on getting lost
March 13, 2013 by
Categories: Hanging on

Imagine that you are new to a city, whether by travel or new home.

When you seek out a destination, whether by foot, car, or subway, there is a lot that can happen from the first moment to the last.

The first moments may look different for everyone. I typically have a plan of action before stepping a foot out of the door. If I need to be on time, I look up the train schedule and google map reverently. I don’t know east from west and will constantly refer to the map for walking directions if I don’t know where I am. It reassures me and at the same time causes anxiety if things don’t go as expected.

Otherwise, I check directions on my phone and head the door on my own time. Some may not bother with a map at all.

But, If you’re anything like me, a lot of those moments I mentioned earlier will be ones where you’re lost- even if you had a plan in place.

Or, depending on how you look at it, you’re not lost but on an adventure.

Being “lost” has led to some of the most amazing and unexpected experiences- discovering a new area , meeting new people, or trying new food among them. While traveling, this has been my general go to way of experiencing a new city.

But as of late, being lost or unsure of how to get from point A to B has led to frustration and stress. Namely because I feel like after seventh months, I should adeptly know my way around the city, never mind that it is completely different than the one I grew up with.

Thinking over my reaction, I realized that home feels more like home when you know it like the back of your hand. Impatiently, I want to not have to look at my phone to navigate the city (This is bringing back a lot of feelings as a 16 year old learning to drive).

I just want to know. Better yet, I want to not care that I don’t know and accept that these things take time. That maybe this is just an extended adventure and if I get frustrated I may miss out on it.

As I head home now (I am writing this post on the train), I am also trying to appreciate the small victories- finding my “home” coffee shop, moments where I find myself walking towards the right destination without a second thought, and the realization that I shouldn’t box myself as someone who is “bad” at directions.

Just like anything else in life, I will only grow and learn with time, practice, and getting lost.

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One Thought About on getting lost

  • N
    March 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm Reply

    Getting lost in a big city is easy because almost everything you see is made of concrete/brick/asphalt. Eventually the myriad combinations of those materials blur together. Our brains are the product of millions of years of evolution yet large cities – as we know them – haven’t been around long enough for humans to intuitively feel at home in them after moving. ‘Home’ is ultimately where you feel like you belong the most. For someone who grew up in a smaller place, it will likely take awhile for the new environment to become a home.

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