Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hold On While I Enter My Coordinates

I have been meaning to write about my jaunt to the DIA last week. And that's really my goal: a post about their "It's a ZOO in Here!" animal print exhibit, which was really great, despite a hokey title. Points for being kid-friendly, I guess. But the draft didn't even make it off the highway. I got myself waylaid, as it were. Which I guess I do in all areas, really, so why should my sense of direction be any more...straightforward?  If you know me well, you already know about my mystifying lack of direction. If you're a loved one anyway AND you have demonstrated the ability to very simply-- and yet not condescendingly! --  walk me through to a destination, I may love you just a little bit more (xoxoxo! Compatriot, Ginger, Curly Girl, RecordFreak). If you don't know me, why are you reading this? The internet, it is also mystifying. No, I keed, I keed, please read...

First things first: I love my GPS. I love my GPS. I love my GPS. "I know," you say, "I love mine, too!" No. I get lost. Horribly lost. Easily lost. I also get lost when I let my guard down -- to myself -- about this deficiency: "Oh, you've been there so many times, no need to dig out the directions again~~"=Lost. It has always been this way. My family has never understood it. My Mom, she is not fantastic about directions, but she is within the norm. At first Mom theorized once I got my driver's license, my sense of direction would organically grow as I covered miles of asphalt. I won't lie, this had a nice ring to it.* We both eventually tossed that notion. Nevertheless, even now, when she tells me about businesses moving in or out or rare excursions, she feels compelled to "place" it for me: "Oh, you remember where that it is, it's near X. You know. Off of Meh Avenue. Near where that old office supply place used to be. Like three streets beyond that old pool...You GREW UP HERE" It depends on my mood whether I continue to alternate no/nope/hmmm... don't know/oh that sounds kind of...no or I give in: "Ohhhhhh, riiiiight. Yeah, I got it. I think, yeah." No, no I do not.

*{She was also quite insistent that I would grow taller past 11th grade, which I somehow knew would not be true. It made no sense to her that she'd have such a short daughter. 5 '2 1/2"-- Though they have told me I am now shorter. I respectfully disagree each time. One very nice nurse told me how we do get shorter throughout the day! No lie, we're taller when we first get up -- even 1/2 "}

My father and sister? Aces. The first time my Dad came to Detroit with myself and an ex, our normal exit was closed off. "Let's see," said my Dad. He leaned forward from the back seat and started navigating. "Take the next right and then let's go up a couple blocks. Go left. LEFT." A few minutes of this and we arrived at our destination. Helpful, but totally irritating. To me, mostly because of this utterly foreign ability. His lack of understanding on something that comes so easily to him is complete. I remember sitting at the dinner table, while he taunted me, "Yes, but you aren't STUPID. You're not STUPID ARE you??" He was smirking and waiting for me to parrot a denial back to him; I was livid. We all have our limits, hey.

I can't really convey my hatred for exchanges that begin with, "Oh let me tell you, it's EASY, I'll just tell you, you don't need to write it down~~" This is usually followed by "you know how x fits into y, you know THAT right, well then 97W is obviously what you'll take from there and that will curve around for maybe 20 minutes and then arrrrrrgghblsdfuikckmzDifaewalwrkjwuj but DON'T take THAT exit, lord knows you don't want to get stuck on there!" Haha, right! I Sure Wouldn't Want That! Lost. Already. So anyway, long way of saying, I should have bought a GPS the first moment it came out. But no, I held out until last year, because, why? Punitive? I don't know. I also don't tend to drive a ton and until this past year have avoided highways when possible. With respect to the driving wussiness, it's a pretty chicken-eggy affair.   

During one yoga class last year, our teacher said something along the lines of: "That which is in your way is another form of where you are going"...which doesn't quite make sense? And yet holds appeal. I mean, the problems upon which you focus also direct your action, because action follows gaze, as with driving. Right? So our anxieties or our focus upon limitations actually do wind up limiting us. And it's interesting how life -- at least seems to -- throw things at you in phases. Like this driving anxiety and lostness for me. Even though I have the privilege of working remotely for a good portion of my work week, my few days of driving an hour to the office (one way) has increased my highway driving over the past half year more than the past five (or even ten) years. It was dreaded. And panicky tentacles would unfold during most drives. This has been the case so very long that I had no faith it would ever be different. It would never NOT be a big deal. If I made the effort to drive a long(ish) way to something appealing, I knew I would feel jittery by the time I arrived, hands shaking, kinda exhausted.  I thought it was my lot, something unchangeable.  But it seems this past year has conspired to have me work on this. And somehow, now, between the GPS purchase and a longish work commute, things farther afield feel a bit more possible. I doubt I'll ever relish getting lost (I'll leave that to those golden navigators), but this is just a little smaller than it used to be. Easier to focus beyond that~~

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