“Where in the world am I?” is probably one of the more common questions in the mind of someone who has a poor sense of direction. Let’s call it navigationally challenged…a more pleasant sounding term… because I have the misfortune of being in this category. I have led a meandering life through highways and hallways that are nonsensical obstacle courses. They can seem like a tangled labyrinth of intersecting, illogical mish mash.
Fortunately, there is a viable explanation for us “lost souls.” It is apparently caused by neural circuits that do not connect completely in the hippocampus area of our brains. Homing pigeons get their navigational cues from smell and magnetic fields. I don’t think that smelling my way through the mazes of life would be a viable solution. I wonder where I could buy one of those “magnetic fields?”
I have had business engagements in Charlotte—not just Charlotte…even worse, UPTOWN Charlotte, which could only mean, twisting, swirling, one way roads—total trickery in my eyes. I’m always concerned that I could quite possibly be circling UPTOWN Charlotte for an eternity and may never see my children again.
I have a friend who suffers from the same hippocampus problem. It surprises me that her husband allows us to travel together unsupervised. He always appears comfortable (surely, it’s a front) when we go on an annual beach trip together. We’ve made it through the years without too many mishaps. (some things we decided he didn’t need to know)
This problem did help me to eliminate certain career possibilities. I ruled out pretty quickly that I would be unable to be an astronaut capable of maneuvering a rocket ship in some far off galaxy who knows where?? (my heart is palpitating wildly at the thought of the possible far off galaxies I could stumble upon) Nor could I be a bus or limo driver. No one would ever arrive at their destinations, so, therefore, I would have no income. I ruled out being an air traffic controller for my life would have been a tangled web of lawsuits.
I suppose sometimes God takes pity on us “wandering fools,” as we travel down life’s wily highways. A few years ago I had a book signing in Fayetteville. I reached the outskirts of the town and I took the correct exit according to my directions to discover it was the wrong way. Sooo…. I back tracked and tried two more times to only land on the wrong highway each time.
As panic set in, I tried the exact same thing one more time… only this time I think God sprinkled fairy dust on the highway. He evidently picked up the highway and turned it around for me. I was miraculously headed in the right direction! God smiled to himself.
I can only top my stories of wandering aimlessly with a story about two precious dogs I once owned named Lucy and Ethel. They were sisters with obvious hippocampus problems. Their doghouse was in the middle of the back yard. I moved it to the side of the yard only a few feet away. I looked outside one rainy day to see them cuddled up together in the middle of the yard being pelted by the rain where their doghouse used to be. It’s a good thing I didn’t put the doghouse in UPTOWN Charlotte!
A few years ago, I flew to Pennsylvania for a speaking engagement at a school. My son took me to the airport. He was fortunately born with well-connected neural circuits attached to his hippocampus, so he always knows where he is. However, he has total understanding and awareness of my hippocampus hindrance. Therefore, the day he took me to the airport, he insisted on escorting me into the airport. He stood at the back and watched me, as I made my way through all the check in procedures. “You can go. I will be just fine,” I lied. I kept turning around and he was still standing there with his arms folded and a concerned look on his face. I kept waving him away, but he was resolute.
Finally, I arrived on the plane and then physically in my seat. (whew!) I was thinking to myself that I hoped I was in fact on the right plane and headed to Pennsylvania and not Alaska, when I noticed I had a text message from my son. It simply asked, “Are you on the plane?” I texted back, “Yes, thanks for loving me enough to hang around so long. I love you, too.” Hunter Darden–personalized copies of my books may be ordered by scrolling to the top of this page and clicking on the link or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.