Quotes

On Pause

On Pause

I constantly feel like I’m on pause.  My life plans, my goals, my dreams, and even my privacy and space is always sacrificed for someone or something else. The sad part, I’m the one in control. I’m the one that keeps giving up my time, my space, my heart, my dreams and my goals – for others.

How do I fight for me? How do I take back my life? How do I protect it from being hijacked again?

Who is in control of my pause button?

Until tomorrow,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Destiny, Dream, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Flash Fiction, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Song Review, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Directions

Directions

Ever had a destination, a goal, an objective, or something that needed to get done or somewhere you needed to be in life?  I can tell you won’t arrive by accident, it won’t happen on its own power, and I still haven’t figured out how to teleport like Harry Potter, so more than likely neither have you. No, the only way we can get to a particular goal/destination is directions.  We need directions. We need a roadmap to the destination of our goals.

I like to think of myself somewhat a gypsy, but that’s only wishful thinking.  I’m strategic, analytical, observant, scientific, and rational.  My free spirit I leave to my painting, but even in that – it’s still organized, planned, and executed.  Okay, I take it back. I’m NOTHING like a gypsy.

I have goals. If this damned pandemic doesn’t kill me, there’s still a lot of things left that I want to do, and the only way I know how to get them done, the only way that I’ve achieved the goals and destinations before this – was to make a plan and then carefully map out the directions to achieve the end goal.

So, I think it’s time I start making those plans again.  My problem isn’t that I don’t have any dreams, any plans, any wants, or any destinations, but that I have too many and need to make a decision and narrow them down.

It’s time.

One of those goals – is get back to this blog.

Here we go – step one – I blogged today.

Next direction in my goal for blogging – blog tomorrow.

Until tomorrow,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, Relationships, respect, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What a Conundrum

Conundrum

 

What do I really want?  I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. I have an idea of what I want, but I know more of what I don’t want than what I do.  So, I guess that begs to differ and I must ask myself, “What do I need?” I don’t think I know the answer to that question either.  What I think I need, may be a combination of what I want, but only after a situation or a relationship ends to I realize if it supplied me with what I needed. Most often failure occurs because I didn’t get what I needed.

So, what does anyone need?  Our bodies need food, exercise, and healthy activity to be active and strong. Our minds need stimulation. Our soul needs purpose. Our hearts … need love. But, how do we get it? How do we find out what is enough, what is right, what is beneficial?  What a conundrum.

I seem to learn this by trial and error, and frankly I’m sick of the errors.  I tired of getting hurt. I’m tired of never being enough, or being too much, or falling off of tall pedestals. I’m tired of being rejected, cheated on, used, lied to, or ignored. Most of all … I’m tired of sacrificing my wants and needs to try and love someone else and fulfill their wants and needs.

So, what do I want?  I simply want to be loved, to be respected, and to be wanted. I’d give the world to any man who could truly give those things to me.  But he can’t be a mess. I am not going to give him a mess. I’m going to give him my best. I know this – because I always do, it’s who I am.  My man gets my heart, my hopes, my dreams, my time, my focus, my support, as well as my body, my smile, and the best part of everything I have.  So, I want no less in return.  If a man doesn’t have his shit in order, his house in order, his emotions in order, his heart in order – please don’t come knocking on my door.  The BEST give anyone can give to another person is the best of themselves.

I’m not saying this to say they have to be rich and/or successful. I am not materialistic in the least.  I’m really simple. But there are a few things they should be.

They should be free of other emotional attachments. Men should not be in a relationship with someone else and hitting me up.  If you haven’t been on your own, severed the ties with your exes, and your heart is open to be devoted to me – leave me the hell alone. I will not be your backup plan, your second choice, your distraction, your rebound, or you side chick.  Nope. Hell No.  Uh-Uh! I’m a lady. I am open, honest and I have thick ass walls because I’ve been lied to and cheated on with men who still clung to an ex, or had some other woman on the side feeding their ego, or being that back up support.  I am not into polyamorous relationships. There are women out there that are, go hit them up, but lose my number and don’t bother.

