Sunday, 13 July 2014

See The World In Double Exposure

The most important thing I have ever learned in my life to date, is that there are two things in which change absolutely everything. Forget money, experience, status or intelligence, this is something a little less tangible than that;

Perception, and Perspective. 

And I didn't quite realise exactly what that meant until I started my new job.

But let's backtrack a little.

At the start of this year, I watched a film which really changed my outlook on life. It was 'About Time', at first a seemingly dull and stale concept of a movie, a Rachel-McAdams-kissing-a-guy-in-the-rain-on-the-front-cover type. But I was not only pleasantly surprised, but also blown away by one part in particular.

The film revolves around a guy who's Father informs him on his 21st Birthday that he, like all the other males in his family including himself, are time travellers:

But the bit which really struck a chord with me, is that towards the end, the protagonist finds that as he gets older, he rarely uses his power at all, with only one exception.

Every single day, he lives his life as he would normally. He wakes up, has breakfast, commutes to work, sits through an office day with stresses and boredoms and annoyances, then comes home, has dinner and heads off to bed. But before he goes to sleep, he steals away and goes back in time, to live the exact same day for a second time. But this time, a little differently. This time he smiles when he drops his toast on the floor at breakfast, this time he buys the drink for the woman in front of him at the coffee shop so she doesn't turn round and spill it all over him, this time he reminds himself not to take life so seriously, and to appreciate every single tiny thing he would otherwise overlook.

Until he finds that he no longer uses his power at all.

Because he is able to live every single day with that second-day-redo perspective.

And in the last line of that trailer, he says:

"The truth is, now I don't travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live everyday as if I've deliberately come back to this one day. To enjoy it. As if it was the full final day. Of my extraordinary, ordinary life."

And that for me... just hit the nail on the head.

And so I started to do the same. And my god, had 2014 has been a different kind of year for me.

It began as by no means a natural thing. Believe it or not, I'm a natural pessimist and cynic - anyone who knows me well in real life will agree with that, I've been likened to 'Grumpy Cat' on more than one occasion - but that's what kind of made this even more special.

I would catch myself thinking negatively or being irritated by something or thinking sourly about someone and I'd say 'Why are you doing that? What are you achieving by being this way?' and I'd remove myself and try and look at the situation in a new light - 'Perhaps you're not struggling with this assignment because you're incapable, maybe other people are too. Reach out to someone on your course, make a friend.' 'Yes that person sitting next to you on the train is talking on the phone really loudly and annoyingly, but it sounds like they're happy, like they're really excited about something. Let them be.' 'Maybe those girls weren't staring and talking shit about you as you walked past, what if maybe they were saying how much they liked your dress, or thought you looked like someone they knew?'

And gradually, over time, things began to change.

That constant forcing myself to look at things from a different, more positive perspective soon began to trickle into my subconscious, and started to become second nature to me. Until it actually became as organically natural to my character, as being pessimistic previously had been.

And it was only when I started my new job that I realised that metamorphosis had occurred, and I had genuinely completely altered my disposition.

Now this isn't some glamorous, dazzling role - I'm a Uni student in the summer holidays with a penchant for expensive adventures, therefore aka Queen of the part-time temp job - but it was a new job nonetheless and I was quite excited for the change.

And on my first shift, the day was quiet and I was stood behind the counter and found myself gazing with a half-smile in wonder at a group of other employees that had come in on their day off.

And suddenly then, I saw them then as cosmonauts.

Intergalactic gatekeepers.

And we worked in the bridge to a million universes.

The foyer itself is set out almost like a dial, and behind each silver-numbered door lay an incomprehensible universe of unfathomable imagination and creativity - behind that one you'd be transported on horseback through the dusty plains of the Mid-west, through that door over there you'd be launched underwater into a glittering kingdom of talking computer-generated fish, and through that one over there you'd be propelled into outer space, dangling precariously off the edge of a spacecraft as it hurtled through time and space.

My imagination truly run away with itself as I watched them leaving one door in an excited babble, then as if they would disassemble their spacesuits and clamber into their scuba gear they would prep themselves to launch right in to the next world, spending an entire day hopping from universe to universe with expert ease.

I then quickly pulled myself back to reality and actually let out a little laugh at myself, as I realised I in fact work in a coffee shop inside a cinema.

But then I really appreciated how wonderful it is to be able to see both. To see the pretty dull mundane reality of the situation, but then also see the sheen of magnificent child-like wonder that an optimistic mind is able to cast over that too.

Like double-vision.

