Twice in the last two days, completely unprompted and in totally separate conversations, two friends have mentioned that being near the ocean is their happy place. These friends are entirely different from one another, and in fact don’t know each other. But each made this statement so resolutely without even having to think about it.
It made me wonder where my happy place is.
I’ve lost it, you see. If you asked me to think of the one place I can be happy, peaceful, content, no matter what else is going on, I’d say… I don’t know. I don’t know where that is. I don’t think I have one right now.
I have places I enjoy, but that’s not the same.
I have places I retreat to, but that’s not the same either.
I’ve been doing more retreating than enjoying lately. Since this.
It turns out you can’t just draw a line in the sand. There isn’t everything before and everything after. It’s more like a Venn diagram – everything that remains untouched from before, everything that will be new after, and all the crap in the middle.
It turns out the crap in the middle is both bigger and crappier than I had expected, and at the moment it feels like I will be in that middle zone forever.
Logically, I know that won’t be the case, but today I came face-to-face with something that has moved from the untouched zone into the crap zone. I should have anticipated it, or known that there would be places from before that would become tainted by the now. But I didn’t and so I ran smack into it and now a place that had good memories…doesn’t anymore.
Another piece added to the middle zone.
Another thing to grieve.
Right now I am near the ocean, which used to be my happy place. Less so, strangely, once I moved away from it, but definitely a place I still enjoy.
I ended up in this particular place quite unexpectedly. It has incredible views and amazing sunsets and an abundance of shells.
It’s beautiful here, but right now it’s not managing to be my happy place.
Maybe nowhere is. Maybe the peace and contentment that come with a happy place are elusive when you’re in the crap zone.
Regardless, right now, in this place, the sun is setting on this difficult day.
And for right now, I will simply enjoy the view with as much peace and contentment as it can offer.