Eighteen Smiles

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Dear Eighteen-Year-Old Me,

1 Smile for the cats,
2 Smile for the birds,
3 Smile for singing,
4 Smile for the world.

5 Laugh for joy,
6 Laugh for pain,
7 Laugh for loss,
8 Laugh for gain.

9 Grin for success,
10 Grin for failure,
11 Grin for health,
12 Grin for the disabled
who are even further strained
by the depression of living
in an ableist world.

13 Smile for the fool,
14 Smile when they try,
15 Smile when they say "everyone's a little autistic," because if you don't, you'll cry, but if that happens anyway,
16 Smile for the tears,

17 Since adulthood expects you to
18 Smile through the hardest years.

My Love, I Like Making You SmileWhere stories live. Discover now