For this month’s #HealthyLivingThursday’s healing poem, I am reviving an old poem, in honor of #ThrowbackThusday. After A While You Learn is a poem that speaks to my continued strive to be a better me, live a better life and love a better world.

I have come to learn that one major thing that has separated me from others, is my unwavering dedication to excellence. I recently concluded that the single most important factor leading to the demise of every relationship I’ve ever had is this: I outgrew people. I kept growing, becoming wiser, stronger and more disciplined. Those I shared a relationship with, at some point or another, could never keep up.

“Our growth often feels like watching paint dry. That’s why it’s so important to look up every now and then, for evidence that things are moving, time is passing and yes, you’re growing with it.” – Shaquana Gardner

Every time I learned about a new flaw I possessed, I worked on it. Every time I met a new disappointment, I tackled it. And every time I reached a new height, I remembered it. I have watched dysfunction, pain and trauma govern every aspect of my life since I was too small to speak or understand. In such, for about just as long, I have been steadily committed toward alleviating that dysfunction, pain and trauma from my life. Hence, my strive for better.

This poem pays homage to all of life’s most beautifully delicate and decisively impactful lessons. If you’re doing this life thing right, you’ll know it by the lessons life teaches you. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. And if you’re not growing, you’re not living.

Written during another harrowing time in my life, and published early in the birth of EverythingShaquana, After A While You Learn speaks to everyone. As a reminder of our commonalities as a human beings, first and foremost, this is a perfect poem/ work of art for any human to use as a wonderful reminder of all the things life has taught us.


After A While You Learn

After a while you learn

The beautiful simplicity of

Letting go and letting God

And you learn that true love

Doesn’t hurt and

Real trust can’t burn


You begin to learn that even the darkest nights

Have a star bright enough to guide you home

And how to enable oneself to live by faith and not by sight

And you begin to understand

That pain isn’t permanent

And that you must love yourself fully

Before anyone can love you partially


And you learn that there truly is no new

Emotion or experience under the sun

And that humans aren’t all that unlike

You grow to embrace that humanness

And individuality are the truest form of being

And love is more about what we have in common

And less about what makes us different


After a while, you learn that

How you fall when you get knocked down

Doesn’t have to determine how you get back up

You learn that one beautifully immaculate kiss

Can mend one hundred broken hearts

That when you give a mouse a cookie

They will ask for milk

That there is an ocean of difference

Between being truthful and being honest

And that the emperor truly has, no clothes on


And you learn that you really are beautiful,

Most profoundly, underneath it all

That you are and always have been

Worthy of everything you deserve

That you can, in fact, fly without wings

And that you can compose the music of life to a visionary beat


And you learn that true spiritual love

cannot be shown to someone, only demonstrated

You learn that the footsteps on your path

To divinity were preprinted, at your conception

And with the oneness of Spirit

You will see the significance of living

In honor of the truth that you too,

Are the light of the world