So, what brings you here this morning?
My friend Maria told me I should talk to you. She thinks I’m depressed.
No, I’m just feeling kind of lost.
Tell me more.
Well, I have this hunger to wander. To take off without a schedule. With no responsibilities or commitments.
Where would you go?
First, I’d drive up the coast of Maine, get the ferry to Halifax, and then wander through Nova Scotia and hang around Cape Breton for a while. Then, I’d head south to Georgia and get the ferry to Cumberland Island, the place where the horses supposedly still run wild. If I could fly, I’d go to St. Thomas and get the ferry to Cooper Island.
Sounds like you’re an island kind of person.
Well, yes and no. I’d also like to drive to the two states I’ve never been to: Montana and Wyoming. And visit all the state capitals I’ve missed: Tallahassee, Little Rock, Albany, Topeka, Salem, Carson City
What would you like about seeing those places?
I don’t know. Just something different. I like the unfamiliar, the excitement of exploring. No agendas.
Well, it’s a good thing you’ve come to my map-making studio. Let me show you around.
This is a map of the marine disasters in Narragansett Bay.
Here is a map of all the places where the Vogue sewing pattern B34 dress has been made since 1931.
This one is a novelty: a map of penis size worldwide.
Come on. Why are you showing me these ridiculous maps? I told you I like to wander. No agendas. No maps. No responsibilities.
I think you need a special map to find your way out of your internal mess. I’m not sure what we should call it. The Caregivers’ Map? No, that’s not right. You already know how to navigate that territory. Ah, yes. I know exactly what you need. It’s not a map, but directions for making the map you need: “Directions for a Lost Soul.”
Directions for a Lost Soul
1. Head straight to bed. No alcohol, dessert, spicy food, or violent movies before bed. Sleep at least nine hours. A lost soul sees more clearly when rested.
2. Pull out a world map or even a regional map. Pin the places where you’ve felt not lost. The places where you were the most content. Label each place with the emotion you felt while there.
3. Write the names of the people who were with you in these positive emotion places.
4. Examine the map. How many places and people are nearby? That you could go to and still get home by evening to care for your husband and dog?
5. Go there with them.