After a WhileA Poem by J.V. Stanley
A bit of wisdom that I have acquired in my 31 years, though I could go on forever. Each day I learn a new lesson, or do something stupid and add that to my library of experience.
After a While
April 10, 2012
After a while, the urgency will be gone in circumstance
or people that once ignited that spark within us
are forgotten by the downtrodden toils and
everyday goings on that play within our mindset.
After a while, the gilded perspectives will tarnish
revealing the ugly flaws that will crop up if we don’t keep them polished.
When we hide our true selves to boast of all we have to offer to everyone else
sadly becomes more important than the people that matter.
After a while, your perception of those close to you begins to unravel
and the fog blocking your point of view is lifted, revealing what was actually there,
what your heart didn’t want your mind to see.
After a while, you realize that what you put into something is what you will get back
whether it is in relationships, friendships, or work;
You put in minimal effort, you’ll get minimal results.
But if you put your all into something, you’ll reap the benefits.
If you don’t reap anything no matter how much you put into it
after a while you’ll realize that it isn’t worth the effort.
Then after a while those who took you for granted will see what they have lost.
But if they don’t, then it doesn’t matter-for you of all people should know your own worth.
After a while the grand-scale frivolities will lose their grandeur
and the little things will matter more-
and if those little things are seriously lacking,
the grandiose ones be of little significance.
Although appreciated gestures, no doubt, but its the realization that
for some it’s easier to pull out a checkbook these days than it is to put your heart into anything.
Money only solves so many problems.
After a while you realize that hugs are
the most important and significant form of reassurance in the world.
That true peace is found in the arms of the one who truly loves you
and by someone who is unwavering and unabashed in their love.
Holding on to someone speaks more within one breif moment
than the extend of this prose.
Relish those tender moments and carry them with you-
for those memories will bring you strength.
After a while promises will not be kept
and are forgotten within the world of more important things, of responsibilities
or simply laziness and uncaring.
For those who hold on, will have to let go and realize that those promises were only fleeting.
After a while hopes only go so high, then come crashing down like a shooting star-
brilliant in its glory, blazing across the sky,
suddenly snuffed out as it reaches the atmosphere of reality.
Its final cry of realization that, expectations go above and beyond that sometimes.
After a while we become consumed with the here and now and such potential is lost
with the day-to-day routine.
After so many nights spent planning with hope in hearts and light in the eyes
eventually leads down the path to disappointment.
After a while you’ll realize that once you neglect the importance of here and now-
any hopes for a future will be lost,
and after a while, you’ll realize that there may be no way to go back.
After a while, we see the truth in faults we never knew existed
and these faults we once adored become the thorn within our side.
We fail to see them as what they were to us before-endearing qualities, quirks-
the unique unchanging personality of the individual.
After a while we lose the strength of passion within our hearts
instead, replace it with passing obligation.
We walk briskly past that flame,
the flurry of our comings and goings softly threatening to extinguish that fire.
After a while, we become too adjusted, too comfortable with what we have.
It becomes boring, our eyes wander,
and as this happens the fertile ground upon where we once tread becomes
malnourished, dries, shrivels, and is carried off-lost within the oblivion of neglect.
After a while we happen upon individuals who are toxic
who do not have your best interests in mind
and destroy your relationships for their own selfish purposes.
The history of this is where jealousy and possessiveness is derived from.
Sadly, those on the outside can recognize these individuals for who and what they are-
while others buy into their niceties and succumb to the siren's call.
After a while you realize that couples don't argue hundreds of times-
they argue hundreds of times over the same things
and eventually, if one refuses to change or compromise
then the other will stop trying, and either learn to live with it
or become apathetic.
After a while the songs that are sung are played out of tune
or not played at all.
After a while you’ll realize when someone begins a sentence with
“After all that I’ve done for you…” after doing something wrong
they’re trying to use their past good deeds to justify their current bad ones
making you feel wrong for being upset when you had every right to be
After a while you’ll realize that friendship is not based on obligation
but the kindness of wanting to do something out of love and compassion, empathy.
After a while, you realize that if you do something kind for someone
you’ll reap more happiness when you don’t expect to be paid back.
A thank-you helps, though, and should be sufficient enough
but give credit where credit is due.
After a while you’ll realize that friendship or love is not based upon what was done in the past,
but a track record speaks for itself and one wrong should not be a reason for an ending,
rather, the history of continuous wrong should be.
After a while you’ll realize when you’re being used
is when the only time someone calls you is when they want something,
and not simply just to talk to you.
After a while you’ll realize though, that you do the same thing sometimes-
and recognize that at any given time with any given person
there is always a chance that ulterior motives were behind actions, words, thoughts, etc.
After a while you’ll understand that some friends have significantly more drama than you do,
they get overwhelmed and by them approaching you with it,
should not be seen as a burden, rather, an honor-
for you are their strong shoulder in which they can lean-
that and you probably wear absorbent clothing.
