For the past ten years, my vision of my happy place has been the same: a tiny beach on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize. Daniel and I spent 14 fantastic days there in the summer of 1999. At the worst of times when I have wanted to scream "calgon take me away"...this little oasis is the picture in my mind's eye. I haven't been back there since then and we always swore we would go. In 2000 we had Grayson, and life became so full that the trip took a backseat. We took plenty of other trips, just not that one.
This year is 10 years since my last visit to my happy place. I have been very tempted to go there in August, to celebrate what would have been our 17th wedding anniversary. That actually hurt to type. It's hard to believe it would be 17 years, I haven't seen him since 13. Damn death.
In thinking about the visit, I've struggled with how it would look. Honestly, I don't want to share it with anyone, but I really don't want to go alone either. So what to do? I have considered designating a new happy place, but I can't imagine a place that would make me feel more happy, loved, and alive. The problem I face is the reality that the place will not be so happy for me if I return. I took my happiness with me when I went there before, this time I'm likely to bring a big stinky case of misery and spoil the memories. But I feel so drawn to it, like I need to go and say goodbye there too. I feel like I need to do it alone, like it's some rite of passage or something. I don't know.
I've never traveled alone, except for business. Going to a tropical island by myself sounds so freakin lonely I can almost taste it. I don't think there is enough rum and pineapple juice to cheer me up there. But, then again, it was so much "our place" that it might just be a wonderful trip. Who knows. I guess I have a few months to decide. In the meantime, I'm happiest when I'm laughing with Grayson and just being silly. That particular happy place is near, cheap to get to, and always a good bet.