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Amalia Trigo
New York, NY
Expat Society Georgetown

One thing my family and friends will surely agree on is that I have an aching tendency to laugh at myself, even when things get hard. 

Humor, to me, is a form of resilience. It helps us take a step back from the hardships we encounter and examine them critically, all while sharing a good jaw-aching laugh. 

I'll usually be the first to make a joke when my friends are having a bad day, or the first to make that witty comment to relieve the tension in a conversation. And I’m not going to lie, I learned by example. Every time I was angry or frustrated (usually about something relatively unimportant) my mother would be the first to burst out laughing. And I, trying desperately hard to keep a straight face, would always end up surrendering to her infectious smile and joining in on the laughter. 

I didn't really appreciate how much resilience humor can bring until a few years back. I was 15 years old when I got into a car accident while riding my bike. The car hit me on the left side of my body that left me with two open fractures and some ugly road rash (face and manicure both remained spotless, oddly enough). The recovery process was long, and for three months I needed help doing just about everything. I was absent for almost a month of school, and even when I returned I had to miss class often to go to a physical therapist. Yet from the moment I regained consciousness after the impact to my final days on crutches, I would always find the moment to crack a joke. "Well this sucks, doesn't it?" I said to the paramedic who was riding in the ambulance with me. And from that moment on, I knew the only way I would get through the trauma was by taking it day by day, one joke at a time.