One Small Fall Can Be Life-Changing

Jennifer - USA
Entered on October 31, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that it’s okay to laugh at yourself.

I believe that it’s okay to laugh at yourself, especially in potentially embarrassing situations. The situations I’m talking about are ones that make you feel like you could possibly die from embarrassment. In these moments, blood rushes to your cheeks causing them to turn bright red, your eyes burn—threatening to spill over with tears, and you feel like you want to crawl under a rock and hide forever. I’m a complete and utter klutz. My ability to attract danger and accidents absolutely astounds me. You know you’re clumsy when your family creates a nickname for you to commemorate your klutziness; mine is Calamity Jane.

After tripping over almost everything in my path for nearly two decades and feeling embarrassed every single time, I had to think of ways to not feel so self-conscious. During my freshman year of college, I always walked the same way to class every morning—this way involved stairs. I had not had an accident in a while, so one was bound to happen. This particular morning I was late for school so I began to run up these stairs, which was a horrible idea. The toe part of my foot caught on the step sending me forward and onto the front of my body. My math textbook that I was holding flew out of my hands and onto the landing where I was supposed to be. The first emotion that hit me was shock, and then the embarrassment finally set in. I had never fallen in public before. My head was full of panicked thoughts: “Had someone seen me completely eat it just now? Are they laughing at me? This is SO embarrassing.” Finally, I had mustered enough courage to turn around to see if anyone had been behind me on the steps to see my mishap. When I turned around, all I saw was a guy staring at me in shock. He was still staring for a few seconds when he finally said, “Are you okay?” There was just something about his tone of complete surprise that just set me off. I began to laugh. I was laughing at the situation, his expression, and the predictability of this situation. Of course, this would happen to me. My laughter must have shocked the guy even further because he looked totally confused and had a weird smile on his face because it looked like he wanted to laugh as well, which made me laugh even harder causing tears to run down my cheeks.

From this situation, I learned that it’s okay to laugh at yourself. It is a lot easier to feel like people are laughing with you rather than at you. It feels better to have tears of laughter running down your face rather than tears of embarrassment. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade; and when life hands you an embarrassing situation, make a joke out of it.