So, we’ve probably all heard the quote about doing something new each day. Or, if it doesn’t scare you, it won’t stretch you. Or, set goals outside of your comfort zone. And on, and on…well, I was definitely nervous, stretched, and way uncomfortable in my “new” experience.
Folks, I am a small town girl. And for the most part, I like that. And this small -town girl shares many characteristics with her dad, but there is one large commonality that gives us great stress, and the people who know us, great amusement. We have an incredibly bad directional sense. This challenge goes unnoticed in our nice, little town and it’s surrounding areas. But, wow, take us to a bigger city, or somewhere we’ve never been before, and chances are high that we will end up turned around and/or lost. We are extremely attached to our GPS devices/apps.
Yesterday, I drove two hours south to a big city to board a plane to Dallas. I needed my Google maps lady directing me, but I was only mildly stressed since I’ve been to this city before, so this isn’t the crux of my story. No…I wasn’t wishing for some Valium until later in the day, when my plane landed at the DFW airport. Now, listen, airports alone can screw me up. There is so much to navigate and GPS won’t help a girl out with that issue. But, I made it to the rental car desk quite successfully. The employee was super nice, and soon I was sitting in my navy blue subcompact (I may have tried to get the red Camaro on the way to the Toyota.). I plugged in my phone, opened my maps app, put in the hotel address (two hours away, people!! Are you feeling my anxiety already?), and proceeded out of the airport. Did I mention that it was at 5:00pm on a work day? Yeah – great timing. Fortunately, I have naturally low blood pressure, because there could have been a major medical emergency happening around 5:20ish in a navy subcompact otherwise. I only got honked at once. Sure it was a long, blaring honk delivered by a rude woman in a VW bug (which, really, the only thing more embarrassing would be if I was honked at by an elderly person in a Buick). I only swerved back out of an exit ramp once. And I didn’t miss a single direction. To most people, this would seem like such a stupid thing to get stressed about. My mom would handle it with a smile. I can get up in front of a room full of adults and deliver a presentation, or provide day-long training, but what I wouldn’t give for a chauffeur most days.
Apparently, when you are a consultant, you do lots of traveling. And apparently, that means lots of unfamiliar driving for this directionally-challenged lady. The good news is that my dad used to travel a lot for his job, and he survived. My mantra on the way to the hotel was, “If Dad can do it, I can do it.” I hear it gets easier. That is yet to be seen. I always laugh when someone says, “it’s really easy to get to.” Uh, for who?
So those great motivational quotes about stepping out of your comfort zone probably mean doing something a bit more challenging or inspiring than driving down a 6-lane interstate. But, it is an accomplishment for me whenever I arrive somewhere as scheduled and in one piece. And maybe, when I come back to Dallas next month, I will breathe a little easier…we’ll see.