Monday, August 7, 2017

Arriving Luggage- Digital Artist Tracey Grumbach

Tracey Grumbach- Digital Artist-Longwood Gardens
Getting lost-there was a time in my life where getting lost would have struck fear in my heart and sent me into a panic. I am not the spontaneous, adventurous, adrenaline seeking type of person. I am a map reader, a planner, an organizer, and a routine kind of girl. I love calendars and lists.  I hate surprises. Hate them. I hate them to the point of not really enjoying opening presents on birthdays and Christmas. I like predictability. So, the other day, when my GPS took me a different way home from a store than I am used to, I was surprised when I decided to go with it. Instead of driving Interstate 83, the Maps App on my iPhone suggested the country route, along roads I had never driven. It said I could save about  2 minutes, so I thought, "Why not?"

What the GPS did not tell me, however, is that the main road to get me home going the "back" way was closed in a section for construction, which caused there to be a detour. "No problem," I thought. Even though I had no idea truly where I was, I figured good ole' Siri would pick up on the detour and guide me safely through.

Not so much.

As I turned at the detour sign, all Siri did was yell at me to U-turn and go back to the original route, which was impossible. As I drove for miles, never finding another detour sign to guide me past the construction (Pennsylvania is famous for this), the familiar panic began to rise in my throat. I was lost and had no idea how to get home. My GPS was not helping, I had no traditional paper map in the vehicle, and I am famously geographically challenged. I was lost in a very rural area of Pennsylvania where there was nothing but run down farms, cows chewing cud, a few horses grazing, and many, many trees. There were no humans to be found, no other cars around me, and certainly no gas stations, fast food restaurants, or friendly neighbors at a mailbox to ask for help.

The weird part was, that as soon as the panic began to set in, it mysteriously disappeared. I actually had a sense of comfort in my surroundings and I was able to remain calm and think clearly. Since I knew GPS was not currently helping me, I turned it off to stop the annoying "u-turn" instructions and allow myself quiet. Normally I don't know north from south (I am not spatially inclined), but I did know that from the location of the store where I started to get back home, I would need to travel south and east. So, taking this small piece of information, I looked at the compass on my truck to compare where I was headed and it said I was traveling west...not the direction I needed. I needed Southeast. So, at the very next road where I could turn left (south), I turned, taking a leap of faith that somehow this unknown road would take me closer to home. Over hills, more farms, tons of animals later, I came to another crossroad. I decided to turn on the GPS once again to see if it was ready to be helpful or if it was just going to detour me back to the stubborn original route it wanted me to go. I was far enough away from that detour that it should pick up a new route.

And it did. It rerouted me and guided me back to where I needed to be...on a path to my home. I made it safely home, 30 minutes later than I should have arrived, but safe nonetheless. As I pulled into my garage, I thought back through the series of events and realized getting lost is not that bad. It was a scenic route through an area I didn't even know existed and I was happy for the chance to have seen it. Even if GPS had not taken me on a new route, I think with patience, calmness, and thinking about which direction I needed to travel, I could have made it home eventually. I have new confidence in my ability to stay calm and guide myself. I don't know what made me keep myself together...perhaps it was having the twins in the truck and not wanting to panic them, perhaps it was age, perhaps it was all these months of practicing mindfulness and staying in the moment rather than predicting doom where doom doesn't exist.  Perhaps it was my new found closeness to God. Perhaps it was a combination of all of these things.

I hope you have a chance to get lost, briefly, one day soon. Actually, I highly recommend it.

Have a fabulous Monday.


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