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How roadworks taught me to be humble

Posted by Didi Gorman on

That day, I was running a few errands in a little town about 20 miles away from home.

On the way back, I found that the road I would usually take home was blocked.


“I can handle that!” I thought to myself, “I’ll just turn around and take the highway.” Which I did.

Well, almost.

As I was about to enter the highway -- surprise, surprise! The highway was closed off too. More roadworks.

This meant I had to turn around again, drive back into town and think of a plan C to get back home.

At this point in our story I need to tell you about my absolutely brilliant navigation abilities, so that I put it in context for you. It may not be obvious from our story --in fact, you might come to the exact opposite conclusion-- but my geographic skills are truly and stunningly phenomenal! I’m not bragging or anything (Seriously!), it’s just a well-known fact that I’m a GPS in human form!

Add to that my absolute belief in my own resourcefulness (Ha! I’m ready to brave out of my comfort zones! Test my limits! I’m a risk taker! There should be a medal for that!), and it may explain why I decided to ignore the ‘Diversion’ signs and find my way home all by myself.

And with unshakable confidence, I took the right turn.

Only that the right turn soon turned out to be the wrong turn. Very wrong turn in fact, because I found myself in a part of town I’ve never been before, which took me by surprise. But I still profoundly believed in my ability to orient myself out of there, so I drove on.

A few streets later, I ended up in the exact same spot. It appears I’d been driving in a circle…

This is not going too well, I thought to myself.

A few more failed attempts led me to the industrial area at the very edge of town (which was decidedly nowhere near where I needed to be), so I pulled over and admitted defeat. It was getting dark too, which did not help my deflated confidence one bit.

I took a deep breath and switched on Google Maps (beloved Google Maps!) whose comforting voice accompanied me all the way home, like a good old friend coming to my rescue in a moment of dire need.

The medal for resourcefulness, I’m afraid, went to Google Maps that night.

As for me, I was just happy to be back home.

“How in the world did you manage to get lost in such a small town?” chuckled my husband as I was sharing --amidst considerable sobbing-- the harrowing trials I’d endured in the labyrinth of road closures in the neighboring town.

I know, I know. He just follows the ‘Diversion’ signs to keep him out of trouble (which, admittedly, works).

Uhm, because I’m… uh… a risk… taker… maybe, I think…

And this is how a few ‘minor roadworks’ (to use my husbands’ words) served as a lesson in humility --as well as fallibility-- for this slightly overconfident geographical prodigy…

By Didi Gorman