It has taken seven years of hard work, headaches, and sometimes almost complete abandonment, but I have finally completed my University studies. Some weeks after I finished my last assignment, my elation was hampered by doubts and confusion. Not used to being idle, I felt lost.
I can be pretty hopeless when it comes to a sense of direction. I can’t venture into unknown territory without a map, which is why I always need my husband to read the maps while I drive.
Some years back, I drove home alone after visiting my sister’s place in a suburb in southern Sydney. After a few visits, I knew the route home, but on this particular day I must have been overly confident, for I had taken a wrong turn. I had detoured into unfamiliar territory and felt instant panic. I tried to keep as close to the highway as possible, knowing this was the only way I could get back home. I pulled over to the side of the road and consulted the street directory, but this didn’t help as I could not locate any street signs, let alone read them. Now I knew how Dorothy felt in the Wizard of Oz; being lost can be a frightening experience. I saw some people walking on the path nearby and was faced with a dilemma. Which fear was greater – being lost or talking to strangers? I chose the former and asked these people directions that would see me safely on my way home again.
From this experience, I came to realise three important things:-
- The future is full of uncertainties.
- Have a plan.
- It’s alright to ask for help.
So now, after finishing my studies, my husband asked me what I was going to do. I reverted back to my favourite childhood saying: ‘I don’t know’. Without hesitation, my husband calmly replied ‘You’ve always wanted to write; now’s your time to do it’.
Sometimes we may stray off course once in a while, but it’s good to know that someone always has our best interests at heart – even complete strangers.
Have you ever been lost and needed help? What scares you the most – being lost or talking to strangers? Are you afraid of the unknown? Do you see uncertainties as opportunities? Do you believe strangers are friends we haven’t met yet?
Image of Frederick McCubbin’s ‘Lost’ by Debbie Johansson.