I wasn't going to post this photo. So many details about this pic bother me. The detail that bothered me the most is that I. am. not. smiling.
I always envied people who didn't smile when they didn't feel like it. I wanted that ease and that level of self-acceptance. I didn't have that and so I smiled. I smiled first, last, and often, in-between. If you're smiling, people don't ask, "what's wrong?" If you're smiling and joking around, people think everything is okay and I guess I wanted everything to be okay because I didn't know how to handle when things weren't okay, and so I smiled.
I still smile a lot. If there was a daily quota for smiles, I'm pretty sure I would nail it every single day. And with 6 amazing and often hilarious kids, I have a lot to smile about. But you know what? Not smiling is okay, too. It's okay to have those feelings and emotions that have no room for a smile. It's taken me a long time to accept this for myself. I want my children to know that it's okay to have feelings and emotions that are not smile-worthy. Those life experiences are just as real and important as the happy ones so don't hide them and don't apologize for them - if you address them and work throught them, a genuine smile may be waiting for you.
Sometimes it's okay not to smile. Some of you may be thinking that's a no-brainer but for me it's personal growth. Once again, I'm glad you dropped by. You are awesome!