This I Believe

Haley - Concord, Massachusetts
Entered on March 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

“Haley, do you need to step outside quickly to catch your breath?” “Haley, go down the hall to get a drink of water and come back when you can breathe.” Or, my favorite, “Haley, please tell me you can go five minutes, without laughing.” Over the years I have gotten accustomed to my teachers having to make me step out of class for a few minutes to catch my breath from simply laughing way too hard. Now don’t get me wrong, I know when it’s definitely not appropriate to laugh, I am pretty mature for my age and I try hard in and out of school. But on most days the weirdest and most random things and people appear funny to me and I begin to laugh, and on most occasions, I just cannot stop.

For me, laughing is something that comes way too easily, so naturally I believe in laughing. But more specifically, I believe in having the ability to let loose and laugh at yourself. In my daily agenda, laughing is engraved clearly throughout the entire day but I know that for many people it is not. A lot of people can be way too serious and composed sometimes. Now I’m not an expert or anything but I’m sure that all that seriousness and concentration can build up much stress. I agree that hard work is important but it also has to be balanced out with fun and laughter. Laughing is something that enables people to forget the rest of the world for a second and to free all their worries.

I know that so far I don’t have much experience in life but from what I do know, if you don’t learn to laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer and tougher than you expect. Sometimes when people make silly mistakes or say something awkward at the wrong time and place they get embarrassed and feel stupid after. If you laugh at yourself though, it will ease the tension and also you might find that your mistake is actually quite hilarious. I have also learned that the embarrassing, awkwardly funny moments are the kinds of moments we should be living for. I believe this because these moments are the ones we always gossip to our friends about and tell to our families. For example one awkward, but funny moment happened recently when I was in New York with my best friend Alex. We had just finished a really big dinner and it was late so we were going up to our room in the elevator. We were bored and the elevator had these really cool mirrors and pretty lighting so we decided to go up to the top floor and then go to our room. When were coming down from the top floor the elevator stopped on the ninth floor and a man came in. I didn’t realize it was the ninth floor so I walked off, luckily Alex realized it and tried to stop me but somehow we ended up in this really weird position where we were both standing face to face in front of each other, laughing. Alex was trying to push me into the elevator and I was trying to get out. Meanwhile the man was still in the elevator looking completely confused and the door was closing on us. After I realized that it was the ninth floor we got back into the elevator and started laughing. I was telling Alex how stuffed I was from dinner and then the man asked us, “So what did you have for dinner?”

Being in a really silly mood Alex and I looked at each other and then I blurted out in a really weird voice, “A lot of stuff!” We started cracking up again and finally we were at the sixth floor, where our room was. As we were walking out the man said goodnight and then by accident, in a really high pitched voice, Alex said, “YOU TOO!” As the elevator door closed we saw the man and his very confused look on his face as we laughed down the hall and into our room.

I think everyone can agree that nothing in the whole wide world beats a good laugh. When I say a good laugh, I don’t mean like a little chuckle, but like a tear streaming, belly aching, can’t breathe kind of laugh. Like the kind of laugh that feels so good, it hurts. The best is when you are laughing with your best friends and everyone is on the floor rolling around cracking up, crying and you just can’t stop.

Being the giggly, happy go lucky girl in the classroom, I know how important it is to have the confidence to laugh at yourself and your mistakes. I have learned that laughing isn’t always goofing off, but it can also set people at ease and bring people closer together. It can be like that second chance you never got; you can escape the world in just a few seconds and instantly realize something you hadn’t before. Laughing is your free pass to anywhere you desire.