They should be able to support themselves.  I’m ALL for chasing dreams, but you better have made provisions for yourself to chase those dreams.  I don’t care what size house you live in, what kind of car you drive, etc.  I honestly, really don’t care.  But, be able to support yourself.  Be responsible enough that you have a roof over your head and food to eat, and have reliable transportation to get from point A to point B.  I’m not your Sugar Momma – nor will I be. I take care of myself and pay my own bills.  I will NOT take care of a man.  Have a steady job. Have a steady income.  If you can’t support yourself or keep a job, you’ve got no business being in a relationship. Help yourself FIRST before you bring someone else down.

They should have a dream of their own and be supportive of mine. I don’t care how big or how small, but have something to love, something you’re passionate about and working toward.  Have a purpose, a goal, a desire for something that drives you.  It could be your job, your hobby, or you playtime.  But, if you’re depressed and lost and spend most of your time on a couch binge-watching Netflix, going through the motions and avoiding life – please don’t even look my direction.  I have a lot of passion, drive, energy and desires, and that’s often attractive to people who don’t.  But what happens in those types of unbalanced relationships is I get drained – because these types of men don’t pour back the same energy into me. Want to get to know me – let’s go do something, get outside, explore something together, go kayaking, go hunt down a historical site, go search for seashells on the beach, etc.  I love to cuddle. I love to snuggle and watch a movie together – but not every single time.  It happens time and time again – and my dreams get put on hold, or ignored, or unfulfilled. No lie. EVERY dream I have achieved – I’ve had to do it alone. EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM.  I have helped many people reach for their dreams, but I’ve never had even the slightest support for mine.  Yeah, they SAY … good luck, go for it, you’re good at that, Babe … but when I win an award, get a contract, speak at a conference, do an interview, go to a signing, go kayaking, jump from a plane, raft down a river, climb a mountain … I am alone.

So, I don’t need anyone. I’ve been able to navigate this world on my own. I motivate myself. I am disciplined and determined. I have loved deeply and not loved in returned. I have given my best, but have not received it in return.  I have trusted and been betrayed. Here I am again – being told almost on a daily basis that I’m so beautiful, so inspirational, so desirable, yet I’m intimidating, out of their league, and deserving of someone so much better – or I don’t fit their mold.  They want a party girl, or arm candy, or a care giver.  So, what hope do I have? What I have is walls – high, thick, walls. I’m scared to even talk to anyone about anything deep or important, because who can carry this heaviness with me?  I carry it alone. I’m great at conversation, but it must stay in the shallow waters.

Someone recently told me they think I really want to be alone …and they may be right. Not because I don’t WANT someone in my life, but because I don’t trust I won’t get hurt.  Again, they may be right. To reach me will take time, patience, and a lot of love – and honestly – I haven’t seen that in this fast-paced, gotta have it my way right now society.  It’s too easy to just leap to the next easy thing when things get complicated with a simple swipe to the right.

Yet – I still have hope there is someone out there that will be my balance, which will be strong enough and brave enough to handle all of me.  Do I have faith? No. But, I have hope. God help them, but I do believe my warrior is out there somewhere. I just pray my eyes will be able to see him, and my heart will be able to recognize him when I meet him.  When I do find him, I have so much love to give – a love that is deep, and faithful, and true, and honest, and wild, and passionate.  God help him.

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Complicated frustrations, Conversations with a Friend., Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Musing, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: | Leave a comment

New Year Resolutions

New Year goals or resolutions

 

It’s that time of year again.  For those who don’t make resolutions this post may be just what you need to read. For those who do make them, maybe this will help you. In Forrest Gump fashion, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

Resolutions for me are promises I make to myself and no one else.  Many, many, many changes have happened in my life due to the resolutions/promises I’ve made in the past – so for ME, they work. I think they work for me, because I take promises and vows very seriously, and these are promises to me, to my heart, and to my soul, and they deserve my best.

So, what are my resolutions this year?

