Recently I read another story of how an adult found out she had Asperger’s. The lady listed her symptoms and one of them had me laughing out loud. It was a “poor sense of direction”. I don’t think I have a poor sense; rather, no sense at all. Along with having to think about what direction is left vs. right, I have to think even longer about what direction is east, west, etc.
Some time ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I got lost in a park. I wish I could say I got lost in a BIG park, like an amusement park such as Disneyland. But NO! I got lost in a park only two miles from home. A park that I swung on its swings, hopped on its seesaw, roasted weiners and toasted marshmallows at picnics in my younger years.
My mistake was taking a hiking path into the woodsy area of the park. I lapsed into that world of my own imagination as I hiked along losing track of time and direction. I made the mistake of not listening to that inner voice warning me that I might not be able to find my way back. At least, I did take my cellphone with me.
I did not know what direction to take. I turned on my cell phone to pull up the ‘maps” application. I inputed the name of a neighborhood street I was at. I found the street name on the map and it was several blocks from the street, Oates, I needed to find. I didn’t know whether to walk forward or turn around. So I walked forward and when I came upon the next street, I inputed the street name to see if I was heading towards or away from Oates. If so, I kept heading in that direction or turned around.
Well, I finally came upon Oates. I wasn’t homefree yet! There was East Oates Drive or West. I did meeny-miney-mo and headed East. I called my Mom since by that time I had been gone for an hour and figured she would be worried. A few minutes later, I had to call her again to tell her “COME PICK ME UP!!!” I should have gone west.
I figured I walked five miles that day. I didn’t know I could walk that far, but it’s amazing how far one can walk when one is lost. When I took off my shoes, I I had blisters on both feet. One was the size of a quarter. That one blister immobilized me for almost an entire week. It introduced me to my Mom’s cane that had been collecting dust in the garage. It is amazing how one small area of one’s body can disrupt one’s life.
I had once prided myself in being able to say I drove by myself from Virginia to Texas, four without getting lost! One of those trips included driving through six states. Not once did I get lost! Well, I should mention that if I hadn’t had a GPS in my car, I might still be in one of those six states.
I lost some pride that day. As I was doctoring my blistered foot, my then-5 year old grandniece came in the room. She said, “Sashi (my nickname), I heard you got lost in the park.” If there had been a hole nearby, I would have climbed in it.