This is the third section from the journal entry I began commenting on here. I had been spending a great deal of time being introspective and wrote about more of my memories – mainly those having to do with being in nature:
I used to spend lunchtime every day in the woods when I worked at [the full-time office job I had for just over a year]. Just out among the trees, eating my lunch in peace and quiet and natural light. I loved my lunch hour and always dreaded going back in to the artificial lights and noise and people.
I’ve always loved spending time in the woods. I wish there were some nearby that I could escape to sometimes. That would be so nice. A world without the outside, without the woods, without books… I couldn’t imagine a more horrible place to be.
Yes. All of that. Nature has always been an important part of my life. Being outside in the woods or next to a body of water is soothing to my soul. I love the quiet, the solitude, the creatures, the fresh air, and really just everything about it.
Honestly, taking my lunches that way was probably a large part of why I lasted at that specific job for as long as I did. It was full-time and very demanding, although at least I didn’t need to bring any of my work home. Of course, we also desperately needed the money which was motivating in and of itself, but my forest lunches probably helped me hang on for a good *6-7 months longer than I might otherwise have endured.
That was certainly the longest I have ever managed to stay at one full-time “regular” job.
During lunch I escaped from the people, sounds, smells, and fluorescent lighting of the office and basked in the fresh cool breezes underneath the trees. There I would read my book, write in my journal, and watch the birds flying and twittering about.
I kept my solitary lunch plans quite regularly and mostly regardless of the weather. On the occasional days when the rain was too heavy for me to take my customary walk and lunch in the woods, I grudgingly trudged up three flights of stairs and ate my lunch in the break room at a table by the window – always with a book so that my coworkers would leave me alone.
I wrote a bit in a previous post about how I inadvertently hurt my preschool friend on a swing and this next memory is from the same time period:
I used to love climbing the rock wall in front of my house by myself [when I was 3-5 years old]. I made rooms out of all of the rocks and I’d bring my caterpillar friends with me to play. One day I went to the rock wall and found dozens of smashed caterpillars on the rocks and I cried and cried. The bigger kids in the neighborhood had smashed them and I was devastated.
For the most part, at that time, my friends were caterpillars. They were much easier to be friends with than the other children were. I made elaborate homes for my little caterpillar friends in what was supposed to be a flower bed in front of our house. In actuality, it was a dirt-filled caterpillar habitat that I would occasionally turn into a mud pit with the garden hose while taking care not to drown my tiny friends, of course.
Next, I wrote a bit about solitude and reading – whether in nature or no. An ending spoiler warning for the old Twilight Zone show until after the quote:
The Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last,” has always been my favorite episode. To have so much time… all the time in the world to read and research and not to ever have to talk to anyone again! There would be nobody to interrupt the reading and researching, enough food. Such a nightmare to **break your glasses and not be able to see after finding yourself in that utopia.
It’s interesting to me that I have generally imagined utopia as being a place where there were a lot of books and no other people. I always thought I would miss the other creatures who were implied to have been killed in that episode though.
*I base this statement primarily on the amount of time it took me to completely burn out and quit my very few other full-time jobs. Part-time or otherwise non-traditional jobs with few or no coworkers tended to go much better for me.
**Fun fact! Breaking my glasses and being largely blind in a hypothetical future apocalypse scenario is my biggest (hopefully) irrational fear.