Friday, May 27, 2016

Outside Girl

The Great Outdoors

It's funny, when choosing careers most people do not place serious consideration about whether they'd rather work inside or outside. I'm sure our high school and college career counselors would probably have scoffed at putting this requirement at the top of our lists, preferring to merely tailor the skill set to the individual. 

And yet indoors versus outdoors makes all the difference in the world to me. I can honestly say I was never happy at a job which left me inside from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., no matter how actively my skill set was utilized. I am just not an Indoor Girl.

When I was in my 20's, I took a short break from college but worked on campus in a secretarial capacity, serving as an in-house temp within the different departments, including at the medical center attached to the university. At the medical center -- with its multistory office complex and hallways with no windows, you could easily pass your eight hours never even seeing the outside. This was especially challenging in winter, when you could go into work before it was completely light and only emerge once darkness was setting in. I never thought about it until today, but while I was working there I'd usually spend my lunch hour in the nearby botanical gardens to soak up some greenery and nature.

The Great Indoors (UCLA Medical Center). Note lack of windows.

It's easy to see looking back that I was indeed an "outside" girl, and have been since I was in grammar school and always tried to snag a desk near the door or windows so I could look outside and daydream while I was supposed to be studying. Actually, it was more than just being outside; being on the playground or asphalt meant nothing to me. I wanted to be on and in some kind of greenery. Our school had a beautiful back lawn and I often looked out the door in Mrs. Mark's 4th grade classroom and dreamed of sitting under the shade trees of that lawn. It's probably why I didn't properly learn my multiplication tables until junior high school but, hey -- priorities.

Once I actually became a teacher, I always made sure my class and I took our books outside to the grass area when we did our independent reading, knowing I was not only helping myself, but also any other budding "outside" boys and girls. 

Not much has changed for me since, except the fact that my main job now takes place almost entirely outside, which has made me so happy. It does amaze me how such things as a preference for being indoors or outside establishes itself early on. It is probably something we are born with. My neighbor remarked the other day that as soon as I come home from working in the garden at the winery, she observed that I tend to head straight outside to care for my own garden here. She commented that I was obviously more of an "outside" girl than she was.

Damn right. And it only took me 54 years to realize it fully.

Bringing the outside in.



  1. I am very much of an outside girl too. Although my career was spent indoors, I was always fortunate enough to work in buildings with lots of windows and light. And weather permitting, I would spend most of my lunch time walking outdoors.

    I love to walk and am fortunate to live near parks which I visit daily. I totally understand about the outdoor thing. So glad you found an outdoor occupation.

  2. Thanks Molly! I am sure if I'd put importance on it during my 20's I would have been a lot happier. Cubicle life was just not for me. But you are right, lots of windows do make a difference if you can grab a space that has a view!

  3. That floral arrangement is stunning! I love those colors together! I mean I loooooove them. So hot and vivid. As much as I love my English pastel florals I do love extremely saturated too.
    My mom always says how annoying my sister and I were as kids because my sister would only sleep in the car and I hated the car and would only behave if taken outside. So she couldn't ever please both of us. I was always dreaming of being outside in school too! I'm so glad you've found your way to an outside job. I don't know how people can work in those giant buildings.

    1. Thank you! I love them, too! I also tend to like pastels but when Mother Nature hands you bold colors you must go for it. Sounds like you and I were kindred spirits in school...always wanting to get outside! I can honestly say I think I would have done a LOT better at school if this had been taken into account. Stuck under fluorescent lights in moldy old buildings was just not for me, and I suspect it was the same for you too. Too funny about your mom, yes I can see how she always had to walk a line between your basic nature and your sister's. Wonder how people do it with five or six in their brood....