Initially, I didn’t want any words typed-just the handwritten note. but there should be some context.
I decided to handwrite a post for the hell of it. It wasn’t any sort of structured post, just a free write with a pen and paper. In classic writer fashion (or at least how I picture them in my head), I had to write on the back of 3 seperate to do lists since i had no classic line paper. Upon beginning, I got instant flashbacks to my writing prior to actually enjoying it. Standardized tests and high school english assignments. But that’s enough. Read it below.
Travel is one thing I maybe haven’t had the chance to do a crazy amount of in my life. And not for any particular reason, really. The places I’ve been outside the USA are sparse, but there’s plenty to see in America-especially if you’ve hopped around states and seen all the quadrants of the country. Long story short, whenever I get to take in a new zone I get excited and always tend to make sure to capture the beauty and local flavor with both my handy iphone and also my canon film camera (which unfortunately is suffering some light leaks).
Recently, I got the opportunity to hop on over from Orange County to the beautiful island of Oahu in the island chain of Hawaii. I had only been once before-circa 20ish years ago. And as a surfer, the north shore of Oahu is pretty much a hajj any dedicated surfer needs to take (but more on that later). I really didn’t have much recollection of the inaugural trip, so I was excited to get back over there and take in the change of scenery.
The landscape of Oahu is lush and green. You land in the city of Honolulu but as soon as you get on the H highway system, you are often surrounded by green on all sides. The air smells fresh. It had a refreshing breeze so we rolled with the windows down. I feel like after 5 hours on a plane any type of fresh air feels good. But this air felt especially good.
40 minutes later and we got into the stretch of island I would spend most of my time at-the 7 mile miracle aka the north shore. So much green and blue. Seeing 10 foot waves groomed with trade (offshore) winds got the heart beating pretty quickly. What would come in the next 12 days would be tons of surfing, plenty of sightseeing, seeing old friends while making new ones, and just an overall stress-free stretch of time. It’s easy living.
As much as I think I am a good writer and a rather descriptive one, I think some of the pictures would tell a better story. Here are a few selections from my film rolls in Hawaii:
It’s 8PM on a Friday. It’s actually NYE, to be precise. I take another sip of wine out of a stemless glass (they just look better). Mixtape Lil’ Wayne plays out of my Macbook speakers. I have a pretty decent speaker setup in my bedroom, but something about the old music with the rawness of kinda shit speakers strikes a cord. Now about the wine. One of my new things to try in 2022 is wine. Sure, I’ve slapped the bag and drank wine before. There have been many deadly hangovers in my day from a classic Wine Wednesday. But I’d like to get an appreciation for it-similar to my love for coffee. It’s funny though, I make a resolution to drink more alcohol even though I am trying to kick liquor of all kinds to the curb in 2022. Not for any reason other than it just makes you feel so shit the next day. Don’t worry-I’m still going out tonight. I can’t just sit at home on Fridays and Saturdays. But it’ll be light in comparison to previous years.
The idea of resolutions I think are great. I saw somewhere on social media someone say a statement along the lines of “I don’t make resolutions because I don’t wait”. Sick man. I’m not saying I wait until the new year to actively try something either or achieve a certain goal. But I find a new year let’s you account for all happenings of the last year and focus on things you might not have gotten to put attention towards or you missed out on trying. Sometimes, it’s a challenge to do something within the year (like surf 365 surf sessions, or my new number based challenge, train 1000 rounds of boxing drills). I also feel like it’s a time at the end of the year where people are more comfortable sharing what they improve on (even though that should constantly be in conversation).
If anyone thought I was doubling down on 365 surfs as a resolution-you are wrong. It wasn’t terrible in the moment, but it was grindy. There just wasn’t enough swell this year (not that I was trying). And I knew with how I was approaching it that it probably wasn’t going to happen. The number? A little over 300. Not bad but a decent bit off. I just always try to surf when I can.
This wine is OK. In my newfound trials I have for sure found better. But I still don’t know much about it. “Banned” by Lil Wayne just came on. It’s Weezy sliding over the old N.O.R.E. beat from Banned From TV. A classic. But back to the year coming to a close. I’ve been lagging on writing, which is unfortunate because when I get in a groove with it I write my best and it just feels good to vomit on the word doc. That’s kind of what this one’s about. Just a quick journal-esque rambling before I decide to shower and head out. What else can I jam in here before it seems like some quickly written blabber (in pure honesty it is)? Upon taking one last sip and looking up, this has some decent substance to it. Self reflection, new ideas for 2022, surfing, music, and some witty sentences (self proclaimed). Check ’em all off. That’ll do. Onto 2022.
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.
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:
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.)
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].)
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.)