So what is a safe place? Sometimes it’s a person, other times it’s a destination. But the goal is always to reach a state of euphoria. The feeling of pure bliss, where for a moment in time you forget where you are and you're consumed by a calm energy that frees you from the construct you've made in your own mind.
Often times my safe place is what I desire most in that moment. Is it validation? Is it reassurance? Is it an emotional release? No matter what it may be, I always end up at the same place, by the water. I wasn’t sure why I always ended up here, on the shoreline of some type of body of water contemplating every aspect of my life. It isn't always the same spot, but I have my favourites. So, here I am once again at the water, this time with a friend. I confess my feelings and open up about the state of my life and the inevitable spiral I feel. She stops me and says, “what did 9 year old Bee look forward to the most? What made her feel seen and safe?” And I instantly thought of the countless evenings my mother and I spent by the water. Whether it was roller blading, on a bike ride, or just watching the waves crash. I always felt safe in those moments and in those spaces. Whatever noise was in my head would quiet, and the bustle of my life would slow down. There was often no exchange of words in those interactions, it was two people battling their own demons appreciating what time we had to share with one another as the day closed.
I recognize now that when I’m at my lowest points I find myself at the edge of the water and for that brief moment, time stands still. Maybe my body takes me back to those evenings with my favourite person, where we acknowledge that we may not be okay, but we didn't have to be. And we didn't have to talk about it. We were in each others company and that was enough to get us to sleep at night. When I'm at the waters edge I'm back there, with her, and in that time and space everything freezes— I feel okay. My arms gain feeling again and my breathe comes back to a steady state. My wandering mind goes blank and my eyes are locked on the rolling water. I forget what brought me here this evening and the release of emotions comes on strong. I'm okay, I whisper to myself.
So, I find myself here time and time again. Searching for that safe place by the water. I find hope again, purpose. Every memory I have tied to the sense of relief, closure, or comfort, comes from being by the water. Here I am this evening, pacing the same pathway that I've walked a hundred times. I take note of the bench I cried on back in 2018 when I thought my life as I knew it was over. I see the same pathway I trained for my marathon on, where my passion for running truly began. And the rocks I sat on in 2021 when I began to lose hope for my future. A place that holds such strong emotions, but gives me a breathe of life each time I come back.