just like sunshine

for as long as I've lived, I have hated my smile. I didn't like how my face looked overall because of how awful I looked when I smiled; so for the longest time, I didn't smile. this caused an obvious detachment from the social scene; and I often prayed for a miracle to allow me to have a better and nicer smile so that I could connect with people. I wasn't such an awful person that I would intentionally not like being around people, but I feared looking ugly in front of them.  everyone I knew had a perfect smile, and I often thought that this was because they had better genes or that they were more privileged than I was. I was right. still, I took really good care of my teeth despite the fact that they made a rare appearance when I smiled. just in case they did grace me with their presence, I wanted them to look nice and clean. but most of the time, I smiled like this...

 

 my teeth and I don't seem to get along even with all the TLC I provide. I floss them with Oral-B dental floss, I clean them with Crest tooth paste, I rinse with Colgate mouth wash. nothing! and I get my teeth cleaned professionally every 6 months as recommended. I was (and still am) the poster-child for dental hygiene.  but even with all the effort, my smile was not my favorite thing about myself. at best, this is what I ended up with when I did try to crack a smile...

I wanted to change. I needed a new smile. I asked my mom for help, but she turned me down. to her, this endeavor is a futile one. she told me to give it up. it's like telling someone that you need surgery because you're overweight but having that person tell you not to do anything and just let it be. despite this, I pursued other options. through all of this, I decided to smile as much as I can because I needed to train myself for that perfect grin when I do in fact end up with really nice looking teeth. I felt like that fat-kid being happy to find she can indeed get that surgery but only if she exercised. I worked on my smile for 3 years after my initial conversation with my mom. but I never gave up hope. I knew that something more needed to be done. I asked doctors about veneers as I knew that this would be perfect for me. every single one of them told me that it's unnecessary and that I should try to get braces instead. because as you know, my teeth were perfect from all the good care I've provided; and they only needed a minor enhancement.  so after being convinced that braces was the only option, I went for it. 

I smiled like this for 2 years!

I smiled like this for 2 years!

as you can imagine, I was very reluctant to have braces put on my teeth. I was too old for this look. but alas, the doctor was very stern about this being the better procedure. and I decided that this was the best alternative to having no "real" teeth. I also liked the cost factor, as braces cost a lot less that veneers did. since I was funding this entire process, I was happy to have been able to save so much money. 

the journey to better teeth proved to be quite a difficult, as life with braces is not an easy one. I thought about all the food I wasn't going to be able to enjoy for a while, but I was happy to know that I could lose some extra weight in the process. but I was sad to learn that you can actually enjoy the same meal twice with braces on, as the food from the previous meal will get stuck in your teeth! cleaning was a pain too, but I learned some new tricks and techniques along the way. regardless of all of that, I smiled through and through the entire time. I needed to get as much "exercise" before the final reveal.

2 years later, I got my braces removed. June 28th, 2016. it was a day I was waiting for with great anticipation. I was so overjoyed when I saw myself for the first time with perfect teeth. I never smiled like this in my entire life. 

and just like that, I ended up with a smile that is ... just like sunshine