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Letters to the World » Confessions of the Directionally Challenged

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Confessions of the Directionally Challenged

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 4:48 pm

Oww. I just realized how directionally impaired I am.

I’ve ridden with friends from campus to the local Wal-Mart to pick up random things that I needed far too many times over the past couple of years. So you’d think that by now, I’d be able to remember how to get there from here, right?

If only that were the case!

Granted, part of it is because I’ve never consciously driven there, instead sitting in the back seat and watching; when it comes to learning directions, I tend to be more of a kinesthetic learner.

But even that’s not the whole story. Many times, I’ve made the wrong turn entirely going somewhere I’ve actually driven multiple times… as in, I was sitting behind the wheel when I went there.

THAT is how directionally impaired I am.

People wonder why I prefer to catch rides from others rather than driving myself. I’ve already mentioned the stress that driving always seems to cause me (too many stimuli to keep track of!), but there’s another reason as well: having someone else along helps to guarantee that I’ll end up back where I started, as opposed to, say, another city or state entirely.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve a horrible memory for the names of streets and tend to navigate instead using landmarks. Tell me to turn left on Oglethorpe and I’ll stare at you as if you were speaking Hungarian; but tell me to turn toward the Busy Corner liquor store and I’ll know exactly what you’re referring to.

Yes, yes, I know, I’m in a ranting mood today… mainly coming from utter frustration in trying to get to my bank to deposit cash into my account when there are no branches of the bank in question in walking distance.


  1. I feel your pain.

    Comment by Mitch — 04-Feb-2005 @ 8:54 pm

  2. I’m a male,58 years old. I am directionally challenged. I kept this secret to myself for most of my life. My first wife thought I was just plain stupid. I finally admitted the handicap to my second wife. She is much more understanding now that she realizes that it really is an impairment. Is there a name for this inability to know such simple things as which way to turn when leaving the restroom in the mall to get back into the mall, instead of down the hall to the offices?

    Comment by Russ — 13-Jun-2008 @ 2:30 pm

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