In psychology class, my teacher provided us with an activity: we had to write about a place, fictional or real, which would provide us with the maximum amount of emotional wellness or, essentially, the least amount of stress and the most happiness.
Many of my classmates said places like the beach, or at the gym, or other areas that they had already been before. But what I found interesting, or perhaps saddening, was that I imagined a fictional place. And it made me realize that I haven’t found my real “happy place.”
I imagined my happy place as fictional. It was an aprtment or at least a quiet home with dimmed lights and lots of plants all over the place. There were dark wood floors, and books everywhere. It’s relaxing, quiet, and most important of all, I am happy.
At first I thought the activity and its purpose were highly contradictory, because isn’t being asked to share something this personal very anxiety-inducing? And even after the initial stress itself, I wondered if making children come to the realization that they didn’t have a “happy place” would be harmful. But, even as I sat there, fully cognizant of my reality, I wasn’t stresssed. I was interested, perhaps even oddly focused. Not often does the thought of my unknown future bring me inspiration so much as it causes me to spiral into despair. But picturing a small apartment, my urban jungle with my pet bird, I was happy, truly happy. Because even if I don’t live in my happy place now, I will. I’ll get there, and finally, truly understand what my classmates felt when they spoke about where they truly belonged. I will get there.
Everyone’s happy place is vastly different. When every single person closes their eyes, they imagine a very unique place. I think it’s unfair that not everyone is able to have access to their happy place and I can only hope that there comes a day soon when every single person will be able to reach the spot in the world in which they feel the most safe, because isn’t that what each person deserves?
I’m glad that my teacher provided us with this activity because somedays I feel lost without a real “drive”. But now, I will imagine my happy place, a home for me and everything and everyone I love, and know that I will get there. No matter how long, I’ll get there, and it will be worth it. One day, everything that is fictional will become real as people reach out for their goals and achieve them, making home in the happy place of dreams that they never thought could be theirs.