Invariably the best impromptu medicine out there. It is free, it lowers stress, it makes you happy, and is two times better when shared.
It’s what kept me awake at 3am, when I had been sleeping at a strict 12am bedtime for the past couple of months, what made me forget, at least temporarily, the fact that I had not hammered down a job and had my shit figured out like the rest of my peers, and what makes me feel connected to people, a precious feeling for one who wears her privacy like really stank bug repellant.
In fact, I would dare to say that there are two great connectors of humanity on this Earth: Food and Laughter.
Food: something that brings us all together. But, it is an intimate affair; we are choosy with whom we break fast with—company makes you overly aware of how you eat. Am I eating too quickly? Noisily? Should I not have made that face like I just had a foodgasm? Maybe I should chew my food instead of sucking-inhaling them down? Food’s a great connector, but it makes you self-conscious.
But Laughter. Laughter bubbles and builds and bursts outward from our very cores, unbidden and joyous. Lungs ready themselves, pressing against ribcages to provide the air for guffaws; stomachs clench and re-clench, like great organic accordions giving depth and feeling to laughter; eyes squeeze shut, tears leak out leaving happy watermarks behind. Sometimes we go silent, getting out one bark of laughter before succumbing to breathlessness. And other times we applaud the joke while laughing, so much so that we begin The Seal Clap sequence.
Some people just have what it takes to make others laugh. The delivery (which I always mistime), the sound effects, the freaking faces man, or maybe the voice (they know just when to emphasize certain syllables). I envy people who are funny, but I love them for giving me laughter.
I am an on-again, off-again shy-person, but laughing has always been what drew me out. (And I mean, like, real laughter. Not the I-don’t-want-to-hurt-your-feelings polite kind of laughter.) I think laughter is what transcends boundaries–you cannot fake genuine joy, and being on the receiving or giving end of that joy is one of life greatest perks/hacks to creating and maintaining relationships.
All my best friends are those who left me doubling over at least once from laughing, at least five times breathless and crying—those funny bastards—and the moments afterwards are always so peaceful. If there were silence before the laughter, it would have been dispelled, replaced by a tangible warmth, like I could almost reach out and lay my fingers on the tiny silken strands of bonds that had developed as a result.
Laughing makes me so happy. It makes me feel like everything will be okay during times when I don’t feel confident they will. A day without laughter isn’t a day wasted. It is a day without color. When you find someone or some people that can make you belly-laugh, don’t let them go. More often than not, they will bring you the life that life would otherwise be terribly boring without.