For someone who likes to travel I have a horrible sense of direction. I also have a strong tendency to be uh . . . less than calm when I don't know where I am.
Thus, when I told a friend of mine that I would visit her in Imperial Beach (A whole *gasp* hour and half's drive from where I lived) I was already nervous. Yeah, I wanted to see her but but I don't KNOW those roads. How will I know I'm going the right way? How will I know which lane I should be in? What if I have to pass through down town?
Calm down Taryn. You're going to be ok. You got this.
No. I don't. You're totally lying to me.
Probably. Just go with it.
So I listened to my inner liar and got the directions to my friend's house. Only the directions were coming from my house not the campus where I happened to be when I set out.
Oh, calm down. You know how to get to the eight from your school. You can just start the directions after that.
After taking the one freeway I hate most in all of San Diego unscathed, I was ready to go. On the right track. I could even see all the nice signs telling me I was headed toward the right junction.
Until I stopped seeing them.
OH NO! I PASSED IT! I'M GOING TO END UP DOWNTOWN AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me back up a bit. (aka this is where I stop the action for an undisquized info dump) About a week after I got my driver's liscence I got in a hit and run downtown San diego. No one got hurt and I was able to fix my car within a week but that was after three hours waiting around in a neighborhood I don't know with a bumberless car, making reports to the police, making sure it was legal to drive home etc. It was SCARY. Also about a month after that I got on the eight west instead of the eight east and ended up downtown instead of home. Also, also, the friend I was with during the acident was the same friend I was going to see in the adventure I am currenly relaying to you. I was really freaked.
So I got off at the next off ramp and called my friend to ask her where I was, where I was suposed to be, if I was going to die. She told me, yes, I'd passed the first junction but there was another coming up. I'd be fine.
Reluctant to believe her, I got back on the freeway. I watched the signs carefully untill I saw the next five junction. I merged into the correct lane. Yes. I got this. Everything is ok. Wait. That sign says LA.
I"M NOT GOING TO LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I pulled out of the lane at the last minute and got off the freeway to make another phone call. My friend sighed, told me that yes, that off ramp led to LA, but it also branched off to the correct freeway. (stupid sign, not telling me this) She even patiently looked up how to get to said correct freeway from where I was. So I followed her new directions and was finally on the right path. No more worries.
Until I realize that the five zips straight through downtown.
Calm down. Don't painic. Don't think about getting rear ended. Don't think about one way streets. You're on the freeway. It will go straight through. La la la la la la. I don't even see those sky scrapers reminding me of my back bumber dragging behind me as I look for a safe place to stop my car. Everything is honkey dory. Except without the honking because that means angry drivers and angry drivers are mean and don't let me get in the lanes I need. I'm not thinking about mean drivers.
Finally I got past my inner horrors. Just in time for new ones to set in. My friend didn't tell me how far exactly it would be before I got to the off ramp. I knew what it was called but what if I'd passed it? What if I couldn't get to the lane in time when I finally saw it? What if I suddenly couldn't remember what it was called? I'd never been on that part of the five in my life but I was pretty sure if I just kept going I would end up in Mexico or soemthing.
I DON'T WANT TO END UP IN MEXICO!!!!!!!
Calm down. It's ok. The off ramp will be really soon. Any minute now. Probably the next one. Or the one after that. Ok, the one after that. Although that last street name was awfully similar . . .
Eventually I pulled off at the right place. In releif I started looking for the cross street. Eleventh street. Ninenth street. Seventh's street. Ok. I'm looking for third. I'm definately goint the right way.
When suddenly the streets stop having number names. Instead of a residential nieghborhood I am on a long stretch that says "scenic rout". It is very pretty but it tells me I am going to Corodado.
I AM NOT GOING TO CORONADO!!!!!!!!!!!
Not knowing, what else to do I stayed on the road for some time, riduculously hoping the number names would come back. Finally I pulled over in what looked like a very private residential neighborhood and called my friend again. She had forgotten to mention that I had to merge to stay on the right road.
I'm not going to lie. I was in tears by then. But I turned around and eventually found third street. And I talked my friend into comeing home with me so I wouldn't get lost on the way back.
I don't like getting lost.