Monday, November 16, 2009

The Happy Place

Current Mood: not bad despite the fact that it's pouring buckets out there

Current Song: Laschia Chio Pianga from Farinelli.

We always hear about Happy Places on television. Usually they're in the context of someone having some sort of major crisis and closing their eyes, standing still and saying something like "still blue pond, still blue pond". But I think each one of us has a happy place that they go to in real life. It's the place where you feel top-notch and where you could come away from smiling for days. You feel the most comfortable there and it brings out the best in you. You're automatically more approachable, more light-hearted, more mellifluous.

Today, I'll tell you about my happy place.

It's a little place at a very large intersection. It's a good 10 minute walk away from public transit, but well worth it. A favourite Italian coffee shop that was re-introduced to me by a friend from my graduate program. There is a giant gellato cone flanking the door. The place blares loud Italian music and is full of kitschy statues of naked men (not complaining, just saying). The tables are glass, and the chairs are meta covered with vinyl cushioning and the biscotti is to die for. It faces on to a very busy street, right across from a Starbucks if you can believe it. It's family owned and the older gentleman that works there calls you "darling" and "honey" when you place your order. The younger one - his son - calls you "sweetheart". They're loud folks and sometimes it's hard to hear your partner.

When I walk in to the mixed air of brewed coffee and moisture left over from the rain, I feel happy. It's dark and warm and a wonderful solace away from busy rattle of daily life. The regulars are always milling around, going from one table to another: old couples, a photographer, young families who walk in with their many children. They all know each other and sometimes I know them too. I smile at them in greeting. When I leave, my jacket smells like the cappuccino I just drank that's giving me the shakes. I walk back down another 10 minutes in the rain. I don't mind.

Such places are just a reminder that when you're down or wanting to escape, find your happy place, in real life, and go there. You'll feel better for it.

Do you have a happy place?

(The rain is subsiding, I must away to my erranding. Later taters!)


Raul (hummingbird604) said...

My happy place is definitely The Red Sea Cafe. Ethiopian food. Fantastic. Love the place!

Mehnaz said...

Raul - sounds lovely :)
whereabouts is it?

Sameer Vasta said...

Thanks for sharing Mehnaz. I've done a lot of thinking about happy places these days, trying to figure out where exactly my happy place is. I've looked back on my time kayaking in Pedder Bay, out on the Pacific Ocean. I've have meandering thoughts about my time on the football field as we were marching down to the end zone, about to secure a win. I've even been reflecting on my most amazing ride in a hot air balloon I had earlier this year, with someone I love dearly.

In the end, neither of those things gave me clues as to my happy place, and I've realized that my happy place isn't a physical place at all, but a feeling of belonging, of being wanted, of being loved. That's really my happy place: knowing that wherever I am, I'm there because someone really wants me to be there, with them.

Mehnaz said...

You make a good point vasta.

I sometimes find it hard to separate my brain into the happy place and miscellaneous. It's just much easier for me to sometimes be in a physical place.

But you're right...your happy place is somewhere as the cheers song goes "Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came"

Anonymous said...