The Happy Place (Almost 7 Months In)
What characterizes a personal, as I like to call it, happy place?
Is it material things? Is it the feeling you get? Or is it based on how other people see this particular place, how popular it is - because then it must be a happy place?
After almost 7 months in a new environment, I can say that I have certainly - for now, at least - found my happy place.
When I first set foot on this city’s ground, stepping out into the mild evening air at the airport, surrounded by Christmas music, I immediately knew San Diego would hold great things, unforgettable, personal stories that had yet to be told.
Now, I have been living in America’s finest city for pretty much 7 months (!!!) already. It still amazes me how time does indeed fly but I know this is only natural, specifically regarding the fact that I am actively living my life, each day to the new. The more I enjoy myself, the more I do and see, the faster the clock seems to tick. This speed of time is scary in a way.
I just want to freeze everything around me for a minute and have someone pinch me to wake up - just to realize this is even better because this is reality and all the pinching would only give me bruises.
The past years in my life, I was rushing from one thing, one place to the next, always wanting to know when a certain chapter would end because the thought of having to stay somewhere for an indefinite period of time would literally drive me nuts (London might be an exception, though). I was working so hard for this experience that I now have, for packing my bag and coming over here, that my emotions were running wild when it eventually became reality, I boarded the plane to the other side of the big pond, flew cross-country and touched down on the West coast (almost in Mexico, as you know San Diego is the southernmost city in the U.S.).
I have met incredible, inspiring personalities along the way, am building my close circle of friends, learn about people and their life stories (thanks to the Uber and Lyft app, haha).
Most importantly, I have come to learn a lot about myself.
This being said, I have never in my life lived this actively based on my gut feeling - this has been one of the best decisions, as I am being true to myself. All too often, we fool ourselves - and I generalize here because we all do.
Right when I set foot on San Diegan ground, I told myself:
Don’t ever take this for granted.
Throughout the months I have learned to be honest with myself and go for what is ingrained, and thus act based on my inner feeling.
This is the most refreshing thing ever as it helps me see things differently, simply: more honest. It’s not about what others want you to do, how they think you should act, it’s truly about yourself. I am not saying this doesn’t come at a certain cost, meaning some sacrifices, as realization can also be painful in certain respects (I am there), but in the end, you are pursuing what you truly want. I am doing trying exactly this.
I am that type of person that cares a big deal about what other people think about me. Over the past few months I understood how unhealthy this can be, how unhealthy it is. There’s only so many people in your life that matter and whose opinions should be important.
I stopped explaining myself when I finally realized it all too often doesn’t even make any sense, for each and every one of us sees things from their own perspective.
It’s probably natural, so I can’t blame anyone and I don’t want to because of negative energy and such. Plus, I myself probably cannot grasp and understand how many people, even in my immediate environment, think. So I am not holding a grudge. After all, some of these people mean a lot to me nonetheless. We’re all different, but we sure only have this one life; we might as well embrace it, although this oftentimes comes with hurtful decisions - only to realize that in the long run, this is the best not just for ourselves, but maybe even for another person.
Looking back, let’s say a year ago, the perception of myself is a completely different one. Being here in San Diego now, of all the places I have been to, I can say that this is the place where I can - and have - grow(n), spread my wings and become the best version of myself - a version I have always wanted to be, the self I really am and just feel the most comfortable with - and I am yet still evolving. San Diego gives me that space. It’s crazy to think about it, but I do feel as if I have made a huge step towards knowing what I want in life. I figured it out (well, I am about to in certain respects, but a huge portion of myself knows some of the answers already).
So, what characterizes a happy place then?
First and foremost, I don’t think there is a real definition. Duh. You have to feel it. Be true to yourself (what is it your gut feeling really tells you?) although this is all too often easier said than done. Trust me, been there. If you feel this is it, in a positive way, try to hold on to it, don’t fool yourself, realize you’ve found a place, an environment, that makes you truly happy - everything that comes with it. I believe this is the very first step to something amazing.
It might sound silly, but everyday in San Diego is special. Why? Because at the end of the day, there’s something I have learned, seen, something I have experienced or simply some statement a person made that occupies my mind and makes me think - in a good way.
Every day I get up, I am thankful to be here. I had this strong feeling when I was living in London, yet, this time it is different - stronger. I swear, this sounds so cheesy, but it’s actually not. This is what it’s supposed to be when you have found your happy place: not feeling the need to rush away, being more than okay with the thought of not knowing when a certain chapter will end, and actually enjoying each and every single second to the fullest.
It’s as simple as that. And then, the simple things are the most valuable ones, if only we hold on a second and appreciate them.
San Diego, you sure make my heart happy.
Where is your happy place?