This I Believe

Aimee - Northfield, Minnesota
Entered on April 20, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in laughter. I have sometimes taken on more than I can handle and felt the load begin to crush me or I have been having a wonderful day and suddenly learned some bad news. I have escaped into the world of laughter for awhile and come out whole. It is the last that has saved me.

In my limited experience as a first year college student, life is difficult by nature. I have hours of endless studying, papers that need writing, tests to agonize over and a personal life to worry about. For others, life is a series of bills to be paid, work tensions to cope with and sometimes an endless slog of seemingly pointless, often thankless toils.

Last year, I decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to pack my days with things I was in charge of, things that wouldn’t get done if I didn’t do them. I was pleasantly busy for a month or so, and then came the kicker. You see, I had also thought it would be a good idea to take four AP classes at the same time to prepare for college on top of all the other activities. Oops. One after another, my obligations began to pile up on me. Yearbook, senior slide show, mentoring, independent study, volunteering, student council, the list goes on. Such a glowing repertoire that any college would be pleased to have as part of their statistics sucked me down. Family, friends, hobbies all disappeared into the quagmire that was my stress. I knew I would never recover. This was it. I was living my life deadline to deadline, terrified of missing a beat.

Well, the end of the tale is expected. I snapped. No one can be expected to handle all that and remain sane. My mistake was I thought I was above such things; never have I been so wrong. I sunk deep into misery, wondering if I’d ever breathe again.

My rescuer came as something of a surprise. No white knight he, but a short, round Belgian named Poirot with a shiny handlebar mustache. On his team were Bill Murray, Gene Wilder and Strongbad. My heroes made me laugh. They pulled me up and made the sun shine again. Somehow laughing at their comical misfortunes or attitudes gave me the ability to see the irony of life. Armed with a fresh outlook, I finished out the year successfully, vowing to never again be so foolish.

Someone once said that life is just a big joke God is playing on people too scared to laugh. Don’t be too scared to laugh. If life is a tragedy to those who feel, it is a comedy to those who think. Stepping back and realizing the humor in everyday life can evaporate a great deal of petty annoyances and stresses life offers.

I believe in laughter. After getting knocked down, laughter is often the only thing that makes me get back up.