You Don’t Have To Smile

“Why aren’t you smiling?”
“You look better if you smile.”
“Smile, kiddo.”

I get it, you want me to smile. It makes the picture look nice.

I like smiling. I still smile at strangers, I thank people, I say “you’re welcome” at any appropriately given moment. I’m a nice person. I like smiling but sometimes I don’t want to smile.

Sometimes I don’t smile because I am sad. Sometimes I don’t smile when I am glad.
You can’t judge me based off the expression of my face. (But that’s another story.)

Everybody has bad days.

And on those days you don’t have to smile.

I won’t make you smile, as long as you make me a promise; don’t stay sad.

Me making you smile for a photo isn’t going to magically make you happy, sometimes smiling makes things worse. So you don’t have to smile.

As much as I want to see you smile, it’s even better if you do what you need to do.

You need to cry? You cry.
You need a laugh? You laugh.
You need to take a break? You take a break.
You need to breathe? You breath.
You need to punch a pillow? You punch that pillow (but do be careful and don’t get hurt).
You want to smile? You smile.

But it’s okay if you don’t want to smile right now.

You’re an amazing human being. You’re making it through everyday.
And maybe today you won’t smile, and maybe tomorrow you’ll cry.
But someday you’ll smile, and it’ll be genuine.
You don’t have to fake it until you make it.
You do what you need to do to get to where you’re going.


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