In my youth, my Mom would take the whole family downtown to the CNE each and every summer. The Canadian National Exhibition had all kind of fair ground paraphernalia from stuffed toys, to plastic jewelry, and trinkets of all kind. My favourite piece of memorabilia I got each year, was a yellow plastic smily face medallion. That two inch diameter face with the black line smile, and black dots for eyes was happiness to me, and happiness is what’s sexy this week.
Growing up for me wasn’t always the proverbial bed of roses, yes I had a great childhood considered privileged by many outsiders, however I never saw it that way. Fights, schoolyard bullying, teasing, fending for myself, and so much uncertainty and soul searching. I couldn’t wait for the yearly journey to the CNE, to that summertime fantasyland and the opportunity to get my coveted yellow round plastic face with the black eyes and smile.
I wore it like a badge of honour, and I was happy. I don’t know what it was that made me feel that way, but with it I felt strong and powerful without a care in the world. When I lost that smily face, or it was taken from me, I was never sure of what the truth was, my world came crashing in.
The interim wait for the next summer’s fair kept me going, and then it came, the first year my coveted idol was nowhere to be found. I was heart broken, with my plastic stranger no longer available to soothe me. For a long time during that trip to the fair I searched high and low for my vacant faced friend to no avail. Towards the end of the day I began to entertain the idea of finding a new confidence idol, but with the end of the day nearing, I realized my chances were going to be slim.
Honestly I knew I was going to be riding the train home without a consolation buddy and the thought of it had me panic stricken. I was deflated and anxious, and as the train pulled away from the station heading eastward with the throngs of people onboard, I slowly became entranced in the dimming lights of the fair through my glare out the window.
It was a piece of plastic, with black, a hole and a ribbon, that meant so much, but why. Answers that didn’t come right away, but slowly over time I came to realize what that piece of plastic embodied for me, and what it didn’t. That behind that smiling face was where the truths revealed themselves, truths I needed to investigate and accept.
Truths that included making decisions about my own happiness, to take control and make it happen. To step up and own it and know that behind every smiling face, plastic or not, there are just as many depths, complexities, and truths.
This is sexy this week, and these posts are meant to be short, sweet, and inspirational so I won’t drone on. Your happiness is what you make it, take charge, live the life you want, live the life you need.
Happiness is within you, within your grasp.