I like taking walks, sometimes aimlessly for hours. But there is one thing I fear – being asked for directions. I am not at all good with directions, and I am not too good at interacting with others, so I make a terrible person to ask for directions! But for some reasons beyond my comprehension, I get asked a lot… what do I look like, a walking map or guidebook or something?!
Today, for example, I took a quick walk around my neighbourhood in the morning, and in a span of twenty minutes or so, three people came up to me to point them to their respective destinations!
There was a time I used to walk facing down, so no one would even consider choosing me to ask for help. But this was obviously not the solution… I did not get to enjoy my walks any more. I began to go out less frequently and not step out of the same small areas if I did go out, and it took all the fun out of taking walks. I knew I needed to change, or I would one day become completely socially obsolete.
So, I made a conscious decision to face up and study the same small areas in which I take walks. From my vast experience, I had a pretty good idea on what I would be asked… directions to nearest stations, tourist attractions, famous restaurants and shops, hospitals, schools… as well as additional information on these destinations such as how long it will take to get there, what to enjoy or avoid once there, how long the wait in line might be, what other places are nearby, etc., etc.
And within no time, I really did become a walking guidebook for the same small areas in which I take walks! And not only did I start to get out more frequently and gradually widen the areas I go out to to always keep my information growing and up to date, I had so much more fun taking walks because I was no longer afraid of people coming up to me – for specific directions, for help generally, or for random conversations!
Mind you, I am still not at all good with directions and I am not too good at interacting with others (I get the feeling these cannot be fixed easily… SIGH). But something is definitely different about me now. I cannot quite tell what that something is, but maybe it has to do with the change in direction of my face from down to up.
Maybe it was a very slight change – a few degrees in angle, at most.
But maybe it was a big decision I needed to make to confront my fears.
At the time I made the decision to face up, I only made the change so I could enjoy taking walks again. Who knew it would eventually allow me to face up to a challenge I had been running away from for so long! I could not have asked for a better direction to walk in life… maybe I am not too bad with directions after all!