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Lost in perspective

| Thursday, February 6, 2014

During my senior year of high school, my art teacher, Ms. Deal, made each of the students in her class keep a journal throughout the year, and each morning she would have something about which for us to journal. Some days, it would be a quote to which we would have to respond, other days she might ask us to sketch out a scene described out loud.
Whatever it was, it was something to get us thinking, and something that challenged us to look deeper at our own lives than a typical high school senior might. While I can appreciate now the value of all those morning journal questions, there was one in particular that continues to challenge me and influence the way I go through life.
Over a long weekend, Ms. Deal asked us simply to do something that put us out of our comfort zone, and then write about it the next class. Nothing illegal, and nothing extreme like cliff jumping — just something small that we might consider a challenge and others might not. Seemed simple enough, but it took a lot of introspection to figure out what little things scared me or made me uncomfortable. After a lot of thought, I realized I’ve always been afraid of being lost.
So, for my challenge, I decided that instead of driving the same 14-minute drive home from school like I did every day, I would get myself lost. I didn’t do anything crazy like get on the highway and get out of town, but I took backroads home, and turned down streets I pass everyday (but have never driven down) trusting I would eventually get to where I needed to go, and just enjoying the drive.
While it was something really simple, it was also really therapeutic, and I got in the habit of doing it every once in a while. It gave me a chance to break from the daily routines I got so stuck in, allowed me time to let my mind wander and I got to explore areas of town to which I had never paid any attention before.
Getting myself lost, something that once made me uncomfortable, has now become something I make a point of incorporating into my life. When I lived in Farley, it meant walking a different way home or wandering around a different part of campus. Now that I live off campus, it means turning left instead of right and exploring a new part of South Bend (which actually has a lot more to offer than you might think, if you look close enough). But no matter where I am, it always means a little fresh perspective and a break from the everyday routine.

Contact Maria Massa at [email protected]
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


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