a happy place

This afternoon, in Sunday DBT group, we were asked again to close our eyes and go to “our happy place.”

For the past however many weeks, I have ended up at the exact same place. (Except for a cry-worthy disaster during Week One, but we don’t need to get into that.) And that Exact Same Place was good. It’s one of my favorite places and I’m looking forward to going there again.

But, as I was breathing and counting to five today, a song swept into my head. A piece of the score for Finding Nemo and suddenly everything was blue and sunlit and wibbly and you were there.

My eyes are closed and the therapist is asking questions:

What can you see?

Well, honestly, Finding Nemo led me to The Living Seas at Epcot (WHAT A BIG SURPRISE DANI). So, I see animals. I see fish and stingrays and even a dolphin maybe. I see other excited, happy Disney-goers. I always like seeing what people decide to wear to Disney World. How someone chooses to express themself at the Happiest Place on Earth. I wonder what you would wear. I think I see the back of your head (I’m a gentleman, you go first) as we get into our little Clamobile.

What do you hear?

This probably isn’t precisely what I would hear, but dammit, it’s MY HAPPY PLACE AND I GET TO DECIDE. I hear that lovely piece of the Finding Nemo score again, I hear the chatter of guests around me– excited about the ride, already planning which pavilion of the World Showcase they’ll visit for lunch. I think I hear you absolutely losing your mind over the lyrics to Finding Nemo: the Musical. I think you are probably leaning forward against the lap bar of the Clamobile and pointing out each movie character excitedly. I think I hear myself grinning.

What do you smell?

This one’s always harder. I guess I smell that attraction industrial cleaner? (Not super romantic, I know.) And I think I smell sunshine coming off of you, where you have been touched by the Orlando sky but also where it just emanates from you. Day Star.

What can you taste?

You’ve probably already put this together, but I’m a little bit of an over planning control freak, so I had really specific, enthusiastic plans for our breakfast before we got into line for the Living Seas. So, I think I can taste lingering coffee and chocolate croissant on my breath from spending the morning in France, looking out over the water together.

What can you touch?

Your hand is warm in mine and not just because it’s probably 90-something degrees outside. Your hand is warm in mine because, again, forgive my repetition, you are sunshine. You are enthusiasm overflowing, you are stars worth wishing on.

I’m still nervous, but it strikes me that I did not invent you for this sun-dappled mental happy place.

You were just there.

I wish you were here.

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