The Art of the Happiest of Places

The world is a big place. Sometimes I’m reminded just how small I truly am.

In the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly — played by Audrey Hepburn — has a fascination with the jewelry store, Tiffany’s in New York.

Yet, her fascination with Tiffany’s isn’t because of all the shiny jewelry. Just like a lot of things, there is more to the story than just her going to stare at jewelry she could never afford. As a viewer, we discover her love for Tiffany’s when the romantic interest enters — played by George Peppard.

In a particular scene Holly and romantic interest, Paul, meet for the first time. Paul, who is just moving into the apartment complex next door, gets locked out of his apartment, knocks on Holly’s door and asks to use her telephone. A very sleepy Holly answers the door of an apartment with little to nothing inside. This visually represents her desire not to own anything until she finds a place where things go together. When asked what that looks like Holly just smiles and says, “It looks like Tiffany’s.”

“No, the blues because you’re getting fat or maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you are afraid of. Don’t you ever get that feeling? When I get it, the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany’s; calms me down right away- the quietness and the proud look. Nothing very bad can happen to you there. If I could find a real life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s. Then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!” Holly explains.

Just like Holly, I have a happy place — a place where the world slows down for a while, where deadlines aren’t calling my name, where my world isn’t about the next “to do” on my list and where the only thing on my mind is living in the moment.

After watching this movie for the hundredth time, I’ve noticed just how much life imitates art. In films or music, life is shown just how it is seen. Yet, the scripts and lyrics are written by individuals who give a human quality to imagination.

I believe that the strongest thing I can do is to take care of myself and I’m not just talking about eating broccoli and making sure I am in bed no later than 10 p.m. Sure, that’s all extremely important, but my mental health is just as important as my physical health.

I wouldn’t want to eat only half of a chocolate bar. I would want the entire thing. That’s kind of the same thing here. I don’t want to only give half of myself to something I am passionate about. I want to put in my all.

There is no shame in having time to yourself and disconnecting for an hour or two to get your head back on your shoulders and make sure you’re able to tackle a large workload. Personally, I rely on that time to refuel and come back stronger even before the “mean reds” start kicking in.