Laugh it up

Daniel - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I believe: life should never, ever be taken too seriously. When I tell this to people, especially adults, I am almost always greeted with the same exasperated look, as if to say, “Great, another punk kid.” And even this amuses me, because people don’t understand. I tell people not to take life too seriously and I become a different person to them. Usually it’s the equivalent of the happy-go-lucky farm boy soldier who is inevitable killed in the middle of the movie. People think I always have a smile on my face. People are wrong.

I can show plenty of other emotions. Being 17 years old, angst, depression and apathy have been with me like an economy sized bottles of mustard: I obtained them years ago and they’re still only seem half empty no matter how many times I use them. But with this plethora of teenage anxiety comes an element of youthful tranquility; I can look at my life at any moment in time and find humor in the situation. Maybe I’m immature. But I’m also living proof that laughter is indeed the best medicine.

Depression is crippling. If you need the commercials for Zoloft to tell you this, then I envy you. Supposedly most teenagers will go through some form of depression or another, but very few will have it linger for four years of high school. It was never a big catastrophic loss that brought me down, but it was all the little things that added up. It was death by 1000 tiny missed assignments; the awkward conversation that broke the camel’s back. I was desperate. I was losing friends and my grades were slipping. What could I do?

I can’t explain why I started laughing. It happened rather suddenly on a random spring evening. While studying for a chemistry test, I put down my notebook and started thinking. I reviewed my situation, and for some reason, everything just seemed funny. It was downright hilarious! Someone with my potential and my close group of friends was depressed. I was one of the most blessed and lucky individuals in the whole world and I was stressing over grades in a high school elective course. How could I, the kid who thinks he stands out in a crowd, be brought down to this level by such a stereotypical teenage complaint as having problems with a girl? It just seemed funny.

In learning to laugh at myself, I soon learned to laugh at my problems too. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that certain issues are quite pressing and serious, but why worry when there’s nothing you can do? Find the humor first and only then can you go about deciding what to do.