Jen Teague/ April 30, 2013/ Everything In Between

When I first moved to Florida from Texas, I was so excited to see the palm trees, the water, and the tropical flowers. There was so much to see and one of the things I looked forward to the most was finding out where everything was.  Before GPS was available, we had to found our way around the old fashion way: through trial and error and a lot of u-turns.

Sure, I had Yahoo! maps but what’s the fun in that? You don’t really get a feel for a place until you get to know the side roads and the neighborhoods. But there are some things that you just need to know…like where the DMV office is located.

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One of the downfalls of moving to another state is having to re-register your car and changing your drivers license. It can be a pain, but it’s necessary.

So, shortly after I got here, I decided I would go and get the whole DMV thing out of the way. Only I didn’t know where it was. That’s where Yahoo! maps came in. I printed them out and faithfully followed the slight rights and merges on how to get there, but when I got to the end of the directions, I wasn’t where I needed to be. I drove around the area and still couldn’t figure out where these directions messed up so I decided to ask someone.

I walked into three (yes three) gas stations and explained my predicament and all of the conversations when a little like this:

Me: “Hi – I’m new to the area and I need to find the DMV office. Can you give me directions on where it is?”

The 3 people I asked: “Oh, sure. it’s in the old Sears building.”

Me: “Ok. Can you tell me where the old Sears building is?”

The 3 people I asked: “Well, I don’t know what street it’s on. Just that it’s in the old Sears building.”

I finally got curious enough to ask the final person when the Sears building was converted to to the DMV office. I mean, it must have been pretty recent and a big deal since everyone knows about this mystical old Sears building.

His response: “Oh, it changed over about 25 years ago.” I wasn’t even born yet alone familiar enough with the area to know this detail. This was my first human interaction in my new hometown.

And the Moral of the Story Is…

I eventually found the DMV in my second attempt on a different day. One can only handle so much adventure and culture in one day.

Why am I sharing this story? Well, I have a few reasons:

1. Everyone has a story about the DMV, but how many stories involve the old Sears building? Or anything even remotely funny??

2. The main reason for this story, though, is because it’s small sampling of life. We know what our destination is, like becoming a teacher, getting that promotion, or getting married and have children. But how many of us actually enjoy the way there? When was the last time you stopped to look around where you are RIGHT NOW and take in the scenery and talked with the people in your life? We get so caught up in ending up somewhere that we forget to BE WHERE WE ARE. As a habitual planner, I have the worst time doing this. I’m constantly thinking about what’s next. Thinking ahead is wise but living in the future is impossible, so we may as well have fun with the crazy whirlwind of chaos we call today.

PLANS GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHERE YOU’RE GOING, BUT IT’S THE UN-PLANNED THAT MAKE MEMORIES. 

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