A habitually happy face can end up functioning as an unsociable mask.

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Overalls a gift from a generous friend, tee shirt thrifted.  The milk chocolate moniker amuses me with a small nod to skin tone.  Even though I’m not smiling.
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Days without makeup often coincide with scrubbing floors.  Which I did.  But still wanted an element of cute doing so, hence the overalls and hair worn long.

 

I recently had a visceral epiphany about my tendency to compose my face into a default smile.  It is an autopilot expression the habit of which dates far back to my teenage years, wherein I picked up the affectation of dimpling from a book, and most likely utilized the charm as a preventative to ostracization.

I’ve determined it likely beneficial to remain aware of the baseline subterfuge, and have been trying to re-orient my facial muscles to more truthfully reflect my inner state by dropping the habituated mask of a smile.  I’d prefer a more genuine bonamie, and also to permit myself to relax into my internal states of earnestness that do not bode a smile.  It’s actually rather difficult to retrain my face into neutrality and relaxation.  If I can persevere, perhaps the surprise will be me.

A bit of a poem on the matter:

 

 

years of smiles styled

convey veiled openness

masked intent gives guise

with unmet eyes

dimly aware of the practice

newly unseen

my face disarrayed

decomposes the dimplings

silence sought and wrought

focus to undo

forced patterns of me

calmly struggling to be

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