Growth, Life

You Are Super!

You have super powers and I can prove it!

Photo Found: http://www.dailydot.com/culture/hawkeye-initiative-superhero-poses-tumblr/

Um… well… there that is.

Life has gotten unimaginably hectic lately. I work full-time (and a lot of overtime), I film, I write, I exercise, I’m going to grad school, I have friends, I have family, I have a girlfriend, I’m helping to edit an awesome anthology, I’m participating in nanowrimo, I’m inexplicably going to a Rihanna concert tomorrow that I do NOT have time for but I was inspired by this post and though I feel like I’m wearing myself very thin- I’m loving my life.

Photo Found Here: http://www.mycelebrityfashion.co.uk/2013/04/queen-bey-a-right-royal-diva-beyonce-bans-press-photographers-from-mrs-carter-tour-due-to-unflattering-shots/

Rihanna is also shocked by my hectic schedule.

Part of the reason I can love my life is that I’m starting… keyword STARTING to use my super powers!

Photo Found: http://timesync.gmu.edu/libnews/?p=1076

Finally found a way to get enough experience points, yo!

I think we’re all born with some kind of super power. It’s just up to us to figure out what that power is and to use it to its full potential. Unfortunately, our super powers seem boring, so we don’t tend to see them immediately. We have to have others see them and on top of that, we have to acknowledge that this thing is something peculiar about ourselves.

My peculiarities are: being able to wake up early (even though I’m actually more of a night owl when given the opportunity), having an especially high amount of energy and endurance (traits you probably share if anyone has ever called you a spaz) and an intense desire to see improvement in the world (I’m driven).

These traits are meaningless if I don’t use them, however. I wasn’t for the longest time. I got to work early and got off work earlier than most to just spend my time napping or watching cartoons. Adventure Time and Regular Show are some shameful SHAMEFUL addictions of mine. Yes, yes I am in fact an adult… you can shove it.

Photo Found: http://www.gamepodunk.com/uploads/5239fa7b36ce8d83ce1335668bd80172.png

Ohhhh!!!!

Anyway, I have only started to recently use my superpowers; but, the results have been tremendous. I’ve found myself getting much more done and still having time to do the things I love; like writing in this blog! I’ve used my ability to get up early to take care of e-mails and clutter at work. I’ve used my time more wisely when getting home which has given me the ability to exercise more, which makes me feel 100 percent better about myself and my general state of being. On the flip side of that, I’ve used my innate energy to focus more on my writing right before bed instead of just mindlessly scrolling through web pages when my body is tired but my mind is not.

Photo Found: http://media1.fashionfreax.net/outfits/4f674f7381504_f528764d624db129b32c21fbca0cb8d6

Seriously… if she had some extra fingers she could add Reddit and StumbleUpon and have good documentation of my productivity killers.

So seriously, give it some thought. What are some things that your friends or colleagues have complimented you on or even been annoyed by? (Remember having a lot of energy makes me a spaz, but I can still use my spaz-powers for good!) Use those things to your advantage! They’re things your naturally good at. Instead of wasting them on mindless pursuits, use them to further your career or to pursue your passions! I did and though I still struggle- it has truly made a big difference in my life; and hopefully, by extension, the lives of others.

I hope this post helps you in some way and as always…

Much Love,

-Brandon Holly-

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Idealism, Life, Philosophy

How May I Help You?

I enjoy making people happy. There is literally no better feeling in the world than doing something for someone and looking at them sincerely expressing gratitude. I don’t feel like I’m unique. I feel as if most people in the world have good intentions. We don’t typically do things for the sole purpose of upsetting others. I don’t even think that comes from an especially thoughtful place; (even though I DO feel like people are more thoughtful than we give them credit for) rather, it comes from the fact that people tend to use their energy making themselves feel good, rather than actively trying to make you feel bad. But, really think about that the next time someone does something that grinds your gears. Especially if the person is a loved one.

Harold! THIS IS THE LAST TIME I TELL YOU, "THE BEANS GO IN THE LEFT CABINET AND THE SPICES GO IN THE RIGHT!"

Harold! This is the last time I say something, “THE BEANS GO IN THE LEFT CABINET AND THE SPICES GO IN THE RIGHT!”

Before you go punch the lights out of the person who did something that you personally found inconvenient; realize, that it’s highly unlikely they did that just to spite you. We get upset about things because we feel personally wronged. But nine times out of ten, that is not the intention of the other person. And, in fact, if the person knew they could’ve avoided a (in the context of the universe) meaningless argument, they probably just would have done whatever you wanted. Yes, some people are less mindful than others. But, I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt.

This makes me think of something C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that I think rings true whether you’re a Christian or not.

“But in reality we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is bad. The nearest we can get to it is in cruelty. But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons – either because they are sadists, that is, because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it – money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. I do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. You can be good for the mere sake of goodness : you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness.”

Ya Dig?

Ya Dig?

