REST IN PEACE WELCOME PROGRESS

It’s time to pour some out for a failed endeavor. Early in the quarantine of 2020, I found myself with tons of time outside of work. Mainly on Friday and Saturday nights-times where me and my friends would normally go socialize on the streets of Newport or Costa Mesa. Without these longer nights, I found myself unoccupied from around 8PM-11PM (if I didn’t go to bed at my normal 10PM time) and then I was also waking up spry and ready to go at 6:30AM, sans hangover. So what to do with all this time? 

Surf a bunch, that’s a given. I wrote quite a bit. I picked up producing music-which lasted a little longer than expected but has certainty waned off. Not for lack of enjoyment. Cooking beats is so fun and enjoyable, but I will say when I was really deep in it I was trying to at least touch the program almost once a day. With more and more time off, it seems harder and harder to replicate previous works I was proud of. Maybe one day. [Sidebar: there’s plenty of music to listen to from Himothys discog (here)]. I feel the same about writing-if I am not doing it often, it’s harder to be inspired and also harder to string together words in a pleasant manner. 

But I found myself wanting to try to build something bigger than my own personal site. A site that had a little more depth and a bit more of a refined scope than my often written ramblings you can find all over this site. So I took my very ameutuer website design skills and took a crack at it. I decided on the name and went to work. I often would spend an hour or two a night when I had the time tinkering with the design. Don’t get me wrong-I love the design of my personal sight. It gets the job done, but is very basic. In comparison, it took me quite some time to figure out how to build my second site in comparison to my first (shouldn’t it be the other way around?).

Welcomeprogress.com lived approximately from the middle of  2020 to early 2021. Upon looking back on the pieces embedded on the site, there are for sure some writings I thought were better than average and differed from the first person storytelling perspective found on this site. I think before I pull the plug on the site I am going to transfer some of the works to this site-so they may live forever and potentially be read. I even built out an IG profile that was embedded to the homepage, acting as a moodboard and easy way to share that new posts were on the site. 

For full transparency, I didn’t push Welcome Progress super hard. I knew it was sub-par as far as the effort I was truly putting into some of the writing, and by the time it stopped getting posted on I was knee deep in work that nothing was getting written for both sites. I could see myself swinging the bat again, but I think it needs a little more fine focus and ideas behind it before the next launch.

4 recommended reads from my 2021 reading list

The ever-growing collection: if you can’t see the title I haven’t read it yet. With only one left, I’m gonna need some more books soon.

If you happened to read my last post (shame on you if you have not), you’ll remember me referencing reading quite a bit. This cannibalizes my writing time, but to hone your craft of combining words, reading is the tried and true practice. Read all sorts of different books. Read all sorts of writing styles. Fiction. Non-fiction. First person. Third person. You get the idea. 

I like to think I might have some books on the shelf that those who read this blog might enjoy. Some recommendations from friends. Some I found on my own. All sorts of literature crammed together spine to spine. I decided to tee up a couple books you might want to consider opening: 

RAW by LAMONT HAWKINS

(https://www.amazon.com/Raw-My-Journey-into-Wu-Tang/dp/1250191173/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=raw+lamont&qid=1628609529&sr=8-1)

For my rap fans and biography junkies. This tells the tale of Lamont “U God” Hawkins, a kid growing up in Staten Island that would help create one of the most famous rap groups in history: the Wu Tang Clan. It’s just one of those books once you pick it up it is hard to put down. Also, you might feel a little extra fortunate about your upbringing-not having to deal with some of the same struggles Lamont dealt with.

(ALSO READ: LENNY KRAVITZ LET LOVE RULE– A similar tale of a star’s rise to success.)

THE ART OF RESILIENCE by ROSS EDGLEY

(https://www.amazon.com/Art-Resilience-Strategies-Unbreakable-Mind/dp/0008356939/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ross+edgley&qid=1628609711&sr=8-2)

I picked this book up after hearing Ross talk on a podcast during one of my workdays. Here’s the skinny- the guy swam around Great Britain. You can only imagine the amount of problems one can run into while swimming 1780 miles at sea. A great story about never giving up and doing the unthinkable.

(ALSO READ: DAVID GOGGINS CAN’T HURT ME– Another strong minded individual [and much more known than Edgley].)

EGO IS THE ENEMY by RYAN HOLIDAY

(https://www.amazon.com/Ego-Enemy-Ryan-Holiday/dp/1591847818/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ego+is+the+enemy&qid=1628609782&sr=8-1)

Everyone’s head inflates a little at some point in their life. Ryan explains the many benefits of putting hard-headedness to the side and embracing the underdog role. There’s a big difference between ego and confidence-and this book helps draw the line. 

