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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
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Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @The_Basco
This is his story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
I’m still wondering exactly how this “beneath the smiles” project concerns me as I’m a constant frowner, but I’m guessing this has to do with masking emotions and I do that very well, so let’s talk about my life and all the hell I’ve had to and am still smiling through.
Well, I wasn’t born a child that frowns; that was my defense mechanism I adopted in primary school as I was always the smallest(and youngest) in my classes and this went on up till Uni, when I had a few younger coursemates, but this is me getting ahead of myself.
I wouldn’t say I was/am smart, but a few may have been of that opinion from looking at my academic records in the past; I had my fair share of double promotions and that ensured that I was always in class with “egbons” and I didn’t even have real problems then except how to get the school to respect their tiny assistant head boy who got bullied by huge Primary 4 boys.
Secondary school was good to me as I was a day student and wasn’t subject to much bullying, I was top 3(in my class and over all a few terms) all through Junior secondary and then the real problem began when I got into Senior secondary school. I lost all sense of competition and perhaps learning too for the mere fact that there wasn’t any positional grading system anymore and when I was urged by my parents to try GCE in my SS2(I was still quite young) the only thing I went to my center for, was to stare at Boobs that my secondary school females didn’t have and do backflips every break I got. I barely passed any subject and I failed mathematics(my first failure, and the beginning of my troubles).
I didn’t seem shaken as my parents didn’t say more than “you know you can do better” and I went on to fail maths again in my SSCE, NECO and GCE after school. I was depressed and nothing got me more depressed than me wearing a school uniform again to re-take my SSCE in a school near the one I finished from. I cut classes and didn’t take some exams and my parents still didn’t get pissed; they simply talked sense into me and I went on to pass that SSCE with a lot of distinctions with Mathematics being one of them, we were all elated as I was done with failure.
More failure would come in Uni after a good start in my first 2 years and I ended up Barely graduating. I was disappointed and depressed. I cried in my mother’s embrace on my convocation, she comforted me; she and my Father celebrated me still and didn’t make a fuss; but I knew I had disappointed them yet again.
You’d think that was about it. After my NYSC I dealt another blow to them, telling them I wasn’t interested in furthering my education, taking any professional exams or practicing Accounting. They were shocked, but quick to offer their support in whatever it was I was going to tell them was my chosen path. I came up with a life style that many have criticized and through it all, all I got was increasing love from them.
I’m now doing what I want and love, though it’s slow in pace and wasn’t as fast as I had imagined it; I trust that very soon all the sorrows and disappointments(concerning me) beneath my parents smiles, would be eliminated and their masked smiles would become real.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XVIII’ by an Anonymous writer
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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