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 understand that kisses are not contracts and presents aren’t promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with your head held high and your eyes open, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child. You learn to build your roads of today, because tomorrow’s ground is uncertain 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 that you do have worth and you keep learning. With every goodbye you learn.
– Author Unknown
Given to me on my travels when I was 30. Still relevant today.