I hope you throw your head back and quit worrying what others think of you. I hope you stick your tongue out and catch raindrops, or snowflakes, or bits of sunshine on your lips. I hope you stop thinking about what someone might say, or the faces they might make at you, dancing with your head tilted to the sky.
I hope you forget how tired you are, how worn your body feels, how silly you look in this moment, and you let yourself be a little kid again.
I hope you smile. I hope that smile grows. I hope that smile stretches across your face until it pulls the corners of your mouth open. I hope you chuckle. I hope that chuckle becomes a giggle, then a spurt of laughter, then one of those full-on belly heaves where you almost lose your breath.
See, sometimes life sucks. Sometimes we don’t know if we’ll make it through. Sometimes we don’t know where we’re headed or the ‘why’ behind our circumstances. Sometimes our hearts break. Sometimes we lose people we love and our worlds are left in pieces. Sometimes we feel helpless. Sometimes we’re scared. Sometimes we don’t want to open our eyes when we hear that alarm clock beep.
But here’s the thing, today you did.
Today you opened your eyes. Today you shrugged out of bed. Today you took a breath, you stepped, you nodded, you walked, you continued. And that’s truly admirable.
And I know it was hard. Moving forward was damn hard. Being a human was damn hard. Finding the will, somewhere inside your tired bones—that was damn hard. But you did it. You continued.
And so, today, I only hope for one thing: I hope that you learn to laugh. I know your days are tough. I know your past is broken and your mind is bitter. I know sometimes you feel defeated, and you don’t want to believe in goodness, because goodness has failed you time and time again. I know you ache, I know.
But I hope you learn to laugh today.
I hope you let the sun kiss your cheeks. I hope you let sky pull you into its embrace. I hope you show the clouds your teeth as you open your mouth and let laughter slip out, warm and light like cotton candy.
I hope you hear a stupid joke and can’t help but snort. I hope you walk arm-in-arm with someone you love, and they tell you a story that makes your eyes water with joy. I hope you laugh. Laugh until your belly hurts. Laugh until your heart feels free. Laugh until the pain of your today fades into the rearview mirror. Laugh until you forget.
I hope you laugh until it doesn’t hurt as much.
And I hope that laughter gives you strength.
Because believe me when I say you are powerful.
And the world loves to hear the sound of your smiles.