I need a sign
I struggle more than most people. I am direction-ally challenged. Most speak in terms like a East and West and North and South. I speak in terms of turn right by Casey’s Gas Station. If you get the Fire Station you’ve gone too far. Or, once you pass the old fence that is falling down, the farm will be on your left. When someone tells me that 35W only goes N and S, I scoff and say, well in your world it does. What does the W stand for?
My father tried to teach me how to read a compass when I was young. The key word here is tried. He also tried to teach me about the directions of the rising and setting sun and the fact that you can usually tell the time of day by the position of the sun in the sky. I couldn’t imagine why he thought I needed to know all of this useless information. As a child, I thought he would always be there, guiding me, driving the car, delivering me safely to unknown and new destinations. He wasn’t always there. Apparently when you grow up, you are required to drive a car and actually get to the places you need to go without a parent coordinating all of your efforts. I thought this was a ridiculous idea and wanted to know where I could hand my adult card back in.
My mother was quite keen on rights and lefts as I was, but was also able to get us to any location in the cities without too much fan fare. And to think, there wasn’t any access to a phone to tell you when to turn. She amazed me with her ability to remember locations and all the roads that would deliver us to our desired destination. I was able to read, color, listen to and sing songs until my heart was content. No one every relied on me to be the navigator as I need a sign.
More times than not, I now wish that someone would tell me where to go. I rely on my GPS way too often. And let’s face it. GPS is a faulty and unreliable system at best. I have ended up 6 miles away, yet, Ginny, (what I have affectionately named Google Maps) says, You have arrived at your destination. I have been known to search aimlessly for garage sales, new restaurants, an ever elusive Gluten Free Bakery, and then my sad self gives up the fruitless endeavor.
Honestly, all joking aside. I wish there was someone who said things like, go to this restaurant tonight for dinner. Or, read this book next, you will really enjoy it and learn something new. Or, buy that couch. It will last longer and the color will never go out of style. But then, those are trivial decisions that I need input about but it doesn’t really matter what I choose to do. I need a sign.
I turn to my husband often and say, tell me what to do. Or how should I do this? He laughs at me knowing that I really can’t be told what to do. I am only wanting input and assistance in throwing a few different scenarios around and eventually I will come to a decision on my own. But then there are times he says, do it. Submit that article as written. Don’t worry what the editor will say. It is perfect as it. Or, if you want to fix your relationship, you must say you are sorry first. Do not wait. Take care of this now. Even, Kelli, if you are waiting for me to tell you what to do, I say go. You will love it, you enjoy your time away and you may not get the opportunity to do it again. Just go for it.
Now those are usually the answers I benefit from the most. Those concrete, well thought out responses that direct and encourage me to make a decision and take action quickly rather than spending additional time pondering over a situation. The length of time I spend thinking about something or toiling over something isn’t going to change the outcome. When Josh tells me what to do and shares his opinions, he is usually right. He is wise, only speaks when he has something to say and often knows exactly what I need to hear to inspire change. This is also the reason why many other people seek out his wise consul when struggling to make a decision or take action.
Most of us have someone in our lives that we turn to. A spouse, a friend, a mom or dad, a mentor and sometimes even our own children. That go to person is usually someone that we have an established relationship with, they have proved themselves to be a kind and caring individual and they have shown themselves to be trustworthy. Usually able to voice our concerns, no fear of judgement or ridicule to come our way, we share freely and openly. This is what she should seek in close relationships with others. But let’s be honest. Relationships can be difficult and often times challenging. Hurt feelings from past relationships can hinder our ability to even want to develop new close relationships. The fear of letting someone in and possibility of being hurt only enable walls to be built to avoid letting anyone new in. This only hurts others and ourselves.
So those tried and true relationships, those friends that endure, hold them close and treasure them. Those are your people. The people who will love you, encourage you, guide you, support you and even lovingly rebuke you. They will also be the ones that say- Your GPS is wrong. Turn around. Go back to where you were. Try again. Don’t give up. Consider the alternatives. Thoughtfully reconsider the final outcome. We all need this. I know that I do. Because my internal GPS is faulty and shouldn’t be required to stand on its own merits.
Catch more of Kelli J. Gavin with her other entries at The Ugly Writers:
Check her own website here.