I was born without any sense of direction, and I mean that literally as I was born breech. It was a defect easy to hide while growing up in rural Pennsylvania, but after college I moved to Los Angeles and found myself spending a large amount of time driving aimlessly around. The freeways were easy enough, but once I exited, all bets were off. Looking at a map was worthless to me. Asking for directions rarely helped because Southern Californians like to describe everything as it relates to the proximity of the ocean. For example: “drive towards the ocean” or “the water will be on your left.” That’s great, except what if you can’t see the ocean? MapQuest directions seemed like a savior at first, but it was difficult to drive while frantically flipping through sheets of paper, and once you veered off-course, good luck trying to find your way back. Luckily, I worked for a luxury automotive company and had the opportunity to drive some of the most technologically-advanced cars available at the time— cars equipped with navigation systems. Finally, I found myself on-time for events! The ocean was where it was supposed to be! I was in the right lane at the right time!
Several years and cross-country moves later, I still love GPS. She is the best co-pilot. She doesn’t complain about my speed (parents), or make me listen to ESPN radio (husband) or screech excessively because a grape fell on the floor (kids). On the rare occasion when she is wrong, you can curse her without feeling guilty. If you take a wrong turn, she calmly guides you back on track. From the bottom of my directionally-challenged heart, thank you Department of Defense.