken away from you too fast, that is why we should always say caring things to those we love, because it might be the last time we see them… And you learn that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but to the best you can become. You learn that it takes a long time for you to become the person you want to be, and that life is too short. And you learn that it doesn't matter where you've already gotten to, but where you are going, and if you don't know where you're going, anywhere will do. You learn that either you control your acts or they will control you, and that being flexible doesn't mean you are being weak, or that you don't have a personality, for no matter how delicate and fragile a situation is, there are always two sides of it. And you learn that heroes are those that did only what was necessary... You learn that patience requires a lot of practice. You find out that sometimes the person that you expect to kick you when you fall, is one of the few that will help you up. You learn that maturity is about what kind of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them, not how many birthdays you have already celebrated. You learn that there's more of your parents in you than you suppose. You learn that you should never tell a child that dreams are foolishness, few things are so humiliating and it would be a tragedy if he believed that. You learn that when you are angry you have the right to be angry, but that does not give you the right to be cruel. You learn that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want to be loved, it doesn't mean that the person doesn't know how to love, and s/he loves you as much as s/he can, because there are people who love you, but simply don't know how to show it. You learn that being forgiven is never enough, sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. You learn that with the same harshness that you judge, you someday, will be condemned. You learn that no matter how many pieces your heart was broken into, the world doesn't stop so you can fix it. You learn that you cannot go back in time, so you have to take care of your garden and not wait for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn you can really bear it, that you're really strong and that you can go farther than you think, and that life has a value and you have a value before life! And you learn that our doubts are disloyal and that makes us lose what we could achieve, if it weren’t for the fear of trying.
Adapted from a text by V. Shoffstall