Updated: Nov 18, 2019
There is a first time with everything in life. Sometimes we remember when our first time was, and sometimes we don't. Knowing exactly when you began to be who you are, take a certain step in life or even love someone, can be the difference in whether you can make necessary changes during adversity. I was a weird, tall, string bean type figure teenager. To see me was to have to love me, lol. I thought school was the absolute best time ever. I remember thinking "Who wouldn't want to learn?" Skipping school was like saying a four letter word to me. My days revolved around school, church and family. One would think that the exposure I had and positive environments that I was surrounded by, that life was a breeze. But then there's the knowledge that, with life comes adversity. in nearly all families, communities, and circumstances. I can think back to those times and remember putting on a smile for different situations and I remember exactly when that, "Everything is OK" smile, hurt me to my core. I remember it changed me. That day made me a different person, days, months, years after it occured. It was early one morning and we had a church trip we were going on. Just as teenagers do, I was taking my "oh so sweet" time getting ready and my mother was not having my lack of a rush bone that day. After what I remember as some well executed discipline, for a lack of better words, I ended up with a few bruises but I made it on the bus in time for the trip. I remember being on that bus, fuming, wanting to tell the world that my spirit was hurt, my ego was bruised, my willpower had been broken and the physical evidence they saw was exactly what they thought it was. But what did I do, yep, I smiled and acted like all was ok. I made sure no one knew what happened and everyone went about their day with little or no concern for the young woman who had been broken. Not because some may not have cared, but because i had been taught in some way to smile on the outside no matter how I felt on the inside. It took me years of other failures in life. Numerous bad decisions and a period of really getting to know the type of woman I wanted to be to get past that first brush with smiling on the outside while crying on the inside. But, what I do realize about that day, is that while it was my "first" memory of hiding what I really felt inside, something had to be. Whether it was that day or instance or not, there would have been something else in its place if that never occured. I had to get to know that maybe, just maybe, it was necessary to get me to my happiness as it is today. Maybe, it wasn't either, but who knows. I can't recreate that day. I can't blame anyone involved. But what I can do is love the woman I am now, I can be exactly who God wanted me to be, and most importantly I can smile, I can really smile! That day gave life to the movement that is, Behind My Smile.