I’m writing this because I felt wronged the other day and truly upset. I fail more often than not, but when I’m upset with someone I try to ask myself why I feel so frustrated. Typically, it’s because they did something that made life SLIGHTLY more difficult. My day was a little less convenient because of whatever thing they did. Now I’m upset. But my annoyance is MY problem not theirs. I’m trying very hard to always keep in mind that nobody can make me feel any certain way. I’m also trying to keep in mind that the things that annoy me on a day to day basis are typically not a big deal.

mountain-or-molehill-350x280

Let’s say someone leaves a piece of paper on my desk at work. I could see an improper response building up. These types of things happen all of the time. We’ve all heard things like, “What? Do you think this is YOUR desk?” or “Oh? So, you’re the only one who needs to use the toaster?” or “Why didn’t you invite me out to lunch or AT LEAST ask me what I wanted?” or “How many times do I have to tell you?” etc. But typically the answers are, “No, I’m sorry I just forgot…” “No, but it’s just taking me a minute. I’m sorry…” “Sorry, I was just hungry and left…” “I don’t know, just please help remind me…” People aren’t out to get you. Yes, some of the things people do happen because they forget that the universe doesn’t revolve around them. At the same time, sometimes we get upset because we feel like WE’RE the center of the universe.

Most of the time... Sorry should cut it.

Most of the time… Sorry should cut it.

Anyway, back to making people happy. I HATE when I do the things that upset people. I am guilty of staying too long in the bathroom, or spilling water on someone’s desk, or leaving my computer cord lying around. But, my desire is just to make people happy.

At the same time, maybe my need to make others happy makes them unhappy. If you’re like me, you try desperately to make everyone feel good, but you can’t. You fail them in some way shape or form and somehow you’ve made everyone upset rather than joyful.Which, in turn, makes you unhappy. And, I guess I’m just not sure what that balance is yet.

How do I go about it? I can’t clone myself (yet), so sometimes I am going to have to sleep or drop obligations, but deciding who has to wait is hard. One of my goals in life is to reduce the amount of suffering people have to feel. I wish to reduce my own suffering of course, but I also want to make YOU joyful as well. When I try too hard to make everyone happy, I end up hurting everyone. I haven’t figured out how to be ok with just not pleasing people sometimes.

Hm… I haven’t quite figured all of this out yet. But, I hope you’re happy today. And if not, maybe this puppy can make you smile.

No Pasa Nada...

No Pasa Nada…

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

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Idealism, Life, Philosophy

Give Thanks

So, this week has been Thanksgiving. I should be writing about all of the things that I’m thankful for. The fact that I have a roof over my head, a health plan, food in my stomach, shoes on my feet. I have plenty for which to be thankful. I should be singing praises to G-d and the universe for putting me where it has. I’m a very fortunate man.

My thinking reasonable mind knows that I have nothing to complain about. However, my feelings are different. I’m not saying that my circumstances are the worst by any means. However, I do know that everything is relative. And, comparing everything that has happened this year in relation to the past two and a half years. I’ve come to the realization that- my life blows…

Just replace the books with like… life and you got it.

But no, seriously. This year has had a LOT of satisfying moments and I really am truly thankful for them. But, that does not change the fact that this has also been a particularly difficult year. I am a positive person. I am highly optimistic and we will get to that later. But, I’m about to list off why my life has been absolutely LAME this year.

Top 10 lame things that happened to me this year! In no particular order:

1.) Feeling of loneliness and emptiness due to leaving the Peace Corps and not having a defined “purpose” any more.
2.) Crippling debt
3.) Literally almost dying.
4.) MORE crippling debt. (Go medical bills!)
5.) Crappy cubicle job that felt soul-sucking (but at least it paid well enough)
6.) Losing crappy cubicle job the WEEK I decide to move out on my own.
7.) Nearly going bankrupt and living EXACTLY paycheck to paycheck. (Plasma Centers are great)
8.) Friends going through personal issues.
9.) My family dog whom I loved dearly died.
10.) Learning of some heartbreaking family news.

and 1 to grow on!

11.) Most recently… I’ve been dealing with the death of a good friend’s girlfriend. She was also a friend of mine. Admittedly, not extremely close, but still a friend and still just another dark thing that has happened this year.

And as the resident happy-go-lucky, ever-resilient, optimistic guy… I feel like this most of the time.

Well, ok not quite as emo.

But strangely enough… sometimes I feel like the opposite. B-because I AM optimistic!

Life is fun!

And people want to know how you’re feeling. They want to be supportive. And they WANT to be a shoulder to cry on, but, I’m not crying. Now, I DO have moments of sadness and anger and crippling depression just like each and every one of you.

However, they just don’t tend to last very long. I’ve said the following to friends many times. The way you process pain is no better or worse than the way anyone else does. It’s what you DO about it that really matters. If you’re being destructive or counterproductive to your recovery, that’s different. However, if you naturally just need some alone time, that’s fine. If you naturally need your friends, get ’em! For me, I naturally go to a very dark and sad place for a period of time. (some longer than others) and then… I’m ready! I’m good! I’m happy!

There is just too much good in the world to let things get the best of you. As I’ve said before, you only lose when you give up! And these tough times only make me want to fight harder.

