How I Got My Smile Back


The break up was like an angry hurricane that withered the meaning of my whole being and transformed it into a desert. The life in the desert was quite hostile but I was patient enough to wait for the first drop of rain.

Surprisingly, the break up didn’t bring only pain, it pushed me to do things I’ve always wanted to do. It was actually a trigger to find new hobbies, people, and new places. And apart from yoga, volunteering, hiking, planning, traveling and meeting new people, there was salsa dancing.

Salsa classes guided the way to joy, laugh and my authentic self in my life. It was the first time in a long time where I enjoyed myself. Salsa classes started to be a refuge from the harsh after-break up feelings. I would just switch off my mind for a while and let myself be carried away by the flow.

Little by little, step by step, it has brought back my smile, a contagious smile that invaded my whole life. And it was not just the salsa, it was him – the strong, tall guy with celestial eyes that made me smile so much.

Every time I had to dance with him, he would welcome me with a large smile and a kind of samurai greeting that would amuse me and set the mood for the dance. When doing spins, I knew his strong arms would catch me if I get dizzy and not let me down. It felt so damn good to wander my hands on his robust body and it felt so natural and safe to dance with him.

I knew I would leave the country soon and that’s why I didn’t have any expectations from this dancing experience, it was my time of carpe diem.

Though I am a sentimentalist and usually wait for men to take initiative, this time I dared. I left a note on his bag after the class inviting him to social dancing and then later sent him a message almost saying that I liked him.

Why can’t we be straightforward and tell people we like them? Why do we waste time? Why do we follow the unwritten social rules of this play game? We are all afraid of rejections. Wasn’t I? Yes, I was too but when you set yourself to a “no expectations” mood, everything is so much easier. And anyway, it was just dancing. And I knew it wouldn’t hurt more than the hurricane.

Unintentionally and without realizing it, the salsa guy, the wonderful people I met, and the new things I did, helped to bring my smile back to life. And it feels that the desert is starting to bloom again. It feels like I am ready to conquer a new continent.