I am directionally challenged. ~Heather Piper
It’s no secret that I have no sense of direction. I never did and I probably never will. I get lost, literally, in my own back yard. I am worse when I am driving. The sense of anxiety takes over me and I can’t think straight. I don’t mind being lost if I’m not the one driving. But forget it if I’m the driver. One time, I remember, around Christmas, my sister was home from college and I worked at the mall. She wanted my car for the day so she dropped me off at work and came back for me that night. What was really interesting was how we got lost going home and the route we took. You see, I’m not the only one in the family like this. My sister is equally, if not more, directionally challenged than I am. What is ironic is that both of my parents have a great sense of direction. My brother did as well. Mom always says, “I don’t know where I went wrong with you girls. I don’t understand how you don’t know where you’re going.” I always tell her that it’s their fault because they always knew where they were going so we didn’t have to pay attention, therefore not gaining any directional sense.
Back to the mall. Yes, my parent’s house is about 10 miles from the mall, pretty much a straight shot up the highway. We’ve been going there since we were little, so one would think that it’s safe to have my sister pick me up from the mall and get us both back home without much fuss. Guess again. Somehow we left the mall and next thing I noticed we were on some back road, driving somewhere. I remember I asked my sister, “Where are we?” and she said, “I don’t know, weren’t you paying attention?” I said, “Me? You are the one driving!” She retorted by saying, “But you are the passenger and you should have told me where to go.” Can you believe that? We were lost somewhere near home. Even, at that time, I had a cell phone. I was one of the first people that I knew of to get one. Thank goodness! I called home and my brother answered. I told him that we were lost. He started to laugh and then asked the dumbest question, “How on earth did you get lost coming home from the mall?” I proceeded to tell him, “Well if I knew that, we wouldn’t be lost.” We had to give him landmarks to get us back home and, it turns out, we were going in the opposite direction of Latrobe. Eventually we ended up on route 22. Originally we were 10 miles from our final destination, my parents house, but now quite a bit further. When we finally pulled up the driveway, Ryan stood on the porch laughing at us and said, “I see you made it home.” Of course Ryan told mom and dad about our adventure. It should have taken us no more than 15 minutes but, instead, it took us close to an hour to get home.
Surprisingly, when I was trekking through Europe, I managed to find my way and I never felt lost. It was weird, maybe cause I knew I couldn’t just pick up a phone and call for assistance, resulting in me actually paying attention to my whereabouts. This coming from a person who has a hard time making her way out of a hotel. It’s true I get twisted in the hallways and I always need assistance making my way to the front lobby. When I was in Hilton Head a few weeks ago, I couldn’t make my way out of the condo resort when I left for church. I kept going around in circles until I somehow found my way out. Keep in mind I was on foot too.
Two weekends ago I did learn something about myself that I never realized before. You see, it was mentor season for deer hunting and dad took Kyle hunting on Saturday. Kyle shot a deer and they tried looking for it until it got dark, but no luck finding it. So, the next morning, dad had me go out with them to trek through the unfamiliar woods looking for this dead deer. We split up going back maybe a mile or two into the woods. I lost track of them pretty quickly, but I didn’t fret. I never felt anxious and I never was nervous. You see, I always knew I could find my way back out. Maybe it’s ’cause I was used to running through the woods as a kid or because, to me, the woods seem to have such details that I can tell where I’m going. Now, keep in mind, I wasn’t in the Amazon or the Alaskan frontier but I was still in unfamiliar territory. Actually, I really enjoyed myself. I felt like I was Katniss (Hunger Games) leaping over the trees, moving over the brush. I kind of cracked myself up.
Kyle is completely the opposite of me and my sister. He has a pretty good sense of direction. In fact, more than not, he is the one telling me where we are going. He pays attention, probably because he knows his aunt won’t. I like to think that me being directionally challenged is God’s way of taking my problem and using it as a teaching lesson for Kyle.