SMILE by Rebecca Scott
When I was three years old my mom brought me to my aunt’s house and never came to get me. My aunt told me that I would sit by the door waiting for her to come back. After a while I realized she was never coming home. Throughout the years my sister and I had supervised visits with my mom, but every time we left we would be disappointed.
My aunt adopted us when I was in fifth grade, after I had been in and out of foster care and group homes. I believe that whenever something bad happens there will always be a good thing to cancel out the bad experience. It’s up to how you present yourself. If you are sad and unwelcoming, chances are that no one will want to come up to you and talk.
It takes forty-three muscles to frown and only seventeen to smile, so it isn’t worth all that to frown effort anyway. You could be missing out on great opportunities to make friendships. I don’t like to be alone, so I try to make as many friends as I can by being happy. I want to become a Marine for this reason. I have wanted to since I was in eighth grade. When you become a Marine you will always be one and you have a second family and people you will never forget.
Everyone has bad times, but eventually those bad times will pass. When you think about all the people who either don’t have families or worse, you start to realize what matters more. What matters more is happiness. So smile.
The Portland-based Telling Room is a non-profit writing center dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Every Friday this summer we'll share an essay from a student between the ages of six and 18 with a unique perspective on the world.