Posts Tagged With: Choices

Life is Hard – Face it Anyway



I know I’ve said it a thousand times, but life is hard. At least it is for me. NOTHING is easy. Even my workout this morning was hard, but that’s not the thing on which I have to stay focused. No, when I mention life is hard, that’s just stating a fact and a truth.  It is hard. Really hard.  Even the good stuff is often hard. Getting up in the morning, opening my eyes to face another day – that is fucking hard.  BUT – how I face it   – that’s up to me.

I’d love to say that every day I wake up feeling like Tony the Tiger and everything is …GRRRRREAT!  But, that would be a lie and I’m all about the truth. There are some days I wish I didn’t wake up at all. There are some days I wake up and I’m ready to conquer the whole world. There are other days I want to burn the whole damned world down and all the people in it, because most often people suck.  (Hang on  …there’s a good message here.)

Life is a compilation of a series of events, some good, some bad, some really, really good, and some just fucking nightmares.  Nothing makes you see life in its complex simplicity more than losing someone you love or failing at a dream you’ve spent the majority of your life pursuing. These tragic events causes us to face our mortality.  We don’t like to acknowledge our mortality.  We love the illusion that we are invincible, immortal, and immune. But, we are not.

I’m an observer, a scribe, someone who watches, learns, learns how to learn, perceives and records. What I’ve discovered is that humanity is really complex.  One observation I’ve seen is: MOST people (myself included) spend a whole lot of effort, time, and money trying to hide from the pain and disappointments of life.  But, pain is a part of life and something we should face so we can heal.  We get disappointed because we had expectations.  We get our hearts broken because we first filled them with opportunities of love.  We get frustrated at our failures because we dared to succeed.  YET, we also feel pride at a job well done.  We smile when we experience love. We laugh when we feel joy.  We appreciate beauty because we have seen the ugliness in this world. There’s a balance to everything.  As Einstein says, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Don’t get lost in despair, but also don’t try to rush it either. Feel the pain. Know the pain you feel is because of the love you once had – and then move on.  Don’t stay still. Don’t let your worry, sorrow and pain rob you of your faith, joy and happiness.  Give it it’s time – and no more. Don’t hide it, try to shove it down, or ignore it – that heals nothing. Feel it. Accept it. Face it!

I have a new fitness goal and I’m excited about it.  I’m also apprehensive because I know to reach my goal I’m going to have to go through a lot of pain. It’s going to hurt.  Damn, is it going to hurt!!! I’m almost in tears thinking about the pain that’s to come.  BUT, I’m excited about what is on the OTHER SIDE of that pain. I’m excited about the good things that are also with me WHILE I’m going through that pain.  I’m excited about the support, love and encouragement I’m getting as I go through my journey. THAT people – that right there is what makes it worth facing the pain. Life is hard and full of different kinds of pain – truth – fact!  But, I’m not afraid.  I’m more afraid NOT TO TRY. I’m not even afraid to fail – because I know failure is a possibility.  BUT, I’m afraid NOT TO TRY.

I’m in a new relationship.  I know this new courtship can also fail, but I can’t let my fear of getting hurt again stop me from putting my heart back out there. There’s no success without risk. There’s no reaction without action. Yes, I could get my heart broke. Yes, it’s possible he will never love me or choose me. But, it’s also possible he will. It’s possible I have found a partner to share all the ups and down in this life with me so I don’t have to keep walking it alone. It’s possible I’ve found happiness. It’s possible I’ve met someone as tough as I am, who will fight as hard as I do, who isn’t afraid to go through the darkness and dance in the light with me.  It’s possible.  But, it isn’t possible unless I face it, unless I jump in and take a chance, and unless I let my walls down.  I’m afraid NOT TO TRY.

