Places Where Reality Feels Altered

Places Where Reality Feels Altered

What are your "liminal spaces?"
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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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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10 Special Places In Your Hometown You Can't Wait To Revisit When The Semester Is Over

I can't wait to go home!

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Everyone has their favorite local spots that they love in their hometown. These could be famous staples that everyone knows about, or your little getaway when life was hitting you hard growing up. Since being away from home I never understood how important they were to me until I wasn't there. It doesn't matter if you live in Maine or California, everyone has their spot or multiple spots.

Here is a list of 10 places that you will stop at once you get home.

1. Your Favorite Local Restaurant(s)

This restaurant or restaurants always come through whenever you want to eat your favorite food(s). It always made everything to perfection, and nearly every person knows your name in there.

2. Coffee Shop

The place that you always can meet your friends, or a quite place to get work done.

3. High School 

Going back to your local high school is always a positive walk down memory lane to see all your old teachers, and people that affected your life for the better.

4. Friends' Houses 

So many memories are there, and it's always so refreshing to see their faces and talk to people that you have grown up with.

5. Nature Spots 

You know those places that whenever you get to them can make you so much happier and more relaxed? That's what I'm talking about.

6. Walking Around Your Neighborhood 

Walking around your neighborhood is always fun, and you get to see a bunch of familiar faces.

7. Your Bed 

Because what's better than that...

8. Your Local Church 

It is always nice to see your youth group and elders whenever you come back.

9. Grandparents' House

You know when you are going over something good is always waiting behind the door.

10. Top Of A Parking Garage 

The ultimate best view to watch fireworks, sunsets, and sun rises.

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