Follow the directions. Or your heart.

Sometimes in life you need to get from one place to another.  This is not always as easy as it sounds, because you may not actually know how to get from Point A to Point B.

My friend Sara taught me in high school that the best option is to “Just make it up!”  Is this really always the best option?  Let me give you several scenarios.  These are all scenarios when I chose the wrong multiple choice answer when deciding between:

a) Follow the signs.

b) Look at a map.

c) Use the GPS

c1) Use the built in GPS on your phone

d) Follow your heart.

I have a history of getting lost.  Yet I like to think that at times I have a good sense of direction.  Tami, my GPS, would probably beg to differ, based on the amount of times she is “recalculating” or tells me to make a U Turn.


I am at the Mall of America to meet some friends.  I tell one friend I am getting there early because I have awkward amounts of time to kill.  She comes early too.  I look at the map to find out how to get to Chipotle.  I walk around the entirety of the mall, unable to find Chipotle.  When I do arrive, I am no longer early and basically everyone is there.  Enter my inability to find people in crowds.  I walked right past them.  They shouted my name and I looked around bewildered.  Should I have used my GPS?  No, that would be ridiculous.  Should I have been able to read a mall map?  Yes.  Embarrassing.


My roommate and I go to the Bad Waitress for brunch. (sidenote: HIGHLY recommend.  If I could live solely off of the Spyhouse Caramella espresso drink, I would).  We then want to get from the Bad Waitress to Anthropologie.  Roommate googled directions.  Said googling results in us sitting in a deserted apartment back alley near Lake Calhoun.  Unless Anthro is in the neighbor’s detached garage, google has lead us astray.  Tami (the aforementioned GPS) is nowhere to be found.  Enter: the phone GPS.  It finds Anthropologie no problemo.  We follow the directions.  My heart questions going north on the highway, but we follow anyways.  The destination: defeat.  or a warehouse on a corner in Crystal.  Clearly in this instance we should have followed our hearts, not our maps and technology.


You are in Florida, heading back from a day in the Everglades.  Tami says to go on back roads.  Amber (real live friend) says to go on the highway.  You listen to Tami.  You regret this decision, as it results in a 15 hour drive home.  Ok, that is an extreme exaggeration, but it felt like forever.  I’m sorry, Amber, for trusting Tami before trusting you.


Time to meet up with some friends for dinner before small group!  The destination: one you’ve driven to a million times.  Not a problem.  Uh-oh.  You are on the phone and forgot to exit.  No worries – take the next exit.  Easy as pie.  Until you try turning around in a parking lot that spits you back out onto the one-way you entered from (clearly did not actually get to turn around).  and you weave your way through the city, following your heart, and your stomach, and don’t seem to be getting anywhere closer.  You finally cave and turn on your phone’s GPS.  ETA?  20 minutes.  How did this happen?  You miss all of dinner conversation and take your food to go.  Fail.  In this instance, I for sure should have pulled out that GPS a wee bit sooner.


You exit the subway in Vancouver with all your luggage.  Your sister thinks the hotel is one direction.  You mention you think it is the other, but know your lack of ability in map reading, so you go with your sister’s intuition.  After dragging the luggage downhill, it is determined that you were right.  Now it is time to drag your luggage UP the hill and get to the hotel.  Note: your map reading skills apparently flourish out of the country, and you should always fight for your directionality to win in situations abroad.


You are going to your friend’s house that you have gone to once, but from a different direction.  Not a problem – you can still get there, right?  WRONG.  You get utterly lost, super confused, end up miles away, put the address in your GPS, only to find that this house is too new to be in the GPS, and call your friend, to find out they can’t give you directions because they just moved in there, and then you pray, “Jesus, please help me find this house.  I will give it one more try, then I will probably just go home.” and then miracle: you find it!  PTL.

I would like to share that I kind of like getting lost.  If the circumstances are right.  I like meandering down new roads as long as I am not meandering through bad neighborhoods.  I like it if I have all the time in the world and no one is waiting on me.  Or following me.  If someone is following me (like a friend caravaning, not a creeper or stalker) then I get really stressed out that I don’t know where I am going and am also leading them astray.  (I should probably again clarify that I do not mean to imply that having a creeper follow my car is fine with me.  It would  also stress me out – but for different reasons)

Otherwise I think that getting lost is a bit of an adventure, and helps me learn the area, so that I don’t have to rely on technology to get me where I am going.  Even though sometimes I clearly should.

2 thoughts on “Follow the directions. Or your heart.

  1. I love that commercial. Also, you should probably have learned that although your sister is oftentimes brilliant, makes a lot of good decisions and is really good at map reading, she 1) has a terrible sense of direction, especially in new places and 2) has no problem being lost/meandering her way places. Best not to let her make any sort of direction decision making on the next trip, particularly when hauling heavy luggage.

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