You gotta laugh

By By Adam Kirk

By Adam Kirk

This isn’t quite the life I had imagined coming home from a mission.

As I sat next to my mother at the U’s orientation meeting, I kept looking over at a cute girl and imagining how to casually ask her out. It didn’t take long to notice that there were about 1,000 students that were stunningly beautiful who made the other 28,000 of us look butt-ugly.

Suddenly, I felt a wet thumb clean some small unnoticeable thing off my face. I looked around and realized that none of these other suckers had brought their personal hygienist with them.

Later, my mother’s bad knee gave out, causing her to trip on some stairs and spill her Diet Coke everywhere. As I grabbed her hand and helped her up she whispered, “Sorry for embarrassing you!”

I responded, “Mom, I just spent the last two years walking up to Southern Baptists in a parking lot and trying to tell them about angels and a gold Bible. I’m not embarrassed.”

When we got home, I called some of the girls I knew back before my mission.

“Wow, I can’t believe you’re back! How long have you been home?”

“Uh, about a week.”

“No kidding! Well, I’m leaving for BYU tomorrow, but it was nice to hear from you!”

I’ve thought about showing up to some random parties or get-togethers to introduce myself and maybe make a few friends. Could I bring myself to commit such a party foul? Well, I used to show up to high school stomps and events by myself, wearing a Speedo under my jeans, just in case. (Sometimes, I just like to make a scene.)

It’s been a really good growing experience to come home to no friends, no girlfriend, no job and no college experi ence. I’ve hated every minute of it. I keep telling myself, “You’ll bounce back, you’re cool, don’t listen to reason, you’re cool.”

Seeking comfort, I asked other returned missionaries if things will get better. They sigh and say, “Well, circumstances don’t get better, but your ability to laugh at them does.”

That’s never what I want to hear. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of my ability to find the humor in things while living among the people of Southern Georgia for two years. They are not very humorous people. I laughed at them, but rarely with them.

It’s always hard to adjust. Learn to laugh at how stupid and awkward you are — that’s my advice. A humorous attitude can help you deal with stress and embarrassment. People who can laugh at themselves live longer, and that’s good for everybody, because they are so pleasant to be around.

Laugh it up, Chuckles — you’ll feel better.

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