I love the wording on Dutch Maps - like the ones you find in Tourist Attractions, large towns, or Shopping Centres - it makes more sense than being told "You Are Here".
"U Bevindt Zich Hier" literally translates into "You Find Yourself Here".
The question is where do I actually find myself???
Yes - I know that the best place to find the true "me" is in Rotterdam - but what if I am stuck in England???
Well, I can usually find myself when I get totally lost in scenery. The scenery usually has to include water or unusual buildings or sculptures. Preferably all three. (A clue - try taking me back to Kings Lynn - that works.)
If I cannot find freedom in my real surroundings the next best thing is to do one of my hobbies - reading or writing. I love books and blogs which I can get completely lost in as I read them. It doesn't matter if they are fiction or factual - the test is if I can read them in one sitting and then want to reread them.
My favourite blogs are ones where the authors take me with them as they describe situations to me - or explain even the most complicated theories in extremely idiotproof language.
Writing is something else I can find myself in as I get lost in it. There is just something calming about seeing letters and words appearing on a page as I either move the pen or hit the keys on the keyboard.
I remember reading a book by Steve Bowkett, called "Meditations For Busy People (How To Stay Calm And Stop Worrying)". The most memorable line in it was "imagine you are on a tropical deserted beach. This is your personal shakra - visit it often".
The funny thing about that is - I cannot stand warm places and my favourite beach has got a rather large port very close to it. Hoek van Holland beach is almost next door to the ferry terminal. My second favourite beach - in case you were wondering - is the one at Scheveningen, near The Hague (I always want to type "Den Haag").
For those of you who are fans of "The Hairy Bikers" - the beach (or rather the promenade) at Scheveningen was featured on one of their "Bake-ation" programmes.
We are all too busy and stressed out - whether it is connected with employment, health, relationships, financial matters, or anything else.
I read in another book (which I cannot remember the title of at this moment in time) that there are times when unresolved stress and mental anguish actually gives unexplained physical symptoms - if not properly dealt with.
I know that there are people who enjoy walking (my Dad is one of them). However, seeing as it is one of my primary forms of transport, I don't see the point of walking for leisure. If I want to walk I usually have both a destination and a purpose in mind.
A recent kind of a hobby is being showcased on this blog post. These photos were taken outside St Martin's House, near Leicester Cathedral, a couple of years ago.
I must admit that my idea of photography will drive most people up the wall. Not for me the pretty - chocolate box - photos of architecture or scenery. I like my photos with a twist in them - the kind that makes you wonder "why the Hell did she take that???". Either that or the sort of photo which can be interpreted in more than one way.
I was talking to someone today who asked me if I would go for Laser Eye Surgery if it could be proven to be 100% successful. She was surprised when I said "No". Apart from the reason I gave her (I wouldn't be "Me" if I have it) - I wouldn't have the most useful escape route ever invented any more if I did.
As it is now - I can easily escape into my thoughts whilst in your presence and you wouldn't necessarily notice any difference. Well - that is not quite true. You would notice a difference but not the major one.
I think I have written before about how my favourite time of the day is when I wake up - before I put my glasses on. My world is in its natural (for me) blurred state. My brain can gently tick over as it warms up ready for the day ahead. When I reach for my glasses it is a sign that I am going to get up and do something difficult - which means waking my brain up properly.
This means that - as well as giving my eyes a break when I take my glasses off - my brain gets a break as well. You see - without my glasses on my brain just gets blurred images via my eyeballs. So it switches off and treats whatever is in front of me as a kind of screensaver. You will notice that I very rarely walk around without my glasses on (unless they are being cleaned - or "defogged" - as I walk or I am inside my own house and I am staying on one level).
We all need a way of escaping at times - be it daydreaming (something else I am very good at), something creative, physical exercise, or something else of your choice.
Some people are happiest in a crowd of people whilst others - like me - prefer their own company or dealing with people one on one. (I sometimes have to "psych myself up" before I can even face a small group of friends or relatives. That depends if I think I am going to have to "perform" or not. If I feel like I can be myself and merge into the background I am extremely relaxed - if I feel like I have to act "normal sighted" I can get extremely stressed out extremely quickly.
We all have our limits as to what we can and cannot cope with. The trick is not to cross those limits too often (if at all).
You are special because you are unique. There is no point in trying to be like everybody else because they cannot be like you. In fact, if you think about it, the only thing we all have in common is that we are all human with a 100% Mortality rate. Some of us identify as men and some of us identify as women, some of us are right handed and some of us are left handed, some of us are white and some of us are from "Ethnic Minorities", etc. The list is endless.
My least favourite rock group (U2) released a single called "One" which has very relevant lyrics;
"We are one but we're not the same. We've got to carry each other - carry each other".
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