Countless notebooks chronicle my worst of the worst times. If I didn’t know any better, I would bet my entire left, pinkie toe I was on anti-depressants. Every line is filled with pain or the anticipation of forthcoming pain. Tons of somber soliloquies await the right voices to take them to their next levels. Vivid recall plays some of the saddest words I’ve ever seen like a low budget film, but I won’t burden you with dreary recollection.
Reading my words from yesteryear reminded me of how easily a smile can be laden with deception. Those who know me can attest that I’m a smiler. Eighty-seven percent of the time it’s not a front. Most days I am genuinely oozing with joy, but even a semi-professional smiler is prompted to take a day off occasionally. When I’m not smiling I’m bombarded with forty-seven questions and puzzled expressions. All you semi-professional and professional smilers should be able to relate to that. People around you become accustomed to your presumed state of face; they borrow your smile. It’s a gift and a curse. Seriously, smiles are contagious. A little facial manipulation seals deals, provides comfort, spreads joy and happiness, as well as changes the courses of days around the world.
On those off days, I’m breaking down and falling apart and no one knows. In order to avoid telling deliberate lies, I smile—much like Kirk’s song instructs. Do I smile because I don’t want to spread negativity, or could it be because I want to act as if I have it all together? Honestly, I smile because I don’t want to deal with the issue at hand at that moment. These times make me grateful for the smiles of others.
My courtesy smiles work long enough to complete work days, dinner dates, and other social obligations. I think happy thoughts, cling to a few funny one liners, and shy away from any subject that will trigger a tear. This method has a short shelf life. At some point, I have to usher myself into recovery mode and begin resolving issues. You can lie to others, but deceiving yourself is trickier.
It’s unfortunate that everybody everywhere doesn’t smile every day. You never know what your smiling face is doing for someone. Many times people don’t need your guidance or even your kind words; a simple smile will suffice.