Thursday, July 11, 2013


Today I smiled.

Like, really genuinely smiled.

Some of you know,many don't, but this past year has been hard. Medical problems which drained me of energy and joy, to the stress of graduation, finals, school bills and sorority stuff. It was overwhelming. I lost my smile somewhere in the mix of it all.

But today, I smiled.

It felt good to finally be happy again. To realize that I had survived this past year, these past five years of school really. I walked away with a degree, a few scars, surgery, and bruises along the way, but I did it. I didn't give up. I walked away victorious.

I left Portland not really knowing what the future was going to hold. I like to plan, so of course I had a vague notion of what the immediate future was going to hold, but not long-term. For me, Portland represents a time of growth. I experienced love gained, love lost, new experiences, best friends, laughter, trials and tribulations, and even some "eventful" college nights where we felt young, alive, and carefree. Portland will forever be that moment in time, frozen in the files of my mind, stories one day to be told to others and laughed about at reunions.

While going through an old memory box, I came across a letter from an old friend. The card read "Sending you a say have a great day." Inside he wrote, "I saw this card and immediately thought of you - maybe because you've always had such an amazing smile. I miss seeing that smile." I missed that smile as well, but didn't realize just how much. Until now.

It took me a while, but I have that smile back and it feels wonderful. I am beginning to feel like Erin again. Without the stress, without the heartbreak. Happy Erin. I like that feeling.

I don't want to lose that smile again. That feeling I had when I stopped to reflect how great it felt to genuinely smile reminded me why it is so important to our very core to simply smile.

The winter has passed and the sun is shining. It is now time to focus my energy on finding those moments in life that make me smile.

We all should be doing that.