Liam Holyoak

This is where I write things.

Month: November 2017

Becoming more Present.

I’m not sure when exactly this happened. At a certain point in the not so distant past I decided that I didn’t need anyone. It wasn’t a conscious decision and I don’t quite remember what events caused it but I’ve been riding the independence train for a while now. Seeing a reliance on other humans as some form of weakness. I’m not really sure why that happened. Maybe it was because of the ending of an unhealthy relationship. Or maybe I’ve just told myself that that’s what happens as you get older. You have to stop relying on other people. I think I’ve been so scared of codependency I ran in the complete opposite direction. Swearing off any sort of feelings for people.

Something has changed recently though. Slowly, but surely. I have realized that humans can be pretty incredible. Getting to know someone new can be daunting, but amazing. Being around friends doesn’t have to be a form of procrastination, it can just be fun. I’m allowing myself to be present when I am around people, and really just enjoy them. I’m learning to let go, embrace the fear that comes from being vulnerable. Friendships, relationships, and interactions with people can be beautiful, awkward, and rewarding. Sometimes, I just have to get out of my head and see them that way.

The Resistance.

I’ve been reading War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Rereading it. Which is funny because I had been putting off reading it for so long. Yesterday I finally made myself start. I knew I’d been avoiding it for a reason. There are lessons in it that I needed to hear.

It’s funny how that happens. Humans are weird creatures. It seems we are constantly at opposition with the things we desire and dream for ourselves versus the things that are quick, easy, and gratifying in the moment.

Why do we do that?

I’m sure long ago there was a biological necessity. But that also doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe we are just weaker now than our ancestors were. People used to just get things done. You did what you had to do. You didn’t complain about it, well I’m sure some people did. Regardless, you just did. You knew in the end it was good for you. Even in the initial moments when you didn’t want to do it.

What has changed? Something has. It seems everyone is spending their time avoiding doing things they should actually be doing. I am certainly guilty of this.

Is it a Paradox of Choice type of thing going on. Do we have so many options that we are paralyzed to do something about it.

Maybe it is just “The Resistance” or something constantly fighting to maintain the status quo. I don’t really know. Somedays I win that fight, others I don’t. 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. In a grander sense.

I grew up religious. I went to church every Sunday, youth activities during the week. An hour of my school day was spent at a church facility near the school.

Once I was in High School I rebelled against this pretty hard. Pretty much doing away with all believes I had in anything that wasn’t backed by science. I refused to believe in anything that wasn’t concrete.

In a sense though I’ve always been jealous of religious people, it seems insane to me to believe something so strongly. To devote yourself to it. It seems so powerful.

Recently I’ve realized I do believe in the mystical in some sense. It’s not something I just have faith in. It’s something I’ve felt. There is some magic to it, if you will.

I think most creative people could attest to this. It doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of work. It quickly goes away if you lose momentum. But if you show up. You keep showing up. Piece after piece of awful writing. One day something else will be there. Guiding your fingers along the keys.

It’s not going to bring you fame or fortune. It won’t be this grandiose thing. It will be a whisper. A small idea. If you run with it, it can change things.

If you allow something beyond yourself to have a little control something amazing can be created.  If you just keep putting in the work. Someday you’ll be a part in creating something truly incredible.

But for now, it may just be a silly little piece. Same thing for tomorrow and the next day. I think that’s why you have to love the process. You have to love the doing. There are too many days where nothing good comes. If you don’t learn to love the process you’ll give up far too quickly.

Seeing the World with Wonder.

In the neighborhood I grew up in there was a field at the top of the street. I think it used to be farm land of some sort, or someone used it to garden. I’m not really sure. But we spent a lot of time there. We’d play sports, camp out. Get into all sorts of shenanigans. When the sun had set and you looked across the field there was a cluster of colorful lights far off in the distance. I used to look across that field and think I was seeing Disneyland. It was so exciting to me to see such a magical place, it was so close. I’d look across the field and dream of going there. Oh how fun it would be.

I grew up in Utah so I certainly wasn’t seeing Disneyland. But, there is something so great about being young. When everything seems so magical. You look at the world with wonder. With each passing year I seem to forget about that a little more. Forget about seeing the world as an exciting place. I’m not quite sure how to change that. I’m going to though. Living just isn’t as wonderful, when you aren’t seeing all the beautiful things that are just within reach.

Back Dimples.

I could see the small of her back. Just a silver between the edge of her pants and the bottom of her t-shirt.

She had back dimples. I liked that. Her skin is pale white.

But not embarrassingly so, not the kind you make jokes about seeing in the dark.

I wanted to touch her. I kept thinking she had to realize her back was showing. But she didn’t even tug on the back of her shirt. You know that insecure way. The way that I do to make sure every part of my body is covered.

She was just there, and I could see her back. There was something so confident about it. I can still see her now, standing at the edge of the kitchen watching football, and me sitting on her couch staring at her back.

I don’t think I’ve ever liked a back so much. But even now I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’ve been avoiding love. All sorts really. Well, not the kind of love your parents have for you. But the kind of love that friends give, that someone you’re dating has. That rush. Or the comfort of love that comes from someone that doesn’t have to love you.

After a string of terrible dating experiences I’ve been telling myself I don’t want to feel anything. Not for another person at least. It’s too hard. There are too many things that can go wrong. I’ve been thinking of all the bad parts about previous relationships, ones that didn’t work out.

I’ve seemed to forget the good bits. The parts where you can’t stop thinking about someone’s back, and how much you want to put your hand there. Not in a sexual way. Just as a way to tell someone you’re there.

Writers Block.

Every time I sit down to write I freeze up. I worry.

What gives me the right to write? I’m not good enough to be a writer. What do I even have to say?

These thoughts cloud my mind. So I sit in front of a blank page. Becoming overwhelmed with the doubt. Most days I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to ignore the negativity.

So, I don’t write.

Well, I do, but not something I intend to share. Which for me is the important part. The sharing. That bridges the gap between the stream of consciousness random writing I do most of the time, and something like this.

Which is still a random jumble of words. But it intended to be more cohesive than my normal stuff. But it’s all seemed overwhelming lately. Putting my words into the world. Being vulnerable.

It hasn’t just been in my writing that I’ve been afraid to be seen. It’s everywhere. In my day to day life. It’s scary to put yourself out there. I’ve been letting that fear get the best of me. Somedays, it still will. But today I’m hitting publish.

Do it Now

I recently ordered a book called “The Pocket Guide to Action” by Kyle Eschenroeder, in the package came a little bracelet that has the words “Do it Now” on it. Which has been a good, but constant reminder of my laziness. Although I will say it has been useful.

When you put something off, even something small it seems that much harder to getting around to it. I’m am certainly not a master at this. But I’m trying to get better. Take for instance dishes, if you immediately take care of your dish after it meal it takes maybe a minute. If you wait a couple days then you have several other dishes to take care of, and maybe that food got crusted on and then it’s just gross.

The book, and the bracelet have led to thinking a lot about action lately. And “right action” versus just a plain action. The benefit of actively engaging in a book, versus slogging through the pages and dreaming about something. Or even just brushing your teeth and being mindful of that. It’s worth a try, and action seems to be more about a lot a small things than any big things. But at the end of the day when you lay in bed it’s pretty rewarded you realize how much you actually did that day.

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