The Most Valuable Turn

I make a U-turn most days; this is due to both my lack of focus and abysmal sense of direction, but I believe I am better for it in the long run. I have much more confidence in my car’s turn radius than other people who are not accustomed to making U-turns, and am also very comfortable admitting when I’ve completely messed up.

But just because you have to make a U-turn does not mean that you are stupid or ignorant of your surroundings.

A good friend was in the car with me once when I was backing out of a parking spot and he gasped as I nearly rubbed the car next to me, but I assured him I wouldn’t hit it. He stated in surprise, “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that close to another car; I don’t trust that my car wouldn’t hit it.” It’s noteworthy that he hardly ever makes U-turns. My friends often joke with me about the trash that is my sense of direction for all areas, even areas I am in everyday. But just because you have to make a U-turn does not mean that you are stupid or ignorant of your surroundings.

Everyone gets confused sometimes, some people more than others. There’s nothing wrong with getting a bit turned around. It happens to the best of us and it happens to the worst of us. I could know a place like the back of my hand, but regardless of that, sometimes other factors of distraction over power my sense of direction, and I make a wrong turn.

When I travel down the path a wrong turn lead me to, I begin to feel uncomfortable with the unfamiliar sights and scents. A bit of panic sets in my mind that I have gone the wrong way. But sometimes, I see something that I never would’ve seen on my regular road. I travel through new areas that I would normally never travel through, I experience another group of traffic that I would normally never experience. I create a new understanding for this different street and form a stronger memory of the intersection where I mis-turned, so as not to repeat the same mistake twice.

Some people are terrified of making U-turns. When they realize they’ve made a mistake in their route, they casually make a series of right or left turns to get back to the right path. I prefer the bolder technique of flipping on my blinker and throwing the wheel all the way around, just barely missing the cement sidewalk. This daring driving choice shows to everyone in the car and on the road that I am not afraid to admit that I have indeed gone the absolute wrong direction. I’m not afraid of having to wait for a gap big enough in the oncoming traffic to insert myself into the flow of cars going the right way. No matter how many U-turns I have to make, no matter how many times I turn the wrong way, I can still get to where I needed to go; it’ll just take a little longer.