Damn you Mr. Smiley

Mr. Smiley, why must you be so happy every fricking morning. I mean, like, give it a break. You woke up, you feel good, and you feel the need to share how great your life is. Ugh!

I’m pretty sure that’s how my coworkers feel about me. When I say “wake up in a good mood”, let’s just say I’ve been known to sing to my wife in the morning. I wasn’t always like this. I use to listen to my Onyx album Bacdafucup every morning before work, curse at other drivers, and dreaded working. Mind you, this was during the time I didn’t have a home. I literally bounced from house to house sleeping where I could. Some nights I slept in my car. Life was crap. Or so I thought. I was going down a slippery slope and I knew I needed to change or I was going to crash.

Looking back, I was an angry person. But this was my own demise. From the moment I woke up I had hate and discontent blaring in my ears. Fact: morning is the foundation for the whole day. How it starts effects our quality of day. My living conditions were less than adequate. Yes, I fell under the “homeless” category. Life was against me.

All of my life I was told “we’re poor we can’t afford that.” Naturally I adopted that mindset. Society frowns at the poor. So with the world giving me a cold shoulder, I gave one back. I hurt people verbally. Not just the casual insults. No, I lured people in with a kind smile and tender attitude only to drop them from cloud nine with unadulterated hate. I wanted others to hurt as I hurt. Why should they be so happy when I’m out here struggling? I use to say “Karma’s a bitch.” Truth is, I was being one. Times got rough. And then it happened. I had a friend that wanted to commit suicide. So, being the “sensitive” person I was, I decided to tell my life story to someone for the first time ever. Yup, I was opening up and letting the whole truth out. I left no details out. Poverty, abuse, neglect, molestation. It all came out. My friend set there with tears in his eyes. “I thought my life sucked.” he paused with searching eyes that yearned for a validation for his situation. “You should be the one committing suicide; not me.” he proclaimed. Perhaps it was a case of the simples brought on by staying up until the wee hours of the morning, but we began to laugh uncontrollably. Perhaps he was right.

Although that wasn’t the darkest hour of my life, it was a huge pivot point. I began to look at myself in the same manner I looked at others. Like a conman looking for a sucker, I was good at reading people. It was time I did a little soul searching. I wasn’t proud of who I was. At first I blamed my environment. Treat a man like a dog and he’ll act like a dog; right? No, treat a man like a dog and he’ll leave. People did leave me alone. I was always the third person in a group, the drifter at a party that was there but never interacted enough to have fun. I was lonely.

I was poor. Not because of my financial standings, but because of the quality of person I was. Over the course of twenty years I changed. One may say that’s a long time to change. They’re correct. But once change is started, it never stops. We continue to grow. Whether for the good or for the bad, we grow. I learnt to be courteous and polite. My environment changed as well. Not because the Navy moved me around, but because I saw the world in a different view. I still listen to the Onyx album from time to time to remind myself how far I’ve came.

What’s the next evolution? Being cordial. What does that entail? Glad you asked. I’m learning to be warm and friendly. Everything that I learnt with being courteous, now I do it from the heart. It’s the difference between taking a step and taking a step with purpose. I find myself calmer in stressful situations. Yes, I still have my moments. But, don’t we all… I implore you not to just be nice or kind. Rather, be genuine. Karma works both ways. You’ll find that kindness done without an expectation of reward has a way of being multiplied back. That’s why I’m Mr. Smiley in the morning. Life is good. I’m not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. But, I am happy. For once in my life I have found life’s happiness. And, it started with a sobering self evaluation. So please excuse my joyful morning exuberance. Thanks 🙂

Take care and have a beautiful Friday.


Steve Curtis

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