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Inside Looking Out

Just like the cat in this picture, I've spent much of my life looking out the window and thinking that things must surely be more interesting out there. 
 
I attended grade school in an old three story building that had a wall of big windows in each classroom.  I spent many an hour gazing out the windows, waiting for time to pass and wishing I was out there.  School came easy for me, and despite getting good grades, teachers often complained to my parents that I spent too much time daydreaming.  Indeed I did.  I watched children playing on the playground, cars travelling down the street, squirrels leaping in the tree branches overhead.  I watched the seasons change and delighted when the first snowflakes began to fall. 
 
 By the time I reached high school my fantasies about escaping out the classroom window were more dramatic, often wishing I could just slip out and disappear across the flat rooftops of the adjoining buildings unnoticed. Although I did well in my classes, I did not enjoy the experience, and school was not where I wanted to be.  From time to time I mentioned to fellow classmates that I wanted to blow up the building, and we laughed.  Now days that kind of conversation would result in serious problems with the law!
 
Not long after high school came of terrifying stretch of confinement that I wrote about here. Once again I found myself staring out of windows, this time wire-covered, watching autumn turn to winter and praying I would soon be free. 

The years that followed brought a string of marriages and moves.  I found myself often staring out of windows late at night with a tear-stained face and wishing I could run from the confines of my life to other places far away.  Admittedly, these were prisons of my own making, far easier to find myself in than to escape.

All of that is in the past now, I gaze out the windows of our little house out in the country, just as our cats do, watching the sun and moon chase each other across the wide canopy of sky, and I think about at all the strange turns in life that brought me here to this place of real love and inner peace.

Monday through Friday I sit at the desk in my ninth floor office, in a space that has no windows at all.  I miss being able to watch the unfolding seasons, which seem to come and go so quickly now that I am older.  I do not daydream about great wealth or big adventures,  but just as I did way back then in grade school and every year of my life thereafter...  I find myself longing to escape this box that confines me, to be on the outside of the windows and living free.

I smile in the knowledge that some day I will indeed be free not only of the confines of rooms - with or without windows, but also of this tired and tattered body... one day not so very far down the road from now I will at long last fly away and be truly free!

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This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompts this week are beginning or window...
come and join us there!

22 comments:

  1. Quit looking out the window or for a window. Use the door! Get out there, live your life your way with your PapaBear and cats...and your loved ones. You are free!

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    1. Unfortunately not exactly free, McGuffy Ann... I am chained to a desk and ringing phones for 40 hours a week which steals my time and leaves me too weary to do a whole lot of pursuing life. Papa Bear works 46+ each week and has been for 32 straight years! We do what we can with weekend getaways and such, I just find myself frustrated by the lack of time and energy to do all that I desire. I can't begin to cover all the bases, or even the basics.

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  2. What a great post and I learned much about you today. I'll probably figure out how to do this each week, but I'm not the writer you are.

    Have a terrific day honey. Big hugs. ☺

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    1. Thanks Sandee! I am not a writer either, I just tell stories... mine or someone else's. You can do that too! It's not a contest and we aren't grading with red pens... thankfully! My punctuation skills used to give my teachers nightmares! :-)

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  3. Sitting at a desk, most likely staring at a whole different type of Windows?

    Once, we chatted through comments about the times you get to spend in your hot tub under the stars with Papa Bear. I hope you're still finding to do that? It sounds like a little slice of freedom to me. :)

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    1. Yes, those windows indeed, Ken. I should be grateful that I have a job, and truly I am. I just get restless when there's things that are much more fun I'd rather be doing. I'm sure you sometimes feel the same way sitting behind the window of your tractor. :-) Most definitely Papa Bear and I still spend time in the hot tub underneath the stars most nights, and that is indeed a little slice of heaven... something I wouldn't have imagined just a few years ago! I grumble now and then, but I count my blessings too! I just need 30 hours days. Four day weekends would be great too! :-))

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  4. please don't go away too soon my friend. I believe we all have to pay our dues... not sure why some people get away without.... but Karma baby... Karma

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    1. Never fear, I've mostly likely got a good twenty or so years of mileage left on this old body, Brenda! By then you'll all be more than ready to dispense with my long-winded blogging and comments! ;-) Seriously, I wasn't being morbid, I have never seen death as something to fear or to keep quiet about and pretend it doesn't happen. It's a natural part of the life cycle, and when my time comes I'm really looking forward to going Home at last! :-)

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  5. I admire your transparency. It is encouraging and inspiring.

