Watch and Listen

I kick my shoes off and dangle them as I trek along the brown shore of Ocean Beach. Ocean beach lies right on the outskirts of Golden Gate Park, and it’s a primary destination for loners, smokers, surfers, and anyone seeking a peaceful place of mind. At least in my experience, you won’t encounter myriad of beach chairs, umbrellas, volleyball, etc. This strip of shore–bordered by a graffitied ten-foot wall–is not akin to the Jersey Shore; rather, it’s a place of refuge from the commotion of the city and one’s own mind.

The ocean breeze provides comfort, the damp sand delivers support, and the sunshine cleanses one’s perspective. I feel better, merely walking for three minutes. My mind, however, continues to runs as my legs walk, therefore, I ring up my parents to close the gap. My mom’s voice booms through the phone with exuberance, excited to check in on how I’m doing. Connecting with family or friends slows things down, descending us back down to the earth and away from the endless stream of consciousness.

Afterwards my dad hops on the line, catching up with how I’m doing. I have some thoughts to exchange and specifically one, which now begins to resonate louder.

“I might go back to school,” I share.

I’ve been working in solitude for the past few months, reading and studying in public libraries. But one can only learn so much from himself. With that, some feedback and guidance, along with structure, can contribute to my progression. Previously, I enrolled in college to obtain a degree and a job like most incoming students, however, foolishly and unfortunately, not just to freely learn.

The University of San Francisco is within a ten-minute hike from my current residence. Last Friday, I wandered over to the campus, hoping to break into their library—for literary pursuits–but to no avail. And the other night, Porter suggested investigating open jobs there. The sky illuminated with light, shinning down a good idea. Moments later, a position was discovered (staff accounting), which I am certainly qualified for, however, most importantly, free college tuition is an included benefit.

This idea was well-received by my dad, as encouragement to apply promptly ensued. On his end, most things sound better than me just aimlessly floating from one stopgap job to the next. I partly agree– but learning, apprenticing, finding a mentor are the paramount aspects of my inclination.

Reaching my car, the phone conversation concludes. They’re happy. I’m intrigued. After all, it’s a possibility: another path to ramble down. Subsequently, I pull open my driver’s door, shove my knapsack on the folded-down backseat, and proceed to wind down the front windows. Cars are parked on both sides of mine, passengers inside. On my left, one man is reading a book. On my right, a man watches the tumbling waves and listens to soft classical music. I watch and listen as well.

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