  1. Let the past go, live in the moment, and start focusing more on the future.

I realized I had been holding tightly to some past hurts and deep rooted pain.  This was pain I thought I had dealt with, but had only managed to bury.  I needed to see it. I needed to feel it.  It came out while having one of those very rare, deep, open conversations with someone – where you talk about shit you didn’t even know you needed to talk about; that heavy shit. It was so heavy, it cost me a relationship, and I’m so sad about that, but I’m not sad it happened.  It needed it to happen. I needed to see it. I needed to face it.  It was a godsend that it happened when it did.

  1. Let my feet be quick to walk away and my mouth be swift to say, “No.” – it’s not my job to save the world.

I have patterns and I need to start paying close attention to those patterns. One of those patterns is always being there to lend a helping hand, always being someone that sees the needs in others and forgets that I have needs as well, because I will compromise to meet their wants and needs.  I’m not God. I’m not Jesus. I may be Supergirl, but my cape is ripped, my boots are torn, and there’s Kryptonite in the marrow of my bones.  It’s not my job to save the world anymore, and there’s no one to save me.

I love people, especially the people in my inner circle.  But, I tend to gravitate toward the lonely, the broken, the damaged, the hurting, and the forgotten – because that’s how I feel.  I love people the way I want to be loved. I invest in people the way I want to be invested into, and I see people the way I would want to be seen.  BUT – it doesn’t happen that way.  They don’t love me, they don’t invest into me, and they don’t see me   – they don’t even see themselves – and I know that, but I have had this foolish notion that my love would be all they need and it would show them the way.

So, my resolution this year, No – a vow to myself, is to invest in ME, love ME, and see ME.  My heart wants to help others– but my mind is ready to fight this round this year. I’ve put on my running shoes, picked up my shield, and in order to protect myself I have readied my feet to be quick to walk away from these certain types of people and let my mouth be swift to say, “No.”  I have to put me first. I’ve been broken and my soul has been crushed, and I won’t be one damned bit of good to someone else until I’ve healed. This isn’t going to be easy for me, but I know it’s what I need to do. For those I walk away from – you’re just going to have to forgive me. If you can’t – I’m sorry.

  1. Dust off my Adventure List and start ticking off some more of those boxes.

If you’ve known me for any certain of time, then you have heard about my Adventure List – a list of Adventures that I want to do or experience before my time expires on this earth, or I get to old or feeble to complete them.  To some, they call it their ‘bucket list’, but I believe life should be one series of adventures after the next.  I started my Adventure List – and then I put others’ needs before my own and my List has been collecting dust. THAT is the only thing I am ashamed of these past few years. I had made a promise to myself, and looking back over the past 4 years, I’ve realized I have neglected that promise. If someone comes into my life – they MUST care about me enough to help me fulfill my dream, not ask me to choose between them. THIS is part of that anger I’m feeling.  I’ve never come first – it seems …not even from myself.  I have a lump in my throat right now because this is one of those bitter truths I’ve had to face – I never come first, MY wants and needs have never been put first.

I’m dusting off and going to update my list over the next few months – you’ll probably see a bunch of blog posts  about it as I start to tick off those boxes, and I’m shifting my focus – have already shifted my focus – to fulfilling my adventures.  Getting Anthony shipped off to the Navy is at the top.

  1. Live ALONE.

My door is no longer open to ANYONE.  I’m sorry – but I can’t do it anymore. I’ve literally given up my privacy, my space, my life, my room, my time, my goals  – to provide and take care of the needs of others.  My children are grown and capable of taking care of themselves. I’m in no committed relationship with anyone. My door is not open. My sign reads: “No Vacancy”.  The next time I live with someone will be because I have made a vow to share my life with someone, and I don’t see that ever happening. If I have a friend in need, I will work hard finding them somewhere ELSE to go, but it will not be with me.  I’m done taking care of the world. My dog Bella is the only being that will live with me. I don’t want a roommate. I want peace. I want space. I want my fortress of solitude.

