Sunday, September 26, 2010

Susan's Shusho Blog: Fear of the GPS

I have a new GPS. I bought it because I have fear of getting lost in the city, going the wrong way on freeways, having an accident because I can't read a map and drive at the same time.

The GPS has been on the back seat of my car for two weeks. I have been afraid to open the box. I am afraid I won't understand the directions.

Some fears are primal. Others are gleaned over time. In a crisis fear can be a motivator: "The house is on fire . . ..Get everyone out now!"

Sometimes fear, for me, is paralytic. It can deny me expression of deep feelings. It can deny me the experience of doing things I know I would love to do. It can deny me the satisfaction of jobs well done. I don't want to volunteer to do the hard jobs for fear I won't do them well. Sometimes fear says "better not" when "go for it " would have been the better response."

My parents were cautious beings. Trips to New York City were circumscribed by rules that made them feel secure. They stayed in the same hotel, went to the same restaurants and shopped in stores where my mother made friends with department managers. Straying off the beaten path was a dangerous thing. They tried to make me a part of their safe and secure world. At 18 I was packed up and sent to Europe under the tutelage of a chaperone.

There is still a chaperone inside of me that says: "No, no, not yet. Don't do that; it's not safe." Sometimes I listen to her . . . At other times I remember getting lost in Kathmandu and finding a motorcycle taxi to take me home. I remember being on the top of Machu Picchu at night. I remember not knowing where I was in Xian, China and finding a monastery and an English speaking monk who invited me in for tea.

I remember these times and I wonder about all the adventures that await me in the future, now that I have a GPS and a computer companion to show me the way.


  1. great blog thankssusan

  2. A GPS can be a wonderful tool -- ours even has a name. From your own experience, being lost or being in the unknown can be good. Think about that moving song Amazing Grace -- I was lost but now I'm found.