This I Believe

aileen - rumson, New Jersey
Entered on June 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure

At the age of eighteen, I can look back over my time in elementary school, and high school, and say with certainty that I have my own beliefs. I live my life the way I want to, and I think I am a happier person for it. There are many morals and beliefs I have, but to me one is the most important. I believe that to be happy, you can’t take life too seriously.

When I was growing up, both of my parents worked full time. Considering I wasn’t even in school yet, I spent most of my time at a neighbor’s house. Millie was seventy-something but full of life, with bouncy gray hair and bright blue eye shadow. For a long time, I thought being at Millie’s every day and sleeping there most nights was great. But years later, around the time that I had my first real argument with my mother, I began to look back at my childhood as a time of abandonment. I couldn’t believe that I had so few memories of being with my parents from that whole period of my life.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve learned that you’ve got to roll with the punches. Sometimes things aren’t as big of a deal as they seem. By taking everything so seriously, problems tend to get blown way out of proportion. I could get upset and never forgive my parents for dropping me off at a neighbor’s house, or I can shrug it off and not worry about it. I believe that life is always going to throw things at you that can either make you or break you, and a lot of times the best way to deal with it is to laugh it off. Go out late, sleep in. Have a good time. They say laughter is the best medicine, and I believe you need to be able to laugh at yourself. It’s easy to pick out the person who takes themselves way too seriously; we’ve all encountered people like this. It takes courage to be able to laugh at yourself, especially about something stupid you did or said. Enjoying life and taking yourself a little less seriously are the most important things. This, I believe.