Liam Holyoak

This is where I write things.

Oh Duh.

I keep getting hit with these “oh duh” moments.

You know the things people always say are true, or thing you think you know.

When they finally sink in it’s a smack in the face.

When it hits you, you pause, shake your head, and realize that what you’ve always heard is true.

I suppose universal truths, are universal for a reason. It just takes a while to learn them sometimes, and even when they finally sink in the real knowledge of the thing takes a lot longer to fully sink in. 

Today is a Gift.

“Yesterday is history, 

tomorrow is a mystery,

and today is a gift…

that’s why they call it present”

Master Oogway

I’m not sure who really said that, The writers of Kung Fu Panda were probably not the first. But since that is what comes to mind when I think of that quote I will attribute it to them.

It’s really easy to lose sight of this, to get lost in the stress of what the future brings and regret of the past.

It can be this endless cycle where we run around in a daze never looking up.

It’s important to find spaces to remind ourselves of this.

I try to do it in a few ways, the most important one is a simple gratitude practice. Every morning I make a list of things I am grateful for. Some days I can only manage to be grateful for the coffee in front of me, and other days I am grateful for the driver that cuts me off.

I try to meditate, and get some fresh air and exercise in the morning as well. It sets up the day to be thought of as a miracle.

It’s pretty amazing that we get to wake up. That this ball of gas 94.5 million miles away from us keeps us warm, keeps us happy, and keeps our food growing. It’s wild world, and I can’t help but feel grateful that I even get to be here during this time. It really is a gift.

Stories

We love stories.

We’ve been telling them since we developed a prefrontal cortex.

Stories keep us safe. They teach us empathy. They allow us to live lives we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams.

A good story allows you to lose yourself, and become another.

Stories can make you happy, if you’re sad. Or sad if you are happy.

They are these incredible, powerful things, and I think we lose sight of that.

It’s important not to. It’s important to be totally immersed in something, even if just for a few hours.

Sometimes, losing ourselves is something is the only way to actually find ourselves.

Man’s Best Friend.

My dog, who I have had for almost two years. Is two years old today.

The dude has been alive for two years. Which seems wild to me.

It’s funny to mark growth by the age of your puppy, but it’s an easy way to remember it.

People say you shouldn’t ever get a dog after a break-up, which isn’t advice I heeded. And while it’s worked out pretty well for me I’d say most people should listen to that advice. Call me irresponsible, but I didn’t even have a mattress when I got my puppy. The mattress, along with almost everything in my apartment belonged to my ex, so it left with her. There I was in a mostly empty apartment with a puppy. He was everything for me, my exercise partner, my emotional support, my Friday night hangout. While we laid on a blow up mattress on the floor of the apartment I told him I’d do better for us. I told him we’d have a bed someday, we’d have a house, a yard. The works. Now, in less than two years we do. The house is just a rental. He’s been relegated to his own bed, and now I share the mattress with my amazing partner. But it’s progress, and it hasn’t even been that long. So while I know you won’t read this Happy 2 years on this planet Lucian. We’ve got more exciting adventures to come together, and I cannot wait.

Loser.

Sometimes you play better, maybe you aren’t better. But you show up more, you put in more hours, and play the game. And then you still lose. It sucks. Even when you lose, doesn’t it feel better to pick yourself up. To keep going. Maybe you do that enough times and you win.

Besides, not everything is about winning.

It’s also about the lessons we learn, and the people we get to meet along the way.

Persist

The start of something is amazing.

It’s new.

You’re learning all there is to know about a new thing.

You are making a ton of progress.

Then it slows, but you still keep going because it’s still fun.

Then the progress stops.

It’s been weeks and that PR from a few weeks ago feels heavier than ever.

That is when you must persist. You keep going. You keep working.

Maybe you switch up the time of day you’re writing. Or the notebook you’re drawing in.

But you keep at it.

You don’t quit.

I’m told plateau’s break at some point. You get through it and you keep getting better. I’m certainly not at the other end of that yet. But I will be, at some point.

For now I’ll just keep keeping on.

Quitting.

When is it okay to quit? When can you change course?

You don’t want to be a quitter, you don’t want to give up because something is hard.

But how do you know. How do you know when it’s time to quit? How do you know when it’s time for you to change course and start something new. How do you know you’re doing it for the right reasons?

I have no clue. I only have questions. I hope by asking them enough times I can find out answers for myself. It’s different in every scenario, and right now I have no idea if I’m making the right decision. Only time will tell.

Sports.

 

This video is perfectly describes two parts of me. After spending the whole day enjoying the world cup my thoughts are: sure, maybe sports are dumb. But that doesn’t make it any less fun or exciting to participate in. And the sense of camaraderie, and the fact that the whole world (well, besides the US, because we are lame) is participating in this event is pretty incredible.

Try, try again.

I’ve been trying to sort out a way to measure progress.

One that isn’t your run of the mill: number on the scale, money in the bank, followers on Instagram type thing.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this is because measuring progress in a creative field, specifically in writing is really damn difficult.

It’s not easy to see if you are getting better or not.

Hell, I have no idea if I’m getting better, and the same thing goes for fitness, or drawing. Although those latter two have visual markers that make it a bit easier.

So, in convincing myself that I’m doing this. I’ve got to be getting better at it, through sheer number of hours of practice.

I’ve realized that I’m much better at getting back on the horse than I ever have been in my life.

Sure, I have off days. I get thrown off, I get discouraged, I get frustrated.

But the amount of time I spend feeling sorry for myself versus the amount of time I spend on action has significantly changed.

I lean toward action within one to two days. Which is actually remarkable. If I could cut that down a little bit more and be 100% consistent that would of course be ideal.

But, I’m going to give myself a pat on the back, because when I commit to something these days I really commit. And, when things get thrown my way I get back up and keep going.

As long as I have that I’m not sure those run of the mill markers for progress really even matter.

Not so good day, a poem.

My stomach is in knots.

I don’t know why.

The urge strikes me to reach for some candy, sugar.

Something to fill that pit that is starting to grow.

I resist, for now.

For the next hour at least.

I don’t know how I’ll fair throughout the day.

It’s easy to turn to not so healthy habits when I feel this way.

Especially when I can’t figure out why I’m feeling this way.

Maybe just a bad day, maybe I’m not admitting to something I’m feeling.

I’m not sure.

Sometimes I’m in survival mode, other times I’m in thriving mode.

For today, I’ll survive.

Tomorrow, I’ll set my intentions to thrive.

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