Wednesday, February 17, 2010

smile .... or not. It's all my choice

I was a typical low self esteem, thought life was unfair and terrible, just wanted to die teenager. I spent many a day/night crying in hysterics, begging a God I do not even believe in, to just let me die. Did I really want to? Maybe. If I would have known a way to do it, without it causing pain, I might have done it. I didn't know about sitting in a running car in the garage back then. The thought of pain makes me faint, I would never have gotten very far in trying to take my life.

As I got into my early 20s, I decided I just couldn't live that way anymore. I needed to die, or smile.

I happen to be one those "over thinking, got to break down and analyze everything" kinda people and decided almost overnight that, feeling that way was just a choice. I could continue to let myself feel miserable everyday, or I could choose to smile. Choose to be happy. Choose to enjoy what I had in front of me, no matter how bad it seemed. While the realization came to me almost overnight, the act of doing so certainly did not.

I took on my "smile and believe" attitude though and wore it out in "public". When people would say "Hi, How are you?" - I would lie. Tell them I am great, life is good! and I would SMILE! I happen to be starting my career path as a customer service agent around that time as well, where I was learning to always say please, thank you, have a nice day ... That becomes ingrained not only in the office, but in the rest of the world too. 20 some years later, I still get surprised reactions from people waiting on me when I say "thank you and have a nice day" when we are done. Eventually it became the "instinctive" choice, it became "2nd nature" to put on that smile when I walked out the door - eventually I started believing it! Most of the time, I really was happy -

But was I? Did that really make anything different or better? I have to say yes and no. It's certainly not a "fix" for what is really happening in life. However, it still all comes down to choice. We can choose to be happy, we can choose to smile, we can choose to believe that we really feel that way or not. Life is what it is. We choose to be ok with how it is, or not. It may not always be the easiest, best situation .. and there are of course times when it's going to get the best of us and we have to have a melt down, but we have to choose to come back together again.

Winter is harder for me than other times of the year. I firmly believe for me the sun makes a huge difference in my ability to choose the smile or the frown. I choose and allow myself to spend more days crying and wanting to give up in the winter months. I get very frustrated with myself over that, but sometimes even with the best of intentions, our choices are difficult and we don't always make the right one.

Im trying to get past that right now. I am making a choice to wallow in my misery of 2010 misfortunes. I want to smile, and be positive and move on with my life. but I am not doing it. I am choosing to sit here and cry and wanting to give up and "praying" that it will just some how fix itself. I know it wont.

So .. to smile or not to smile. That is my choice. I need to decide quickly.

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