I was planning on meeting up with a friend after work to chat. I just had to hop on the highway and go up a few miles to meet with her. No big deal. So I thought. She got off work around the same time I did, but she was much closer to the destination than I was. I told her it would take me a while to get there, but she was willing to wait (such a lovely friend!).
I got into my car after work and tried to decide the fastest way to get to the interstate when I noticed I was nearly out of gas. I decided to drive a different way in order to check the price of the lowest-priced gas station on my side of town. When I got there I did not have my wallet. I needed to go get my wallet from my apartment. Awesome-- add a few more minutes to the trip. I get to my apartment and grab my wallet, head out to the fastest route to the interstate from my apartment. I did not head back to the cheap gas station because it was out of the way, but I knew there were a few gas stations near the interstate exit, and honestly, I could probably make the drive up without getting gas. I headed that way, only to find that the interstate was severely backed up (probably an accident because traffic wasn't that bad anywhere else that early in the evening). I decided to turn around, and on the road that I turned onto, there was a Shell station. Perfect, I'll hop out and get some gas (add a few more minutes onto the trip).
I head back toward my apartment to take a different route north, thinking that I would be alright finding my way. There was a bit of traffic up that road, but I finally reach the street I think I am supposed to be on, but I am second-guessing myself. I try reaching under my seat for my GPS, but I cannot reach it. I figured I would just trust myself and go the way I thought was correct, all the time building up my anxiety (unfortunate natural response to situations like this, especially when someone is waiting on me). I drive for a while on this road and feel like it could be the wrong way, but I drive a bit further until I reach another familiar road. Do I turn there? So I did. Nope, it didn't feel right and the scenery seemed off. I got back on the original road I had turned on, but pulled off to find my GPS just to make sure that I was finally going the right way.
I sat in the parking lot of Burger King waiting for my GPS to load and I started searching for the mall at which we had decided to meet. I search for the restaurant first. No luck. I search for a restaurant that is near the one we are meeting at. No luck. I search for the mall in which they are both located. You guessed it...no luck. The mall is pretty new, so my GPS must not be up-to-date on that stuff. It also showed that I was driving through cornfields. So yah. Add some more minutes to the trip... I decided to just keep driving in the direction that my intuition was telling me was the right way. Finally, after a search for the interstate I was heading toward, I see the mall in the distance. Again, GPS was not helping, but I had finally reached my destination...an hour after I got off work. It should have been 20 minutes max. I am thankful to have wonderful understanding friends, but man I was so stressed because I left her waiting. And I hate that.
My life is characterized by these moments. Unfortunately, I can't always plan for moments like these. The only solution is to learn to stay calm and try to keep from letting my anxiety control me. Unlearning this habit is hard, but I'm getting better.
In other news, I had a great time with my friend. :)