15 Places Where Reality Is Altered

15 Places Where Reality Is Altered

How do you experience liminal spaces?

Julia Awad

Do you ever feel out of sync with your surroundings? Maybe you're anticipating something, but you just can't put your finger on it. Other times, you might feel like you're on the verge of something. For some people, this "out of sync" feeling can be described as discomfort or uneasiness. For others, it can be an unprecedented comfort.

This weird sensation is present when you're in, what's called, liminal spaces.

Before I explain what liminal spaces are, let's see if these places or situations evoke any feelings:

1. Airports early in the morning or late at night (midnight - 6 a.m.)

2. Beaches late at night

3. Empty museums

4. Stairwells

5. Hospital waiting rooms or hospitals late at night

6. School buildings on the weekends or summertime

7. Rest stops on the side of the highway8. Empty highways

9. When you're the last car in an empty parking lot

10. Playgrounds when there are no children

11. Post offices

12. Office supply section of your local grocery store

13. Your friend's house in the middle of the night when you wake up to get water

14. Your room at 5 a.m. (or when it's raining)

15. Elevators when you're alone

Feeling nostalgic yet?

If thinking of these places evokes any anxious feelings, you've probably experienced being in a liminal space. Liminal is derived from the Latin word "limen" which translates to the threshold.

A liminal space is essentially a transitional threshold. These places have no purpose on their own, their existence is not about themselves. Rather, they exist entirely to be a waiting place from one point in space to the next. Simply, their purpose is based on what comes before and after them.

Liminal spaces like waiting rooms, rest stops, or airports make you feel "off" or uneasy if you spend too much time in them because you're supposed to keep moving through life. When you don't, reality feels altered.

Liminal Spaces are throughways from one place to the next.

Another explanation of an altered reality is because of the incapacity of our brains to process these liminal spaces as individual entities. Our brains react to context, so when a space lacks context or we experience it out of context, we feel uneasy or anxious.

On the one hand, an empty school on the weekends or during the summertime can be described as a liminal space. The reason for this is because of the context that our brain has assigned to the specific building or hallway. What you usually see as a busy, loud, or hustled hallway is now calm and serene. Since the hallway lacks the context our brain normally associates with it, it begins to feel "dangerous" because it is unfamiliar. While we can override this feeling of "danger" by not doing anything irrational, the feeling of uneasiness or anxiety remains.

On the other hand, while your bedroom during a storm can also be considered a liminal space, it may cause a different reaction. As I mentioned before, for some people, liminal spaces cause uneasiness while for others, they evoke a feeling of unprecedented comfort. This comfort seems foreign or unknown and maybe you're not sure why it feels comfortable, nevertheless, it does.

Whichever category you fall into, whether these spaces make you feel uneasy or comfortable, we can all agree that liminal spaces are extremely fascinating. Maybe the next time you're in one, you'll be able to recognize it and have more control over your feelings of uneasiness.

Reality feels altered because we're not supposed to spend too much time in these places.

But what if we do?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments