My happy place

Sometimes I feel like I’m running.

Now of course I imagine running in my head as running through the patches of grassy fields between the old-timey windmills at Zaanse Schans on a moderately windy day on a spring afternoon.

I always thought running away from the problem will be my solution. I grew up waiting, waiting for my chance to pack my bags and bolt out the door before things got too hard, before they reached my boiling point (I had already reached my melting point a couple times before, including a trip to the emergency ward on a random May day), before they reached a point where I no longer knew how to just deal with them.

But it didn’t help.

At least not in the way I had always thought it would. I imagined as a child that I would create my own little world; okay I admit, I did fill it with fluffy talking rabbits and ever-sunny-and-always-pleasant weather with a babbling brook next to a peaked roof cottage like the kinds I had seen in movies and always drawn in art class till I was six. Rectangle, rectangle, triangle, tilted rectangle, square, square. And if I was feeling fancy – two crosses going between the square windows to form window panes. But old imaginations aside, I always thought that once I was in this part of the world, I could no longer be bothered by it. It would finally leave me. This is the image that I still conjured up in my mindspace when the MRI guy asked me to think of my happy place; and to stop moving.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. It did help, at least in some ways. Some days I wake up completely oblivious to the problem, pretend like it never existed and marvel at the fact that my life suddenly has bare minimum levels of stress. Apart from working on a seemingly impossible thesis and mustering up the determination to do the dishes, there’s not much to worry about. Life is about as good as it can be. But then I find out some small little piece of information about the current events that I’ve missed and it wreaks havoc. My good place transforms into a pandemonium and I pretty much sit on the couch for what seems like an eternity next to my mood plushie toy with its smile turned upside down and absolutely zero will to do anything productive.

So now I’m waiting.

I’m waiting and running at the same time. Waiting till the problem just up and decides to leave one day – that’s it, you’re cured now! You’ll always be a happy person from now on. And running till it does. And if you want to find me, I’ll be somewhere in a field next to canals and windmills.


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