Smiles are not always what they seem

Smiles are not always what they seem

Smiling: a way to express one’s happiness, or maybe a mask for one’s authentic thoughts. Simply a smile could brighten someone’s day, but is my day bright enough to be thinking of someone else? The answer should be yes, but sometimes it’s not.

Some days I get wrapped up in stress and become so overwhelmed that I can see no one else. I cannot see what anyone else may need; I can barely see through my tunnel vision of the endless work piled up in my hands. I have to force myself to sit down, pull myself together, and tackle whatever obstacle I am facing. On those days, my smile is a mask, possibly brightening someone else’s day, yet reminding me that I am unquestionably unwell.

On other days, I am ecstatic. I am a bubbling barrel of smiles and laughter. These are my best days and, on these days, I am typically found with friends. I feel myself and never think twice about giving a smile, hoping it will make someone’s day as good as mine.

Maybe I am not alone

Rarely, I am both; it is uncommon for me, but it still happens. I start the day selfless, giving, and bubbly. I end up at some point in the day stressed, mostly because of school and procrastination’s deadly combination. I become so swamped in work that I can’t get myself to do it. I am so worried about working that I cannot think. I will never be found smiling in these moments. 

Maybe we all have these days and short outbursts of uncontrollable emotion. 

Maybe I am not alone in this. 

Maybe I am not the only one hiding behind a mask of a smile. 

Maybe we all need a bit more happiness in our lives.

I am trying to fix my emotional moments so I can bring back the smile. It is like waiting until dawn in an absolute downpour, and then the sun rises and everything becomes calm–the way it should be.

When I was younger, I remember asking my mom why she waved at someone that she didn’t know at a four-way stop. She told me that it was because they let us go first. She expressed gratitude when it was technically our turn anyway. Possibly it was to illustrate a smile that she gave even though the driver could not see her through the dark glass. Perhaps it was her way to give someone a small feeling of doing good, a glimpse of the joy that will find you, even when everything else seems wrong.

A smile is a way to give thanks, a way to express happiness, a way to spread joy. At least, that’s what an authentic smile is.

I desire true happiness for myself and for everyone around me. Maybe that is what you give with a smile: a glimpse of hope for the joy that is to come.