When I first noticed it, I thought it was something else. I would go downtown, and then feel a push away from the most heavily and intensely built up areas in the downtown core. I next felt it around the engineering part of the University campus, a subtle force that I first ascribed to never feeling like I was able to prove myself to the people there.

It’s an odd feeling to feel like your unconscious body is nudging you away from a location. A vague unease, like you are not wanted there, or that you’re uncomfortable with something in some undefinable way.

It all started to come together when I realized that I was having the same reaction to a schoolyard for a school that I had never been to. I thought that it was just that the wind or sun was flowing through in a way that they wouldn’t through houses, or something about not being quite as mentally stimulating, but no, it was something deeper.

I didn’t mind sitting on the park bench by the field, but something about the organization or perhaps the institutional nature of the structure screamed NO! at me.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the forestry gardens inside the university that I put it together. It was one of the places I was most comfortable on campus (modulo parks that followed ancient creeks), but it still spoke to me as something entirely too managed.

And that’s when one of them first spoke to me.

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