Busting Up Laughing

Eric - Wilmington, California
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in laughter, because life’s best met with a smile and a splitting stomach. As a senior in high school senior with the “real world” right around the corner, I understand that life, that precious, miniscule time we have here on Earth is in fact a serious thing. The youngest in a family of eight, observing my parents and older siblings constantly reminds me that the future is loaded with goodies like taxes, bills, bunions, and hair where, frankly, hair shouldn’t be. Everyone says this is the time to mature, to settle down and grow up. Don’t get me wrong; I agree that now’s the time for me to make some really big decisions in life, but its certainly not going to be at the expense of who I am.

I don’t think going to college should stop me from ordering pizza in an Australian accent, and I don’t think that getting a career should stop me from desperately trying to convince my hairdresser to give me the infamous Superman curl. My foolish antics and corny jokes are what make me who I am, and that’s something that I am never going to let go of. I promise that twenty years down the line, I’ll still spontaneously wear cowboy spurs in public and quietly snicker at the word “duty.” If things go my way, there will be cotton candy, churros, and a dunk tank at my funeral. Not to mention a casket refitted to look like a Twinkie. Laughter, spontaneity, pure bliss, I’m taking it with me to the grave.

My life, however, is far from a twenty four hour frenzy of fun and games. A typical day begins with early morning seminary at my church at 6:00 am and ends with night class at 10:00 pm. Eight hours of school, cross country practice, meetings, homework, and Boy Scouts are all packed conveniently in between. If anything gets me through a schedule like this everyday, its laughter. There is no way I could handle my everyday life workload if I wasn’t having fun in the meantime. The worry of deadlines, the frustration over quarrels with friends and family, the countless setbacks of everyday life – they are all relieved with a hardy dose of laughter. Some say I’m just bottling up emotion, disguising stress with a smile, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Laughter isn’t a mask for my problems; it’s a cure for them.

I firmly believe that life can be lived both seriously and comically. Laughter can, and should, positively permeate every aspect of our lives. Laugh at work, laugh at school, laugh at church, laugh at your next physical with the doctor, laugh before a big test – for goodness sakes laugh on the toilet seat. Whatever you do, just laugh. Whether it’s the charming billionaire chuckle or a full pig snort, let it out. I believe laughter cleanses and I believe laughter soothes. Above all, I believe in laughter because it puts life check.