I have two happy places in my head.
Oh come on, admit it - we all like to live in our heads more than in reality, right? Well, if you're a writer or a reader this may be true. (Or maybe it's just me...)
When I feel happy, content, and truly alive, it's when my mind is in its happy place. The first happy place is my writing/reading world. The second is my history world.
First, an explanation. Going to my happy place does not mean I retreat from reality or others around me. I don't go into some kind of weird trance and completely ignore my surroundings. Instead, my happy place is more of a mindset.
When I am deeply immersed in writing and in the writing/reading world - reading writing blogs or books or connecting with other writers or readers - I feel content, energetic, motivated, and most of all, at peace. Why? Because I am looking at the world through the lens of this happy place. Life is clearer, sharper. It makes more sense. It's the same when I'm immersed in a history project.
Today I came back from the library with a stack of books that I can't wait to read, and the bliss I felt while walking down the sidewalk (probably a little lopsided since it was a BIG stack), was incredible. All was right with the world. I wanted to go home and write or read (but of course, I couldn't due to the day job) because I wanted to be completely submerged in my art. I wanted to spend the afternoon reading Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn or Susanna Kearsley's The Winter Sea with my cats at my feet. I wanted to write my novel and enjoy the process instead of dreading it.
In short, when I'm in my happy places, anything is possible. I don't think about my shoddy health or the bills that have to be paid or the appointments I have to keep. All that stuff matters, but it doesn't matter a bit when my mind is set on what I love to do.
It's been this way for as long as I can remember. From my first days as a writer, I still have fond memories that conjure up a state of happiness. The same can be said for my love of history. The two loves - history and writing - are so closely entwined that I come to think of them as the same sometimes.
This all boils down to one thing: these happy places represent my passions. I am at home here.
And like they say, there's no place like home.