  1. Write More
  2. Play More Music
  3. Read More
  4. Paint More
  5. Explore More
  6. Laugh More

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good – Get After It

You’re probably going to see this a lot in the near future, because when I heard Jocko Willink give this little speech on his podcast on YouTube, it hit me – deep in my bones and it’s burning it’s way into the center of my soul.  I hear Jocko’s voice, but I feel God’s prodding.

Listen to it.

Listen to it again.

Listen to it every morning when you first wake up.

Listen to it with your heart and soul.

Listen to it with purpose.

Listen to it until you get it.

Then, when you get it …listen to it some more.

This speaks to the Warrior in me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Hop, blogging, Dream, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Muses, music, Philosophy, poem, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress

Progress

 

Ever heard the old adage, “If it’s too easy, you’re not reading the fine print?”  Or yet a better one, “If it’s too good to be true, it often isn’t?” There’s always a catch when it comes to shortcuts, especially when it comes to dreams and big obstacles that come into our lives. We are a Burger King world where we want it our way and we want it now. But, life will remind us that it’s not always good to have things ‘our way’ and patience really is a virtue.

Right now I’m working on a couple goals, and healing from a huge obstacle that had been in my life.  I’m not making huge strides, but I am making positive progress, and that’s what matters most.  I’d love to have the speed of the rabbit, but I’m learning the steady pace of the turtle will win my race.

I write this blog, and post my posts on social media, and my smiling selfies, not so I can shout out to the world to look at me and see what I’m doing.  I write to me, and I post to me, as a way to remind myself where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.  It’s so I can track my progress.  How do I know if I’m moving forward unless I have these little reminders that mark my journey?

Some think I’m being narcissistic or vain, but I really don’t give a shit what they think. The only people whose opinion truly matters know who they are in my life. They know where I’ve come from, where I want to go, and encourage me every step of the way forward toward progress.  One of the best things I’ve done for myself these past several months was to remove myself from the toxic, judgmental, self-righteous selfishness that beat me down every day. I have surrounded myself with beautiful, loving, kind, considerate, thoughtful, generous, smart, and driven people – because I needed it.  I was exhausted and broken – and even reached a low point where I just wanted to die so I wouldn’t feel pain and disappointment anymore.  I did my best, but I realized that nothing I ever did or would do was ever going to change anything. I was out of place, running the wrong race.  But, now I’m free and I am so thankful for the beautiful people that inspire me.  See, that’s the difference – I’m surround by people that motivate, encourage, and support me, human beings I’m proud to know who don’t ask anything of me, don’t use me, and don’t take advantage of me, but only ask for me to be me and to be happy.

I needed to be saved – from myself.  I needed to be free – so I could rescue myself. I had to start all over again – from the bottom, but I’m moving up – one small step, one small accomplishment, one small decision, one small action, and one small moment at a time.  I’m making progress.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Faith, family, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Quotes, relationship, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unforgivable

Unforgivable

 

Is there really anything that is unforgiveable? Something so bad that we just can’t accept or pardon?  For me – YES.  There are definitely things, acts, decisions, and actions in this world that I will never be able to forgive, not even for myself if I did them.  Before you start throwing your judgment darts at me – let me remind you that I’m not God.  I am a human being, filled with both the capability and capacity to do good AND evil, to love and hate, to judge and forgive.

However what does it really mean to forgive? What makes the things we do either good or evil? How are our actions and thoughts placed upon the morality scale?  Who made the scale? Is the scale the same for everybody else?

This is the cause of many wars, mankind’s idea of what is right, wrong, moral, and divine.  It’s a battle of ego – who’s right and wrong, whose god is the real god, whose god is the false god, and of what is truth and what is defined as opinion.  For me, and I can only speak for me, we don’t really need those ‘written’ laws, decrees, commandments to know the difference between right and wrong.  We know it the moment we think or commit an act if it’s wrong or evil, and that’s when we start looking for excuses and loopholes to try and feel better about our decisions. Getting caught or being sorry has nothing to do with forgiveness.

