I took my oldest daughter down to New York Comic Con in New York City, which is an hour’s drive from where we live.
I’m in the city enough to know the general “lay of the land,” but that doesn’t mean I still can’t get turned around from time-to-time, particularly if I’m hunting for a parking spot (or open parking garage), in this case, near the Javits Center.
Our trip to Comic Con is a yearly occurrence, and normally we head down very early. But this year, we ended up having to leave later, and so parking was at a premium (beyond a premium, actually).
At one point, searching for an elusive spot, I turned down what I thought was a side street, which ended up being one of the bizarre entrances to the Lincoln Tunnel (who designed those entryways, anyway). As I started to say, “Oh no. Uh-uh” my daughter asked “Are we lost?”
Truthfully, we weren’t. But, like all situations where we are not sure where we are, or where we are going to end up, this one got us stressed. And when we’re stressed, we tend to be more likely to make mistakes.
With my daughter getting worried in the back, and with me hoping to not have to go into New Jersey (no offense to anyone from New Jersey), I was lucky to find a turn-off, spin us back around, and find a parking garage not that far from the Javits Center which wasn’t that expensive (within reason, anyway).
There are many times in our lives when we feel lost. We can’t necessarily avoid these times, but we can learn to deal with them. One of the best ways I’ve found to deal with the feelings of being lost is to welcome the feeling as natural, and then reflect on what aspects of the situation are not lost to us. There will always be something about a given situation we know; we never find ourselves in scenarios that are 100% foreign to us. So, we need to understand feeling lost is a feeling that we can’t avoid and must think about how we can make the situation more comfortable. During our almost-trip through the Lincoln Tunnel, I reassured my daughter that it was fine, and that we would get ourselves back on track no matter what. At the time, I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen, but, as in most cases, I knew that everything would be okay.
Another way to deal? Slow things down. After we found ourselves almost through the tunnel and had flipped back around again, we headed up a number of side streets that I was familiar with. Getting my bearings put me back in a better frame of mind, and then I was able to navigate a few streets further away to eventually find the parking garage that we parked in. Slowing down literally (i.e. not driving fast) and figuratively (allowing myself to think and breathe more slowly) made a tremendous difference in getting us back to “normalcy.”
Comic Con was a great experience, and the trip home was perfect. Sometimes getting “lost” makes us all appreciate those times when we truly know our way.