Family & Motherhood

directionally challenged

If directionally challenged isn’t a real word, it should be. That’s what I am. I’m horrible at directions and always have been. Directionally challenged is a loving word my family started calling me after way too many “wait I don’t know where I am” (in the daylight, middle of the day, after I’ve been to that place 3 times already that day).

I got to thinking about this because yesterday my sister asked me to go to Starbucks with her at a location close to my other sisters apartment. She gave me very simple directions and I still ended up making a big circle until I decided to enter in a landmark on my GPS to get me there. Yep, that’s me.

Those people who say “oh yeah, just go north on highway x and then east on high y” means nothing to me. They might as well have been talking in Chinese, French, or German for that matter. “Right”, “left” and “go straight” work much better for me (especially the “go straight”). Thank God for GPS systems. Without those I would have a folder of printed Map Quest directions in my car. Even if I happen to make it to my destination correctly, it’s because of pure luck that l chose the right one (or was it left? Beats me).

I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know why I decided to step out of line when that gene was given out as I was being made. Maybe it was God’s way of showing his sense of humor (remember that Bill Cosby skit?). Who knows. My family doesn’t have this problem. My sisters know where the grocery store is when we go to visit my parents in Houston even though they haven’t been there in months. Me? I need an address to put in my GPS system.

Dear Garmin (or any other navigation system),

 I don’t know what I’d do without you. I should buy you a gift, can you direct me to the nearest gift shop?

With Admiration,


My husband is also not the best at directions, but he’s definitely better than I am. So there is no blame or frustration when I don’t know where I’m going, he understands my struggle. We even have names for our GPS systems: Marge and Mable.

I’ve tried over the years to be better. To pay more attention to where I’m going when driving. To test myself to get to my destination without navigation assistance. Sometimes it works and I surprise myself. Sometimes it doesn’t and I’ll have to stop, find the address and input it in, and that’s ok. My friends and family are always surprised when the answer is “nope” after they ask “ok, you know where you are now right?”. But you know, I’ll get there eventually.

So folks, I’m bad at directions. It’s no surprise. I see it as a way to make room for greater things. Now, off to look for addresses so I can get to my destination today. Wish me luck!