Liam Holyoak

This is where I write things.

Uninteresting.

I feel uninteresting. I was thinking this recently. I was around someone I’d met before but didn’t know super well, he was asking me questions. I was off the top of my head answers. I didn’t feel like I had the space to think about something before I replied. I just did, then felt a bit like an idiot. I wonder if this happens to everyone. I don’t know if it’s something that relates to me being quiet, or maybe I just don’t do as well in social situations as I thought. Maybe it’s an insecurity thing. I’m not really sure. But it really affected me, I’ve been racking my brain trying to dissect conversations. What do you talk to strangers about? At this point I’m over thinking it. I’d like to be able to have more fluid thought out conversations with strangers, I’m not exactly sure how that goes. Or how you even start that sort of dialogue with someone. It’s something I’ll have to start practicing.

Daily Action.

Have you ever tried to recall where you learned something. Specifically a word. Words you know how to use in a sentence but couldn’t give someone the definition if they asked.

Do you really know what it means in that example? Or just how to use it. Knowing how to use something properly is knowing something, isn’t it? Or does true knowledge only come from an ability to teach or explain it.

Sometimes you just know things, and they need no explanation. I know that meditation makes me feel good. Sure, the science behind it is useful to learn about and know. From action, I know it helps me. I don’t need to be able to explain it.

Or do I? I’m not so sure. Maybe you can only be helpful, or an authority on something if you truly know it.

I tend to believe though that true knowledge comes from daily action, not what you can read about in a book. Not to discredit knowledge, I’m the first in line to read all about something. However,  the action,  is a much better way to learn.

Landing on My Feet Again.

Change can suck. Especially fast change. Slow change gives you time to get used to it, as you slowly get better at things, or get used to the idea of things being a different way. Fast change is tough. Sometimes it feels like the rug was tugged out from under you and you’ve just got to flail on the ground, hoping you can land on a pile of feathers on not on a pile of mud.

Sometimes you land on the mud, and you’ve got to stand up clean yourself off and keep going. There isn’t really another option.

Unless you’ve managed to create some sort of time machine there isn’t a whole lot you can do but just roll with the punches.

That’s how it goes. That’s how life goes. It’s funny. I practice a lot. I have a daily spiritual practice, a daily philosophical practice but practice in those types of things doesn’t always do you a lot of good. It’s easy to have a practice when everything is going your way, what’s hard is to keep that up and stay true to it when you have to face something unexpected. You never know quite what type of person you are until life hands you something you weren’t expecting. Then you have to figure everything out again.

The Written Word.

That cursor, it just sits there flashing. Patiently waiting for my mind to string together some symbols that somehow make up a word, a sentence, a paragraph. All these characters that we have somehow identified with meaning. Lines on a page. Mean a thousand different things. Words are powerful.

I read recently that humans aren’t designed for written language. If you stuck a group of children on an island, they’d figure out a way to speak to each other, but they wouldn’t feel a need to create a written language. It’s pretty foreign to us, our eyes aren’t exactly designed to process these symbols on a page. But somehow our brain has managed and very efficiently.

That’s a crazy thing to someone who feels so connected to their ability to put words on a page. It’s not something that we have evolved to do, the written word hasn’t been around long enough for us to evolve. To adapt to it. Evolution is much slower than that.

I’m not really sure what that all means, I haven’t finished the book yet, and I’m not quite sure how to make sense of it myself. It seems like it matters though, it’s a pretty unique ability for a mammal to create a written language, one that is processed by an entirely different part of our brains then our speaking, and listening centers. It’s wild, and it’s crazy how much we still don’t know about ourselves, let alone this world we live in. Probably things we will never know, which just makes every day that much more exciting.

Taking a leap.

It’s okay to be afraid sometimes. It’s okay to be scared that things won’t work out exactly as you planned. They probably won’t, but if you develop the ability to roll with punches. If you can get hit and get back up you’ll become resilient. When you are resilient. Well, nothing can stop you.

That’s been floating around my mind lately. I am in this strange place. At least it feels strange to me. I’m not angry, or hateful of my job. It’s actually quite the opposite. I am very grateful for it. But at the same time it leaves me feeling like there is a lot to be desired. That there is a lot more I could be doing to feel fulfilled. I don’t really know what that is. I have an idea. But I’ve never taken a leap. Because a leap requires a lot of faith. I feel like I am in a rock and a hard place. I don’t hate this thing I spent most of my time doing, and the thing I want to spend most of my time doing. I don’t know if it’ll work out. I know that’s incredibly vague. But writing it out seems like I am cementing something into the future. Something I’m not totally sure I am capable of. Maybe that is where it all stems from. I’m good at what I do for work. But what I want to do, I don’t think I’m very good at that. That’s the scary thing about change. You go from the top rung to the bottom in a moment, and you have to start climbing back up. Hoping every rung that your arms don’t give out on you now.

