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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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

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It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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