It has been long established that I struggle with spatial reasoning. I am not the person to ask when seeking directions. In fact, it is of no use to TELL me the directions and expect me to understand them or communicate them to anyone else. I never, ever accept the job of “navigator” on a road trip. In fact, it is best to just let me sit in the passenger seat and happily lend moral support to the person figuring out the directions.
At best, I am a landmark driver. If I know enough landmarks, I can find my way. But even having those in my brain is sometimes not enough. In most cases, I can see clearly where I am at. I can clearly envision my destination. However, the entire route between those two places is completely fuzzed out. It’s a very disconcerting feeling, and often turns embarrassing when I have to admit that I’m lost. Especially when it happens in my own hometown.
This afternoon I stopped at the grocery store before driving back to my parents’ house. I grew up in a small town on the Mississippi River and there are two beautiful bridges that span the river. When leaving the parking lot today, for a brief moment I had to decide whether to turn left or right. And in that moment, I felt that if I turned right to exit I was choosing the North Bridge to cross the river and if I turned left I was taking the South Bridge. As if the two bridges were pretty much right next to each other, on either side of the grocery store…which is absolutely not the case! I turned right and then became very confused to find myself on the South Bridge…until suddenly my brain corrected itself. Even though no one else was in the car, I was SO embarrassed! And I’m starting to think this spatial reasoning thing is a bigger deal than I realized. It’s a good thing I live in the age of GPS–I’m going to need it!
Just to find my way home, apparently!