This I Believe

Cherith - Gilbert, Iowa
Entered on November 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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See the Humor

I believe in laughing at myself! I choose to see the humor in everyday events. I frequently wipe out, in public places. In my younger years this was a cause of great distress. I would get SO embarrassed; I just knew everyone was laughing at me. I would feel terrible. Now, when I take a spill, I realize that it was probably pretty hilarious to watch. I laugh, surprised that this laugher heals my pride better than the shame and pouting did. Upon regaining my footing, a curtsy or wave is usually appropriate. Then I can continue on, disaster diverted.

When I am looking for the humor in my life, it is easier to ignore or disregard the negative aspects. If someone says something unkind to me, or hurts my feelings; a sense of humor can help me to shrug it off. When I can laugh at a joke made at my expense, or can come up with some manner of witty-ish comeback, it helps me to laugh and not take things too personally.

Insecurities? Everyone has them. I (as do many high school girls) often feel insecure about my weight. When I am teased about something like that, I tend to crack some kind of lame joke about being five hundred pounds. Surprisingly this alleviates the tension. I can joke about it, so it’s not a big deal. In turn I feel less insecure. If I am oversensitive and take offense at every joking remark that comes my way, humor has lost, and I will miss out on a lot of potentially funny things. I refuse to let my insecurities define me. Instead I choose to be the first one to laugh at the imperfections that make me who I am. Hey, if I was perfect, life would be unbearably boring.

Among the imperfections that often take a hit is my hair color. Not that this in itself is an imperfection but occasional “blonde comments”, peppered with “ditsy behavior” sometimes lead to the belief that I am a dumb blonde. They assume I am less intelligent, or unable to comprehend their superior intellects. I, however, despite some rather indicative moments, am not dumb. In these situations I have to choose if I want to get mad and defend myself, or if I want to keep with my policy, and laugh. Sometimes it’s even fun to play along.

Without humor to ease me through these situations I would probably spend a lot more time unhappy; more time worried about what other people think of me. While I strongly believe in laughing at myself, I often struggle to carry out my own beliefs. I have to make a very conscious decision during each situation to avoid slipping back into more natural reactions: reactions of self-pity, embarrassment, sometimes at its worst, self-loathing. Instead, I think things are funny. I try to laugh at my mistakes (and often my own jokes). I try not to take offense or be oversensitive. I choose to see the humor, and laugh often.