Learning To Smile

I have never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve.


I have learnt to hold my cards close from a very early age. It seemed safer to hold my most private thoughts and feelings away from the ruckus of active tongues.

There was something unsettling about baring all to the world. My emotions were private stories that needed no audience. Saying nothing seemed easier than being misunderstood. A whirlwind of meandering intent had stripped the soul from too many a story before mine, so why bother? why offer my thoughts off as useless fodder. The detachment I nurtured was solely for peace of mind.

Sadly comfort has never been a key component in growth, silence was hurting me.


Every unexpressed portion of me muted the strokes that painted my picture of the world. Its hard to present your picture of life as you see it without the colouring of smiles, tears, laughter and love. When you learn to live inwardly as I once did, there are things you eventually need to learn. Things that seem to come easily to the people who casually gift the world with every emotion that springs to life. The fullness of emotive language became this trying dialect with more consonant that voice, with invisible edges. Sharp. Testing the dexterity of my tongue and the vigour of my honesty.

The task of proving to the world I could emote wasn’t as straight forward as I thought. I could laugh when the punchlines came around, I learnt the cadence of humour. I learnt to cry when the conversation took a solemn turn, the tonality danced in dreary octaves, these were my cues. By hook or crook I walked as they did, with a counterfeit finish to my smile.

I devoted a large portion of my time to knowing more, making sense of the world around me was a venture of intellect. I had my hands full busying my mind, there was no time for bleeding hearts. I had forgotten how to wear my smile. Looking up from the pages was reminder enough that without an eye for the heart, I was still blind.

Without an ear for the soul, everything I’d learnt would be regurgitated as noise unhinged from meaning and human relevance.


Reality was a constant reminder of the human component to living. As trying as the ascent from silence was, I have come a long way, I sing a very different tune these days. I’ll take emotion as it comes to me. These seasons of expression balance the scales of my existence, my anger is as much a part of me as my laughter. In courting every strand of these tides I welcome the chance to know them better. In knowing them I began to understand myself, gaging the waves of anger so they may never drown my friendships; listening the winds of love as they may not unhinge my faculties, modestly consuming the morsels of pleasure lest gluttony sully my moral standing.

I found a small pocket of peace between the world of solitude and open expression. I have every right to feel, every right to heel the stale picture in my cold gaze of old. In learning to smile, I’ve had to harness courage and consideration. To stand tall while we all walk together.

Written by The Blissful Nomad.

Want to write a guest blog? The themes for 2017 have been released, continuing with ‘Wellbeing’ in May. Send your blog to bradley@beatfreeks.com, or contact for more information.


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