Life is hard. On those days I don’t even want to open my eyes, I do it anyway. When my body hurts and doesn’t want to move, I get up anyway. When Fear whispers its lies in my ears and grips me hard to face another challenge, I face it anyway. When Doubt tells me I can’t, I do it anyway. When Anxiety tells me I will fail, I try anyway. When Despair tells me I’m going to get hurt, I take a chance anyway. When Pessimism tells me I’m wasting my time, I’m optimistically hopeful anyway. When Insecurity tells me I’m not worthy, I love and appreciate myself anyway. When Rejection reminds me not even my own parents wanted me – to not waste my time and just give up, I take a chance and love anyway. When Death takes away my loved ones and my light and inspiration are stolen from this world, I inspire and seek inspiration anyway.

Again – I’m not afraid to fail or get hurt. I’m afraid to never try. I’m afraid to be one of the cowards of this world that can’t get their heads out of their own asses, who can’t swim in the deep waters because they are too shallow, who put too much emphasis on shit that don’t matter.  It’s vanity.  It’s as Solomon wrote – a chasing of the wind. I see lives nearly destroyed every day because of vanity and fear.  I don’t want vanity in my life. I’m not shallow. I don’t understand the ignorance of shallow thinking.  I don’t understand cowardice. I am afraid but I face my fears ANYWAY.  I don’t understand how people allow their lives to be cheapened by the unimportant things – yet I see them sell out every day and it’s everywhere.  It’s the disease that kills us all. I’m no coward. Life is hard, but I’m harder and I face it anyway.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Faith, friends, Life, love, memes, Musing, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Messes We Make by the Choices We Choose

The Messes We Make

We all have our own story, our own epic tale, and our own journey of discovery. We have a beginning, several inciting scenes, character development, a plot line, plot twists, climaxes, and a resolution, and some of us even have a prologue. But, very few of us have an epilogue. That’s something I hope to gain. Just like the vast array of books in a library or bookstore, there are many, many, many stories, and they’re all original. While some may be similar to others, each is individual and unique in their character and plot. Some of us have short tales, while others have many chapters.

Who is the author of our tale? As a writer, I often feel that my characters write the story and I am merely a scribe. Other times, I feel I’m the architect and creator, set the scene, and construct the plot. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. That’s the same as with our lives.  While we make our choices, Fate, God, and Karma set their traps and move us across our chess boards. We decide what moves to make, which pieces to act, but they decide how those pieces work, their rules, what spaces are available, and the size of the board.

Oh, the messes we make by the choices we choose. Hey, that’d make a good meme. I think I’ll also make that the title of this blog post.

How much of my story is mine? How much of it is the by-product of another’s story? How much is the mess of my making? How much more do I have? How much more do I want?

Some days I’m tired of my story and want it to end. Other days, there’s not enough pages to hold the tales I want to create, the epic I want to write, or the adventure I want chronicled. Is it a romance, a tragedy, a comedy, a thriller, a horror, a flop, or a hero’s journey? Can I change my course or is my plot set? Will I be saved, or will I save myself? Am I the hero or the villain?

I don’t know. Perhaps I’m just a shitty writer. Oh, the messes I’ve made by the choices I’ve chosen.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Fairy Tale, family, friends, Hope, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Triumphant Changes

Triumphant Change

Woo-hoo!!! 90 lbs, BABY!!!!! I’ve hit the 90 lb loss mark since January 2013!!!!!!

No pills, no pre-packaged meals, no counting, no shakes or gym membership, no personal trainer or chef.

But before you think it was an easy, quick fix, let me reassure you – it was ANYTHING but easy.

The FIRST step: Changed my mindset. I quit telling myself I NEEDED all those things listed above in order to get healthy, because those are just excuses. Yes, I had physical problems, mostly due to my poor health and obesity.  But to change it for good – to change the outside – I had to change my mindset that it wasn’t just something I needed to do, but what I had to do, what I deserved. I deserved to be happy. I deserved to be healthy. I deserved to be sexy and beautiful.