I have done evil. I have done thing in my life that when I did them, I knew it was wrong, not because someone told me, or a religion commanded and declared it so, but from this gut feeling, this sinking knowledge deep inside that let me know it was wrong.  I have acted in anger, jealousy, hurt, selfishness and pride – and cast my judgement on others for doing the same. There may have been reasons, but there is never any excuse.

Am I unforgivable?  I can’t speak for others or for God, only for myself. It has taken me years to forgive myself for some of the things I’ve said or done, there are some other things I’m still working on making right. Not by saying, “I’m sorry.” No, by studying my true intentions, my true motives, my true desires and trying to understand and learn, to see the consequences of my choices, and how those choices affected others and the world around me. Did I learn something from them? I can’t even begin forming the idea of forgiveness until I understand and face the dirty, ugly truth of my actions.

Forgiveness isn’t a word, it’s a state of being. I can’t just give it to myself, I must step into the truth of it, and I can’t do that unless I first face my offenses, face my actions, face my consequences in TRUTH. Then … when I look upon myself, my true self, I have another choice …to love myself anyway – as the dirty, sinful, hateful, pathetic and weak being that I am – love myself anyway.  I am NOT talking about making an excuse – but really seeing the truth of me. THEN – and only then will forgiveness become available. Some of us have done so much for so long our souls no longer cry out and we no longer feel any shame or pain.  In essence we have lost our souls and are dead inside. Forgiveness is for the soul, so it’s not going to be available for the soulless.

I’m sure we’ve all done things that we are not proud, that we are ashamed, that haunt our souls – for those of us who still have them. I’m sure we’ve all lost our minds sometime in moments of weakness, moments of pain, and moments of fear, leading us to do unspeakable things. Ignoring our truth doesn’t make them go away. Denying truth doesn’t make things in a state of have never happened.

Seek forgiveness and free your soul. All – not some of us, but ALL have fallen short of the glory of God.  The difference is who stays there and who rises. Don’t lose your soul. Don’t ignore your truth. Seek and find your forgiveness. Only YOU can do it.  Let stop worrying about what others have done – and look to ourselves.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Philosophy, Poetry, Quotes, Relationships, Review, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Joy of Writing

The Joy of Writing

I’ve read many of stories or books that start the title “The Joy of Writing,” but never really consigned myself to the concept.  Writing was anything but a joy. It was exciting, thrilling, frustrating, stressful, mind-blowing, and confusing and every other emotion on the spectrum from one extreme to the other. But, joy?

Do we categorize breathing as a joy? Or how about urination or yawning, or sleeping?  Well, I can see where sleeping might sometimes be a joy.  But how can we categorize natural occurrences, something that so much a part of you and instinctual be considered a joy?    Writing is part of who I am. Constructing a story is a part of my every day, every moment existence. I see the world as one long epic tale, and each major event it’s chapters, and each segment a paragraph, a sentence, or a word. Those moments are what makes up life and as a writer I am a recorder, a scribe, and an observer of life.

I don’t just write for fun, or therapy, or clarity, or need. I write because it’s who I am.  It’s like being a mother. While there are all the books out there in the world that tell us how to be a mother, I found out that being a mother is a natural thing, a instinctual thing.  My choice comes into play by deciding what type of mother to be – nurturing or neglectful, etc.  I am a writer and the only choice I have within this vocation is what kind of writer to be – and if you’ve followed me for any length of time you will find that I am a multiple-faceted writer – a writing diamond. I’ve dabbled in journaling, blogging, novels, novellas, epics,  punditry, op-eds, technical, business professional, auto-biographical, legal, free verse, poetry, screenplays, reviews, editorials, memes, short stories, flash fiction,  and songwriting lyrics. If I think about it, I’m sure I could add a few more in there – but I think you get the picture. Writing is just something I do. It’s natural.

Yet, writing isn’t without its own rules, standards and styles.  So, I have to learn them. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are just basic skills needed to be a writer, because after that comes tense, perspective, pacing, style, structure, threads, inciting scenes, prologues, forwards, and on and on and on.  These are skills developed over time and experience.

