Thursday, January 22, 2009


The people who know me best know about my problem. It's a huge problem, and a debilitating one. There might be a name for my disability, I am not sure what, but for now, I must simple call it this.....I am directionally challenged.

There. I said it. If you don't know what directionally challenged means, I will tell it to you more simply. I get lost. Alot. I can get lost trying to get out of a paper bag. I usually don't know which direction north is, unless it is either sunrise or sunset.

To give you a little bit of background history, I was never good at reading maps in school. I waited until I had graduated from college to get my drivers license because I get lost all the time. While my husband and I were dating, I memorized one single route to visit him at his apartment, and the rest of the time, was content to let him drive to where ever we were going. When we moved to NC, I didn't bother to start exploring the more major towns surrounding our house until my friend from MN came to visit 9 months after we had arrived, simply because I was afraid of getting lost. I was happy to be housebound, until I was so lonely I about lost my mind!

Today, something very liberating happened. And maybe it might not mean that much to any of you, but to me, it's huge. Today, I drove my kids to Houma to go to a dance class. All by myself. Do I get a gold star?

I stood in the driveway this afternoon, having an absolute panic attack about having to take the kids into the big town by myself for the first time, but also knowing that if I didn't get in the van and start driving, that I was going to be late or not even go at all. I was close to tears when my brain froze up and told myself that I didn't even know how to get to the highway. Of course I knew how to get to the silly highway, it was the panic attack that was lying to me. I even knew how to get to the class, my friend Steph had taken me there in her van yesterday, driven me by the exact place where the class was being held, and even showed me an alternative route. But for some reason, all that information in my brain was gone. My husband had even painstakenly writing out driving instructions on how to get there. In my panicked state, standing in the driveway, none of those directions made a lick of sense.

But then something happened. I took a deep breath, gathered my wits, and got in the van. I closed the van door and backed down the driveway. I made it to the highway. I managed to take the correct direction on the highway, and drove to Houma. I took the turns that I needed to make and arrived at my destination without screaming my head off at my kids. And, I knew how to get home when the dance class was over.

I feel so liberated. I know how to get somewhere. And it didn't take me 9 months to do either. Nope. I am a liberated woman now. I know how to get somewhere. I have places to go, people to see, things to do. I really like this feeling.


Princess Of Pink said...

YAY!! Clapping hands and hugging you!! Treat yourself to some yummie chocolates. Good for you Jenny!

merri said...

As I read through you post I felt for you Jenny! I can be the same way, terrified of being lost. Good for you, I'm so glad that got past it a little, I need some of that courage so I can drive to Lancaster by myself so the kids and I can go visit some of the cool museums down there.

Nicole said...

Good for you!! You are a strong woman, my friend - don't forget that.

astzt1027 said...

I completely understand. I get lost even when I know where to go. Sometimes, I just miss the exit because I wasn't paying attention. We won't mention that I tried to get to Columbia Plaza in DC once and ended up at Dupont Circle. The two locations are NO WHERE near each other. Its why I swiped the hubby's navigator to keep in my car.

jensamom said...

Good for you!

Anonymous said...

That is a nice feeling :-)
I would reccommend investing in a GPS, I use it all the time and it gives you that liberating feeling quite often as it quotes "arrived at destination."

cajunsis said...

My sister is the same way. She got lost trying to get out of a telephone booth years ago. *rolls eyes* Thankfully, when I reminded her one day that she cannot fall off the planet and all roads lead back to where she started she stopped hyperventilating. Now, she will just say, "Oops, I think I was supposed to get off on that exit... hmmm..."

Congratulations and HUGE hugs! Remember what I told Shari and your world will become as big as... well the whole wide world. It's and adventure waiting to happen. Could be me... here... rofl...

Euvah *Steph's mom :-)