Where is your playground, your happy place? The place or places where you feel free. Where you don’t have to prove anything, bite your tongue, or hide your enthusiasm. Just easy, comfortable, defenses down. Imagination running wild.
Where is your playground? Also, do you make time in your life to escape to this place?
I am writing this post while wearing Princeton sweatpants and a Hoagie Haven t-shirt, so I think we have a logical place to start. While it wasn’t a happy place in every moment of my time there, I loved Princeton when I was a student and I love going back to campus now as an alumna. It feels like coming home. I am known for twirling around in random spots on the lawn, for sitting with my feet in the fountain, for walking around and emitting happy little sighs. Coming back is a combination of tingly nostalgia feelings and happy catching up with old friends feelings, and most recently also snuggly boolovin feelings. There are hugs and smiles and pictures and “It was great to see you”s. All of these things are good. I plan to be at campus at least once a year for the rest of my days. I’ve been going 2 or more times since graduation.
Quad is a special subset of my Princeton experience that I think qualified as my playground when I was a student too, if this is the definition we’re following. Some of the best decisions in my life have been made on a whim, and joining Quad was one such decision. There I developed some of the deepest friendships I created in my time on campus, which in turn helped me develop into the person I am today. There are few other spaces that have had such influence on me, few other places I felt such acceptance, such total freedom to be who I am –quite vocally, in fact– and do what I want to do, even if that is literally run around naked. I don’t know what can better represent enthusiastic defenselessness than that.
I talked in another post about the ocean as a place I like to escape to. That is true, but the beach is a thing I’m about all the time. It’s another space I feel really free, probably because I don’t really go to the beach with anyone except people I feel free with. I feel free to walk around in my bikini and not feel self-conscious about my body. I feel free to just lay out and read/listen to music. But nowhere do I feel more free than when I am in the water. I feel weightless, and like anything is possible. It’s so invigorating! I laugh whenever I think about the look of bliss on my face when JJ spun me around in the ocean when we were down in Virginia Beach this summer.
Speaking about faces, I would be remiss in talking about spaces in which I feel I “don’t have to prove anything, bite my tongue, or hide my enthusiasm” if I didn’t talk about sex. I think sex can count as a place. It’s gotta at least be a mental state. I wrestle with my level of enthusiasm in seduction, during the “will-we-won’t-we” moments when I don’t know if my partner wants me as much as I want them. I feel myself giving a little bit and then pulling back, waiting to see if it’s returned, and sometimes when it’s not, I feel rejected or undesirable to a degree. It’s a thing I’m working on. But when it is returned…sex is a state in which all of my self-consciousness disappears. I don’t think about how much of my hair has grown back since I last shaved, how my body looks turned this way, how ridiculous my face is at any given moment, or how loud I am/who can hear. I don’t even halfway think these things and then internally chastise myself to push the thoughts away. I am completely focused on pleasure, my partner’s and my own. I feel unencumbered and uninhibited — I want to try all the things to make each of us feel good, not out of a desire to prove I can do X thing, but just because doing it is awesome for both of us. It’s such a high. I even prefer to call sex “playtime,” which I guess makes this my most portable and most frequently visited playground.