“Looking at things like it’s your first time seeing them encourages a greater appreciation of the world and all that is in it.”
Every day, or almost every day, we walk the same route to school, university or work, we get on the same bus, same train, see the same things and same places, day in day out. Everything is so familiar, even when we look, do we really see?
Then, when we go to a new place we want to soak it all up, take mental photographs which we can cherish in our hearts forever. Our eyes gleam and mouths hang open, as we exclaim at how beautiful, incredible, this place is. Everything is fresh, exciting, riveting. “— (insert home town here) is nowhere near as nice as this” we muse, wishing we could live ‘here’, instead. But what if we did, what if we had been born in this exotic paradise? Might our relationships to the two places be reversed? It’s probable. “The Grass is Always Greener”, don’t they say?
Recently, I’ve been trying to look with the same eyes, the same attitude that I would at Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, at my own city. I’ve lived in the same place all my life, and as a result, I don’t think I’ve ever really seen it. Now, I try to be aware of my surroundings, I look at the buildings like I have never seen them before, I see the city with the eyes of a stranger (though perhaps, not with the same confusion) and I finally can say, I like it. This way of looking, of seeing, has fostered in me, a new found love of Dublin, somewhere from which I’ve always wanted to ‘escape’. I could never understand how people could tell me it was ‘a great city’, be so emphatically in love with it, now, at least, I can somewhat understand. I can look at my city and smile. I get the bus to town and my heart warms at the sight of the Georgian houses, each day I acknowledge the beauty of my university, I feel the energy and excitement that visitors do in Temple Bar. It still may be no Paris, London or New York, but now, I see Dublin, and I feel pleased, I feel proud.