WHAT’S GOT BIG?
A flash back to last year……. Rewind TWELVE MONTHS!!
If like me you have already settled into the evening ritual of watching ITV’s ‘I’M A CELEBRITY, GET ME OUT OF HERE’ you may already be raising a smile to the title of this blog.
Trending as a hashtag on Twitter, the phrase ‘Happy Place’ became an overnight sensation. Radio stations had phone-in’s about it, playgrounds echoed with it, workplaces discussing it. Socially distanced in all cases of course.
If you are not a fan of the show or missed the efforts of one of the show’s contestants allow me to explain.
Faced with a task named ‘VIPER VAULT’, Radio 1 DJ Jordan North was set the challenge of collecting hidden stars in exchange for food for his fellow contestants back at camp.
Locked inside a capsule that resembled a coffin, Jordan alongside a fellow camp mate endeavoured to crack codes for locks which when opened released a star (food token).
A task Jordan would have found difficult enough on its own after confessing a fear of enclosed spaces, but things were to get much worse as Jordan was joined in his ‘vault’ with a nest of snakes, later confessed as his biggest fear.
Hooked at this point like millions of other viewers, I watched Jordan battle his way through twelve minutes of torture to complete the challenge admirably, eventually gaining a full quota of twelve out of twelve stars. 100%. ALL of them.
The traumatising trial provoked a response from Jordan. The TV audience could hear our hero’s cries of the phrase “HAPPY PLACE, HAPPY PLACE” repeated over and over and over. A relaxation chant used by Jordan to centre himself and focus his thoughts on a place where he felt happy and a place that would take his focus off of the task at hand.
Jordan’s ‘happy place’ to the amusement of the watching hosts and viewing millions was identified as “Turf Moor”, the home ground of his beloved football team Burnley FC.
“HAPPY PLACE, HAPPY PLACE TURF MOOR, HAPPY PLACE, HAPPY PLACE, TURF MOOR!!”
For a claustrophobic ophidiophobia to succeed in such a fear-inducing challenge, I guess Jordan can consider Turf Moor to be a very happy place indeed. Well done Sir, an amazing effort. Bravo!!
I viewed it admirably and willed Jordan on as I watched from….
…..my sofa, curled up, in a warm house, with my family, laughing, with a hot mug of tea and of course a couple of custard cremes.
Although a fan of football I am not a fan of Burnley F.C, to be fair not many people from outside Burnley are, but I pondered over what may have led to Jordan choosing the home of his cherished football team to be the destination he took himself to enable him to block out the most intense fears that threatened to paralyse him and fail the task ahead.
I can assure you if you do not follow football, his happy place would not be down to the football played or the results that Burnley produces, but possibly more so down to the occasion and the time Jordan spends there. His anticipation of match day, his connection with his match day companions, the pre-match ritual of a pint on the way, the atmosphere, the halftime pie, the smells, the emotion, the victories, the losses and probably not any one specific match. A concoction of experiences when combined, mixed up and moulded add up to the only place he would rather be during his time of utter despair.
I get that!! I totally get that. Enough in fact, that it made the hairs on my arms stand on end.
In the morning, as a family, we chuckled about the events we watched the night before. Of course, it made excellent viewing, the whole point behind the show is to watch the celebrities conquer terrifying ordeals in exchange for ‘stars’, but it got me thinking……
I asked my tribe where their ‘happy place’ was. Where did they take themselves off to when they could do with a pick me up during times when they felt low or threatened or unsafe?
Answers came in the form of “my bedroom” from Jack, “Cornwall, on the deck of our caravan” said Julie, “Treyarnon Bay” (a wonderful cove we go to in Cornwall) said Ned, “in the sea with the sun out”, said Alex, “With you lot” said everybody.
A brave question I guess when you break down the possible responses available to a 6, 12 and 14 and 35 (well, possibly 35) year old. Happy places can come in all forms but ultimately connect the individual choosing it to a place of comfort, security, safety, contentment.
A deep emotional connection with the above. A specific moment or a collection of similar moments in the same place. All adding up to a positive experience….. A HAPPY PLACE to be.
For some that would include ‘others’, for some it would involve isolation, existing alone. Warmth in the sunshine or crisp and fresh in the snow. Reading a book, listening to music, loud or silent, high energy or relaxed, 5-star hotel or a burger van on a clifftop.
I took some time to reflect on mine. I likened my happy place to be a little like choosing my favourite song…. I have many and all reflect an emotion that I am in need at that moment.
Feeling low, need a pick up; I’d choose Figure It Out by Royal Blood, descending the Col De La Madeleine with good friends.
Feeling stressed, need to chill; I’d choose Be Still by The Killers and a beach fire with a cold one and loved ones.
But at my happiest, it would have to be Baggy Trousers by Madness…..
on my sofa, curled up, in a warm house, with my family, laughing, with a hot mug of tea and of course a couple of custard cremes.
I’m not sure what therapeutic benefit there is in analysing where your or indeed my ‘happy place’ is, quite frankly for the purposes of this blog, I’m not even that bothered. It’s just a great question to be asked.
No matter who you are, from time to time we can all do with that metaphorical comfort blanket or hug of emotion worn like a dry robe on a beach in November. Just because when needs be, we simply have one!
Just for you, just for fun…….
I hope that it is a useful thing.