The room was loud, filled with the laughs and chatter of two dozen six-year-old girls. I sat amid the picture books and paper dolls, helping one of the girls with a crossword puzzle– a typical duty of mine at Girls Inc. That’s when there was a tap on my shoulder.
A teary-eyed kindergartener thrust her hand toward me, announcing with a sob that she had a paper cut. I took her little hand in mine to examine the wound. “Aw, I’m sorry,” I told her, “Do you want a Band-Aid? I am sure there are still a few with Hello Kitty on them.” The girl shook her head. “What would make it better?” I asked gently. Paper cuts are a serious business. She sniffed and replied, “How about a piggyback ride?” I partnered my crossword buddy with another volunteer, and hoisted the injured girl onto my back. After trotting for about ten feet, she announced that she felt all better.
Was a piggyback ride really all it took to soothe the cut that had brought tears to her eyes?
I don’t get paper cuts very often; I’ve been reading for quite a while, and I like to consider myself close to going pro at paper-handling. However, there are times when I acquire the teenaged version of a cut like that, usually in the form of stress from school.
So what are my piggyback rides? Are there things that can instantly pull me out of the blues?
After a little personal inventory, I realize that doing some yoga, drinking a good cup of coffee, and watching a favorite movie are things that I count on to heal my paper cuts (The Sound of Music or Sleepless in Seattle usually does the trick). It’s important to know what triggers happiness, just like it’s important to know what triggers paper cuts.
So when you feel the sting of a minor gash, what do you do to feel better? Run, read, or bake? Do you chat with friends, or lip-sync to your favorite Hamilton song?
Just like my formerly injured friend, be able to name and ask for the happiness triggers in your life. Surround yourself with positivity, and know which positive things you can call on if ever you cut yourself on the paper in your life.