Embrace your weaknesses because they confer you with strengths

Sigh. I pull over and get out my mobile to dial my sister’s number. She greets me with “You’re lost aren’t you”. I have driven to my sister’s house over a dozen times since she moved out-of-town but to me the country looks the same wherever I go, grass and fences, cows and sheds. It’s not just the country; the city looks the same too, gardens, fences, houses and buildings.

This sort of thing happens to me almost daily and it started from an early age. As a teenager, my aunt remembers me slowly wandering back and forwards down the main street of the small town I grew up in, until she approached me and asked what I was doing. I said I had to meet my mum at the hairdressers but had forgotten where the shop was. My aunt was in complete disbelief that I was unable to find the hairdressers that I had gone to all my life.

When I leave a store with the goods I went in to buy, I expect to come out completely oblivious as to which direction I need to go in. When I return to the car park, the only reliable thing that helps me find my car is the colour and letter coding system that I have taken care to memorize. When I drive home, I have to snap out of my daydream and remind myself exactly where I was going.

My mother told me that her worst fear for me was always that I would get lost. I am wise enough to avoid deserts and forests, but otherwise I realize that getting lost is not that big a deal.

Getting lost has improved my confidence for asking strangers for help in any situation; I am often shown the kindness of other and it also allows them to feel good that they have helped someone out for the day. I don’t panic when I get lost because I am so used to it and I always allow myself plenty of time to get somewhere. Those people who expect a smooth trip to their destination are always much later to arrive than I am.

You’d think I’d get an iPhone with a Global Positioning System (GPS) application and/or install a GPS in my car but clearly getting lost is a flaw that doesn’t distress me that much. I have developed coping systems to deal with getting lost that actually confer me with strengths and experiences that other people may not have. It all evens out in the end.

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