laughing helps everything
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I believe in laughing at myself. I am a clumsy, awkward, embarrassing mess. I seem to find a new way to make a fool of myself almost everyday. I trip on my own feet while walking, I say things before I have time to realize they don’t make sense, and I can make any situation awkward without trying. I used to try to hide my mistakes and flaws; I would trip and look around to see if anybody saw then attempt to play it off like it didn’t happen. I became quieter just so that I didn’t say something strange or stupid. As hard as I tried to cover up the awkwardness, it was always there. After years of hiding my slipups and playing them off like they were supposed to happen, I just gave up. I started to embrace the fact that I absolutely cannot walk without stumbling, I realized that the things that come out of my mouth make people laugh, and I finally accepted that my awkward ways are part of my personality.

The most recent major embarrassing moment I have found myself in was at my high school graduation. Because of the strict all white, no flip-flops, no flats, no sandals dress code, I was wearing white, strappy, skinny four-inch heels with my white dress. Graduation was standing room only and there was even an auditorium full of more family and friends watching on a big screen – this was not the time for me to be testing my high heel walking abilities. We finally get to our tightly packed rows of chairs and I could relax while all of the speakers gave their speeches. I stopped worrying about walking across the stage until I heard the first name being called. I looked up and was instantly regretted my choice of footwear, the first row was up and waiting to hear their names called and walk across the stage so they could their diplomas. I was in the second row and knew I would be on stage soon. When it was time for the second row to stand up, I got up and instantly fell down. I was nervously moving my feet around and lost my balance in my heels, causing me to fall over while my senior class and all of their guests watched. I tried recover as quickly as possible and made sure I had my balance before letting go of the chair in front of me. After the fall I was having a very hard time controlling my laughter. My normally loud and distinct laugh was hard to muffle, but I managed to laugh quietly at the fact that I just fell in front of hundreds of people and my leg was bleeding from the fall – a detail I didn’t notice until I was looking down trying to control my giggling.

The old me would have been bright red from embarrassment and I would have been stressed out thinking about the fall, but the new me just laughed. I couldn’t change what had just happened, so why should I stress myself out over something I could no longer control? I have found that laughing at the mistakes one makes is much easier and less stressful than getting embarrassed every time you slip up. Everybody messes up more than once in their life. You can either get embarrassed and replay the moment in your head, or you can laugh at what happened and put it behind you. I choose to spend my time laughing than stressing out over every embarrassing mistake I make. I believe in laughing at myself.

Caroline