Free To Laugh

     It’s okay to laugh at yourself, but never let doubt settle in your heart.

     I learned long ago not to take life so seriously. It was a good thing since I wasn’t the brightest, most graceful,    popular, or prettiest girl around. No, I was the kid that tried to be cool and straddle a chair backwards in 7th grade, slid down it, caught my jeans and ripped a pie shaped hole in the seat. Also, the girl who had to go to the principal’s office and instead of going home, or changing, had to wait while they sewed up the seat of my pants with what looked to be, men’s boxers. I had to wear those jeans the rest of the day.

I was also the girl who tried to jump the ditch outside the school one day and got caught in a strong gust of wind, which landed me right in the middle of swamp water. Swamp water that quickly seeped and soaked my jeans all the way up to my knees. I was terrified of my mom so I rolled those soaked jeans up, took off my slimy, green shoes and walked all carefree to the car, smiling all the way and laughing about running barefoot in the “park”. Yes, I DID hide my shoes, and had gotten a plastic bag to put them in. Yes, sadly, I DID forget about them after throwing them in the bottom of my closet, until something started smelling like the Swamp Thing in my room. I didn’t sit down the night my mom found them.

Middle school was really enlightening in many ways. It’s when you learn a bit of who you are, but everything seems confusing. For me, it was when I met some of the people, that have had great impact on my life.  It’s also when I learned to laugh at myself.

So many times lately I have seen people walking around frowning in the morning, especially when I worked downtown. Whether in deep concentration or in anticipation of a long, hard day, I’ve often wondered if they know the expression they carry. I wonder what kind of morning they’ve had and where they are headed, with such serious expressions.

Do I want to live in a world full of musical song and dance with everyone laughing joyously? No, frankly that would get on my nerves within a few minutes. Much more pleasant though is to make an extra cup of coffee to share with a friend in the morning, to hold the elevator door when you see someone rushing to catch it, to enjoy the little things happening around you at any given moment.

I wore my coffee to work last Wednesday, I stepped down on the stair wrong and squeezed the Starbucks coffee cup I was holding. Like a fresh fountain it arched up, then rained down from my hair to my shoes. I was wearing turquoise, with spreading brown spots. I entertained my co-workers that day, but was still thankful for the black sweater I had left at work.

Stuff happens, life happens, just take it, adjust how you look at, decide on your attitude and keep going.  I’ve learned that if you laugh, others will laugh with you and of course. smiling never hurts the environment.

Cherry Coley (c)

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