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Yesterday evening I took the Luas, the Dublin tram line, out to Tallaght, a Suburb on the outskirts of Dublin. I was on my way to have a home-cooked dinner with friends, a  girly night filled with food, talk and lots of laughs.

I have been able to read since the age of about five or six, so for most of my life being able to understand what letters mean when they are put into a certain order has been part of my daily routine. But for what ever reason I neglected to read the few letters telling everyone that the Luas I was on wasn’t going to Tallaght but was heading to Saggart, a little to the west of Tallaght and definitely not where I wanted to go.

The ride took much longer than I anticipated anyway, but when we reached the Belgard Luas stop a crackling voice muttered something about changing trains to Tallaght but between the chatter on the tram, the weird speaker noise and the not paying much attention I didn’t quite catch the gist and as the Luas moved out off the station we went right instead of left.

It didn’t take that long for me to realize that I was heading in the wrong direction, but as I wasn’t quite sure I waited for a few stops before I got out, switch platforms and return to then junction. Not a watch wearer makes me often unaware of time but I had the niggling feeling I was very late.

Lucky for me it didn’t take that long to return onto the right track and when I finally reached my destination I was rewarded with hugs, big smiles and only a hint of ridiculement. But who doesn’t like an anecdote, even if you are at the butt-end of the joke?

But the whole incident did make me wonder about how sometime in life we have to backtrack, return to a point before we get off the path we wanted to be on all along. Sometimes we are just that little bit to preoccupied with other things to really look where we are going, sometimes we don’t understand or can’t identify the hints given that we are heading in the wrong direction, and more often than not we need a few stops to admit we made a mistake.

But if we take a step out of the situation and take a few steps back we can return to what the route we wanted to take and if we are really lucky the reward makes us feel good about ourselves, hugs and smiles greeting us and making us feel welcome.