Places Where Reality Feels Altered

Places Where Reality Feels Altered

What are your "liminal spaces?"

Have you ever been somewhere and felt, for no reason, confused or a little “off?” Like you’re waiting for something to happen, but you have no idea what it is? These places can make you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or they can spark new ideas and increase creativity.

Some of these places are called "liminal spaces." Take a look at a few examples, and see if you recognize or remember those feelings.

Playgrounds at night

Deep in the middle of the mountains or forest

Abandoned stores

Bathrooms at concert venues

Waiting rooms

Hospitals at midnight

School buildings during the summer break

Empty warehouses

Laundromats at night

Your friend’s house during a sleepover, when you’re the only one awake

Stairwells

Empty, silent museums

Rooftops at dawn or dusk

Early in the morning somewhere the snow is untouched

Airports late at night or early in the morning

Inside a dark closet


“Liminal” means “relating to a transitional stage” or “occupying a position at both sides of a boundary."

Liminal spaces, such as waiting rooms, parking lots, stairwells and rest stops, make you feel weird if you spend too much time in them because these spaces exist for the things that come before or after them. Their "existence" is not about themselves. Beyond the place you’re coming from and/or going to, the liminal space isn’t really meant to be its own entity, so you feel weird and the space feels odd if you spend too much time or think too much about them. Your brain tells you that something’s wrong because you’re supposed to continue moving on in life, but you’re not, so it feels like reality is altered.

Along with liminal spaces, there are other places where your brain gets confused and reality feels offset. Our brains rely on context in order to make sense of the world, and when you’re in a situation or place that’s out of context, it creates a sense of discomfort and/or anxiety.

For example, walking around a school building when school’s out of session, abandoned stores, empty buildings, or being awake when everyone else is asleep, we’re experiencing these locations out of context. We associate a high school with being crowded and noisy, so walking through the empty halls takes the place out of context, and your brain is saying, “Oh no, this isn’t right. You need to get out of here immediately." Brains like familiar situations, so when you’re in a place where the brain has already established a context, but it’s wrong, so that part of the brain starts to feel like it must be dangerous, hence the feeling of anxiety. Meanwhile, the logical part of our brain says, “Relax, it’s just an empty building," so you don’t go into a fight or flight response, you just feel uneasy.

Many people say that being in a liminal space or in a place that's out of context can increase your creativity, so maybe the next time you're around one of these weird places or get that weird feeling... stick around.

Cover Image Credit: Wordpress

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Five Ways to Deal with a Loud Roommate

There is still hope...for a good night's sleep

There is nothing wrong with wanting to bring friends over to your dorm or apartment, but sometimes it is not the right time. During the day, it is completely fine to blast music, but when midnight comes around, it becomes obnoxious. Getting woken up on a school night is not fun, so here are some ways to handle having either one or two loud roommates.


1. Play Loud Music(With/Without Headphones)

If their talking extremely loud or having a loud karaoke session with their friends, it’s only fair to blast your mixtape or your favorite song. Really good ear buds or headphones will do the trick too.


2. Bring Over Your Friends

They want to have a party, then make it a party! You can ignore your roommate while having fun with your own squad. If they get annoyed when their being just as loud with their friends, it means they are hypocrites and it is not your problem.


3. Buy a Big Fan

This works better in an apartment where everyone gets their own room. I know from personal experience that once that loud fan comes on, it blocks out most of the noise surrounding you. I don't recommend using it during the winter unless you get really annoyed.

4. Leave


This is my least favorite solution since it’s not fair, but it isn't a bad idea when you’re on the verge of cursing someone out. Try finding a friend to hang out with. If not, drive or walk around for a while. Just find some peace and quiet, especially if you have to study.


5. Talk to Them

Even if you don’t think they will listen, it doesn't hurt to try. You could address them while their being loud to remind them that you're not deaf. Or you could sit them down and make some sort of an arrangement where you both feel comfortable. If you talk to them and they chose to still be obnoxious, then you might want to consider the other solutions above. Or better yet, get a new roommate.





Cover Image Credit: psIloveyou

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Find Some Time To Do Nothing

Why the suburbs raised me well and I didn’t realize it.

I was born and raised in a small village in Upstate New York called Pittsford. Population: 27,219. I mostly hated growing up there. I always thought I was destined for a city- constant people and things to do. Probably because I was and always have been bad at boredom. Boredom, in many ways, is my worst enemy. As a kid, I never knew what to do with it. I would drive my mom insane pacing around the house trying to get her to take me to do something or play a game with me or just let me ramble about how bored I was to her.

She would incessantly ignore me to the point where I would freak out and get so tired I would have to take a nap. Then she would say - “there you go, that’s all you had to do was just be still.” I never understood that- “just be still.” It made no sense to an anxious, vigorous mind like mine. “Just being still” was just simply not an option.

After almost 10 years of this routine - boredom, anxious pacing and freaking out - I had had enough. I was in 9th grade and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had one last major ‘freak out’ over winter break that year. It lasted nearly 10 hours. I had plainly lost my mind. One shattered mirror, a smashed iPhone and many slammed doors later, I was nearing the end of some of the most painful, dreadful 10 hours of my life.

I found myself lying on a bench in the hallway of my mothers' house, squeezing my head and telling it to shut up. My mom sat with me silently for many hours, repeating the words “just be still.” I got it- I finally got it. That was what was wrong. My head could not be still and boredom itched that reality a little bit too harshly.

With lack of ability to find constant entertainment in my small little town and quaint, quiet neighborhood, I was forced to face the demons in my head that boredom would expose. I realized, through many anxiety attacks and silent days and nights alone with my thoughts, I realized that there had to be an alternative reality- that life couldn’t possibly consist of such incessant anxious nagging thoughts because otherwise, the human race wouldn’t exist.

As a result, I came to understand more of the depths of my being and the crevices of my mind that often acted like black holes. I began to reach inwards for long-term contentment instead of reaching outwards for provisional bliss. Boredom thus has forced and allowed me to come to know myself on a deeper level.

I have been able to understand the demons of the mind and know them on the most personal level possible. I have also learned how to combat these demons before they are even born as a result of knowing them so deeply. So, despite the bad reputation that boredom gets, I attest that it is one of the most crucial parts of personal and spiritual growth. Contrasting with the words of Tyler the Creator- I proclaim that we, the human race, “find some time to do ‘nothing’.”

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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