I was driving downtown, on my way to meet a friend at someplace I’d never been before, when the GPS on my IPhone wouldn’t load. I knew I had to go straight for a while and then turn. But to the right or to the left? I made a guess. The street numbers started going down — I was headed in the wrong direction! — and I started to panic. I rolled down my passenger side window, yelling frantically to the guy in the car next to me.
I wish I had directions in life, a friend wrote to me in an email a few months back. I knew exactly what they meant and I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, we don’t get directions, but I do believe we get compasses. Unlike a real compass, however, True North doesn’t point us all the same way.
Turned out I was going the right way after all. There hadn’t been any need to panic but that fear — of getting lost, of being in the wrong place — well, I’m all too familiar with that feeling. It’s what makes me overthink every decision instead of just trusting my gut to take me to the right place. Now that I knew where I was however, I could relax and enjoy the scenery: there was a store I’d seen in the paper and wanted to check out, a girl with a Bieber cut, a food truck that might be the perfect place for a snack. A few minutes later, I was at my destination.
I’m feeling confident my friend has a good compass (they’ve hit a lot of markers already, earlier than most people their age). I know mine hasn’t always taken me on the path that’s as clearly marked and straight as I would like. But I’m trying to trust that, even so, I’ll get to where I’m going. And that there is time to stop and see what’s going on along the way.