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    1. Thank you Patricia! I learned a long time ago that I really have nothing to hide. I am what I am, warts and all. Everything that is my past has made me who and what I am today, and I am pretty much at peace with that for the most part. I want others to know that the past doesn't define our future, God can change us and our lives in ways we could never have imagined!

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  6. You are one impressive lady. So glad I found you.

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    1. Thank you so much! I am truly the poster child for the "what not to do with your life" campaign! I tend to learn everything the hard way... it took me over 50 years to get it right, but I'm doing so much better now! :-) I think maybe God just took pity on me and decided to send me Papa Bear! He's the best!

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  7. Yeah, I remember staring out of the school buses windows at the people going to work and thinking and wondering what it would like to be them, just waiting and wanting to be free at last and out of school. Just wondering what my life would be like once I got out.

    Also, I'm not sure why you were sent to a mental institution, but i'm glad that you go out. Sounded horrible, the last place that I would want to be.
    : )

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    1. What you say is true Joseph, must of us couldn't wait to be finished with school so we could go out in the big world and try our hand at life! Then when you get older you look back on those younger days wistfully and wish that life could have stayed as it was back then. You are not far from reaching your goal of finishing school and taking your place in the work world, I hope it brings you all the happiness and fulfillment you deserve!

      Most certainly, a mental institution, especially as they were back then, is not anyone's first choice for a 75-day vacation. It wasn't my choice either, but I survived it and in the end that made me stronger. Much of l ife is about learning to climb over the rocks on the road so that you can move on to better places, I'm in a really good place now, that's what matters in the end! Thank you for stopping by to participate and comment on Two Shoes Tuesday, I appreciate you!

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  8. An optimistic post. And I really liked the picture of the cat at the window.

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    1. Thank you Shimon! It is optimistic! For me, life is much like the caterpillar in a cocoon... working to free itself so it can fly! I really liked that picture too, I love to watch my cats looking out the window and try to imagine what they think about the view. :-)

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  9. Enjoyed the post. I was a window-gazer, too, and I still love to sit, think, and dream...with or without a window nearby.

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    1. I do too, Helen. Quiet reflective time is good for the soul!

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  10. Josie....wow...I am completely speechless. That post. I am truly blown away, and in such admiration for you and what you endured. So many questions arise too. Why? Why would they do that to you? If what we go through makes us stronger, you are one AMAZINGLY strong lady. Wow.

    As for the windows, I can completely relate. I honestly find that I NEED windows wherever I am. I feel most connected outside, and when I am forced indoors, I have to at least 'see' my way out. I can recall seasons where I stared out a literal or figurative window, waiting for the scene to change.

    Hugs and much love.

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    1. If I could make sense of it I could write about it, Carrie. Maybe someday that will happen. It is one event in my life that I struggle to reconcile, though I have been able to release most of the emotion attached to it. Just a few years later I took a small group of fellow college students on a tour, so they could see first-hand what I had experienced. Although conditions were already starting to improve by then and institutions were slowly being closed down, a few of the old staff remained. It took incredible courage to walk back through that locked door, but I wanted to show them that I had survived in spite of all.

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  11. Josie, I too used to sit looking at the window. When I was very sad I seemed to think that perhaps I could open it and FLY away. Very similar to your walking across the roof tops, huh? Only as I remember I really didn't care if I couldn't fly and would just go plop on the ground below it was okay (things would be over that way).
    ..

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    1. Ahhh yes, Jim, I've felt that way a few times in my life too. Out and far away sounded good, how I got there or where I ended up really didn't matter. I am so thankful that is not my life now... nor yours, truly we are blessed! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)