Ulster University Jordanstown is located in Newtownabbey, a small town with a few shops and restaurants but that mostly serves as a suburb of Belfast and thus is primarily comprised of housing and neighborhoods, or as I have heard them called here, housing estates. The other night I decided to go for a walk. I was half trying to procrastinate a project due this week and half desiring to explore Newtownabbey and the housing estates in it. What I found, was that I got lost. It was a crisp night. I could see my breath but not much else. I wanted to get away from my computer, phone, and other sources of being plugged in and get out and clear my mind. As I walked around I discovered houses with large triangular facades, I found houses made of brick and of stone, I found gates that seemed to enclose unkempt fields, I found myself enjoying the sound of the air pounding against my face.
I realized I was lost when I tried to turn down a few different streets that ended in cul-de-sacs or T-ends. I went up one street and a woman was pulling in to her driveway, when I realized it was the end of the street, I turned around and started walking back the other way. She stared at me. As it was getting later and colder, I thought to myself I should be getting home. But there was some sort of freedom in feeling lost. Like will I make it home? Or will I stumble upon some cool place I’d never seen before? I guess both could happen. But the ending to this story is much less interesting. I found a main street and followed it around a bend – eventually finding myself at a familiar intersection near the train station. I got lost. But what I found while I was lost was a freedom of mind, body and spirit that was refreshing. I found interesting architecture, I heard kids washing up for bed, I saw lights flickering and cars pulling in to driveways. I felt still at times. And I avoided doing my project. So that was cool too.