Because of the nature of my job - front desk at a busy, downtown church - I am expected to smile. No matter what, keep smiling.
It doesn't matter if my shoes don't fit, or I woke up late, or someone at home ate my apple - I'm expected to smile.
This isn't my first front desk job. In my early working days, I spent a lot of time at some front desk or another. In doing so, I learned to mask my emotions. I learned to smile without really smiling. I learned to always be on guard because you never know who might walk through the door. I've also learned to take a deep breath and smile before I answer the phone so that my heart isn't heard in my voice.
I've done this so well for so long, that even away from work - people tend to expect to see a "smiling Tracie Jae."
Well, dammit, sometimes I don't feel like smiling. (Shock and awe!)
Sometimes I just wanna look the way I feel that day - sour, irritated, angry, tired, frustrated, undone, whatever the emotion - real.
I know a guy who always says, "Real talk." It used to work on my nerves because he said it after almost every sentence. But, just to borrow from him, "Real talk. . . some days are not so smiley."
These days, I have a lot of great reasons to smile. . . a great husband, great children, a nice home, a nice vehicle, gainful employment, healthy parents, a supportive church family, a sound mind (mostly). And yet - even in the midst of all the greatness around me - there are still some days that I don't feel up to smiling all day.
But I do it. I smile all day.
And ever so briefly thoughout the day - I get a chance to breathe. And sometimes in those moments - I'm still smiling . . . and sometimes not.