Sober City Redux: Day 26

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When I was younger the Happy Face (or Smiley Face) was my thing. I mean it was and still is a lot of people’s thing but I adopted it as MY THING. I had happy face paraphernalia everywhere in my room; everyone who knew me bought me absolutely anything with a happy face on it; I incorporated the happy face into my actual signature, and because of the happy face I once got punched in the face giving me a black eye for prom (that’s a story for another blog). Needless to say, it meant a lot to me and it’s not hard to see why. I was always an extremely positive person and I fully believed in the power of positive thinking and manifest destiny and all manner of self help book rhetoric, so the happy face seemed like a pretty natural logo for me to adopt in retrospect. This kind of outlook and thinking served me extremely well and I fully believe it directly influenced a lot of my personal and professional success, so it’s a little disheartening to realize that I now feel completely disconnected from the happy face I used to love so much.

This isn’t to say that I’m depressed. I’m not. I feel pretty great for the most part actually, I just don’t feel a connection to that younger, full of life and promise, happy face guy I used to be. This might not be a bad thing necessarily and it’s more than likely just one of the many things you grow out of as you get older but fuck that! Getting older shouldn’t be about letting go of everything you held dear when you were younger just because time passes. It should be about learning to amplify those things that worked for you and only leave behind all the hot garbage that dragged you down. Apparently I’ve been opting to just lump my wide-eyed-optimistic-fearless-over-confident-anything-is-possible-happy-face persona that made me who I was and brought me nothing but success and happiness into the “Young and Naive” category to wither and die along side “Petty High School Drama” and “Playing Ghost Busters”. It’s ridiculous. Letting go of my happy face obsession is one thing but letting go of what it represented in me is totally unacceptable. When did “growing up” become synonymous with “giving up”? Who decided aging has more to do with changing than adapting? At what point did we all let “getting older” become the opposite of “getting bolder”? I really don’t know but it’s all a pile of horse shit.

The point I’m trying to make (poorly) is that growing up and getting older is a perfectly normal and necessary part of life that benefits everyone in many positive ways and is great and fine and super and ultimately has the potential to chip away all the great parts about ourselves that we used to love while sucking all different kinds of ass and balls. We know this. We know all this yet we let age and fear and jadedness seep their way into our tiny lizard brains and slime the place up with lies and false reasoning. We gotta hold on to the good parts from the past, those good bits of us that helped create and define who we were, who we are. The happy face. My happy face. It worked for me. It inspired me. It lifted me up higher than I had any business going and it’s part of who I was and who I am. Growing up doesn’t mean giving up. Growing up means getting up, again and again and I for one am going to do my damnedest to try and remember that, with or without a thousand happy faces in my apartment.

This post is dangerously close to entering “Sarah Palin bumper sticker ranting” territory so I’ll end it there. As always, feel free to like and share and comment as much you see fit. Every click makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Also Sober City might be going through some changes in the near future so please bear with me as I navigate potentially uncharted territory. Cryptic ominous sentence! Don’t worry. Just stay classy San Diego.
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JM

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