“Hey Mister” the latin accented voice loudly called out to me. I removed my headphones and glanced to my right to see 2 older gentleman in a dusty car looking at me expectantly. I leaned in towards the passenger window. “Do you know where La Mirada is?” the driver asked. I opened my mouth and drew a blank. Nothing came to mind. I wanted to say that I used to drive there daily to go see my sister and brother-in-law, but standing on Norwalk Blvd around 10am on a Saturday, it simply did not exist in my mind. I have always been bad at directions, but after my surgery, I have become TERRIBLE. I seem to now lack the mental image we create to see one’s location, and have become so heavily reliant on the navigation that even getting off an earlier exit due to traffic causes me undue stress.
The men tried so speak to me in Spanish, thinking I didn’t understand English, and after I still faltered, they gave up and moved ahead. I walked the rest of the time devastated and angry at myself for failing at this simple task. Over and over, I kept repeating to myself what I could or should have said. After 5 minutes. I realized they were headed in the wrong direction, and it seemed apt for a moment. I seem to point people in the wrong direction. At least for once, I was not at fault. Yet I oddly felt unsettled as if all my work to make my mental abilities stronger, there were some black holes that I just cannot seem to get out of. I don’t know what other challenges I will continue to face, but one thing is for sure. I am not giving up.