But after a while if the gesture isn’t reciprocated
the results can be far more damaging to you if you allow it to continue.
After a while you begin to realize that the only thing in your life
you have complete control over is yourself and your own actions.
What others do, should not be allowed to affect you,
instead, should make you stronger and pose as an experience
to add to your treasure of wisdom.
After a while you will realize that the only people guaranteed to love you for all time
are your children who will love you regardless of
how you look, how much or how little you have.
Don’t neglect these small hearts that are so easily broken.
The loss of love of your child is something that is the emotional equivalent of apocalypse-
it is sad that some could live through that apocalypse.
After a while you will realize that if you allow someone to break a promise,
the individual will continue breaking those promises
and in turn, will lose all their credibility.
Same could be said about the promises that you make yourself.
After a while you’ll realize that bad habits die hard, and no one does a 180 overnight
and sometimes they fall back into the same routine.
How much they change, is measured by how much they want to.
After a while you’ll understand that people will do what they want
regardless of how you feel, and these individuals care more for a trophy
and what is convenient, than what is real but has to be worked for or earned.
After a while, you’ll realize that when you’re lonely
prayer is the best answer, and sometimes answers come through for you
in the most peculiar of ways.
After a while expectations are met with disappointment
we realize that what we expect is something we would do ourselves
if the situation was reversed.
Then after a while you’ll realize soon after the anger subsides,
that is the reason we became angry in the first place-
and the epiphany strikes-not everyone thinks as you do.
After a while you realize that age does in fact matter, and is more than just a number.
With age comes knowledge, maturity, and wisdom
but no one can walk the same path as you,
or have the same knowledge, insight, or life experiences as you.
For each road traveled by each individual in this life varies significantly from one another
despite how similar they are, nor how close you are to that person.
After a while sometimes people cling to those distant individuals within our lives
while ignoring the ones who are the closest.
After a while you realize that you don’t need someone else to fight your battles for you
that the strength of experience should enable you to do so-
but it is reassuring knowing you have someone in your corner.
After a while you realize that social media simply reinforces passive aggression
and the impact you want to make is lessened by the amount that this practice is done.
More power goes to the person who tells someone face-to-face
and from that bravery of telling someone how you feel directly
will earn you respect regardless of the outcome-whether positive or negative.
After a while you realize that though high school is a thing of the past
real life outside of those brick walls carries with it some similarity.
You realize that adult bullies are just as bad as the ones in school.
In some cases, worse for time and wisdom made them more clever
and gave them more ammunition, a broader vocabulary, and wider resources.
After a while though you realize that when acting on impulse when emotions are high
it’s better to keep your mouth closed before you react-
for how you feel now, isn’t necessarily how you will feel later.
Don’t say it, unless it’s meant with a clear head,
for emotions have a tendency of being temporary
when you’re thrust into the heat of the moment.
Then again, there are those times when keeping a closed mouth
is damn near impossible.
This applies to everyone no matter who you are or how level-headed you may regularly be.
There is always something that strikes a nerve within you causing you to react rather than think.
The recipient of the tongue lashing should keep in mind this fatal flaw
for there is a good chance they have succumbed to this tendency a time or two.
After a while you realize every action or decision you make-or chose not to make
is fully equipped with a consequence that you have to live with.
After a while you realize that there will always be someone out there that judges what you do
and no matter how much you try, what you say, or how you say it, or even what you do,
it will never change.
The only person you need to prove anything to, is yourself
and if you are happy in what you do, then who are they to judge you?
But if what you do hurts other people, who are you to judge their opinion and feelings?
After a while you realize that those who are so consumed by their own negativity will try to vanquish your heart through the sharp blade of their words. After a while, however, you will learn how to circumvent around those swings and master an all-new brand of emotional martial art and draw your own inner strength from their words.
After a while you realize that good intentions aren’t always the best intentions
and they sometimes have a way of backfiring.
After a while the understanding and knowledge that you have attained
will broaden as you age
and the list of insight and small-servings of wisdom you have now
will eventually grow into that of a banquet-
for those who are older, tend to be the ones who are the wisest.
The impact of your knowledge poses as a soup kitchen for those who are in need of it-
that is if they choose to listen-
After a while, you begin to laugh at the naiveté of youth;
for those who are young believe that they know everything,
but those older believe that there is still so much more to learn.
And those who are young tend to look for what is easy, at least in some ways
whereas those older know that nothing worth having ever comes easy,
and if it does come easy, it is not worth having.
After a while you’ll realize the negative aspects of this list may in fact happen-but only if you let it.
After a while you’ll realize that there is always room for improvement,
always enough kindness and forgiveness to go around,
and there is always enough time to change.
© 2013 J.V. Stanley
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, MI
AboutMy first of many books is currently available on Amazon. Fire and Water is a collaborative collection of poetry written by Aramey as well as myself. http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Water-Collaborative-.. more..
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