Today I woke up with a face set in marble. I was a liquid man who melted into his clothes and glided into his car. The traffic was behind me as the windows blended the scenery into a blurry green. My eyes were glazed over with sleep, a stoic demeanor had gripped my limbs and face and mouth; I was a stone.
My car slowed and the scenery became a still life. I slid through the drive through of Starbucks, as I do some days when I don’t want to chisel my face into a smile. With a coffee in hand and liquid gold warming my cold insides, I began to thaw.
Sometimes I spend the entire day thawing out. Sometimes I wake up warm and cheerful, other days I don’t thaw at all.
Some days I’m a carbonite man.
I felt like a carbonite man today. In other words, I was grumpy. I was brooding. I didn’t want to talk. When Jeff talked to me about how nice the weather was today I just stared at him, “sure” I said.
I’m not sure if Jeff likes me anymore.
Coffee may be able to warm your frozen heart and cheer you up a bit, but it is a crutch. The solution to your grumpiness doesn’t come from your feelings. It comes from your actions. My grumpiness went away today when I chose to “turn my frown upside down’ and smiled.
Smiles are amazing. If I could give you some advice, something that is just for you, not for anyone else, I’d say you should smile more. Smiling isn’t really about other people; sure, when you smile you seem friendlier and I think people like others who smile more frequently. That’s not what it’s about, though. It’s not about presenting yourself as happy to others so that they can like you more. It’s about you being happy around others.
Being happy is way better than being a chunk of marble.
I’ve learned recently that I don’t smile for others. It’s selfish, I know. I smile for myself. I smile because when I smile it makes me feel happier inside. It makes me feel kinder. It makes me feel like the type of friend that I want to be for others.
It is strictly for myself.
The reason why it’s for myself is because others are going to interpret your smile however they want. They might not peg you as genuine. They might not like your dimples. Maybe your happiness makes them uncomfortable. Honestly, there’s a lot of reasons. People work in different ways, it’s totally okay.
My point here is that when you want to feel good you should smile. Smile because you’re presenting your best self to the world. Smile because you are genuine, not because you are trying to be something you’re not. Break that brooding habit for yourself.
It’s a discipline, just like everything else in life.