Even when the sun is setting, I have trouble finding west.
And as for north, I would have to climb stairs to get that geographical feeling that I am heading upwards.
My life is like a compass without a needle, a needle without a thread, a mission without a purpose.
I am that person who can’t find their way back to the tent when they use the amenities block. I am the owner of that lone car in the carpark while I look for it in another car park. I am the person who starts their journey to the Sunshine Coast via the Gold Coast highway.
My head is a dense fug of nothing-helpful when it comes to finding my way.
To admit this failure comes after a lifetime of trying to look like I know what I’m doing. I am not sure how successful this has been. Once anyone is in the car with me, my deceit is usually discovered.
But there are tricks that I have come to rely on. I write down the grid in the carpark. I notice what floor, what shops are at the entry. I look behind me and twirl around a lot.
Having no sense of direction makes you observant, by necessity.
Last year, I went with a friend to Woodford Folk Festival, there to discover that her sense of direction is worse than mine.
Clearly, I had duped her all this time into believing that I had a clue.
I pulled out all stops. I took a photo of the car. On entering the festival, I asked someone to mark the spot on a map and held onto that map fearlessly for the day. Without it we were doomed to wander, potentially until next festival.
We did get a bit lost going home, but a u-turn and a call to my husband (he’s used to such calls) got us on our way. I take this as a victory, because I have found myself on the way to Gympie instead of Brisbane at 1am after a sweaty Woodford day on more than one occasion.
I was also pretty proud of how we got there (not quite sure how actually) given that I missed the exit and took the next one, heading left at every opportunity until something looked familiar.
But that’s getting there. I can go to a place a million times, but not recognise the view from the other direction. Getting home is not a given.
Yet here we are – geographically challenged, but driven in every other way.