Trail of Breadcrumbs

I took a couple of days off to drive to a town about three hours from home.  My  brother drove down after attending his high school reunion in another state.  We have a sister who lives close to this town and she came to meet us.  In a blog, Now You’ve Done It I shared a bit about the strange and unique relationship between all my siblings.  It will take more than a blog to explain all the intricacies of my family; that is why I am writing a book.

About a month ago I came to this same area and decided not to use my GPS for the trip home.  I drove an extra forty-five minutes in the wrong direction because of it.  This is not the first time I have done this.  I am directionally challenged.  I posted on facebook today that I decided to follow my brother back to the area where we had booked the hotel.  I followed his black car onto the freeway and then a few minutes later he got off and I followed.  I though perhaps they were stopping for something to drink.  I blindly followed him for a few minutes when the phone rang.

I saw my brother’s name on caller ID.  “Where are you?”

“I am right behind you.”  I wondered why he would ask such a silly question.

“No, I don’t see you.  We are just passing exit 82.”

“What do you mean?  You got off and I am following you down past all these service stations.”  The realization hit that I was following the wrong car.   I immediately did a u turn and  proceeded to get back on the freeway.  We had a long laugh and everyone has shared in the humor on facebook. My daughter, Lory, has shared quite a bit on the subject.

I was texting my friend Jan and told her that I also went the wrong way each time I left my hotel room and walked to the wrong end of the hallway.  My brother has found it quite amusing.  Jan suggested that I “leave a trail of breadcrumbs.”

I realize that I have taken many wrong turns in my life.  I have been so very lost at times I didn’t know if I could ever find my way back.   What if i had left a trail of breadcrumbs and followed them back instead of following my instincts and going to a place I had never been before?  It might have been shorter and safer, but would it have been better?

Many of my wrong turns and bumbled directions have led to places of pain and heartache.  Others lead to times of confusion.  And yet I am here in this place today because of each step I took along the way.  What if I had followed the road map others handed me?  Where would I be and who would I be if I had never gone off course?

I can’t answer those questions.   A friend said, “if I’d never gone through what I have,  I never would have known life to be any different.”  And for that reason, I am grateful for all the detours and wrong turns.  I think I will continue to follow my instincts and leave the bread crumbs for the kids in the fairy tale.   But I will take my GPS and be sure let my friends and family know where I am going!


3 responses

  1. I, too, have no sense of direction. BUT I can follow directions and i LOVE GPS. I do a lot of driving past stuff and then turning around and getting back to it. But I get there.


  2. I love to tease you about getting lost, but Anna will tell you that I get lost a lot, too. When she was a little girl, it used to scare her when she realized we were lost. I would try to calm her down by saying, “We’re not lost! We’re finding a new way to get places!”

    Maybe when we think we’ve lost our way, we aren’t really lost after all. We’re just finding new ways to get to new places.


  3. Ah, the woes of the directionally-challenged everywhere! 😉 I wholeheartedly sympathize. What a great way to look at the mysteries of life, too. I often say I wouldn’t wish for any other life, because then I wouldn’t be here as this same person, with these unique perspectives on the various aspects of life. I’d be someone different, and I’d rather just be me. 🙂


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