I take great solace in the fact that I come by this trait very naturally - my Mom and Grammie are/were the same way. In fact, on certain occasions we managed to get lost together! I can even go somewhere three times and STILL find a way to get mixed up.
Here's the thing, though - if I'm in the passenger seat and giving directions to someone from a map, I'm A-OK. Maps make sense to me; written directions do not. It's only been since Brian that I can think in terms of north-south-east-west. Up until about six years ago, I always spoke in "left-right". It has made a (slight!) difference in my directional ability. :D
I've spoken of my love of maps before, but I'm going to take it a step further and discuss my fondness for the compass rose. They're beautiful parts of a map, a key that unlocks direction and points you northward. I love how some are very nautical-looking, while others are little inside jokes to the mapmakers, and still others are very modern and angular. Even on the various maps I own there's a lot of variety:
I had never really noticed compass roses until I took Jill Berry's "Personal Geographies" class at Valley Ridge Art Studio (look for her companion book, due out in November!). In the class, Jill suggested we try making our own, from any shape we'd like. When we compared at the end of class, there were roses of all types, each more wonderful than the next. When I got home from the class, I was inspired to make this ATC, which features one of the finest compass roses I've ever seen:
The rose was taken from a trilingual European BP map from the early 60s. Isn't it fantastic?
P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the Old Stuff Only rebate giveaway, going on now through Friday! :D