General Directions And Other Anxieties

I haven’t flushed this all out or thought it through entirely . . . or at all, really. But, here goes nothing. (And when I say nothing, I mean nothing, so don’t get your hopes up).

Well, I’m really bad with directions. I can’t even begin to tell you where North is. My general sense of placement is atrocious. I’ve gotten myself lost in my own neighborhood before. I’ve lived in my neighborhood for my entire life–24 years of the same streets and corners. How sad is that? Oh, and I use GPS for pretty much everything–even just to get groceries. Okay, I’m not really that bad. But if I’m coming from a place that isn’t my home, it’s quite possible. Please don’t judge me.

I honestly don’t know how I even got around without my GPS.

I told my boyfriend that I should get a compass, that way I wouldn’t get lost. And I thought that’d be a really smart move. He responded with skepticism, telling me that even if I knew where North is I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

He’s right.

I’m not sure what it is, but whenever I travel a good distance, I get kind of anxious. Maybe it’s a self prophetic thing because I’m always afraid of getting lost, which then makes me turn too soon or something. Even with my GPS there’s a level of anxiety that I feel with seeing that little car travel along the designated route. What if there’s a detour? What if there’s an accident? What if it keeps making me take the tollway when I want to go local? There are just so many variables and hypothetical situations that could arise from the time I leave my house until the time I arrive at my destination.

It’s very nerve racking.

Let me try to explain. Before GPS we had to write down directions like common folk, peasants, savages! Incredible right? What did I grow up in? The Stone Age?

Anyway, as I would be driving along following my handwritten directions, I’d start out fine. Turn left, get on the highway, just drive straight for a long, long, long, long time. But then I’d start to freak myself out. How long was I supposed to be on the highway for? It feels like I’ve been driving for a very a long time. Too long. This doesn’t feel right. My anxiety would increase, and I’d feel the need to improvise and turn around just in case I missed my exit or my turn.

Nine out of ten times, if I had kept following the directions, my next turn or my exit would have come up within the next five miles.

So, yeah, I get lost. A lot. And it’s mostly because I can’t fully trust the directions I’ve been given.

Sometimes I wonder if my lack of a sense of direction translates to other areas of my life. Well, I guess I mean just life in general.

I feel pretty directionless right now. I’m not sure what kind of career I should be in. I’m not sure what steps I should be taking in order to even head in the right direction. (Is there a right direction in life? I mean, all roads lead to somewhere, right? That’s what I hear at least).

I don’t know.

What if I’m totally en route to my destination, but this lull of nothingness–this highway of barren farmland and zero landmarks–is making me anxious? Maybe I’m making a turn too soon. Maybe I missed my exit already. Maybe I just need to have faith that the little cartoon icon that looks like me is still following that purple line.

I’m not waiting for my life to begin. I know it’s already been happening for . . . however many years I’ve been aware of it. And I’m sure the process of getting somewhere is the real journey, it’s not the arrival. But I feel like I’ve been “journeying” for such a long time. It would just be nice to have a pitstop. To have a place to rest for a year or two–to know my place and to know that, yeah, I’m still headed in the general direction of where I set out to be.

Like I said, I haven’t really thought this entire idea out. But I guess life is making me anxious. And maybe that’s normal. I’m sure in hindsight everything will come together and make more sense. But it would be nice if there were markers along the way–big billboard signs telling me how many more miles until I get to be a writer, or a teacher, or an artist, or a therapist, or a dental hygienist, or a wife, or a mother, or just somebody.

I’d just like to know that I’m still going somewhere–that I’m not driving in circles without even having gotten out of my subdivision. Because, really, how is anyone supposed to know?

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3 thoughts on “General Directions And Other Anxieties

    • Ah, we are a lost and wandering folk. Once a clan, but forced to live as lone nomads due to our incompetence with compasses and maps and all things GPS 🙂

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