So even though life has been doing this to me…

Life smarts

I know I will make it, that things will get better and eventually after all the beat downs and training, when I’m ready…

I’ll get up again, fight, and WIN!

Life is hard, but… good friends, words of wisdom, and a lot of thanksgiving food fortifies a man and enables him to go on. And THAT ladies and gentlemen is what I’m thankful for this year.

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

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Life, Philosophy

Life, Man….

Disclaimer: DO NOT just read the first part of this blog and stop. Because, I promise you… it gets better.

[Insert cliché Charles Dickens opening line here]

This is an extremely interesting time in my life. I’ve never felt more alone, hurt, tired, and depressed. There’s never been a moment in my life in which I’ve felt more hopeless. There’s never been a time in my life when I’ve felt pain like this. Pain that’s not the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. But, it is the most enduring. I’ve never hated my life more…

I came back to the United States from the Peace Corps ready to take America by storm. I got a job immediately and then got a better paying job shortly after. I moved out of my parents house and began to live life independently and free. I was ready to grow up and be the man I’ve always figured I would be.

Then, I lost my job. I move out and immediately lose the great paying job that was affording me all of the luxuries I was experiencing. I had an expendable income and was easily paying my bills and though money was tight due to debt, I was doing well enough. I was happy. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I hated all of the work I had to do at my job. And, I wasn’t even especially fond of the job, but… I was making it. And, I was doing it on my own and since this is apparently a cliché day- I did it MY way.

Doin’ it his way… and looking damn classy too.

But, crap happens. I was optimistic and hopeful. I was afraid because I didn’t know where my next paycheck was going to come from, but I felt like this was my opportunity to evolve. I immediately found another job, but unbeknownst to me it was only part-time. I searched and searched (and am still searching) for a new job. A job that either paid me full-time or at least made the ends meet. This hasn’t happened yet. So, now I sell my body for money.

“It’s my hot body! I’ll do what I want!”

Yeah, living under the poverty line is a strange feeling…

Oh… but also, my family dog died. It’s just a dog, right? No, no she was not. We all cried. We bawled. My family hurt a lot, it was like losing a sibling and in fact… it WAS losing a sibling. I loved that dog as if she were my actual sister. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true.

No, no your dog wasn’t as cute.

And then, to top it all off. Something happened that I’m going to be vague about just to respect those involved that aren’t me…

I had a very traumatic experience that has a lot to do with my parents, both of whom I love very much. I really do, but it does not mean that I am feeling great about what’s happening.

TL;DR – I graduated college and joined the Peace Corps just to come back to be penniless and broken due to life happenings.

But….

I’ve never been happier! I’ve never felt more alive! I’ve never grown as much (other than the PC, but that was a different type of growth)! I’ve never had more opportunities or more friends or more support! There’s never been a time in my life in which I’ve felt stronger. There’s never been a time in my life in which I’ve felt so much optimism! I’ve never loved my life more.

Wait. What?

It’s true! Losing a lot humbles you. I could roll over and just feel bad for myself. Or, I can realize that things always get better and that this experience is just making me stronger, more diverse, more creative, and a helluva lot more appreciative of what I have!

Also…

Due to the nature of my employment, I’ve had to learn how to make money all sorts of ways. This has led me to writing hotel reviews, dog sitting, tutoring a woman from Saudi Arabia, and acting in TV advertisements to name a few. These are things I would have NEVER had the opportunity to do with my formal normal full time job. I am becoming a MUCH more well-rounded human being. I have also had the opportunity to sharpen other skills. I have been writing more (albeit not here, which I’m trying to remedy), I have been making more music, and I have been exercising more.

I’ve become the human equivalent of this.

Not only that, but I have more friends than I have ever had ever. And that’s not even counting my loving and lasting Peace Corps relationships! I have reconnected with friends I’ve gone to school with, I’ve found friends at work, I’ve met new people through pursuing my passions and hobbies, etc… I am finding out that I am surprisingly a people person.

And I’ll never go back… to the not havin’ friends ways of the past!

It’s not that I didn’t have friends before, but maybe I’m just really appreciating them more now than I ever have.

ALSO I’m acting, writing, and doing comedy on a weekly basis! One of my greatest passions is entertainment. Oh, I love writing and being behind the scenes, but I also love acting and comedy as well. And, I have become part of an AMAZING improv team! (Yes, it’s a facebook link, but PLEASE log in and “like” us!) And, not only are they an extremely talented group of individuals that stretch me and force me to grow; but, they are just awesome people in general.

Sometimes we kill people at our shows… with LAUGHTER!!! HA.. Ha… ha… oh forget it.

And really looking at how terrible and how awesome my life is, I’ve started to learn that… Well, you know what.

I’ve been listening a lot to Macklemore. And I think he says it best,

“This (life) is what you make of it, yeah we play to win.  Live it like we’re under the lights of the stadium. Fight until the day that God decides to wave us in.”

Right until He waves us in…

So if you’re also going through a tough time in your life…

Fight. Always ALWAYS fight. You only lose by giving up, ok? If you remember that, I promise to try to remember that too.

Much Love,

– Brandon Holly –

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