As I waked back home after work the other day, a term that I humorously used to describe my default facial expression came to me: Resting [word that starts with “B” and rhymes with “witch”] Face (RBF). Some also fondly call it, “murder face”. It’s when your resting facial expression (in which you’re just not moving any of your facial muscles) makes you look like you’re mad at everyone, or ready to kick someone in the face.
I would like to think that my resting [murder] face has served me well during the daily commute. I often have a sea of people split open for me when I’m walking counter-flow to a crowd (that, or I just walk relatively fast, and people might think I’ll barrel into them if they didn’t get out of the way), and I have had people not enter the MRT when I was the first person they saw when the doors slid open (granted, the train was super packed, so I guess that is a major factor.)
A regrettable reality, however, is that I have had people back in high school and college hesitate to approach me because I looked mataray (a combination of mean and snobbish), which resulted in significant delays of forming friendships. It also does not help that in common Filipino culture, being able to communicate your ideas in different languages make you… other.
It didn’t help that my current manager, in an informal/off-work exchange, remarked that I have a “strong aura” combined with my “strong features”. For the former, I can’t really speak for it, but for the latter, it’s probably because I have practiced getting my brows on fleek.
But I wanted to somehow reclaim “RBF” for myself. As I walked, I was listening to Alive on repeat — the first Christian song I enjoyed and memorized. I mulled over its lyrics:
I was lost with a broken heart
You picked me up, now I’m set apart
From the ash I am born again
Forever safe in the Saviour’s hands
Then Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) came to me —
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I know that the term RBF is said out of humor, but I really do not want to be defined by that. My resting face may be intimidating, but the label presupposes that I am a very unpleasant person to deal with. That is not right, and that is not true.
I therefore decided to replace the words that signified R.B.F., declaring them as truths to myself:
But “free” is already part of being redeemed, so I took a few more days of walking, singing, and going through devotionals that I settled on this phrase:
I do not have a R.B.F., but I am a R.B.F.: a Redeemed and Beautiful Fighter.
I know that God is my shelter, but He is also my fortress — and being in a fortress implies that there is a fight going on out there. With Him by my side, I am ready to face this new year in my life and many more, and all of the challenges they may bring.
Happy 33 to me :D!