Listen.

I’m in the habit of coming home everyday and vegging out. I could just as easily get in the habit of coming home everyday and doing more work. Working towards the life I want for myself. I could do that. It won’t be the easiest thing in the world. But it will be worth it. It will be good. It won’t be easy. Is everything worth doing ever easy. I don’t think so. It just is. You do it because you have to. You just keep doing it because you have to keep doing it. You don’t have a choice because this thing is calling you and at a certain point you can’t ignore the call. You have to listen. If you ignore the calling for too long. It’ll move on to someone else. If you’re lucky it’ll stick around for a while, maybe until you listen. But until you act. Until you make a deal that you’ll get up every morning and put in the hours in front of your keyboard. Until you make that deal and stick to it. It could go away at any moment. So what are you waiting for. Turn the god damn TV off, put your phone away. Get to work. It’s calling you, at some point you’re going to have to pick up.

The First Step.

The first step is always the hardest part. The initial getting into it. I get excited about something and research the crap out of it. Then it takes a while, a while before I make the first leap and that step is scary and exciting and hard. The next day is a bit easier. By the end of the first week momentum is slowing a bit. The excitement is fading. You have to remind yourself why you started. But as long as you keep going your almost home free. By the end of the third week it will seem routine. You’ll see progress. Very slow progress. But you’ll see it there. Then in no time at all it’ll be this thing you’ve always done, that you can’t imagine yourself not doing.

But first, you have to take that first step. Then just keep stepping.

Being a kid again.

I’ve been ruined by romantic comedies. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve watched a lot of them in my day. It’s created this weird sense of nostalgia in me. Where I  long for something that I’ve never actually experienced.  It’s not the part of the movie that people usually long for. It’s not the romantic partner part. It’s the family parts. It’s the going home for the holidays, playing charades around the fire, laughing at the little ones. Those are the parts I long for. So much so that I’ve always wanted to move away from where my family lives so that I can have those moments around the holidays. Which is a bit absurd because I can hang out with them whenever I want now. But a little piece of my mind things it would be so much more fun to only see them a few times a year, maybe I’d appreciate them more.

It’s this strange persistent thought that always seems to be floating around my mind. What it really boils down to is that I want Thanksgiving or Christmas time tp be like they were when we were kids, where we are all staying in the same house. I want those times back, when we all woke up together on Christmas morning and no one went home that night. We had to stay together, even if we got annoyed with each other. I want that back, and if I lived out of state and came home for the holidays. I’d get piece of that back. Isn’t that funny how minds work. I swear we are just always doing things to get back to being a kid again. It seems that way at least.

Birthdays.

Before the end of this year I’ll have lived a quarter of my life. That’s if my lucky, and get to live to 100. I don’t like birthdays, I don’t like the reminder that I am aging. The reminder that I am not where I had always envisioned I’d be. They scare me, comparing where I actually am with where I intended to be. It’s hard. Self-imposed ‘hard’ of course. But I think maybe I should set myself some better markers. I’ve always measured a year by financial success, which isn’t really working out for me. Hell, I’ll only be 25 so I think it’s okay to choose different things to measure my success by. I could measure hours spent with loved ones, hikes with my dog, words written, jokes made, games played. I think there are a lot better ways to measure the success of year than simply how your career progressed. So I’ll start focusing on all the other things that matter to me, and maybe this year having a birthday won’t be so bad.

Letting Go of Expectations.

Holidays have never really been my thing. I’ve always found that every year I expected them to be these great cinematic things, and was usually disappointed.

For the past few years I’ve been mostly a cynic about it. Or a scrooge if you will. I probably haven’t been the most fun person to be around on any given December. But this year I’ve approached it differently. I don’t have any expectations. It’s just another day. It’s just a regular month.

If you let go of your expectations of things there is a possibility that something incredible can happen. Or there’s a possibility that it won’t. That is the magic of it. It could be this beautiful incredible day filled with love, laughter and gratitude. Or it could be a regular Monday. Just filled with a bit more food and family time.

As a general rule letting go of expectations seems to be the ticket. You’ll stay consistent with your new workout routine longer if you let go of the expectation that you’ll have rock hard abs in 12 weeks. Falling in love can be much more exciting if you let go of how it should or shouldn’t be and instead fall into what it is, be curious about this new person you are discovering. Days can be much more fulfilling if you approach them with wonder, and curiosity.

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