While at my friend Jenna's house, I did something a kind of reckless... I dyed a lock of my hair black. (We also drank sparkling cider out of shot glasses, which was a little too much fun.)
So probably not as cool as you thought, but I have to start somewhere, right? Anyway, the newly blackened lock of my hair isn't the point. The point is this:
When I got home, I asked my Dad if he noticed anything different about me. He said, "You're smiling today."
*WAKE UP CALL*
In the past, I've always been crazy about smiling. I remember Cameron Comer once remarking that I "smile too much." I would walk through the halls of Lehi just smiling. For no reason! Even when I was having a bad day, I would smile. Over the summer, I would walk around campus smiling. In July when I started my job, the girl who trained me kept looking at me weird. She finally asked why I was smiling at 5 am. I didn't know. I just smiled all the time.
But I lost that part of me.
I let my emotions take over. I let my depression rule my life. Happy Sarah hasn't existed since September. She made random appearances, but never stayed long. I regret that.
When my Dad noted that I was smiling, and that made me look different, I immediately made it a goal to smile more.
Because I worship the almighty God. I worship His Son, a perfect and loving Savior. Sitting next to me on the couch are the scriptures, translated into my language. I can read them any time I want without persecution. I have three beautiful sisters who are caring. I have the funniest brother-in-law in the world, who is everything I've always wanted in a brother and more. My parents are the two greatest people I've been privileged to know. They are patient and understanding and loving. I attend the most academically competitive school in the state that is both challenging and nourishing to my spirit. My tuition is paid for. I have the opportunity to serve a mission. My mission is paid for. I have compassionate friends and roommates. I went on over five dates this past semester, which should be a freshman girl record. I have a body, a home, food, and modern technology. While growing up, I had tremendous leaders and examples all around me. They still care about me today. I really can't even begin to count the blessings I've been given. I have every reason in the world to smile.
And so, today and tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that, and even the following day, I will smile. If things are happy and joyful and beautiful, I will smile. But if not, I will smile anyway because life itself is happy and joyful and beautiful.