My Secret to Happiness

Jake - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I believe… I believe in the vast powers of laughter. I believe that a life full of laughter is one well spent. I believe sacrificing laughter and the smaller things in life in order to grasp this mythical idea of a happy and ideal post retirement life is stupid. Laughter is the closest thing to pure unadulterated happiness, something so incorruptible, and so real. As a gay man who has spent the better part of his post pubescent life inside the closet, I know a thing or two about faking things. You can fake smiles, you can fake tears, you can even fake illness, but you can never fake a laugh. Sure you’ll go through the motions, but that’s not even close to a laugh, it’s you closing your mouth and breathing out really choppily. The way I see it, laughter is too powerful a reaction to be able to truly fake. It takes over every other emotion and takes it’s position at the top. No one ever feels sad while laughing, in fact a good crying laugh is one of the best feelings in the world. You and your best friend will be parting ways for college, and while crying your eyes out and hugging,you let go, notice how ridiculous you look standing in the parking lot of a dunkin’ donuts crying like a baby and you just start laughing, and at that moment the tears stop and even though your heart is breaking you are reminded of what happiness feels like. What it’s like to be with your friend, joking and laughing about everything from rape fantasies to rich dads, and what it feels like to know that know matter how bad things ever get, laughter will never stop feeling good, inside and out, and that as the cliché goes, money can’t buy happiness, but a life full of laughter can. It’s overwhelming to think how good I have it, with friends that make sure that our laughter never ends, no matter how dire our circumstances. As I’m sure you could tell, the whole weeping in a dunkin’ donuts parking lot event is what happened to me when my best friend Anna left for college. It was after walking home, thinking back to every great time we had together, I had noticed that all of our greatest moments where when we would just sit around making fun of all the stupid things in our lives. When she comes home to visit for a few days, my goal is to meet up with her and just laugh hysterically over something for at least 15 minutes. Every time that has happened, even knowing that she will be going back to school the next day, I leave with a sense of unparalleled fulfillment. Just this last week, she was over for the weekend, and on her last night here she, her sister, our friend John and I all sat and made fun of a marijuana substitute that allegedly gets you high without showing up in a drug test, with all it’s testimonials written by mail clerks and mid level management types, we just couldn’t resist. For a solid 45 minutes we riffed upon this ridiculous internet scheme, and as I left, my heart felt full, physically full, and for the first time in months I felt perfect, untouchable. This I believe is the secret to happiness, laughter and people to share it with.