A few days sgo I got into a conversation with a friend about happy places.
First of all, I hate cliches. HATE. The term happy place sent me over the edge. I also do not believe that one person has a single happy place. I believe there are multiple places that I've been that could qualify as a "happy place."
I guess my original happy place was the woods. I grew up in a house in the forest, and I loved escaping to clearings within the woods. When I was a teenager, my parents hired a company to create a path in the woods. Although I don't go home often, I make sure to spend time on that path every time that I'm there. After a storm, a tree fell into the path. To go through the woods, now you have to crawl under (or climb over) its trunk. When I think of home, I think of that spot in the path as my happy place.
Another happy place of mine is the auditorium that I performed in high school... More specifically, the stage. When I acted in high school, that stage became my favorite place to study, to nap, to laugh, and to meditate. Although I haven't stepped into that room for more than a year now, I'll never forget the memories I made doing high school theatre.
I spent a week every summer at Warren W. Willis Camp during my high school years, which helped lead me to my future home: Gator Wesley. Here I learned how to be grounded, how to truly love, and how to move forward during difficult times.
After high school, I spent a year and a half at a community college. After very bad days, I would occasionally venture out to the beach alone. I'd lay out in the sun, despite the temperature outside. I went to various different beaches during that timespan. My favorite was a stretch in Ormond Beach that was always empty. The closest beach in Gainesville is more than an hour away, and doesn't compare to the beaches I grew up with.
To be honest, Weimer is my happy place. I never stop feeling grateful for the opportunities that I receive here. On bad days, I'm probably hiding in the courtyard or a corner of the AHA Lab, hoping that no one recognizes me. On good days, I'm hiding behind the Superdesk in the INC, or dancing around buildings, or staying quiet in the control room.
I can find happiness wherever I may be. There's no such thing as a happy place. There are only happy hearts.