I used to smile a lot. When I was a child… I’m sure that it was endless. I was a rambunctious little kid with a determinable spirit, in fact, when I was a toddler, my mom walked into the study to find that I had climbed the bookshelves as I smiled and waved to her from the top of the shelf. Either way, I remember smiling, a lot.
I stopped smiling along the way because of rape, abuse, and domestic violence.
I took this photo at a time where I felt, emotionally, that smiles were perfunctory at best, and I believed this. No one will like you if you don’t.
It isn’t true though, I know that today. I am almost two years past when this photo was taken and I smile now at the most ridiculous things. Sometimes it comes easy, like when I’m with my husband or my mom, they are the most vibrant people I have in my life and they love life, it’s infectious.
I smiled this last week because I am doing something new. I started a job, by choice, not by need. I felt proud and I was excited for what this next step in my future holds for me and I couldn’t help it, I was smiling. Smiling because the office I went to work for obviously had an interior decorator or smiling because the people in the office were so pleasant. Smiling because I will get to see my husband more when he switches out of the current job he is in. Smiling because the air smelled like Seattle rain, coffee, morning traffic, and my awesome Pandora playlist.
I was walking back upstairs to my office today when I came across a man I haven’t met yet, going into his office, he looked about 10 years younger than my father was when he passed away, but from his pose and gentle smile I felt a familiarity, he reminded me of my dad, so I smiled. I smiled because he reminded me of my dad, of love, of happiness, of a man who enjoys life, and who’s enjoyment of life is infectious. The smile was there on me. Then he smiled back.
It was in the next seconds that he turned to me as I passed him and he said – “your smile just made my day.” I looked at him and smiled even larger and thanked him for the compliment … then I passed him, headed towards my office he called out to me “I hope you give that smile to your father every day!”
It stopped me cold. I didn’t want to say “my father passed away, I miss him more than you can imagine, I wish he could see that smile every day, I wish I could hold him, touch him, hug him, tell him how much I love him…” …… these are things we don’t say in the perfunctory world of passive aggressivo though….. so I turned around and held back my tears as I smiled again and said “I used to.”
I saw the look on his face as he realized that my father was gone, then he said “I hope you will think of him and smile like you just did for me.”
I said that I would, then I walked back to my office and I sat at my desk thinking about how terribly I miss my Dad, but it brought about a new thought for me, why not smile like I would for my Dad? It doesn’t hurt people to see a smile on someone’s face and I think that it is something we are missing in today’s world of duckface and selfie’s.