Think about it. Where is your happy place? Close your eyes and picture it. Feel it. Smell the smells and listen to the noises, or lack of noises.
I have a happy place. For me it's not a metaphor, it's literally a place on a map. I'll describe the experience - my body automatically knows where to go, never lost, never confused, never disappointed. It smells like humid air, sometimes if the wind is right, you can smell pee on some corners (Hey, I never said a happy place had to be perfect). People hold the door open for each other and say please and thanks, tip their servers well, talk to strangers, say 'mornin'' to everyone, give out innocent compliments openly, talk about baseball....they eat cheese like it was health food, drink cheap beer and everywhere - EVERYWHERE - serves barbeque food year round.
Music is loud, and good, and fun. Every age parties together, dances together and no one cares what you're wearing or what brand of sunglasses you wear. So long as you applaud and tip randomly, you're part of the in-crowd. You can also melt into the wallpaper (which is usually old records) and just sit with a bottle of water and your own thoughts if that works better.
Free buses take you all over the city. There are CLEAN PUBLIC BATHROOMS. And anyway, no one charges you a coffee to use a bathroom. I know, right? Crazy.
When it rains, everyone buys silly looking ponchos made of cheap garbage bags and wears them as they shop and eat and drink and listen to music.
I go there, physically and in my imagination, when things get really rough at work or other parts of life. When worries hit me, I find a song to play loudly that reminds me of happy times...
If I asked my mom where her happy place is, she'd probably say at home in our town with any or all of her kids and her grandkid around her. Or maybe it's the fun in getting a new puzzle book.
My friend J might say the library, anywhere there are books. Another friend would probably say at home in her comfy bed.
I have some friends and clients who don't really know. One person might say that her happy place isn't happy so much as it's convenient. Another person could give all kinds of random places but when poked, may be unable to really explain what 'happy' means to him. Ever met anyone who just knows his/her happiness just HAS to be contained in the perceived societal expectations of being married and having kids, or in having a high paying job, or a giant house, or being thinner and losing the grey hair or being taller, famous, more 'beautiful' or whatever....but can't figure out why that hasn't worked out for him/her? Yeah, many of us have been there or know someone who is there.
That happy place, I think, is where those perceived expectations disappear. Where we aren't judged for being not as smart, wealthy, thin or tall as others, where we can be ourselves completely. Where our opinions, while maybe debated, are respected. Where a crazy-hair day is actually just as good a hair-day as yesterday.
Anyway, that's what a happy place is to me. What is it to you?