I had a realization that opened a wound in my heart.
Or maybe began healing it?
I don’t know which, all I know is this realization caused this heart wrenching weeping. Like a floodgate I didn’t even know was there was torn open and pain poured out.
This realization came from old photos of me at four and five years old. In all of these pictures, every single one I am smiling my true smile, my big showing all my teeth grin. This big smile is quirky and a little lopsided and it reached up to my eyes that become a little squinty. In these pictures my Grandma was always the photographer, she brought out the biggest truest smile.
But the other picture I have at around age 8 I am smiling the smile I wore for many many years. The self conscious smile, that at first shows happiness but not the wide eyed joy from my freed self. There is fear in that smile, an attempt at smallness and restraining my self. There is a shyness and a doubt towards the person behind the camera.
I can point to all the wounds in my heart that caused this smile to take over. I can tell you every word that produced this shy, guarded girl. And I can also tell you she truly has made progress, she is learning to smile her real smile. But she is still aching.