What is your laugh like?If you aren’t singing the Mary Poppins song “I Love to Laugh” in your head right now, you are severely uncultured and I am sad for you. But if you are, you’ll be thinking of all the ways Burt describes the different laughing habits of the wide population, much to Mary Poppins’ dismay. Lately I’ve become aware of my own laughter tendencies, and I must admit that I am amused by them.

First off, I’m a big laugher to begin with. This came as quite a surprise to me, as I didn’t view myself as someone who laughed easily and often, but the past year has somehow brought to light the fact that I really do laugh quite easily. 

It’s not a nervous laugh, or something I do to deflect, but rather a genuine laughter brought on by my fascination and enjoyment of humanity. I really get a kick out of the way other people see the world, and am thrilled when it is presented humorously. Even if a person is not trying to be funny, but they are just uniquely ironic in some way, I will laugh. 

Now, the KIND of laugher I am is somewhat funny as well. I am a screamer. Yep. I scream laugh. It’s something like, “Ahhhhhhhh…hahaha… ahhhhh!” I can’t help it, it’s the only thing that will relieve me. 

I also have a sort of chuckle when I’m reading or alone, which just sounds like short blips of air coming from my chest, “eh, eh, eh, eh, eh.” Thinking about it right now is making me chuckle like that.

I do that a lot too, laugh at myself. I have been known to laugh hysterically over something stupid I’ve done, while other people watched me uselessly try to convey it to them while gasping for air. Like the time I accidentally punched my sister in the face while dancing (don’t judge me), and I was laughing so hard about it that I couldn’t tell her it had been an accident, and the more I couldn’t tell her, the funnier it got, until I could not breathe at all and had to sit down to collect myself. The whole time my sister thought I’d just up and punched her, and was now laughing hysterically at her expense, which is why it got funnier the longer my laugh fit lasted. When I finally explained, she just rolled her eyes and said I wasn’t allowed to drink anymore. 

I am also a gasper. I gasp dramatically at the drop of a hat. Again, this is uncontrollable. I gasp loudly when a toddler trips and falls, a car in the next lane gets too close, or I am startled by someone or something unexpectedly. This can get embarrassing, as I can’t play it cool very well if someone does something that they’d rather no one had noticed. 

I also scream when scared. You know how some people are paralyzed with silence and immobility when scared? Well, that’s not me. If I am spooked, I produce an involuntary blood curdling scream, which can be problematic when my sleeping disorder is acting up. 

Something I find interesting is that the more I have come to love myself, the more I laugh. I think it’s because I’m more free and not so worried about whether someone is doing the right thing or if they should behave differently. Or maybe it’s because I’m not threatened by their humor or oddities. 

The more I love myself, the more I laugh. Click To Tweet

Like the time I was playing a card game with a group of friends, and I discovered that the guy in front of me was cheating. I caught him at it and called him out, so he confessed and then explained how he’d been cheating all game with this huge grin on his face. I thought this was the funniest thing, because this guy was really quiet and reserved, and you would have never pegged him as a cheater. I thought it was just fabulous that he’d done it. It was like this huge risk he’d taken, and the contrast was hilarious. 

I also thought it was hilarious when a certain friend confided in me that when she was younger, she used to steal things from people’s houses because it “was so exciting”. I knew her childhood had been extremely reserved and Hobit-ish, and that inside she was this amazing adventurer dying to live an exciting life. The thought of her stealing because of the thrill as a child, was just the greatest picture to behold, and it made me adore her 10 times more than I previously had. I wasn’t worried whether it had been right or wrong, but rather enjoyed this bit of “her” she’d shared with me.

That’s what I think has changed. I can SEE people now, because I’m not looking at their label or where they rank on the good/bad scale, but at their individual person. And I can do that because I was first able to see me. What a gift I’ve gotten out of it. People are so much more enjoyable when I’m not judging or fearing them. They’re so much more interesting too. And I like that. 

And I like that I’m a laugher, and screamer, and gasper because it’s uniquely me, you know? It belongs to me. There’s nothing like that feeling. 

So tell me, what belongs to you? I’d love to know.

-Tara

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