Navigation frustration

Public transport is not my friend 
I am smart.

I am intelligent.

I do not know how to navigate a fucking map.

While in New York, I decided to take the subway from East Village to JFK. I mean why not the subway is so fun.

I even looked up, screen shotted, and asked my brother about the proper way to get there. I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s as much as I thought I could and I somehow formulate things in my brain very differently so I think I know where I am going and then I completely do the opposite.

It’s very frustrating to love to travel and struggle so hard with navigation.

I wanted so badly to master the subway. Like its such a staple of this bustling city and as a traveler I so desperately want to fit in with the locals. At one point I was so frustrated at myself that I couldn’t achieve this seemingly simple task, anxious about getting more lost/confused, and nervous I wasn’t going to make my flight in time.

I originally thought I got on the right train, it had the right letter and I thought was going in the right direction I needed. But something just didn’t feel right, the stops did not match what I had written down. So not wanting to get further lost I hopped out and decided it was time to try another train. After waiting 20 minutes a nice man who was also waiting for the same train informed me that the conductor told him the train we were waiting wasn’t coming. Thanks a lot Google maps!

So I looked up an alternative route and quickly hopped on the next train for it before I could really see the full route. Luckily before the doors shut on me I was able to realize that this new route sent me to an Amtrak station then the AirTran shuttle-adding a cost I knew I didn’t need. I quickly darted back out the door (mind you this entire time I have my backpack with my work laptop and roller suitcase with me) and began to plot my next move. I even took a picture this time to ask my brother if I was on the right side. He told me yes. I was not.  

 On any other day I would have but for some reason construction and other factors were causing the routes to be altered. After waiting about 15 min with no train I asked someone getting into the other side (but with a train letter that I needed) where this train was heading he told me rockaway. Yes! That’s what I need! As I stepped onto the train a mother pushing a stroller yelled “no! That’s not right you need a train on the other side!” In a panic as the noise for the doors closing begin I hopped back out up the stairs and went down to the other side. This was not correct either. 

Not seeing the lettered train I needed and having a feeling that the first person I asked was right I went back to where I was before and asked another person where this A train was going. He again told me rockaway, even tho it was on the other side of where it should have been. So I decided to take a leap of faith and trust this stranger. And trust him for 42 min (16 stops). Where all I could was breath and trust that everything would work out.

So here I was totally trusting in a stranger so frustrated that I was not able to accomplished taking the subway with the ease I expected. But sometimes you just have to accept your flaws and move on. Finally making it to JFK, I wished the last guy I asked for help was still on the train with me so that I could give him a hug! 

In the end, I showed up to the gate dripping sweat, successfully switched to an earlier flight, and got to see all of the oscars #winning

Life is full of highs and lows. Sometimes you can prepare as much as you think you can but things can still go wrong. From what I learned all you can do is take a deep breath, ask for help, and trust that everything is going to work out.