I know I have a great therapist because, while I don't see her often, I consistently end every session with a revelation or better understanding of myself, or something that otherwise makes me feel a little better about whatever I'm dealing with. I have a longer running theme of not really understanding what my content state is like. In other words, when someone asks me, "If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?" That's such a hard question, because the possible answers are infinite in number. There are no constraints. And the things that I do enjoy doing, I'm always battling some external or cultural expectation about why those things aren't what I should be doing. But what's interesting is that I can always tell you where I would be, if I could be anywhere.
That place is near the ocean. I'm not talking about a "beach day" or swimming, I mean within earshot of the sound of the waves. I often mentally go back to the VRBO we rented in January of last year. And of course, cruising is pretty great too.
My therapist said that I would be very surprised that so many of her clients can't tell you where they would be, and by extension, may not have a developed sense of what it means to feel at peace. That's profound to me. I realistically understand that we can't be in a calm, peaceful state at all times, because adulting, but not knowing what it feels like or how or where to appreciate it sounds like a pretty difficult way to live. I envy people that can do it anywhere. That's an amazing skill. I suppose there's a question of whether or not people need to feel that peacefulness, but I can't imagine life being so uneventful that you would ever not need it.
As not-a-person who likes baking in the sun, the ocean seems like a curious choice. I theorize it's just the sound of the waves, because the best nights of sleep I've ever had were within earshot of the beach. It's my go to white noise sound from smart speakers. And as I sit here on a particularly breezy evening, with the neighbor's palm trees pleasantly blowing around, I realize that it may generally be a constant, natural rhythm of sound. The ocean just happens to be the most intense. It literally drowns out the noise in my head.
This came up because I wonder how, and when, and if, I could make living in ocean proximity possible. I don't know the answers to those questions, which causes some degree of anxiety. I keep telling myself that I could not have predicted where I am now (in the metaphorical sense), which is generally a good thing, so I should be a little more at ease with the chaos and uncertainty.