The Places We Live and Who We Are When We Live There


paris paris by surpiko


A while ago, which now seems eons ago, I had another blog which is now defunct. It was right, but not quite. I fell into an old trap with it and knew it had to go for me to escape the trap. The trap is one which may be familiar to you. It is one which exists in many of our relationships.

We want to be ourselves, but as we get to know the other person we notice that they like certain things about us more than they like others. Being typically human and wanting to be liked and maybe loved too, we focus on the things the other person likes about us and start to hide the less attractive side. Soon we find ourselves feeling censored and restless because of it.

At least that’s how it affects me.

Whether the censorship comes from the other person or from ourselves or more likely a bit of both doesn’t really matter in the end. If we’re forcing a smile because our tears or frowns aren’t welcome, it’s going to start to feel as though we’re splitting ourselves into portions of good and bad, and as much as we like being good, being good all the time is humanly impossible. And our bad side may not be bad at all, in fact it may be the best side of us.

Yes, I’m talking about myself again. The parts of me which others appear to me to reject are usually my favourite parts. The good side of me which others seem to accept… well, I like that too until others like it so much they only want me to express that side of me, then I get contrary and annoyed.

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe

I’ve mellowed now that I’m in my crone years, but when I was younger this attitude caused havoc in my relationships. I can see my own hand in it and am making amends now as best as I can by being a bit more patient and a little less insecure. Mistakes are still aplenty, but I can see the value in them and hope I’m learning from them in a constructive way.

When I had that blog I learned a lot and met some very interesting souls while doing it. One in particular became a great muse for me. Positively at first, then negatively. Such is my life. A series of small things accumulated into a big bust up. They thought I was wrong and full of BS. I thought they were wrong and full of BS. And never the twain shall meet because I’m not apologising and neither are they and it’s better that way. I know I’m full of BS, but some of it is fertiliser…

And that fertiliser created this blog.

I am grateful for the part they have played in getting me to express myself and do it in as authentic a manner as is possible. For a human. Like me. Who is prone to making mistakes and stuff. I am very wary of falling into the same trap as before, it’s very tempting because if you do a ‘positive’ post you’re likely to get more attention. Your good side is loved. But if you do a ‘negative’ post it may scare people away. But I’m both so… you get all of me and what you like and don’t like is up to you. I’m just being me. And trying to stick to that. It’s a very selfish thing and that is important to me because I’m tired of falling into the being selfless trap which… well is being selfless really selfless?

Anyway. My old defunct blog was a place I resided in for a while and the person I was when I had it was an experience I needed to have to become who I am now living in this blog place.

I wrote a piece for that blog which was a rudimentary developed thought about how the places where we live influence us. It’s a theory which has always interested me because I’ve lived in quite a few places and my life in each one and who I have been when I was living there was very different… yet the same. It was as though each place had something to impart which I could only have by being there and immersing myself in the experience.

We have relationships with places as much as with people.

This is that piece:

I was talking with a friend about the places we live, and how they affect our perception of ourselves. Each country, city, town, village etc… has a specific psychological outlook, as well as a cultural tradition. Our very mood, and thoughts about who we are, and what the meaning of our life is, can be altered by the collective consciousness of the place in which we find ourselves physically.

Home decoration is always something we consider in this respect, which is why one of the first things we do when we move into a new home is to make it our own. We know this affects how we feel… but how often do we consider how much how we feel is affected by the thoughts and feelings of all the people around us, not our friends, but the strangers who live in the same geographical location as us. And how often do we consider the psychological impact upon us of the country, city, town, etc, which we choose, or are forced by circumstances, to live in.

I’m repeating myself, I know… but this idea greatly intrigues me. I even looked up the asteroids for the cities I have lived in to see where they are in my astrological chart… hoping to shed some light on the issue.

Because I lived in quite a few places I did not particularly feel connected to… one of which I desperately wanted to escape. I told myself that I had to live there until I had absorbed the energy of the place, and the lesson it had to teach me… and only once I had learned my lesson would the place release me from an invisible contract I had with it.

So what did Paris teach me… in spite of its superficial beauty, I found it to be a very depressing place. The skies were predominantly grey, ‘grisaille’ is what Parisians call it, and it could hang over the city like a heavy umbrella. This is due to the fact that Paris is in a bowl… or something like that.

I went through puberty in Paris. Had my first romantic encounters. Socialised with people of my own age for the first time… went to parties, hung out in cafes, etc. I smoked my first cigarette… silly, I know, but tres Francais. I learned how fashion choices can ostracise you from or draw you into a group. And I also faced a severe crisis point there, when I almost killed myself.

Paris, the asteroid, is natally in my 11th house… the house of friends, groups, society etc. When I almost killed myself it was transiting my 8th house… the house of Death amongst other things. Interesting, non?

So what do you think?