So, how is writing a joy?  I suppose the joy of writing is the ability to do it, and love doing it in the first place. I do love writing. It’s a part of me that comes alive and thrives within me. I am a collector of stories, a re-teller of tales, a silver-tongue, a scribe, a keeper of legends. How can one not find joy in that? When we leave this world, all we leave behind is our story.  Who will read it or hear it unless it has been written? I don’t need a Sorcerer’s Stone to make me immortal – I just need to write. While my body will leave this place one day and turn to dust, my stories will remain until it is no longer retold or pages are lost.

That’s one thing that makes me sad – the forgotten of those that were here before.  I sometimes walk graveyards and whisper to the headstones, “Hey, I see your name. You existed. You once were here and you once lived.” I know it’s probably crazy, but I don’t want to be forgotten. I don’t others to be forgotten. I don’t our history to be forgotten. I am an orphan and often feel forgotten in the world, so I write. Oh, the joy of writing.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Book Review, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Flash Fiction, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, relationship, respect, Review, Romantic, Short Story, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Never Quit Never Surrender

Never Surrender

 

I’d love to say that I’ve never quit anything, succeeded at everything I’ve set my mind to accomplish, but that would be a lie. I have quit. I have ran away. I’ve turned my back on a dream, on people, and even on life at times. I know how to quit. But, I also know the cost of quitting and it’s a lot more than what have cost me to dig in and keep going. I’m not just talking about the good things I’ve quit, but the bad as well.  I’ve quit smoking, I’ve quit bad relationships, and I’ve quit bad eating and exercising habits. Those choices may have been for my good, but they are under the category of quit.

So, to say “Never Quit” is to set a false expectation, a false reality, because there are times I will need to quit, there are things I will need to quit in order to succeed, in order to move forward, in order to protect and thrive. But what do I replace it with, because the sentiment is the same for those things I do want to achieve, I do want to succeed, and I want to conquer, because in order to do so I have to have this ‘never quit’ attitude or else I fail when it gets hard. Anything of value is going to get hard, guaranteed. What is the true war cry, what is the true sentiment, what truth can I grab hold of with both hands to be my strength and my shield as I go through my challenge?

Perhaps, “Never Surrender” is the better sentiment.  To surrender, means to concede, yield, capitulate, give in or give up, to relinquish control, to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

I have goals, dreams, and objectives to complete in this life – and they’re hard. My workout this morning is hard. My job is hard. Survival is hard. Trying to maintain a healthy balance of everything is hard.  Each of those goals and objectives has an opponent, an adversary, an enemy, and I must maintain control of my objective despite those difficulties. I cannot surrender or else I will lose everything I’ve worked for so far.

I made a meme this morning that hit my soul – that gave me that little extra boost to stay faithful and strong to my dreams. It says, “If you quit now …you’ll end up right back where you first began. And when you first began, you were desperate to be right where you are now.  See how far you’ve come? Keep going. Don’t Stop. Don’t Surrender. It’s in this moment, with this decision, that will determine if you fail or succeed …until the next moment when you must face the decision all over again.”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, love, Musing., Quotes, relationship, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roadblocks, Detours & Reactions

Roadblocks

I’m a planner. It’s that simple. EVERYTHING great I’ve ever achieved in my life came from envisioning what I wanted, making up my mind that I was going to have it, counting the costs to get it, and then constructing a plan of execution.  EVERYTHING.

But, like all of life – things don’t always go as planned. We find ourselves headed toward our destination only to come across roadblocks and detours. They are always unwanted, but are they really unexpected?  They usually are, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. We should always have a plan B, or C, or D, before we ever take a step with plan A.

I don’t like roadblocks and detours. My destination is clear, and I want my path to be clear. It never is. Roadblocks and detours are one of my triggers. Not because I can’t handle the change in the plan. Quite the opposite, I thrive in change, in uncertainty, and in chaos. It’s how I’ve lived my whole life. I’m OCD and organizing chaos is one of my gifts. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t react negatively when chaos comes and disorganizes what I’ve already put in place. It’s like spending a lot of time setting up dominos to fall just right and have something come in before the setup is complete and knocks them all down. I don’t like it and it causes me to grieve the work I’ve already invested, the dream I already dared to dream, and disappointment at the expectations I’ve already developed. It triggers my anxiety.  Not because of fear, but from the residual pain of 48 years of disappointments.  In the same measure my anticipation for residual joy is just as great, my hope for a deep love is real, because I’ve had it and have experienced it before.

