Behind The Smile

September 2021

Some days I just want to give up. I want to stop dreaming, stop hoping, stop believing. Some days I’m too exhausted to take the next step towards my dreams because I feel like I’m swimming in mud, and it’s up to my neck. Some days it feels like it’s going to take too much effort to move, let alone hope and believe that things will get better.

But somehow… somehow I manage to still pull myself together… somehow manage to shake it all off… somehow manage to slap on a smile… somehow manage to keep going forward… until I fool even myself and I regain a sense of hope.

But it doesn’t mean that I’m not angry. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to shake the people who I see are still asleep… grab them by their shoulders as I face them and scream “wake up!”. But I know that most won’t wake up. Most will just look at me with a blank face, oblivious to what’s going on around them; Asleep as they continue the shell of a life that they’re living in.

I know that if I scream “why can’t you see?” that some will look at me and just laugh… manically… and they won’t stop. The few that are so dark, twisted and decaying inside, that they revel in seeing others suffer. The few that get some sick enjoyment from seeing people feel worse than they really are inside.

I know that if I scream “this is not fair!” that only the very few will look at me with sincerity and concern. Only a few will blink and take in what’s around them, before they stop, look back at me and say “you’re right – it isn’t fair”.

But only fewer still, will actually do something about it.

For themselves.

For their family.

For their friends.

For the collective.

Only a tiny few seem to have the strength to make the small changes that have a huge impact over time. Only a tiny few who believe in the “greater good” and will fight for their beliefs. Only a few who will take the steps in their lives, to make everything that little bit better.

Because it takes a lot more strength that you realise to keep moving forward, when so many things are pushing you back. To keep believing, when the whispers of doubt get so loud, that they become deafening. To keep trying, to keep hoping, to keep living.

Because it’s so much easier to just give up. It’s so much easier to just let it all consume you until you’re part of the wave, floating to wherever it takes you. Numb and uninterested in the outcome. It’s easier to point out all the negatives in an ocean full of them, where they’ve suffocated the beauty that lies just below the surface.

But I’ve never been one to just relinquish control. Not of my life. And not anymore. I can’t. I won’t. I shine too bright for any amount of darkness to snuff me out. I stand too tall and firm, for any wave to diminish who I am. Somehow, somewhere, I have a reservoir of strength, of determination, of raw passion, that I can’t… no, I won’t give up.

And so I forge ahead, pushing and shoving my way towards my hopes, to my dreams, to the life that I know is for me… the one that’s so far removed from where I am now. I stomp past all those who try to keep me from moving forward.

My life, my wellbeing, my peace... they are all too precious to just hand over so that someone else can pull the strings.

And so the flicker of the flame of my being, strengthens with each breath. It slowly stops dancing from being subject to the winds around it. It stops being influenced by the external and focuses on the internal. It starts to burn brighter again. It stands taller… until it becomes an inferno again, burning until its brightness is dazzling. Until it is an unstoppable force again.

And so I smile.

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