Someone asked me "Where's your happy place" and never having given it much thought, I was surprised when I immediately answered, "my friends."
Of course, it struck me as weird at first that my happy place could be anything that wasn't actually a place, but the more I thought on it, the truer it became. I'm never happier than when I'm surrounded by the people I love the most, and I almost never want those times to end.
Looking back, it makes sense that my happy place would revolve around people. I was an only child for 10 years before my first sibling came along. Between a ten year age gap and living in separate households, I still felt like an only child.
And so, my friends became like sisters (and brothers) to me.
Because of how close I tend to get to people, I learned early on that quality is way better than quantity. I've always valued a few deep connections over a lot of shallow ones, thus I've never had a ton of friends. But, I've always had amazing ones.
Moving away to college, I left one core group of friends and it was hard. But then I found another and realized that they were more in line with the kind of friends and people I wanted to surround myself with. I kept a few of my closest friends from high school and eventually fell off with the rest.
My girlfriends at school were all the friends I needed and it quickly became more of a sisterhood than friendship.
Fast-forward four years later and I'm realizing what a dangerous thing it can be to have your friends be your happy place.
As graduation came and went, I was forced to accept the fact that we would be splitting. For me, that meant—once again—moving states away from the friends that had become family. Except this time, I wasn't okay with losing any of them; it's crazy how close you become after years of late night study sessions, football games and the freshman 15.
So, I constantly find myself considering a move to Texas to be closer to the people (and things—proper sweet tea and melodious sound of everyone using "y'all) that keep me in a happy place.
The problem with that is, not only is my career here in Los Angeles, but I'd be making the move for all the wrong reasons.
As I continue to learn in this adjustment period between college and settling into adult life, I'm learning to make myself (preferably at the beach) my happy place. I'm an introvert, so naturally I love being alone, but I also spend too much time in my head thinking about what fun it would to be back in Texas with my sister-friends.
It's difficult, but I'm slowly coming into my own and getting to a place where I can be just as happy with a glass of wine and a good Netflix show, but there are still times when I miss my friends more than I can bear.
Despite trying to free myself of my friends, I wouldn't change the fact that they are my happy place for the world. I love the sound of laughter in my living room and the smell of cookies baking in the oven. I love that my house turns into a gathering place and so many memories are made there.
So yes, my friends are still my happiest place, but I'm also appreciating just how happy I can be without them.