The NEXT step: Changed my lifestyle. I quit sitting around all day. I started walking, scheduling outdoor activities, parking at the end of the parking lot – not the closest spot, started walking up stairs instead of elevators, started hiking, participating in 5k runs, and started exercising. YES it hurt… ALL of it hurt, but I didn’t try to master it all at once, I just simply made it a necessary part of my lifestyle. I also didn’t depend or count on anyone else to do it with me… because this journey wasn’t their journey – this was mine.

The LAST step: Changed my eating habits. I learned to moderate the portions and types of foods I consumed. I didn’t follow a strict diet plan, just a principal… eat in moderation and as natural as possible. I can have ANYTHING (other than to what I am allergic) I want – as long I balance it out, eat an appropriate portion, and don’t feed my emotions. I learned to enjoy my food. I learned to cook gourmet food, to love plating, and to appreciate natural fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. I smile now when I go to eat, instead of looking at food as my enemy. It wasn’t the food, but how I consumed it.

I’m sure I’ll lose more weight, but my journey isn’t just about the weight… it’s about the freedom that comes from living a healthier lifestyle. I wish I could snap my fingers and be able to share this same type of success with everyone who struggles with their weight, but I can’t. This is something that you have to want and do for yourself.  The goal isn’t to lose weight, but gain a life of healthy happiness because you love yourself and believe you deserve to be healthy and happy.

I also want to add… I didn’t do this alone. I have a couple of friends who loved me, encouraged me, and were there with me every step of my journey. They didn’t run beside me, but they were there through all the tears and triumphs. They loved me – and that love pushed me forward. They know who they are (because both of them HATE any kind of attention), so I don’t have to mention them here – but I love them more than I can ever express.

Till next time,

~The 90lb lighter T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being a Fool and Chasing Foolish Pursuits

Being a Fool and Chasing Foolish Pursuits


I’ve been so busy setting new goals, kicking a lot of things I’ve set aside for the past year back into gear, and focusing on the tasks set in front of me that I’ve forgotten the main purpose that brought me to this point in my life. It’s hard to keep that particular goal in the forefront, because it’s not the goals the world considers important or crucial for success.

Success is measured by the collection of things, by education and knowledge, by the achievement of status, by the acceptable recognition of things like hard work and sacrifice.  I know …I’ve lived my life in pursuit of such success – the education, the career, the status, the collection of things.  I’m one of the hardest working people I know, operate with a spirit of excellence in everything I do, and have exceeded every goal I’ve ever set out to complete or accomplish.  And the world has loved me for it and showered me with all the praise it could afford.

Yet NONE of it satisfied me, my soul, or my heart.

I sacrificed so much of my life in the pursuit of these ‘things’.  I put “me” on hold as the last priority as I pursued them.  Where has it led me? I have an excellent education, I gained lots of material possessions, I climbed the corporate ladder, I raised my children, I built a great nest egg, I planned for my future, towed the line, walked the straight and narrow, gave as much as I gained, done my civic duty, became what was needed to make those around me proud and happy …for what, …in pursuit of what?

Here I am once again, receiving the accolades for my hard work, my accomplishments, my successes, my drive, my determination (my weight loss, marketing, editing, support, friendship, job) …but what of me?  What of the woman?  Once again professional, financial and successful opportunities present themselves – and I know (because I’ve been there so many times before) they will require sacrifice to obtain and maintain.  But what no one asks, no one considers, no one understands …is the true sacrifice it will require – me.

I’m 42.  What has all my sacrifice in the past gained me?

The last couple of years I took a chance, and for a moment thought about me and dared to dream, to see, to hope, and to desire the kind of woman I wanted to be – a woman happy, loved, wanted, and desired, living a life in pursuit of her passions, simply being loved, being the bright spot in someone’s life by just being me, not for what I could do.  I fooled myself into believing I deserved to be that woman, there was someone out there waiting to love me, and that love and passion were the successes in life worth sacrificing for – and so I sacrificed.  I walked away from a 20-year (safe, passionless) marriage, from material possessions, from financial security, from a hard fought career, from the American dream, from nest eggs and a middle-class lifestyle.  WHY?   – For the chance to achieve the dream.