I learned a long time ago that I can’t control everything around me (believe me – I try), or always what happens to me, or what happens in the world around me. The world has Murphy, Free Will, and Intent (whether good or evil), Natural Law, Cause & Effect, Good and Bad, and Chaos. All those things have the power to cause good or bad things to come into my life, cross my path, or affect me whether directly or indirectly – completely out of my control. I can always speculate why something happens to one of us, and not another, etc. That only drives me to frustration trying to figure it out.  I accepted a long time ago that sometimes bad shit happens to good people, and good shit happens to bad people, and bad shit happens to bad people, and good shit happens to good people. Good and bad shit happens, period.

But, what I do have control is how I respond to the shit that happens to and around me, to the roadblocks and detours that come along my road to the goals I want to achieve. I don’t like them. I don’t want them. I try to avoid them. BUT, I don’t let them stop me.  I just find another way, take a less traveled path, a harder path, one that requires more skill or sacrifice, but I keep moving toward my goal, never taking my eyes off my destination.

I had a major roadblock pop yesterday and it triggered me, and there were a few moments where the anxiety overwhelmed me and I found myself in a panic.  Not because I couldn’t handle the situation – because the situation has been handled. I have taken care of myself my whole life. I have faced every adversity or problem on my own. I always have, it’s actually one of my greatest strengths, but it’s also one of my greatest weaknesses. While it has sharpened my survival skills (something I think a majority of our millennials sorely lack), it’s also built a wall of self-reliance that keeps people on the outside. My anxiety doesn’t come from having a problem to face. A problem is just an opportunity to discover a solution, to use my mind, skill and creativity to achieve something. No, the problem wasn’t the problem, the true problem was that I felt completely alone. That isn’t the truth, but it’s what I felt and it’s what triggered my anxiety.

I don’t fear failure. I don’t fear adversity. I don’t fear struggle. I don’t fear pain. I fear – shutting down emotionally, hiding behind my walls, being so fucking stubborn and independent to not let anyone in, to not trust that someone would be there for me. I fear it because I’ve been there behind that wall, in that numb state of shutting down my emotions so I don’t feel, for a very, very, very long time.  It protected me at different times in my life – and I’m grateful I was able to disconnect – to survive. But, I don’t want that anymore. I’m so scared to not feel, to not trust, to not love, because that’s not the life I want. I want to feel EVERYTHING. My Anxiety and Fear practically screamed at me that nobody cared and nobody would be there for me, making me realize I’m still that defensive little girl that won’t let anyone touch her.

I don’t NEED anyone. I handle my own shit – always have – always will. I WANT someone. I want to be able to turn around and somebody be right there beside me AS I face my roadblocks and detours, not for them to remove them for me – but be there beside me as I remove them.  But, in that moment – I felt completely alone and that familiar wall slammed hard against me. I cried sitting in my car for a good ten minutes.  My true roadblock wasn’t my car troubles, but my trust troubles. But, I face what I fear.  My hands literally trembled so hard it took me a few times to dial the number and call the people that are important to me, the people who I would stand with and support in their times of need, trouble, or pain, people who I love and would fight to the ends of the world to protect, to help, and sacrifice everything I have to make sure they get what they need. I just don’t expect it in return – ever – from anyone. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

When I contacted those important people, I passed on some of those frustrations– but not on the truth – I masked them behind the car situation.  Will I ever trust anyone? I want to, I really do, more than anything in this world.  I want to know for sure that someone out there in this universe really loves and cares for me. Is there any hope? I keep saying I don’t need anyone to save me – and I don’t in a physical, financial, or intellectual way.  But, emotionally – I need a fucking hero.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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