Faking a smile until you feel like it sometimes just gives you a sore face

Bright, cheery, naïve advice is about as useful as an Ethernet cord in the village. There are going to be days (weeks, months?) that just plain suck. And what can you do? Sit back and eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies? It’s worked before, though I can’t credit anyone else with the advice, nor am I giving it either. (Especially if I’m the one holding the cookies.)

We’ve all heard it – “Cheer up,” “Think positive,” “It’ll be ok.” The last one gets me. What if it’s not? What if it just continues to suck and there’s no fixing anything? Sometimes you have to cut your losses and get out. I’ve heard that one before too.

It is a gamble, this Peace Corps life. Thirty-eight people in my group made it to country, and to date five have left. There will probably be more. Yet I’m not condemning those who have left – quite the opposite. If moving on to something else is going to make people more satisfied, more productive, or just plain more joyful, then that is wonderful and I support it. Me, I rely on an inherited patch of stubbornness to get me through. It pairs well with a sour face. Maybe I’m passing time waiting for the phrase, “I did it” to make everything worthwhile. Maybe I am waiting until it will be ok.

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