“Wisdom to share is that everyday is an adventure and you never know where the day will lead you.”
I ran into a colleague of mine the other day, it had been quite awhile since I had last seen him. After we greeted each other, he said, “you are always smiling Meg. I have never seen you without a smile.” As we said our goodbyes, I turned away and thought to myself, with a knowing smile- I know that looking in from the outside, things are not always as they seem.
Little did he know, that on that very day, showing up to that very place, even with a huge smile on my face, I was struggling on the inside. I was dealing with my own eternal sadness. You see, I saw him at the funeral for the father of a very dear friend of mine. And, I spent a major portion of that morning struggling with the decision of whether I could go, not should go. Seeing my friend and her sisters eulogize their daddy, watching the grandchildren express their love, and listening to the song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, the similarities had me revisiting my own memories of the day we had to say goodbye to my mother. For you see, my mom died almost 6 years ago, and to this day, it takes so much out of me to go to those places that remind me of that loss. And knowing where I am right now, how I am dealing with the unfolding of my life, and the lack of certainty of where I am going, I missed my mother and her guidance more than ever. Yet, I decided to go and be there for my friend bringing my smile along with me, even while crying on the inside.
And boy, do I really miss my mom lately as I am navigating this stage of my life that has me picking up the pieces of a year that was a marathon, yet felt more like a race. Looking back, I spent a lot of time and money bringing my beautiful little guide to bliss into this world with as much heart and soul that I could muster. Sure, I was overwhelmed from the task of holding down a job in law while at the same time navigating my way on this new writer’s journey. But I think that the hardest part of this whole process for me was when I stopped and questioned myself, there in those moments of quiet reemerged my life long struggle with a lack of self confidence and the feeling that I was not good enough. A struggle that had me terrified as I voluntarily put myself out into the world only to face the risk of being rejected or made fun of once again. I spent a large portion of my life hiding amongst the masses, not calling attention to myself because the attention I was accustomed to receiving as a child was unkind and belittling. And you know what, the only way I got through those times, was to show up with a smile on my face so that those in the world who hurt me would never truly know the damage that they were inflicting. And now, I was putting myself out there in a way that I had never done before to share my “magnus opus”. And yes, as I pushed past my own fear, I still showed up with a smile every time I got the opportunity to bring my own message of hope. And, as I pick up the pieces now at the end of that year, what comes to my mind, is hold onto hope. Hope that I will keep getting the opportunities to do what I love to do. Hope that the magnificent part of myself will always show up to help another soul even in the face of scared places. And, hope that everyday is an adventure and you never will know where it will lead you if you don’t show up. And I suppose ultimately that is why I showed up to the funeral, I wanted to offer my friend hope that while she was in pain now, she will get through it if she kept moving forward, just like I did, like I still do.
So I show up to my life with as big a smile as I can. I show up even though there are days when inside I feel like crying. And each day I do, I get to pick up my life again, piece by piece and stand in gratitude for what I have surpassed so far. So I show up with as big a smile as I can, and make a commitment to keep moving forward, doing things that I love, inviting those magnificent parts of me to come out of the shadows and stop hiding. So I show up with as big a smile as I can-because that may be the only thing that I am able to share with another person on any given day. But then again who is not to say that a smile alone might just be enough.