Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life's little bruises

The best thing to do is just keep on smiling and pretend you're okay...even if you're not.

I'd like to take credit for this one...I've probably said something very much along these lines at least once a year for most of my adolescent/adult life. But, it was the 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis who gets the credit (even if he doesn't get official credit...yet...for winning the Tour in '06).

Smiling is simply my style - Alikona style. And it is something I have embraced ever since I can remember...or my family can remember.

I was 2 years old and had haphazardly tumbled while sliding down the banister railing of our stairwell (something my sisters and I were notorious for doing!). I hit my head/eye on one of the sharp edges of the wooden steps on the way down. My mom says they (of course) made a big fuss and rushed to my aid, where I cried for 2 seconds, and then proceeded to giggle and smile and act like any happy-go-lucky towhead who's just had the thrill of rushing down a SUPER GIANT slide. I was put down for a "nap" and an hour later my eye was swollen black and glued shut down to my lower cheek. The infamous black eye stuck around for nearly a year, and while I'm sure my parents received countless numbers of dirty looks, my smile never faded and assured others of my well-being.

Bruises happen. They're ugly and they can hurt. Sometimes a lot. But you know what? They also heal. I've had more ugly bruises in my life than an NBA star's one-night stands. I even had a 24-year anniversary black eye last summer when I took a spill and hit my head on the sharp edge of a coffee table (what is it with me and sharp corners?). That was a real beauty! Internal bruising - the mind, the body, the heart - can almost be worse. It's an internal fight and we don't have the benefit of physically seeing the battle wounds fade away. My ego's been bruised; and definitely, my tender heart's been beat up a time or two (or a dozen). Yet each time those bruises have healed. And the secret I discovered in healing was simple: smile.

Smiling just feels better. And somehow...miraculously makes the pain of not being "okay" - of experiencing life's little bruises - feel that much less painful.

Bruised but beaming,
Alikona ;)


adam said...

Definately keep on smiling (it can be infectious)! And remember most injuries are only temporary. BTW I didn't know that you were a pilot!

Camryn said...

Wow, that bruise brings back memories. I think you had a black-eye your entire childhood. And the top picture was what it looked like healed. :) You're a tough girl, Sunny. I'm proud of you.