My teeth are drifting. A not-very-attractive night guard saves my teeth from clenching yet has caused an inward shift. My signature chiclet-chompers are splaying inward…likely unnoticeable to anyone else, it’s glaringly obvious to me and it’s affecting my signature smile. Like Sampson, my power seemed to always rest in my sparkly smile. I’ve noticed I’m smiling less… a terrible loss. Keeping them covered, a muffled giggle emerges instead of a large belly laugh. I feel so vain. Inquiring about the cost of braces, I quickly realized college payments and vacations were more important. So my splayed chompers will stay put. What will need to change is my fixation. I am good stuff, a happy gal surrounded by beautiful, smart, and talented women, blessed with a silly family…much to smile about. The real struggle seems the learning to avoid that inner voice. That clumsy troll spirals my confidence and keeps my sparkle hidden, speaking untruths about my appearance, my beliefs, my identity. I’m practicing a smile that’s not based on my looks but instead, based on a rock solid truth of who I am…regardless of splayed chompers. . So forgive me if I guard my smile. I’m working on letting it go.