My original post for today was going to be regarding writer's block, but as of 12:30 this afternoon, my mood changed. I will touch on writer's block tomorrow. Today, I am going to talk about smiling.
Smiling is a very simple thing. It is common and, for the most part, the universal expression of happiness. It only takes about 12 muscles to form a smile. Simple. Easy. But what happens when you don’t like your smile?
I haven’t liked my smile since 2007 when I noticed a cavity beginning to eat away at a front tooth. Dental work in Ontario is not covered under OHIP and unless you have insurance through work, it is expensive. I’ve already spent about $600 out of my own pocket on dental work and I still have more work to be done. Thankfully, my dentist allows payment plans, which is helpful when you have a job that doesn’t let you work, but that’s another story. The fact is, I haven’t actually I smiled in photos since 2007. That’s six years’ worth of photographs with tightly closed-lipped smiles. My profile photo is how I have smiled for six years. Now, I can actually smile like I mean it.
See? I haven't been able to do that in six long years.
My smile, or lack thereof, affected my self-esteem tremendously. People would tell me to smile properly, but to me, a proper smile made my appearance less appealing. I mean, who wants to show off a cavity that has eaten away half of a tooth? I certainly didn’t. My smile was horrible and my confidence in myself took a swan dive. My esteem and confidence has taken hits, in truth, since 2003 when I was cheated on for the first time and kicked to the curb when I didn’t give that boyfriend what he wanted. Three more cheating boyfriends have followed; four out of my total six relationships ended with me being kicked to the curb and has wrecked my confidence. But now, I have a real smile, though I do have to re-learn how to do it. The act of smiling hasn’t been performed in years and the art of it has nearly been forgotten.
My next goal in life is to re-learn how to smile again. It has become a lost art to me, a lost art that I need to find and master. This might take me a while to do, but I will eventually do it. I might need a little bit of help and support along the way, but it will be done.