You’ve all heard the phrase “Find your happy place”. When you search your mind for that place, where do you go? What do you see?
When I search for my happy place, I find a beach.
I know many people probably do the same. Beaches are peaceful, calming, relaxing. Even if you’ve never actually been to the beach, you’ve seen pictures and can at least imagine what it might be like.
However, I seek out a very specific place. I look through my mind and find a beach from my earliest memories, my childhood, my youth, my teenage years. A place that holds my most cherished memories, and a place where I buried my greatest fears in the sand.
Since before I can remember, my parents have been taking my brother and I to Fort Myers Beach. We used to visit at least once a year, usually more, for months at a time. My dad even took me out of school for a week so that he and I could take a much needed vacation. I was in first grade then, but focusing was hard and life was stressful.
I remember, when we were younger, my brother and I would build castles on that beach. I wasn’t any good at it, but he was. He’s always been creative in a way I can never be. He saw the completed project before we’d even started, and all I ever saw were odd, mishappen structures. But then we’d finish, and my heart would be filled with wonder.
I remember my dad getting me up early to walk on that beach with him, because no one else wanted to go and he loves walking on the beach. He would say he especially loves to walk on the beach with me because I’m his little girl, and I’d say I’ll always be his little girl, and he’d give me a knowing smile.
I remember playing in that sand alone because my brother was growing up and thought it too childish for him to play on the beach. I remember the first time he complained about going to the Florida, when he first started hating Fort Myers Beach. He still does.
We haven’t returned to that beach for about two years now. Life has been hectic, and my parents have used any free time to schedule trips to more exciting places, like China and Alaska.
Still, my memories of that beach remain, and I still reminisce in the strange peace I felt every time I went there.
When I find my happy place, I go to that beach. I stare out at the ocean and watch as the water curls under a bright and shining sun. I listen to the rhythmic sounds of the waves breaking on the beach, perfectly in sync with my every breath. I wiggle my toes in the soft sand, feel the tickle as the water barely runs over them. I taste and smell the salt and sunshine on the air.
I know the place by heart, with every sense of my being. When I go there for some peace of mind, I recall the place in perfect detail. The only difference is that I’m alone on the beach. No one is around to disturb my peace. I have the place all to myself.
We all have our own unique happy place. Sometimes there’s a great deal of meaning behind the place, sometimes there’s not. As long as it makes you happy, it doesn’t matter whether there’s a reason or not. It’s your happy place for a reason.
Make it your own.
And may it forever bring you joy.
Picture Sources: kayak.com
(Note: I did not take the pictures myself, but they are all of my beach. I would recognize it anywhere. I’ll try to find some pictures my family has taken and replace these with those, but for now…)