(ALSO READ: RYAN HOLIDAY THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY– Kinda the sequel to ego is the enemy, it again hones in on perspective and the best way to embrace challenges.)

7 SPIRITUAL LAWS by DEEPAK CHOPRA

(https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Spiritual-Laws-Success-Fulfillment/dp/1878424114/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=7+spiritual+laws+deepak&qid=1628609841&sr=8-3)

One of my favorite books on my bookshelf. A quick, easy read that you can tailor to whatever situation in life you may find yourself. Read it quickly-read it often.

(ALSO READ: DEEPAK CHOPRA 7 SPIRITUAL LAWS AGAIN- It’s one of those books worth revisiting after a little time has gone by.)

Back to sharpening the blade

Hey-it’s been a little while. Personally, it feels like it’s been a really long time. But if you scroll down to the next chronological post after this one, you’ll see it’s only been a handful of months. Nonetheless, the frequency in which my writing passages were being created started dwindling exponentially since my last post (damn that sentence sounds exquisite). Prior to writing this one on July twentieth, they had actually been non-existent. 

It’s not because I stopped writing in my career-I still definitely did that rather often. And it hasn’t stopped. I probably write close to everyday, but for a paycheck rather than personal growth or enjoyment. It was a pretty rigid routine-work Monday through Friday and then be as far away from the laptop (and especially writing) for the duration of the weekend. This sounds a little concerning, but it’s not like I gave up on knowledge gaining pursuits as a whole. They say to be a good writer you have to read, and I had been reading a shit ton. My bookshelf is within arm’s distance of my desk, so let’s see if I can get a rough estimate of books read…turns out my memory isn’t that sharp and with the amount of books on the shelf I got confused as to the time I read some. Upon referencing my amazon purchase history, it looks like the number is fifteen. So around 2 books a month. Some long, some short. But you get the picture.

So it’s a Tuesday morning (now Thursday) before I plug into work-I chose not to surf as we have been on a swell bender and the waves looked average at best (there probably were a couple fun ones). But nonetheless, here we are. Back to tapping the keys for enjoyment. And it’s not that I do not enjoy writing for work-it’s awesome. But for me, it is much harder. Right now I am literally just taking the shotgun blast of ideas in my head about this post and putting them into the google doc. Much less thought goes into these posts, and I write them in my character and tone, which isn’t too hard to create as it’s me. 

Alright time to wrap this up (as I could ramble on for paragraphs)-I’m back. Keep your eyes peeled for new word spewings from me, all in due time. 

A NEW OUTLET

I’ve been sitting on this post for almost a month now. For some reason I haven’t hit publish. And the reason is unknown to me.

Even with all the free time I’ve had on my hands, I still find myself having to choose what to do. You’d surely think I’d have time to do everything I wanted to with this new quarantine lifestyle. But maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew? See here’s the thing: they say splitting your focus into too many different lanes is counterproductive. But I would disagree. I think things that are new and fresh are going to require more focus until you hone them to the level of expertise similar to other activities. So since trying new things, I’ve devoted more time to these activities I am far less familiar with. As usual, every morning consists of a surf. Just to get it out of the way. Not that it is a chore, but getting up early and striking before winds and crowds has definitely been my wavelength as of late. Even though it might be one of the things I am most an expert in (don’t take that the wrong way), I still love to give it the time and attention it deserves. Sure, I’ve woken up at 6 for the past xxx mornings, but I’ve fully gotten used to it and even when I don’t surf I still rise fairly early. If it’s a work day, I am preoccupied until around 5 or 6. Those days are a little more boring. I can pick 1 of the things I like to do after work. I have that 2 hour window to do whatever. Then it’s eat around 8 and watch a TV show with my roommates. In bed at 10. The TV show might be looked at as wasted time, but it’s time all of us sit on the couch and shoot the shit. Sometimes we pass on it but most of the time it’s our bonding (aside from our daily sunset bike cruise). So maybe I’ll fish. Or maybe I’ll read.  Maybe I’ll cook up a beat. Maybe I’ll go on a run. Maybe I’ll work out. Maybe I’ll surf. Maybe I’ll write. Do you see where I am going with this?

