If there’s one thing I feel goes unspoken among those who know me well, it’s this…when it comes to book smarts, I’ve got ’em. Degrees with honors, 100% on multiple certification exams, a solid understanding of the human body and mind based on 6000+ hours of training and 25+ years of experience. BUT…common sense? Not a lick. 😉
Oh sure, I’m well-aware that friends and family members call me “ditzy” and laugh when I stumble on the ice in high heels, looking not unlike Bambi when he was learning to walk.
It’s endearing, right?! Whatever…at least I am confident enough to laugh at myself when I know I’ve done something that defies all reason and leaves others shaking their heads. I even post about it on Facebook, so that others can share in my embarrassment (my friends are laughing WITH me, right?!).
Recently a group of girlfriends and I went to a concert. I drove one of the girls (who I won’t name, so as not to completely embarrass her!). We got to the venue, found a parking spot in a field within a “reasonable” walk to the arena, and got out of the car…immediately hearing music.
Due to a discrepancy on the website of the concert promotor, and the venue, the start time was different. We decided to “split the difference” and arrive within that hour-long window of time.
Naturally, when we heard a band already playing, our focus became getting to the arena as quickly as possible. Which we did. Found our friends…had a great time enjoying the music, being silly with each other, dancing and taking photos, and just sharing “girl time”.
Fast forward to the concert’s end.
In addition to the “no common sense gene” (yes, I believe I inherited it from one of my parents…but I’m not calling that parent out here…’cuz that parent also has the “grudge gene”, which is a doozy!)…I have an uncanny ability to NEVER know what direction I am facing, nor do I pay attention to pertinent landmarks.
In our rush to quickly get to the source of the music, neither one of us really paid attention to where my vehicle was parked. At a venue where there were easily hundreds of other vehicles in a 4- or 5-block radius.
Thus began our quest…walking aimlessly around that 4- to 5-block radius, attempting to recall “Did we pass this ‘Backstage Access Only’ sign?” and “Were we on this trail with the prickly bushes?” We must have walked for 45 minutes before we realized we were passing the SAME parking lots (now practically empty), and not getting any closer to finding the car.
My brilliant recollection of “I know we were parked somewhat near a 3- or 4-story building” was quickly dismissed, as we discovered that there were at least 3 buildings to fit that description on each of the surrounding blocks.
It was official. We. Were. LOST.
The symbolic irony of the situation wasn’t “lost” on me. I mean, sure, I was the dumb-ass who took off sprinting from the car without giving it a second thought as to where it was parked…but, ya know…besides that.
The past 9 months or so of my life has been all about re-defining myself after moving to Colorado just over 3 years ago. I had the luxury of being able to be a stay-at-home mom, which was so healing for me post-cancer.
I know I will NEVER have these years back again, with my son being so young, and being involved in his school and activities has blessed me beyond what I imagined. Slowly I have eased back into working, and starting up my business here, fresh and new.
And I thought I had chosen that path. I thought I knew what direction I wanted to go, yet I found myself making excuses. Maybe I wasn’t ready to leave behind the stay-at-home mom life, even though I longed for what I was good at, helping others find their best selves, and what I knew I would be successful doing.
Who had I become? How did I define myself…by what I do for a living, or by my son and his life?
In that moment, of walking with my friend in search of the elusive car, I thought to myself “Is this me? AM I LOST?” Because that’s what I do…look for hidden, deeper meaning to seemingly benign circumstances, and I believe that nothing is purely coincidence.
What do you do when you feel lost? When you feel like you’ve forgotten your purpose?
Do you tough it out on your own, analyzing and trying to get back what you feel you’ve “forgotten”? Or do you go to others for help…friends, family members, spiritual leaders?
In our case, we were in “toughing it out” mode…but fortunately a kind police officer must have sensed our walk of desperation, and offered to help us. It took communication between him and several other squad cars in the area to finally track down my car, but they did. And we had indeed walked past the lot where it was parked at least once if not more. *palm slap to forehead*
Friends, every decision you make is a CHOICE. You can choose to ignore the signs, refuse help, and keep on trudging your stubborn self along…even ignoring what you MIGHT see if you just looked a little more deeply. Or you can seek wise counsel to help you find what they can more easily see.
There’s no shame in reaching out for help. Try it the next time you feel “lost”…it just may surprise you.
This post is part of the FYB “31 Days to Quiet the Voices in Your Head” series.
Read more about it HERE.