Getting Lost

Christine - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on June 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe Essay

Life is never a clearly defined path, let alone a paved, smooth highway. It is

littered with road blocks, detours, and side roads, all of which are under construction at

all times. There are never any shortcuts, no special vehicles, or devices that can get us to

our destination quicker or better. All we can do is revel in the mistakes we make as we

continue to make wrong turns and exits and hope to get back onto the right road. It is

those misadventures that help us grow into the people we become and hope to be. That is

why I believe in getting lost.

Both literally and metaphorically have I gotten lost throughout my lifetime, and I have to say I am a better person for it. I remember getting lost on the Northside of

Chicago a couple of years ago in search for an elusive movie theatre with an acquaintance. As both Southsiders, we could not grasp the three road intersections and individually named streets. We were used to the grid like number system we had become accustomed to on the Southside. As a supposed 15-20 minute stroll from the train station turned into a two in a half hour sojourn through the jungle that is the Northside, we were not only able to get to know and discover the area we were not familiar with, but we were able to bond over our collective frustration and laugh over all the mistakes we had made because of our lack of direction.

I don’t know what life will throw at me as obstacles come my way and if I will

take different roads in the process. In that way am I lost, as I do not carry a road map

with me. If there is anything I have learned in life it is that life cannot be planned in any capacity. It is there we make mistakes because we are not open to other options as we have our eye set on what we think is our goal. Getting “lost”, making mistakes, Is all part of the journey.