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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018
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The joy of waking up in a new city every single day (figuratively speaking, FYI)

‘My way of moving through the world is supremely irritating to some.’

‘IT MUST BE like waking up in a new city every single day for you,’ someone recently said to me.

shutterstock_418224142 Source: Shutterstock/kashifzai

The remark followed my excitement over the fact that a ‘new’ tapas restaurant had opened up just one street over from where I live.

As it turned out, it wasn’t a new restaurant; it wasn’t even remotely new. In fact, it had been there before I had even moved in, and I had just never noticed it.

Day after day I had passed it, and not once, had I registered it.

My lack of perception has become somewhat of a running joke. I would argue that I’m perceptive to people and emotions, but when it comes to the world around me, I tend to wear blinkers without even realising it.

Recently, I exclaimed over a shop front. Unsurprisingly, the person I was with expressed disbelief that I had never noticed it considering the fact I pass it twice a day on my way to work.

My response? “I walk on the other side of the road.”

shutterstock_760725589 Source: Shutterstock/jamegaw

There are bars around the corner from my apartment which I never spotted until my attention was purposely drawn to them.

There were full construction sites I passed every day without once considering what they were to become.

And there are numerous cafes and restaurants around Dublin that I have never noticed – until pointed out to me – despite the fact I have passed them countless times over a number of years.

I’ve had my eyesight, intellect and spatial awareness questioned multiple times; all of which have been justified, I’ll admit.

Personally, I think much of it comes down to having absolutely no sense of direction.

Once I establish a path that will get me from A to B, I don’t tend to wander from it by myself for fear of getting lost, so I rarely discover new things if I’m alone, that is.

And after establishing that path and becoming comfortable with it, I tend to go into my world and don’t do much scouting of my surroundings.

For some people who absorb their surroundings, consistently notice the smallest of changes, and exude a natural curiosity about their environment, my way of moving through the world is supremely irritating.

But if I’m honest, I actually find it hilarious. And it comes in handy from time to time.

I mean, I’ll get excited over a ‘new’ venue long after everyone else has grown tired of it, so that means I rarely have to deal with the fuss and full bookings that accompanies a place that actually is, you know, new. 

I’ll agree to go for a wander with a friend, and because I don’t have to concern myself with direction, I’ll return home delighted by the host of local eateries I spotted when I wasn’t doing my level best not to get lost.

If I cared more, I might worry about it.

Sometimes it does feel like I’ve woken up in a new city, but at least, my days are peppered with relatively pleasant surprises.

It just so happens to be months – if not years – after everyone else.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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