I once did a project in an interpersonal communications class in college, whereby we could draw a house or a face. The teacher would then tell us what she could discern about us from our artistic expression. I made a picture of a girl with bright red curly hair, bright energy filled eyes, a great big smile, and ears – all the better to hear you with my dear. I can’t recall the complete diagnosis revealed from my picture, but I do remember. The eye showed my constant observation of my surroundings, the ears my openness to listen, and the smile… A clear disguise for my internal pain. The smile of a person who presents perfection, is all squared away, but is really one stiff breeze away from completely unraveling.
I feel more self aware these days, but somedays this is still what’s behind the smile.