The title of this blog is something that has been said far too often in my life. For someone that has a great sense of direction I am unable to take direction when trying to locate an item.
Starting all the way when I was really little I had no concept of "it's over there" when trying to locate something. Where is "there"? There could be anywhere and since I see everything at once if there is anywhere I am hopeless at finding something.
When I worked at the kart shop the owner, Greg, one time had me go into the office to bring him his phone. I went from the garage area into the office and instantly saw the whole room. Seeing everything makes seeing small details, like a phone, difficult if not impossible. I stood in the doorway wondering what to do as I know people don't like to repeat themselves, but I was hopeless as to finding the phone. Daunted, I went back to Greg and asked him, "where?" The range was narrowed and I went back into the room with a little clue, and yet still I did not see the phone.
I did not have an exact location therefore I was still seeing the whole picture. This isn't to say that even when you give me precise direction I still may be spacially challenged. My dad says I always failed the "prepositional phrases" section of English in school and even yesterday I showed my lack of skill when my dad told me to take a monitor and put it on the other side of the fence in the alley. As I took the obsolete monitor to the back I put it near the fence, in our side of the yard. How was I to know that the garbage man wouldn't look there? I heard fence and other side and was confused. It did look kinda odd having a gigantic computer monitor sitting in the grass.
Going back to the phone I went back to Greg for a third go round of help and he finally said that he thought it was, "near the computer". This made sense and I went in and looked near the computer. I had scanned near the computer, but now I went by the computer with a fine tooth comb and there it was, a black phone sitting on a white keyboard. It stuck out like, well, black on white and could not have been more obvious, but I was seeing the entire room.
Seeing the whole picture makes the black on white not as obvious. Even when I focus in on something I still see the whole room out of my peripheral vision.
I also have issues with direction because I am learning my perspective is different in my mind than what I am actually seeing. I always have trouble with East/West because I believe I see it in my mind differently spacially. I wish I could describe this better, but I am just learning this about myself. I know this is something about perception and that there is something because I never get North/South mixed up, but up/down is much easier to see than left/right because up/down is easily understandable.
One thing I want you to know is that my lack of ability to locate things is not by choice. I wish I could take spacial direction and execute the find with ease, but that's not the case. It may be the simplest of directions and still I won't see it. Do you think I want to come back to a person and say I can't find something? I hate asking questions of people, even more so when they have already given me directions, so I wish I could simply locate any given item when asked to go for it.
Being asked to do a spacial challenge is an event of high anxiety. There, here, beside, over, and words of those lead to one confused mind as I only see one thing and that is everything. I can look back and laugh at all the times I have gone around a room and scanned over what I was looking for and not seen it even though it was as out in the open, but as much as I can laugh about it I fear the next time it will happen as it will happen and I know I should be able to simply do it, but I can't and it isn't a choice.