Like a photograph taken with double exposure.

And I truly believe if you change your perspective, how you innately perceive the world and what happens to you, then you change your world entirely. You too can find yourself serving cappuccinos to off-duty intergalactic gate-keeping space rangers inside a giant multi-verse superhighway, if you so wish.

Because the truth is, my name is Katie, I'm 21 years old and in the grand scheme of life, there's nothing particularly extraordinary about me or my existence.

But I'll be sure as hell damned if I choose to see it that way.

Change the way you look at the world and the world will change for you.


  1. This is weirdly creepy seeing as I watched this film last night-it's brilliant. You're posts always manage to touch a nerve (its a good thing don't worry!) lauryn x

    1. Ha the weirdest thing is a lot of people have said that! Was it on TV or something!? Thank you for reading :) x

  2. This post has blown me away. Omg, where to start? First, thank you SO much for introducing the movie and the lesson it contains. I love stories like that, finding the extraordinary in an ordinary life!
    Then, how did you get that photo?? It is unreal, SO amazing!
    And next, I just love how you see the world. I love that you think so much, that you have such a vivid imagination, and it's exciting following you on your journey to extraordinariness.
    I love your blog!

    1. aw yay! best comment ever haha :)
      I created the photo using an app called Afterlight - there's a little feature where you can overlay pictures on top of one another called Double Exposure. I took a picture of Greg, he took one of me and voila!
      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment, this bought such a huge smile to my face :)

      Katie xo

  3. I forced my boyfriend to watch About Time with me in the cinema and it completely changed my life. Not only did I cry an ocean of tears but I realised that life is precious and that you should see every moment as special, no matter what. It's a bit difficult when you work as a waitress but I agree. The photo is extremely clever I don't think you can download Afterlight for android which makes me sad. xx

    1. It was actually my boyfriend which showed me About Time! Beautiful and underrated film, in fact I might watch it tonight! Such a powerful message and beautifully crafted. Agh do you know what's sad, I legit switched over from having an Android to an iPhone simply for this one app! I regret nothing!

      Katie xo

  4. Omg I remember having a very similar reaction about watching the same film! It immediately became one of my favourites because something about it just seemed so 'real', despite its obviously surreal nature. Maybe it's just that it wasn't a stereotypical chick flick or comedy or sitcom style or whatever, but I LOVE the message it teaches. The way it seems to have changed your life is amazing and I'm definitely gonna try following your example and drop the sarcastic chip I have on my shoulder some of the time!
    Again, your blog is my favourite :D
    lily x

  5. well arent you a little hidden gem. ;)

  6. This is amazing :) Made me smile and definitely made me think about how I look at life :)


  7. Like a photograph taken with double exposure. LOVE IT

  8. wow i knew perception changes a lot, i love how you have explained it with your life experience

  9. Your way with words is extraordinary. I find myself agreeing with you on so much, it's just you've managed to coherently write down the babble of thoughts floating around inside my head. I adore you and your blog!

  10. What an amazing, inspiring post! I am a true believer in the power positive thinking has on every aspect of our lives and I'm glad you've realized it so early in life. :D xx

    Ferdie @

  11. This is my first visit to your blog, wow. Amazing thought-provoking post!

  12. oh my, I absolutely LOVE this post! it makes so much sense, thank you!!

  13. I can totally agree with you, when I watched this movie few months ago, I had the same reaction, and it really did help me o improve my actions and thoughts and how I behave. It is so weird to find a movie nowdays that can actually help you and make a change in yourself. Thank you alot for the beautiful post <3

  14. Easily the best post I've read in a long time. And think the saying 'people wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all their lifetime for happiness' couldn't be more fitting for this post. Its so important to to enjoy every single moment!

    Belle ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  15. Wow- this is great, I thought the same when I saw the movie trailer but i'm going to watch it after this post

  16. I'm so glad to have come across your blog. I love the way you write and really wish I could write this way too. I completely agree with you on perception. The way you perceive things completely changes everything. It depends on you to take things positively or negatively. Plus I cannot wait to watch the movie that you mentioned too. I'll probably order it online. Thank you so much for this post. Truly very inspiring.
    Zoha Ahmed xx

  17. This is so smart. You can change so much with perspective. It is THE thing that dictates your life outside of circumstance. I've changed and achieved a lot recently because I've realised this. It's amazing, and I'm gonna keep doing it.

  18. This was beautiful. I really want to watch the film now. I think I will try to think this way more often - your post may have just changed me :) xx

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