— Zac Chase (@MrChase) February 13, 2016
I do not even attempt to remember directions now. I don’t know street names or recognize how many blocks are between landmarks within my own city. In many cases I don’t care about cardinal directions other than to recognize that the Mountains are to the west as I head toward them from my home in Littleton.
Instead, I only listen to the little voice in my pocket, commanding me to follow the directions it lays out after analyzing traffic patterns and crowdsourcing accidents and construction incidents. I trust it so completely that I drive down roads that I have never seen before, believing that it will get me exactly to the place that I have asked. And, it does.
In fact, I get directions from my phone each and every time I leave the house, even if I have been to a location hundreds of times. Because I am consistently routed around obstacles to my morning commute harmony, I trust Waze over my own instincts. I make turns even when I know going straight will get me to where I need to go.
To put it another way, I have been lost for years.
I have no idea where I am going much of the time. That may sound like a metaphor, but it is much more real than it ought to be. I have no clue, nor do I care. Not knowing where you are going isn’t terrifying, it is a conscious choice. It is something that I embrace willingly.
I am lost.
And my pocket can guide me home. That may seem pretty weird, but it isn’t any less true. I feel most lost is when I am out of cellular range. I feel unhinged at that point, incapable of finding the right turn that comes next. So I drive aimlessly until I find the cell signal again.
I’m not sure it is altogether different than trusting a higher power to find your way. I trust little signals in the air. I trust that my battery wont give out before I arrive. I trust that passengers in other cars are keeping the data up to date enough for me to pull into the driveway at exactly the right time.
You being lost isn’t so hard. It is losing your cell phone that matters most. I don’t know that I could handle the daily commute. At least no without memorizing the dozen or so roads I have traversed for the last 3 years. And who wants to do that?