I choose to face the world with a smile

Over the past year, I’ve been asked in different ways if I’m always happy. This has made me ask myself, why?

It’s funny because when I was a kid, it seemed like I was always pouting. There are family pictures of my brothers and me in Paris, at a birthday party at Benihanas and who knows where else, where I don a massive frown like some reverse Cheshire Cat.

At a certain point, things changed. I realized that we can’t control what happens to us in life, only our response to what happens. We of course can make decisions. We can plan and act. But so much is out of our control.

I’ve decided to face life: its pain, its highs and lows, its rainy days and sun, with the same enthusiasm, light, and faith. That is all we can control: not what happens to us, but how we face it.

I choose to face life with a smile.

This question of whether I’m always happy has made me wonder if it seems as if I’m putting on a front; if people think I can’t be who I seem to be — if what they see isn’t the real me.

Well, I can tell you I hurt; I feel just as deeply as anybody. I can tell you I lay in bed in the morning as negative thoughts run through my head; I can tell you I cry when I’m alone.

That is me, yes, and I try not to hide that, but to be as vulnerable as I can to show we’re all dealing with something. That doesn’t mean the man you see with the unwavering smile is some fraud.

That person is one of faith. The smile isn’t fake — yet it’s for you, and it’s for me too — to remind me how good this life can be, that nothing’s so important, so dark, so painful, as to take away my faith.

I have an unwavering faith in the beauty of life.

There’s a difference between faith and hope.

Hope is a desire that a certain thing will happen; life presents a fork in the road, and hopefully, we’re drawn to the correct route. Hopefully it won’t rain today. Hopefully we’ll get the promotion.

Faith is the belief that whichever route we take, whether it rains or not or whether we get that job, we will be okay. The sky won’t fall, and in fact, not getting that job was probably for the best!

It might take years to understand our decision, our path, our journey. We may never understand the hand the universe deals to us.

Yet as long as we’re trying, day by day, by getting up and facing the world (better yet with a smile) things will happen as they’re meant to. Perhaps, even better than you can possibly imagine.

It takes courage to have faith.

It takes courage, knowing well that life is damn well difficult, to be joyful despite that.

I have an undying faith, because even though things may be tough right now, there is always a light ahead if we just keep moving.

It’s so much easier to give up.

To say it’s all for nothing and succumb.

I’m a human being, and I hurt as much as anybody. At times I want to give up. But I can’t. Neither can you.

Be courageous. Have faith.

So no, I’m not happy all the time. But life is short, and I think I just got sick of pouting.

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