My Compass is always headed North

via Daily Prompt: Compass

I have already read some posts on this daily prompt.  I am so glad I am not alone.  I get totally disoriented when I am in a new mall, or driving in a new city.  I rarely take a road trip alone for fear of getting lost, not only lost, disoriented.

For years this is the way my mind thought;

  • If the N on the compass is always at the top and the N means North, then when I am holding the compass right side up, North is the direction I’m going.  Go figure, I was wrong.  If I put a compass in my car (days before GPS,) the N is always on top, therefore my car is always going North.
  • I know this is not the way it really is, but this is what made sense to me.  I could never figure out north from south, east from west.  Most of the time I still can’t.

Back in grade school, grade five or six, my teacher asked the class a question.  Lots of kids put up their hand but I didn’t, so what happens?  Of course, the teacher asks me, “Anna, does the sun rise in the East or the West?”  I didn’t know the answer, so I simply said I didn’t know.  Everyone had a great laugh over that, even the teacher!  Once again, for the millionth time, I am embarrassed and humiliated in class.

The first time I travelled west with my boyfriend before moving here, we stopped at a mall for a bit of a break.  I had learned from previous panic attacks that I must remember the store I first go into, remember if I am travelling left or right so that I can re-trace my steps back to the original store.  Even in large stores, I get disoriented if I have never been in it before, so I have to keep going in the same direction.  I dare not stray to an aisle that looks appealing to me, I will eventually get to that spot if I can find my way later.

In I go to the first store.  I turn left once inside, I continue to walk in the same direction.  I spotted a couple of things that I wanted to try on.  I asked someone where the change room was, while I was changing I forgot which direction I turned in the change room so when I came out of the change room, I was disoriented.  After much anxiety, profusely sweating, I found the door where I first entered the store and as promised, my husband was sitting there waiting for me.  He knew I needed him there in case I got lost.  That is how we managed public shopping trips.

These days I am a little less anxious about finding my way and if I get lost it’s not as big a deal as it use to be.  Heck, I can even read a map if it is handed to me the right way.  I can actually follow a map well enough to tell my husband to turn left or right to get to where we are going.  I never say, north, south, east, or west because I don’t have a clue.

I discovered GPS on my iPad this summer.  Wow, it was amazing, sort of.  I was doing great until I hit a detour that the GPS didn’t tell me about.  Oh brother, here we go again.  I had to pull over at the next opening, so I could figure out where I was and try again.

It took a while but I did eventually find my way.

Happy travels everyone!

I’m Frazzled Again.

3 thoughts on “My Compass is always headed North

Add yours

  1. There is a name for our condition. It is called locational dyslexia, and it often goes hand-in-hand with facial blindness. Do you forget people’s faces–fail to recognize people you’ve seen a number of times or categorize people so two or three people become confused in your mind? I found out there was a reason for my spatial confusion when i had to take an in-service class about learning disabilites when I was a teacher. Always did say that teaching is the best way to learn. I still have to remember north, south, east, west by remembering my best friend Rita North lived north of me and west was on my left, east on my right, south behind me. It’s been over 50 years since we both lived in the same town but it is still my way to remember directions. But, still have the problem of knowing which way is north. Once I’ve determined that, the rest is a snap.


  2. I never had an issue with direction until I had moved out to Long Island, NY. I was so utterly confused, I would drive in circles. It took me close to two years to finally get used to what the heck I was doing, and where to go.
    Then I moved back to NJ and went through the damn thing all over again. LOL! I finally got used to that too, but I still get lost when I’m in unfamiliar territory.

    Liked by 1 person

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