It seems like I keep writing these posts saying the same thing: writing has taken the backseat. But no longer! I had mentioned in an earlier piece about a side project I have quietly been working on, and I think it’s about time to let it rip. They say you have to fail a ton of times to succeed. And this might be a shot in the dark that amounts to nothing. But the cool aspect of it is that things are cemented on the internet, and I’ll always be able to look back on it and smile. And maybe learn from the mistakes. If you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never know what the outcome could be. So here’s a quick synopsis on my new site.

Yes, it’s another website. Why? Because why not! I love this site, and it seems like (very few) others do too! Love is a strong word, but just work with me. It’s a snapshot of my professional career and me flexing my writing chops (if I even have any to flex). If you know me, you know I really don’t like things to be about me. If it doesn’t pertain to any but me, I usually don’t talk about it. I try not to gloat or boast. I (typically) am humble and quiet. As it should be. So it only made sense to make something that wasn’t all about me. Enter: Welcome Progress. I grew up glued to some surf media outlets. What Youth, Stab, SURFING (RIP), etc. Things have surely changed as far as paper magazines and how these sites are ran, but I loved reading interviews and pieces penned about things in the surf world I was enamored by. I still read articles off sites like GQ, Pitchfork, Stab, Inherent Bummer, etc. The shift from pure surf media started happening as I grew older and also more found of writing and styles. I am definitely a surf turkey by nature, but at this point in life I like to think I am a lot more. I think just being labeled a surfer got so stale. So let’s spin from that into what Welcome Progress will be about. It’s going to have some elements of surf. That’d go under the realm of “Activity”. There is also Mindset and Everyday. It’ll just be cheeky little pieces that fit into each one of those bins (or the trash bin if it sucks). Opinionated or fabricated pieces, made easily digestible. 

But it’ll be more than just my writing. I will reach out to others and post their shit. I want to talk to some of my friends and get their opinion, because I like to think I have a pretty diverse group of friends. With varying degrees of notoriety, hustle, and intellect. Some I talk to way more than others. Some tell me a lot more than others. But that’s not the point. I only know so much. Other people know a lot more. It would be strange to let other people in on a website that was named after me, so peer work will live here. Just a whole bunch of random shit! I also tried decently hard to make it look good. I think the layout is cool and a more complete site in comparison to my current site. The homepage is a mood board, linked to @welcomeprogress. It will be embedded with art, design, surf, and anything I think is cool or fits the brand. It’s still me at the helm, so you could probably guess the vibe (if you know me). Well, that’s it. Let’s see what happens!! If you are keen to give it a look, click HERE. If you want in on it, text me or reach out on the contact page. Come one come all! There’s not much currently, but if you want give the Instagram a follow and check out the little pieces I wrote under each category. 

 

The Writer’s Block Part 2

If I am struggling on the inspiration side, I invested in a nifty little “book” titled The Writer’s Block. I don’t particularly like leaning on this for a post, but it does offer a new challenge and spices up form my usually writing. So I opened the square up and landed here, and ended up writing the little passage below:

IMG_2873

I WISH EVERYTHING WOULD GO BACK TO NORMAL. I miss meeting new people and changing things up.

I WISH I WOULDN’T GET HUNGOVER. After not drinking much at all during quarantine and finding a night or two to hang with friends, I quickly was reminded of the wrath of hangovers. 

I WISH I COULD TOSS FULL ROTATION AIRS. They say you never get what you really want. I think airs are the coolest shit ever but I am stuck going straight. 

I WISH TATTOOS WERE FREE.They aren’t. They are actually quite expensive. 

I WISH PROBLEMS WOULDN’T EXIST. I am one of the least confrontational people out there. And I think a lot of people should follow suit. 

I WISH I COULD SEE FRIENDS AND FAMILY FROM HOME MORE. New Jersey is just too far and the flight is too expensive. 

I WISH SOME OF MY FRIENDS LIVED CLOSER. I have a lot of close friends in California that live more than an hour away. That kinda sucks. 

I WISH WRITING WAS ALWAYS EASY. Today and recently it just hasn’t been there. I guess that is what gives the satisfaction after writing something good though.

I WISH READING WAS JUST A TINY BIT MORE EXCITING. Some books are far more entertaining than others. But overall, it is just quiet and monotonous. 

I WISH I COULD CATCH A FISH EVERY TIME I WENT FISHING. Lately I’ve been on a streak of not even getting a bite. I guess it’s not called catching for a reason. 

I WISH EVERYONE WOULD TREAT EVERYONE HOW THEY WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED. The Golden Rule. It really is as simple as that.