I’m a Midwest reppin’, Cardinal wearing, mean mugging alpha female from the beautiful yet scary city of St. Louis, Missouri. To mean mug in the city was sort of like saying “hello,” but with a side of “you better not say anything else to me though.” So, you can only imagine the wake-up call I got moving to the South.
In the Lou, I use to walk around with other women who believe that we didn’t need to smile—like for what. I wasn’t happy all the time and that’s ok. Sure I was carrying a chip of distrust and wall build to keep “no new friends” out but what was wrong with that?
The answer: everything.
Here’s a quick “come to Jesus” moment from me to you—a smile isn’t for anyone else but yourself. It’s a statement of positivity over pain, over sadness, over confusion and even over contentment. It is you telling yourself, it’s not so bad.
It took one random night at a club and one random woman to teach me this lesson.
Picture this: I’m fresh on the Atlanta scene, enjoying a night at one of the Underground clubs (if you haven’t been to Atlanta, it’s really a club under the ground) when my cousin needed to make a restroom stop.
As I’m waiting on her in the bathroom, I’m posted up at the door. And when I say posted, I mean mugging just in case a girl has something to say about my outfit, hair or anything because of course, it would be a negative comment (I know what you thinking but just keep reading).
I scanned the room and don’t see anyone eyeing, then I hear a voice.
“Sweetie, what’s wrong?” This short gorgeous woman is talking to me, which breaks my mugging for a moment.
“Huh,” is the only answer that seems to be appropriate seeing that nothing was really wrong other than I was ready to leave the bathroom.
“You look so mad. You’re too pretty to be mad. And plus you’re at a club…have a good time!” She laughed. I laughed. We laughed and a smile was just inevitable.
She made sense. I knew I was mugging but what I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t needed. Every woman wasn’t some evil, conniving, negative chick looking to make me cry or start a fight (that’s a moment for another post). Plus, a simple smile was more of an “I’m doing alright” statement to myself.
It’s true a smile is contagious and powerful. It’s meaningful in so many ways, from improving your mood and spirit, to changing someone’s mind and motivation.
The moral of the story and this week’s motivation is to not take a smile for granted.
It’s not corny or overrated because people like to see it. If you’re from my next of the woods, it’s really underrated because we’ve forgotten its power. A smile is a simple reflection of who you want to be—a happy person. Take some time this week to just smile, even when you don’t feel the best or are dealing with some life obstacle, try a smile and see if your mood changes. When I do it in those moments, I actually start to laugh and realize that it’s not so bad. It may suck, but it could always be worse.
Smile folks and enjoy your week.