People always tell me I should show my teeth more, but I find that if I smile too wide, it makes me squint and I look sleepy or hungover in photos as a result.
I put this pic on Facebook this morning with a status that said something like: Don’t let the smile fool you. Running sucks, and I’m not having a nice day!
One of the reasons I dislike running is because it gives me too much time to think.
While it seems like heresy for a Modern Philosopher to complain about such things, the thoughts I have while running aren’t usually good ones. I’m often pondering how much I hate running, or making deals with myself to just get back to The House on the Hill, rather can curling up in a sweaty ball in the middle of the street and begging the Angel of Death to just put me out of my misery.
For the past week and a half, I haven’t been able to prevent myself from thinking about the person who is supposed to be spending this vacation with me, and how if she were here as planned, I’d be doing something a lot more fun and romantic than running.
My mind goes to dark places, Modern Philosophers, if left unattended for too long.
So even though there’s a smile on my handsome face, there’s a very good chance that there’s actually pain, anguish, and horrible thoughts hidden behind it.
Which, of course, got the Deep Thoughts flowing again and made me wonder: What’s really going on behind your smile?
We’re really good at hiding our true emotions, aren’t we? We have to go out in public, make it through the work day, set an example for the kids, and navigate through an endless number of scenarios on a daily basis.
I know that when I’m going through a hard time, I do my best to hide it. One of the things I worked on in therapy was not letting things get to me, not being so grumpy, and presenting a happier version of myself to the world.
It’s definitely helped. I’d never make it as a poker player, but I think I hide my tells a lot better now than I did a few months ago.
Obviously, I’m talking about my public persona for the real world. When I’m writing on my blog, I don’t really do much to hide how I’m feeling. Writing is my therapy, it’s my chance to get out what’s bothering me, and hope the bad things drift off into the internet and no longer haunt me.
You know, so my smile can be real.
I’ve been depressed, highly unmotivated, lonely, bewildered, angry, sad, penitent, and frustrated during today’s speed round of Emotional Roulette.
In case you’re scoring at home.
I’m working on a new project that has involved my researching various aspects of mental illness. I have a decent understanding of it from my time working at the mental hospital, but I’m by no means an expert.
As I’ve been researching, I’ve been self-diagnosing (you know you would, too!), and it worries me that I exhibit a lot of the symptoms I’ve come across in my reading.
Does this mean that I’m hiding a great deal more behind my smile than I realized? If I were, wouldn’t my therapist have picked up on it?
Or have I gotten so good at presenting a happy, smiling version of myself to the public that I prevented her from truly diagnosing me?
It’s so much easier to put on a smile and go out into the world than it is to admit that things are so chaotic on the inside. Was I not honest with my therapist? Did I smile my way out of discovering deep, dark truths about myself that I wasn’t ready to handle?
Do we do ourselves an injustice by behaving the way society expects us to, rather than breaking down and allowing our emotions to run free?
Should we be less concerned about what others think and focus on being true to ourselves?
Right now, I have no idea what to think.
There is so much going on inside me that I am genuinely relieved that I have this time off to process it and try to get myself to a better place. The ability to isolate and not have to deal with the outside world is a major plus right now.
Or is it a crutch that’s preventing me from dealing with what’s truly happening?
I guess I’ve got more questions than answers tonight, Modern Philosophers, but isn’t that what Philosophy is all about?
Besides, I’m smiling, so how bad can it really be?
I’d genuinely smile if you would follow me on Pinterest…