I don’t get lost very often. I imagine this fact will be surprising to my parents for the rest of our lives, but it’s true.
When I was a kid (…and a tween, and a teenager), it was their general belief that I had the worlds’ worst sense of direction. And this wasn’t false, exactly, because it was true that I didn’t know how to get… anywhere. But it wasn’t an inate lack of a sense of north and south and the relative locations of point A and point B. No, it had a lot more to do with the fact that I never went in a car without my face stuck in a book (with an extra book [or two] just in case I finished the first).
“Jenna, look at the trees!” “Jenna, look at the scenery!” “The skyline!” “That deer/horse/alligator!” “JENNA PUT YOUR BOOK DOWN.” Nope. Sorry. I’m happy in here.
But then I started driving places. And then I went to college and had to walk everywhere (oh the horror). What my parents didn’t understand is that it’s really hard for this relatively ADD child to want to pay attention to the landmarks and streets and terribly boring intersections when she simply did not have to.
And that it’s really hard to know how to get somewhere when you’ve never technically seen the route.
Once I became responsible for making the turns and not missing the right streets, things picked up. I discovered to wonder of all wonders that I’m not actually terrible at direction. I discovered, hell, I know how to get places! This was cooler than it should have been.
So then you put me in a city like Chicago, where the whole thing is this big wonderful grid, and I’m in really good shape. Add a smart phone? And my Dad’s advice becomes obsolete: “You aren’t lost until you don’t know what state you’re in.” …and have no Internet connection.
If I’m in the city, and I have my phone, I’m set. If I’m in the city, and don’t have my phone, I’m (probably) still set. I’m a local here, and that’s bizarre to me. I’m an adult, and this is where I live. It might not be where I live five years from now, but if I move, it will have been my own decision.
I have moments when I’m not sure how I got here. When being independant and, gasp, an adult, feels like a dream.
Or, sometimes, a nightmare.But most of the time, I love it. I love living in a studio. I could go for having a roommate again in the future, but right now, I enjoy living alone. I like being (ehem, mostly) financially independant. And, I guess, I like being an adult, even if knowing my way around my own city where I live on my own is one of the few adulting things I’ve got down pat.
Now if I could stop missing my bus stop because I forgot to look up from my novel? That would be great.