When You Have The Saddest Smile In The Room

Flickr / Mike Babiarz
Flickr / Mike Babiarz

Throughout my entire life leading up to this very point, all I’ve seen in my mind’s eye is the prospective future based on my own aspirations. Never have I been one to dwell in the past, let alone reminisce in the present—life is about living and living is about achieving goals. Or so I’ve believed.

My goals have always been fairly standard; graduate from high school, go to college in the city, get my diploma, become a young professional, fall in love, move to a new city, etc. In the midst of all my “living” and working towards goals I’ve fallen victim to something I believe all members of my generation will succumb to, not understanding the concept of permanence. This is an idea that has become completely lost to me.

That was up until the moment I lost two of the most important people and figures in my life—my grandparents. This past spring both of my grandparents passed away a month apart, one from a heart attack the other a broken heart. Death in itself is not what saddens the heart, as it’s merely a scientific fact of life; it’s the permanent absence of those you love, which causes the pain.

Permanence is both the universal truth and lie. It is defined by life experiences and relationships just the same as it is by one’s imagination. As a young adult the world and my current position in it is so ever changing, based on my own discretion, I forget there are things I cannot alter.

There are profound life moments — such as death — that occur without effort or challenge, making acceptance the only option for preparation. The struggle of losing two individuals who helped to raise and harbor me into the human I am today is nothing short of being the eye-opening experience that will make or break me; as I was neither prepared to accept this nor am I ready.

Though I have other struggles striking from different standpoints these and this new challenge has something in common, the defense arsenal I choose to arm myself with for retaliation. Nobody can and nobody will ever know the battles going on in my life because of this meticulously manicured set of defenses. I am always the jokester making others happy, all while maintaining the biggest smile in the crowd. My smile is the saddest in the crowd; this is my cloak of invisibility that guards me from the world.

My struggle is not one-of-a-kind and is not special to the world, but it is my own battle that I must conquer. It is a bearer of strife from which I cannot control or plan my way out of. No man-made remedy can heal this hurt, only time. Which until this moment I felt I had an infinite amount of. From here I will continue to smile my way through this intense depression that has become my everyday, a mere denial of reality for the sake of forced normalcy until I find an answer satisfying enough to help me accept the notion of permanence. TC mark

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