I think I’m starting to get “smile lines”, and I find I don’t mind. In part, it’s because they don’t look too severe yet, but it’s also because it’s kind of a victory condition for me. Getting these particular wrinkles on my face means, specifically, that I have spent more of my life crinkling my face-skin into smile patterns rather than frowns. It also means, as I get older and continue to smile, this is going to be my face’s natural look from now on. The lines will begin to make me look happy in my resting state.
This fills me with positivity. As I look back on my life, it is sometimes difficult to know if I’ve had more happy times than sad. I spent a long time alone and lonely, even in the middle of my family. I lost my mum young, I didn’t feel like I fit in at school. I was, informally, voted “most likely to be a serial killer”, and I accepted this. I moped about being single. I didn’t feel like I was just rejected by the opposite sex, but that I was actually repulsive to them. When I married, a lot of that changed, but then we basically can’t have kids, which was another massive ball of pain and hurt.
However, I do have a loving wife, a wonderful family, some great friends, a nice little house, some fun side hobbies and the cutest, most fun nephew in the entire world. And it seems, overall, that those positives have outweighed the negatives to leave me with a smile carved into my crinkled-up face. I think that’s worth being happy about.