Navigating life like navigating the big ATL

When I first moved to Atlanta I had to learn the hard way about navigating around the city. Besides not being in the age of GPS I’ve never encountered so many streets with the same name as Atlanta has. Okay. I get it. It’s the peach tree state, but do you have to name every dad gum path peach tree?

In a lot of cities the streets run parallel and perpendicular. That allows for if you miss your turn you can just go to the next street and turn there to get back towards your destination. That doesn’t hold true for the big ATL. If you miss your turn and decide to take the next street to head back to your desired destination you'll be in big trouble because instead you'll be headed down a road (undoubtedly named Peach Tree) that winds and turns all kinds of directions. So what you thought was going to be a short detour instead becomes a road trip to three counties over. Result? You is lost.

I’m talking straight lost unable to tell your north from south or up from down. Getting directions from a local is kind of helpful except you have no idea where Miss Mary’s old hen house used to be as well as being pretty sure that you don’t have any relatives that ran the five and dime across the street from Bobby Miller’s barbershop.

By then you’re thinking back on that missed turn, passing by a filling station with a restroom, choice of clothing for the day and wondering if you turned the stove off before leaving home. None of that was on your mind or planned when you ventured out to get a new pair of shoes to wear on your job interview tomorrow. On top of that you didn’t get that job. How would you have known ahead of time?

Along with other considerations I’ve been constantly beating myself up over not recognizing a very big “do it!” signal regarding something that I really wanted to experience, but was too cautious to delve into. All of this rambling speaks to our feelings and questions regarding all the what ifs in our lives. We don’t know. We can never know or even imagine what really would’ve been.

My theory is that on another life’s journey path we’re still having the same questions as we live a life on the other side of those decisions. The yes that lead to our place in that timeline or that recognized signal that led me to shouldering a weight I’ve never ever wanted in my life.

So right. We don’t and will never know. Still in this timeline someone is so very glad that we are where we are now, which just so happens to be an incredible blessing.

Thank you for coming to my TEDx talk. Please buy my book.


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