Here I am.  I look around me and feel I have failed ….ME.  I’m once again offered the kind of success that I’ve known all my life – a great career opportunity, financial security, the means to gain back some of those material possessions I left behind, an easement of my hardships.  I know what sacrifice they will require.  But what of my dream?  What of my passions?  I reached for them – but somehow they’ve slipped through my fingers. I touched them, tasted them, but for only a brief moment.  I help others reach for their dreams while my own remain stagnant.  I encourage others to take a chance on love, yet I go to sleep alone every night.  Will I only be loved for what I do, what I accomplish – not simply for who I am?  Will I never be someone’s bright spot – the love of their life?

What do I choose?  I don’t want to just exist. I want to live my life to the fullest.  I want to find success in happiness, in love, in passion, in health, and in adventure.  I don’t want the prison of worldly success, because I know this time …it will require my life; I will die.  I must be the biggest fool in the world to want these things, to believe I deserve them. It must be true, because I look around me and I’m the ONLY person I know who has actually put their whole life on the line to find them. All around me people talk of taking the risks, and make some minor attempts and vain efforts, but they don’t jump.  They only take chances from within their secure lives – but turn away when it comes time to actually pay the sacrifice – the possibility of losing everything.  They love the idea of the jump, but still stand on the precipice, often turning away from their dreams and settle for the practical. That hurts my heart to so much to see it. I’m the only fool who jumped, and I landed flat on my face.

No one praises me for being a fool. My choices are: 1. Lay here and die. 2. Get up and continue in my madness.  3. Turn back toward the worldly mountain of success, knowing the climb will kill me, and that I’d never have the courage to jump again. I’ve been told all my life that if I work hard NOW, I can enjoy the fruits of my labors LATER.  Later never comes.

I choose to remain a fool, being a fool, and chasing foolish pursuits. Though I see no fruit, no evidence, and no proof –  I still believe in love. I still believe in passion. I still believe in me as a writer, and that it’s what I’m meant to do. Someday I will be loved, wanted, and desired, be someone’s bright spot, the love of someone’s life.  Someday my written words will inspire, move, and motivate someone else – and touch their soul, maybe even save a life – even if it’s just my own.  Yes, I know it makes no ‘common’ sense.  I know it defies logic and is contrary to the world’s meaning of success.  I know it only makes my life more difficult, keeps me scared, broke, often hungry, and mostly alone.  I’m an artist, and I’m alive.  I’m living for me.  I so appreciate my friends who have stood beside me.  I’m proud of this fool – whether the world agrees or not.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passion vs. Indifference

Passion vs Indifference

Photo by T.L. Gray


“Some men are too dull to feel what might happen. Others torture themselves with maybes and populate their dreams with horrors more terrible than their worst enemy could inflict upon them.”
― Mark LawrencePrince of Thorns

This is one of the reasons why I’m a Mark Lawrence fan.  There are baubles of wisdom such as this all through the Broken Empire series.  While I zip through his books on a first read to discover what happens plot-wise and character-wise, I then slow down, take my time and meditate on many of the passages, such as the one listed above, and really sit back in awe at his wisdom.

This phrase has been rolling around in my brain for a few days because I find myself once again at another crossroad, with another huge decision to make, and teeter back and forth concerning my choices.

I’m guilty of doing everything described above.  At times, not because I’m dull, but perhaps because I’m numb, I can’t even form the words in my mind or heart of what might happen, so I feel and think nothing, pushing all thoughts away.  Then other times, many times really, I lose sleep worried over all the possibilities of what could be successful, and terrified by all the fears of what could be disastrous.   Welcome to humanity.

However, if I had to choose between the two, I’d choose the latter, because I’d rather feel fear and uncertainty than nothing at all.  Indifference, in my opinion, is the worse state to exist.  Anger, hate, fear, hope, love and anticipation are all varying degrees of passion.  I’d rather be passionate, even if it’s passionately wrong, than be passion-less, indifferent, or dull.  I might as well be dead.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Inspirational, Musing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at