Broken, Yet Smiling

Broken, Yet Smiling

The saddest people are often the people who know the importance of a smile.

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Most of the time, we will display to the world the type of person we want them to see. We appear happy, optimistic, we laugh, we play, we have a jolly good time. I think more often than not, it can be really easy to keep up this act, even when our hearts are broken into a million pieces. Why do we do this though? Why do we pretend to be something that we are not? I for one, think that there can be both good and bad things with doing this, and will speak of them here.

The Good:

Know the saying "practice makes perfect"? OF COURSE YOU DO, we all do. Our parents barraged us with the darn saying all the time. At least mine did. Anyway, this saying does have truth to it. (Thanks mom and dad.) I believe that as we put effort into changing our attitudes towards more positive things, that slowly, over time, our attitudes can change to fit that persona. We slowly become the person that we are pretending to be.

Of course, it isn't to be said that simply pretending to be happy will have all of the desired effects of making us happy, but it can be something that contributes to our happiness. Being happy takes a lot of work, and every little thing helps. We cannot just rely on one or two things in order to be happy, we have to build a network of small things that intertwine, so that when one thing goes wrong, we still have a 100 little reasons to be happy. I promise you that if you take the time to list off the things you have to be thankful for, the list will go on and on, surprising you.

The Bad:

Well, not everything IS ok all the time. Being sad is simply a part of life. If we pretend to be happy so much, that we don't even confide in people we trust and tell no one about our struggles, all of our bottled up feelings can tend to explode in horrible displays. No one is without pain, and keeping that pain locked up is one of the leading causes of more pain, at least this has been my experience. Maybe you find that when you bottle things up, you are better off? Maybe? Probably not. Try to be happy, and smile, but don't bottle up your feelings and hurt yourself.

In conclusion, I would just like to say that the way we perceive people is often not how that person perceives themselves, nor would I say it is always who they really are. When you look at someone, try to see them for who they really are, not for who you want them to be. Life isn't black and white, we are all complex beings with complex makeups. Don't stereotype, don't assume, and don't hold bias. I hope you can strive to be happy with me, even though we are all broken a little inside.

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To My Boyfriend's Mom

He loves you more than you could ever imagine...
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Without you, there would not be a him, so first things first, thank you.

1. Thank you for teaching him to love a woman the right way, to put God first, and YOU before me always, the respect he shows you is so attractive, and you deserve it.

He talks about you like you hung the moon, I don't doubt for a second that he will be an amazing father one day, I owe all of that to you.

2. Thank you for giving me a chance, learning to love me when you knew your son was doing the same.

I can't speak for my own first impressions, but hopefully mine was not THAT bad...when we both slapped him on the arms for his rude remark at the same time, I knew our relationship was already blossoming.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

3. Thank you for every meal you have ever purchased me.

And chocolate, and candy...you know just as well as your son does that food is the way to my heart. Especially Taco Bell and cheesecake ;)

4. Thank you for your advice, suggestions, and opinions...and asking for mine

Whether it's telling me to slap him for being a smart a$$, or you're asking me about color swabs for your kitchen makeover, you come to me as if I am your own, and I am so honored to give you my own input.

5. Thank you for including me

You never fail to leave a spot for me, and I love family dinners/outings with you guys just as much as I love my own!

6. Thank you for teaching your son to never give up, and that if he does it is only to better himself, or it's the only choice he has left.

He is so focused on his future, he wants the best for himself, and he is constantly reminding me that these are things that YOU taught him, you deserve to be so proud.

7. Thank you for letting him love my family, and allowing me to love yours.

He is so loyal and loving to my family, and I don't even have to ask myself why because I see him with you and yours. Thank you for letting us double up on holidays when we can, and making sure we get the most out of our time with you!

8. Thank you for being his best friend.

I think of him as mine too, but I couldn't think of a better person to also hold that title, you know him better than anyone else and you always will.

9. Thank you for teaching him how to treat a woman

He is constantly telling me "You sound like my mother." Thankfully earlier in our relationship, he told me that the woman he wants to be with, should do just that. He always tells people who try, "No, no one calls me by my full name except my mom and my girlfriend."

10. Thank you for your honesty

We all know that he and I can drive you crazy sometimes, thank you for telling us like it is, and making sure we know you still love us anyways.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

11. Thank you for teaching him to work as hard as possible in anything and everything he does.

I have never met anyone with such a desire for success, he and I are constantly discussing how we can better our futures, and I know exactly where his drive comes from.

12. Thank you for teaching him to clean up after himself

Even though sometimes, it takes him a minute to do so.

13. Thank you for teaching him how to love, and letting him love me.

I have never felt so loved by a man, probably because anyone else who came into my life was just a boy. Thank you for your unconditional love for him, he is your entire heart and that is so easy to see, I am happy to share his with you.

You and I both know that even years from now we will both occasionally probably be closing the fridge that he left open, cleaning the crumbs he dropped, demanding he take a shower after playing soccer, or reminding him 20 times about plans we made weeks ago, we both share such a great love for such an amazing man. I could never be more thankful that you brought forth into this world such a comforting, supportive, protective, steadfast, driven, handsome, and hilarious guy. Thank you for everything you do for him, for me, and for us, I love you a lot!

Cover Image Credit: casey

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When Everyone Around You Is In a Relationship And You're Still Single

You might feel pressure to start a relationship, but reconsider...

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I'm not sure how or when exactly it happened, but it suddenly seems like everyone I know is in a relationship. While I'm happy for them, it can be kinda...depressing. Nauseating. Exhausting.

It builds slowly at first: the subtle side-eye you give your friend as they're on the phone with their S.O., the little pang of jealousy you get when your cousin posts their engagement pictures on Facebook, the way you feel when your Snapchat Stories are full of people on cute dinner dates.

Suddenly, it's a Thursday afternoon and you just snapped over an Instagram post of your friend and his boyfriend on their anniversary. We've all been there. I may or may not be there currently.

The worst advice you can get when you're feeling down about not having an S.O. is "Don't worry! You'll find someone!"(Especially when it's coming from someone in a happy relationship).

I'm here to give you the actual advice that you (and I) need to hear. You do not need a relationship to be happy, satisfied, or whole.

Here's the truth: you're gonna be just fine without a relationship. You are young. You are educated. You are ambitious and have your whole future ahead of you.

You are a complete person on your own who does not need another person to validate you or make your life worth enjoying. I'm not saying a relationship can't be satisfying and fun. I am saying that being in a relationship is not the end all, be all of happiness.

If you are spending your time waiting for a relationship and looking for it in every person you meet, you can end up missing out on so much of your life. Instead of being jealous of every couple around you and being bitter that you can't seem to find the "right person," try figuring out how to enjoy spending time as an individual.

You will have more time to devote to exploring new interests, developing new skills, and meeting new people. Your social, emotional, and mental wellbeing will become priorities.

Plus, just because you aren't in a relationship or looking for a relationship, that doesn't mean you won't have romantic/sexual experiences. You can still go on dates and develop relationships with people you are attracted to without the pressure to turn it into a serious relationship. Once you remove that expectation from your mind, you might even find it easier to meet, talk to, and connect with people.

When you stop focusing all your energy and hopes onto being in a romantic relationship, you open the door to new experiences, opportunities, and people. Most importantly, you are able to refocus and recenter your life around growth as an individual, which will lead to a healthier and more solid basis for any future relationships.

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