I am a young individual. I can’t recall any particularly exciting events that have defined me. But something comes to mind when I think of the things that have been defined by in my life. My ability to enjoy every day. Since this is a way of life, a state of mind, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what moment in my short life that defined this joy. But I am confident that it comes from my upbringing and my inherited sense of humour. Not to mention the earliest memory of shared laughter between my dad and I: the first time we watched Ben Stiller’s Zoolander.
For those of you who have never seen it, Zoolander is a movie about a dim-witted male model named Derek Zoolander. It follows his being brainwashed to kill the Malaysian prime minister by a sinister fashion designer known as Mugatu. The movie has a hilarious cast and a very interesting and creative plot. It has a lot of clever jokes, and a lot of stupid ones. But it’s not the content of this movie that held a defining message. It was the experience of watching it with my dad. See, I couldn’t have been more than ten when I watched this movie for the first time with him. I didn't understand half the jokes, and I couldn’t appreciate the movie’s comedy genius like I can now. But I did know this: my dad was enjoying this movie. whether it was the jokes themselves, their delivery by the actors, or their stupidity, I wanted to enjoy this movie as much as I knew my dad was. I laughed when he laughed. I chose to enjoy that movie. The reason this experience defines who I am today is the realization that we choose our attitudes. I’m not saying being happy is as simple as choosing to do so. But I know that it helps. I found that movie funny back then because I watched it setting myself up to laugh. I find it funny now simply because it is hilarious. But likewise, I enjoy life now by setting myself up to enjoy it. I may not be able to fully appreciate or understand everything that comes my way, but I know that to enjoy the little things is to live life well. And thanks to watching Zoolander, I know it’s in my power to choose to do so.