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Lost

June 29, 2010

I spent four years in a city large town city without ever knowing if I was taking the shortest route from point A to point B.  I knew where I was coming from and where I was going and even which road I was on, but I just didn’t know if there was a better way, or if I was destined to take another turn that would dump me even farther from where I wanted to be.  (Let’s blame this on one-way roads and, uh, well, not getting out enough.  But mostly one-way roads, ok?)  I would get there eventually, hopefully on time.   I spent a lot of those rides on the phone with a friend nearly hysterical with laughter because after YEARS of living in this tiny city I could still end up lost.

I would cringe at the thought of being lost.  My friend, one of those that has known me almost too well for years, usually would ease my fears and remind me that I wasn’t really lost.  I knew where I came from, where I was going, where I was at that moment in time, and even how to get where I wanted to be.  I was just anxious because I wasn’t sure I was taking the “right” route.  I wasn’t sure precisely how long it would take to get there.  (It’s a small town city.  The difference would be a matter of a few minutes.)  I was only panicked upset because I felt inadequate in my navigation.  Not because I was actually lost.  I was uncomfortable because I’m used to being spot-on with my inner compass.  (We’re talking rural dirt roads and international metropolitan subway spot-on internal compass success.  Or, you know, something close to it.)  Uncertainty in my, uh, talent, and the possibility of being wrong/different/slow spun into the feelings of being lost.

I’ve been lost a handful of times.  Usually when I’m not sure where my destination is located.  Or when I think I am going one place and then find out that I am actually supposed to be somewhere else.  At least once I have gotten lost when I have had to take an unexpected detour.  (Those orange detour signs are not as helpful as one might think.)   Actually being lost is unsettling, scary, lonely, helpless, and sad.

The metaphor here is that I remind myself everyday that I am not figuratively lost.  My life right now is not the ideal, but I’m not really lost.  I’ve been lost in life, and it feels the same way it does when I am lost in a car – sad.  I’m not sad right now.  I’m uncertain and anxious and slightly upset but not sad.  I know where I came from and where I am headed.  I know that I’m a path to get to where I want to be. (I know where I want to be, doesn’t that count for something?  Doesn’t that count for a lot?)  I can look around and see exactly where I am on my journey.  I’m just not sure that I took the fastest route or the “right” route. I’m worried that I’m going to get there too late.  (Honestly, I don’t even know what “too late” is, but I’m constantly worried about it.)  I’m questioning the route I chose to take, and I’m uncomfortable with the new uncertainty at my decisions, accustomed to having complete faith in my “inner compass”.  I’m feeling in adequate in my navigation because I’m not there yet.  I’ve come so far, and I know where I am going, but I just want to be there.  Now.

So, for now I’m reminding myself that I’m not lost.  And that I will get there.  I will get there.

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