Let a Girl Laugh, Be Silly and, Yes, Be Empowered

Every morning and throughout the day, I enjoy glancing through the nation’s top newspapers’ news feeds, so this morning, when I saw an article titled, “Want to Raise an Empowered Girl? Then Let Her Be Funny,” I immediately clicked on it.

I smiled, laughed, and started recounting my own silliness, similar to the girl in the Washington Post story about Laurie Menser, a 7 or 8-year-old girl who “wandered over to a neighbor’s house, slipped a glass eye in her mouth and got the attention of the grown-ups in the room. Then she smacked the back of her head and stuck out her tongue — waiting for laughs.”

While I didn’t exactly do that, I did do something else that I guess most girls probably wouldn’t have done when I was about her same age that terrified my mother and gave me the biggest laugh when I surprised her with a jar of eyeballs that my neighbor allowed me to have after he cleaned his fish.

My mother was horrified and, well, I was laughing on the floor, and I think Mr. Williams had a good laugh too.

Who would have thought the freedom of expression would lead to empowerment? It does!

Early on as a child, I knew I didn’t think like others because I questioned everything, even why in the world I had to “count by twos” in the first grade. I wanted reasoning, justification. Why? I even had trouble telling time on a clock and was sent to a tutor outside of class in the second grade because I questioned that too.

Was it because I was one of the youngest in the class with an August birthday, because I was born prematurely, or was it just the way God wired me? I’ve learned, it’s just the way God wired me and have to laugh.

I did finally conquer numbers. In high school, I took all the higher level math courses like algebra II, trigonometry, and calculus, but then almost had to take remedial math in college. After passing that exam, I was determined numbers were NOT going to be my downfall and finished that College Algebra class with over a 100 average, the highest average in the class, to prove to myself and probably the college I was not lacking.

If we can’t laugh at ourselves and understand our weaknesses, I imagine, I would be a really miserable girl right now. In fact, in my occupation, where I am responsible for raising large sums of money, I can’t remember the amount of funds raised without a sheet of paper in front of me. How crazy is that?! That’s just something I’ll never be able to explain.

I laugh and laugh again.

I haven’t always been able to laugh about my weaknesses because at times it’s been traumatic. (Like really, remedial math after conquering algebra II, trig and calculus and graduating high school and college with honors?)  I’ve honestly learned its God’s way of showing me His strength through my weakness. Remember singing that song “Jesus Loves Me” as a child? It means something so much different to me now. I embrace it, recognize it and am so thankful God blessed me with the silliest sense of humor that has empowered me to not be afraid in this crazy world.

Don’t worry though, I don’t still carry around fish eyeballs for laughs. These days I find more humor in sharing my comedy of errors with friends than trying to search for props…

Imperfect. That’s what we are. Listen to “This Is the Stuff” by Francesca Battistelli and laugh knowing life is more fun when we can laugh at our mistakes, ask “why” and learn.

Let a girl laugh and be silly; it will change her life like it changed mine.

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