(My perpetual state)
... is the worst of anyone I have ever seen. Except maybe my sister, Heather. She will be mad at me for saying that. But it's true. I think we probably tie. Anyway, the point is, no one quite believes me when I say this. It's not their fault really, they just cannot fathom the magnitude of the problem. No one quite understands unless they are us. Or maybe my parents. And Dahl too. You know what? Throw in a smattering of my roommates. Basically, if you are a close friend of mine and have had any interactions with me having to do with directions, you finally start to understand the dilemma. But you still are boggled by it. And amazed. It's just such a profound disability. I was worried about this post, because it makes me sound really stupid, but I decided if you know me, you probably know this about me already, and anyway:
I like to think that part of the reason people are surprised is that they know we are, in general, smart girls. I have always done well in school, and while this is not always telling, I think in our case it is. We go to BYU, and I have maintained a scholarship the entire time I have been here. I am pretty good at most things, excluding sports and physics, and I am a good learner. My brain just malfunctions whenever directions are involved. It has gotten to the point where it almost shuts down when people start to talk about directions. My first impulse is to hand the phone over to someone else. As a result, I haven't really improved. It is almost amazing how whenever I think we should turn left, it is almost certainly right. Sometimes I just think I should do the opposite of what I think.
The inspiration for this post was getting lost in Texas. The second night we were there, Heather and I decided to go on a walk. Larissa had told us not to go, so we had decided not to, until we both ended up on the phone and had to go outside to talk so as not to disturb the other people there. It seemed easy enough. We had been on this walk before, but during the daytime. It was to a lovely little park about a five minute walk from their house. The directions we had been given the first time we went was to walk to the end of the street, turn left, walk another block, and then turn right and walk until you run into it (probably another block). See? Not hard! So, we walked there (we probably started around one) and stayed for somewhere around an hour.
Then we saw this creepy guy watching us, and decided to go home. We were in such a hurry, we didn't pay attention to where we were going, and got very lost. So lost, in fact, that we did not get home until at least an hour later. We wandered around her neighborhood, trying to remember exactly where Kali's house was. We had looked at a sign before we left, and kept going back to where it was, but I guess it was a point on our way, because it was definitely not where she lived. We passed things we had never seen before. We even found Kali's elementary school, and almost got to the mall. We called Kali, Larissa, and Shelby. No one answered. We continued searching.
This is EXACTLY what kept happening. Except make the fridge a flag with a skull and crossbones in someone's garage. That made the experience less scary, let me tell you!
I was on the phone with Dahl for a good part of it, and he was getting more and more agitated. He was so worried. I think it must frustrate him when I do stupid things like this. I think it was hard for him because he couldn't do anything about it, and he was just scared, especially because of the weird guy we had seen.
Finally, poor Kali picked up the phone. She said to go to a street corner and read it to her. We did, and she was there in a good 5 minutes or so. Larissa was appalled we had left without telling her, and had not seen any of our calls; her phone was on silent (not even vibrate). We apologized profusely to Kali and went straight to bed, vowing to never walk outside in a place we didn't know again.
And that is a prime example of our sense of direction. I have lots of stories, so this entry could end up long, but here goes:
When I first started being a teller at PNC bank, they had me come to one branch, and printed out Mapquest directions to another branch that I was to go to after that. It said it would take 20 minutes. Instead, it took me 40 minutes, and then an hour to get home. I remember how stressed I was as I continuously took wrong exit after wrong exit and got more and more lost.
That's another thing. I get SO stressed when driving. I only enjoy it if I know where I am going, the traffic is minimal, and the weather is nice. I don't like it any other way. Therefore, I rarely enjoy driving.
My best friend from High School, Heather Gallagher, lived about a 2 minute drive from my house. I would call her about half the times I came over because I would get lost. It baffled her, but she always just laughed and reminded me for the millionth time.
My second year at BYU I remember calling my roommates while on campus, asking them how to get to the SWKT. That's the TALLEST building on campus!! Heather has called me to ask where the testing center is, so I think we are even. I also remember calling my mom in the pouring rain (this is a recurring event) asking her how to get to different places on campus. (She came here 20 years ago. She is so baffled, she has always has a good sense of direction and refuses to believe it is recessive. Except I think she does now.)
I also have no idea how to get home from campus, or how to get from home to campus. The other day I missed the bus to get home. Twice. Heather told me I could take a different bus, and gave vague, confused directions about which stop to get off at. I picked one that seemed kind of close to my apartment. It was near Brent Brown for those of you who live around me and actually have a sense of direction. I was on the phone with Heather, and then, thankfully, got a call from my home teacher. He wanted to schedule an appointment for home teaching. I just asked him how to get home from . He kind of gave me directions for my 10-ish minute walk, and I successfully got myself home.
Lastly, one time Heather and I decided to go to a Singles Ward activity in DC. It was really fun- they had dinner, talent show, and then a dance so basically the most intense, huge activity ever. We left pretty soon after the dance started. It takes about 40 minutes to get there, sometimes 30. It started pouring when we left. POURING. And it was really dark Heather had just gotten a ticket, so she didn't want to drive, so that left me in charge. We drove around in the rain for at least 2 hours, probably 3, and the majority of that time was literally spend in probably a 5 mile area. I was freaking out, more than I probably ever have in my life, the entire time.
(I am constantly asking for directions. The problem is, unlike Alice, I usually do know where I want to go, so, it does matter which road I take!)
That's another thing. It makes me legitimately angry and frustrated when I get lost. I am usually really happy, but nothing makes me angrier (except for people being mean to my siblings) than getting lost. It's mostly frustration with myself. Like, WHY can't I do this?? Why am I so bad at it?!
I think it really worries Dahl, too. He's asked me how I'm going to be able to drive our kids?? I just tell him I will get one of these babies:
I love them.
He also told me recently that he had a dream that I was driving his car, and had dropped him off somewhere. I was supposed to take it back to BYU. He said he suddenly was gripped with fear as he watched me drive away, because he was like, "She'll never be able to find it!!!" Poor fiancé. It's actually really nice, though, because he is AMAZING at directions. Like my mommy! So, I feel considerably less stressed when I'm with him.
Anyway, the point is, I am very bad at directions. As a result, I almost never drive. It stresses me out. BUT, I am good at other things! So, I guess it all evens out :)