Great Leaps and Laughter

Kathryne - Granger, Indiana
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The ability to laugh is one of the worlds greatest treasures, whether it be from a small child or a grown adult. Laughter proves that the world can smile, be happy, and is not all bad. For years I have put myself at the frontline of participating in numerous embarrassing events. I have played improv games, sang endless hours of karaoke, had random conversations with those around me, and so on. Embarrassing moments are not something anyone can escape, everyone has them. Some trip in the hall, some get splashed on to make it look like they peed their pants, and others might accidentally tell a secret they meant to keep to themselves. The best thing is to know that everyone has their own story and laugh with them and laugh at their own personal mishaps. I believe that if someone is able to laugh at themselves and share it with the people they care about, they will lead a happy life.

An incident in which I thrust myself into over spring break, I experienced along side my best friend Kayla. My parents, Kayla, and I had taken a special trip to Mexico in honor of our senior year. Sunny beach, hot guys, and no school for one full week. Kayla and I were hoping to do some major sun-tanning and be perfectly peaceful for the entire spring break. The sand was perfectly white and easily ran through our toes while the water was so crystal blue. We didn’t mind the salt water that was rushing into our eyes, it was so beautiful and relaxing.

After a few days of relaxation though, all four of us wanted to go and see the old Mayan ruins. Part of the tour that we had signed up for was that we could go and observe a cenote (sinkhole). This particular sinkhole had a manmade tunnel that people could walk down and then jump into the water off of what seemed like at least a forty foot ledge. The water itself was seventy yards down from the surface, and the water was one hundred and twenty feet to the bottom. Shades of green moss and hundreds of stringy vines were all over the sides of the rocky edges. Kayla and I both took the opportunity to take the terrifying leap, though Kayla took more convincing than I did.

Kayla and I had reached the top of the ledge and jumped in together our first time, with our legs straightened and our arms flailing, all the while screaming at the top of our lungs. As we emerged from the water, both of us knew that we wanted to do it again. The second time we jumped, we weren’t as smart and had forgotten that there was some really bad sunburn on the backs of our legs from the day before, and it didn’t have the proper time to turn into a tan. I was yelling “rock on man!” as we both jumped with our legs horizontal and ended up landing on our sunburns. The next day there were matching bruises on the tops of our thighs.

My parents made fun of us the rest of the trip, and when we returned home Kayla and I couldn’t stop cracking up as we told the story to all of our friends. Everyone was especially laughing at me. My bruise was in the same spot I had fallen onto after slipping on an icy sidewalk, and bruised myself only a few months earlier in front of all the customers and employees on a weekend outing with friends at Fazoli’s. They could laugh if they wanted to, I walked around strutting my stuff and held nothing back about how I got the bruise or where it was located.

The strength to laugh at oneself gives the appearance of a confident person in which people enjoy being around. People enjoy having a good time that is carefree and most love to participate in crazy escapades that they wouldn’t do otherwise. Putting myself in perplexing situations made me seem more human and approachable to my peers. I do not mind that some people think that I am outlandish or a little bizarre, I like to think of it as enjoyable times in which I help others become the happy people they deserve to be through laughter. I believe that if they see me laughing at myself, expressing that it is all right to do so, they in turn will be able to feel the same way. Sharing these moments in time with some of my closest friends made us very happy and gave us good memories to reminisce later in life. Some of my greatest memories were when my friends and I were doing something that made us laugh until we cried or screaming at each other until we eventually broke out howling.

I admire those who are able to share their own personal stories, such as stand up comedians and inspirational speakers. They want to share their tales with everyone around their audiences to prove that they are just like everyone else. Comedians use clever phrases and inspirational speakers use expressions to make their audiences feel like they are exactly like everyone else. Being able to relate to others on a personal level will give a person an inner circle in which they can be themselves and show off their fun personalities. They can be confident and feel as though they can do anything, becoming fearless. Someone who inspires other people to be themselves is what I aspire to do with my life.

I believe that I have led a very cheerful and fulfilling life. Everyday millions of people experience something embarrassing, and they will blush seven shades of red, but soon they will laugh about it with their friends and they will forget about how humiliating it was. Everyone is unique in their own way and will experience different moments and handle them differently, but something that everyone has in common, is that none of them can escape their problems. All they can do is have a good chuckle. In the end, someone who is able to have a laugh at themselves and share those moments with others, will lead a happy life.