I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
From The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost
I sit in my car on my thirty minute lunch breaks from work, and today was a beautiful day. After a few weeks of rain, clouds, and freezing temperatures, we are having a week of sunny skies and mid-60s.
I’m still not used to being indoors for 8 hours at a time. It kills me. Despite how busy I stayed in college, I could always find time to sit outside and enjoy the weather while still being productive. Now I barely get 30 minutes each day.
Maybe that’s why I hike so much, in order to make up for lost time spent out of doors. I worked from home on my previous job and would often take my laptop outside to work. Days like this make me want to start my car, roll down my windows, turn up some music, and drive without looking back. I’d go straight home, pick up my husband, and go to this one park near our house. We’d walk for a bit, then sit on a bench in the sunshine.
I think nature must be good for our spirits.
I know others have said the same, that nature helps reduce stress. It is not a new concept, by any means. I just never realized how true it was. I’ve never had a time in my life though when I couldn’t go outside at some point. In college I walked to class, and I was homeschooled, so I could always take my work outside if I wanted.
I often just want to be left alone. My ideal house would be a cabin on a bunch of land. I would grow and raise a lot of my own food so I’d go into town for groceries about once a month, go to church twice a week, and then only see another person if I wanted to.
It isn’t that I don’t like people, per se. I like most people just fine. I’m an introvert, and being around too many people or for too long can be really draining and tiring. This world isn’t exactly accommodating to introverts. I’ve been asked more times than I can count “why are you so quiet” or “why don’t you talk more?” However, if I were to ask someone why they don’t ever shut up, they would be offended and think I’m a rude person.
As I said before, it all comes back to just wanting to be left alone.
On a positive note (I’m really a positive person, I swear), I’ve learned how to leave my phone on silent and not feel compelled to answer it immediately or check every time I get a notification. My current job doesn’t allow any phone use in the office, and my husband isn’t known for being on the phone a lot or responding quickly (or at all), so those have both helped.
I’ve thought before about doing a job that would allow me to be outside, but I already have my degree (business) and I don’t quite know how to use that in an outdoors career. All I know is working in an office and driving as far as I do are killing my spirit. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Upon further reflection, I’m not sure it has as much to do with being indoors as it does with not having a choice in being indoors. I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life based on which option would allow me to be in charge of my days. It never occurred to me that pursuing a corporate career would take away that choice. I know that sounds silly, and yes, I should have realized that. Maybe what I really want, instead of being outside all the time, is to be able to decide where I work.
I keep coming back to that word, so it probably means something. There’s a lot of risk involved in starting your own business (I had entrepreneurship classes as part of my degree). Am I willing to take that risk? I don’t know. But it may be worth it in the end if I can have the sense of freedom I crave.
People have told me before that I’m brave for some of the things I’ve done, maybe this is another test of that. To leap out on a limb and see where it takes me (road less travelled, all that).
I’ve felt a really strong pull towards writing here lately, but it’s different than before. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, although I haven’t finished many of them, and don’t have access to any due to computers crashing. Now it feels more… serious? Real? It feels like something I could actually do. I could make a business out of writing, which would use my degree and also give me a bit more of the freedom I’m missing. It would certainly still take a lot of work, but I think I could do it.
So here’s to freedom, and nature, and creating our own path through life.
What about you? Do you enjoy working in an office or other indoor environment? I’d love to hear the other side. Or if you feel the same as I do, I’d love to know I’m not alone.