Monday October 4th, 2004 - 17:21

My apartment is a loft.

What this means, is that it is a large space, with no dividing walls except for the bathroom, and a relatively tall ceiling.

Nearly everyone has a different meaning of this word, I've noticed. Most people automatically assume that it means you have some sort of structure suspending your bed or belongings above the ground. In this case, that would be correct.

My bed is on an eight by eight sheet of plywood that's suspended six feet from the ground. James and I built this thing. We'd like to consider that we did a reasonable job. What we did not do, however, was build stairs for it quite yet.

I'm standing here, looking up at my bed, noticing my inability to levitate six feet into the air to go to sleep.

A friend has borrowed the ladder, and went out for the evening before returning it.

I can't help but notice how this illustrates my general frame of mind at the moment.

I'm stuck in a situation where I need some sort of thing to get to a place where I need to be. I know where I need to be, and I can even just about see where that place is, but I lack the crucial item to get to that place.

There are a few things right now that are following this pattern. In some instances I know exactly what I need to get to where I need to be, but I can't get it for some reason. In other cases, I haven't a clue what I need to get there, but I can just about see where I need to be and I'm looking around frantically trying to figure out what the missing bit is.

In order to blow off some steam and try to think about where I am in the world, I decided to take two days off of work and drive to California.

I drove to San Fransisco, for the first time ever, and got to spend a few pretty amazing days with my friend Conor, whom I hadn't seen more than a year.

I had no expectations of what San Fransisco would be like. I had never been to California before and I was pretty much open to anything. For me, the biggest part of the trip was the twelve hours I'd be spending in the car by myself.

I got to San Fransisco and was immediately greeted as if I were a member of the family. Conor and Carolyn's apartment is not large, but it is certainly cozy, and I didn't once feel as though I was intruding - truly amazing considering the circumstances.

The first day started with Conor and I wandering through the city and through the parks looking for food and dog-watching (one of his favorite past times now), which turned into a very lengthly discussion about life, happiness, friendship, and how we perceive the world around us. This conversation ended up lasting the course of my stay. We picked it up at various points, never missing a beat, but always offering new information. I'd like to think that Conor took away from the experience as much as I, but I can't express how helpful the entire thing was to me.

I got to really get some outside perspective on how other people see the things around them. We had a lot of very good talks - often with different minds on the matter, but never arguing or ruling out the other's theories.

The longest of this conversational kung-fu was when we went on a hike through the Muirwoods in hopes of getting high ground over the fog to take some photos of the city and surrounding areas. I'm not much of the hiking type, but it was good exercise, both physical and mental. The Muirwoods is a great place to wander through - I highly reccomend it if you're in San Fransisco.

The end result of this weekend was a long drive home to ponder all of the things Conor and I spoke of. He wished me well and we spoke of when we should see eachother next, and I was on my way.

The ride back was much different than the ride down.

On the ride down I found myself being solemn - mostly thinking to myself and listening to whatever music I had playing. Driving but mostly only because that's what I had to do to get to California.

On the ride back, I found myself more lively. I talked to more people when I made my stops for gas and food. My general spirit was a bit on the happier side. But I also found that when I was silent and thinking, instead of mindlessly trying to keep the car on the road, I was actually pondering all of the things that had been going through my mind and out of my mouth over the past few days.

I made a lot of decisions that weekend about who I was as a person, and who I was becoming. I'm not convinced that I have all the answers yet, and I'm certainly sure that there will be many twists and turns along the way, but for now I feel that I have a clearer mind on the general world around me.

Previously I was stuck and frustrated. Now, I may be stuck, but I'm at least clear on where I need to go, and often what I need to get there.

I use a stool from the kitchen to get high enough to pull myself up to my bed. In the morning I'll have to jump down, but it's better than not sleeping at all, or sleeping on the floor.

Half the problem is figuring out what you need to do. The other half is actually doing it.

So there we are. I'm halfway there. The question is - will I actually pull myself up and go through with it?


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