Posts Tagged With: Friends

Brotherhood

Brotherhood

 

In an attempt to bury my head and to keep myself from feeling sorry this Father’s Day weekend, I delved into binge-watching the show SEAL Team starring David Boreanez.  I watched all of Season 1 and am part way through Season 2 now. It’s a great show. I found myself teared up a few times, and on the edge of excitement and/or tension at other times.  The storylines were familiar, sometimes too familiar, but I thought they were well-written and not glamorized in Hollywood fashion, beating us over the head with their slanted agenda.

*Small rant* – Usually when someone has a personal agenda when they write a story, the story isn’t balanced, and that imbalance makes it not work. The general population is mostly ignorant, but a bad story is a bad story regardless if observed by the ignorant or intelligent alike. *Getting off m soapbox*

But, I think about the moments in SEAL Team that brought me to tears and asked myself why that particular scene affected me so much, curious as to what truly touched the nerve and evoked the emotion I fought so hard to suppress. When I’m alone I try not to suppress my emotions because my home is my safe place, but it’s a hard habit to break.  I didn’t realize it until this morning what moved me so much – the brotherhood.

For as long as I remember, I have loved and admired Military personnel. I don’t really prefer one branch above the other, though at times one may have my attention more than the others.  James was an Army Ranger – so Rangers were my focus for a long time.  Emilio was an Army Drill Sergeant.  Jeff was an Army Ranger.  Homar is a Marine. Jenna was Army. Evenlyn was Army. Brad was Navy. Matt is Marine. Chris is Marine. Matthew is Reserve. John was National Guard. Scott was Navy SEAL, and so on and so on.  I have many friends who have served this country in the Armed Forces from every branch – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and National Guard.  I am drawn to them and feel a kinship, yet still feel on the outside.  But, why do I love them so much?  I think it’s because of the ‘brotherhood’.

James was the first person to ever make me feel loved and safe. It should have been my family, but I didn’t have that kind of family.  I had many brothers, and though I love them and will always love them, we were not a brotherhood.  I carried them, but there was no one to carry me. I had to learn to carry myself. I had a biological mother and father, but make no mistake, I was an orphan. I was married for two decades, but was never really wanted or ever felt at home in his family. And I’ve been in a couple relationships since where I just didn’t belong. James was killed in ‘93 and with his death I lost that sense of belonging. Just before he died, I would hear him talk about his brother’s on his team, and I was jealous, but only a little because I knew in his heart I was also part of his team, that I held a part of his heart just like his brothers.  I wish I had got to know them, but I couldn’t even tell you one of their names. I think I’ve been seeking them out in all the service men and women I’ve met over the years.

I don’t feel I belong anywhere, and that I’m constantly on the outside looking in the windows of all the brotherhoods around me.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been loved in this world – by my kids, by my friends, even by my ex-lovers. They all loved me – but they were not my brotherhood.  This world is a hard world and I’ve had to fight my whole life to survive it. I am a survivor. I’m not a victim. I’m laughing/crying right now, because I’m thinking about Marcus Luttrell, and I want to say to him, “You think you’re the Lone Survivor? Yeah, you’re the one who survived Operation Red Wing, and you lost your brothers (my condolences), but you had – and still have – a brotherhood.  You were NEVER alone. You have a brotherhood until the day you die. You’re so fucking lucky.” I mean that with the utmost respect. He’s one of my true life heroes.

So, I think I’ve discovered what it was that truly evoked my emotions this past weekend. It was Father’s Day and I was lost. I have no father, no father-in-law, and no husband that’s a father, no boyfriend with kids, no son with kids, and no son-in-law with kids to celebrate with and/or for. I loved seeing all the people honoring and loving their fathers. I was so jealous.  Angry at those assholes who did not honor their fathers.

God is my father. He is also my brotherhood. I believe He put this love in my heart for warriors and brothers in arms. It’s not the uniform I love – it’s the bond of love that is formed in these teams.  The tighter the team – the stronger the bond. Maybe I’ll find my team someday. I think my biggest hope is that one of these brothers could someday love me the way they loved their brothers, and that they would fight for me, protect me, and be there for me with the same dedication, fight and determination – willing to sacrifice it all. But, if not – I got this.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Don’t Need More Sleep

We Don't Need More Sleep

“No, we don’t need more sleep. It’s our souls that are tired, not our bodies. We need nature, we need magic, we need adventure, we need freedom, we need truth, we need stillness.  We don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live.” ~ Mermaid Musings

Still meditating on the amazing words spoken by Navy Seal Admiral McRaven in his commencement speech to the graduating class of 2014, inspiring us to make our beds as a first step to changing our world, this beautiful saying by Mermaid Musings compliments it well.  I agree, we don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live. Wow – that hits right into the center of my soul.

I sleep when I’m depressed, when I’m emotionally tired and worn out, when I’m feeling hopeless and afraid.  When I’m not wanting to deal with the stresses and pain of this world, I long to sleep and slip off into a land of fantasy and hope and magic. There’s nothing wrong with that, and perhaps at times in our life we need it, but not for too long, not for too often, and not as a way to avoid living our lives.

Life is hard, but it’s also good.  It’s tough, always, but so are we.  I have a friend who is a Navy Seal and he says that the easiest day was yesterday.  That is so true.  I’m not looking for easy, I’m hoping to find an inner strength inside that gives me the strength to conquer each day.  I start that by making my bed every morning, making and completing small goals throughout the day, working toward bigger goals for the week, the month, the year and the rest of my life.

Making goals and chasing them – that’s living.  Living isn’t dreaming – but chasing the dream.  Living is feeling everything – the good, the bad, the happy, the sexy, the heartache, the joy, the love, the pain, the rejection, the failure, and the success. I try not to deny any of it, because all those feelings and experiences make me who I am.

I don’t want to sleep my life away. I don’t want to miss an opportunity, an experience, or a moment because of fear or being too lazy to care.  Life is messy. It’s hard. None of us are perfect, but we are perfectly imperfect.  I’ve been through hell and have endured unimaginable horrors, but I survived and I overcame.  I love in spite of hate. I care in spite of indifference. I hope in spite of failure. I keep loving in spite of rejection.

We get one life. One.  I’ve been here forty-seven years and my tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I don’t want to put off tomorrow what I can experience today. I don’t want to put my life on hold, hide, or sleep away biding my time until magic happens, because it never will.  The only magic we get in our lives is the magic we make, we pursue, and we imagine as we are living.  Not every day is going to be a good day, but I want to be alive in the midst of them.

I’ve lost so many people in my life that are not here anymore or not part of my life anymore – and loss hurts.  Change hurts. Love hurts.  But, I’d rather hurt that not feel anything. Because if I don’t feel the pain, I also don’t feel the love or the joy. I want to feel it all.

I’m in the beginning stages of falling in love right now. I’ve met a wonderful man who I admire and he inspires me so much every day to live.  I can’t guarantee our future, or if he will even be a part of it, but I’m open to see what happens and go where this path may lead.  I’ve met some great new friends who make my soul happy, who encourage me not by their words, but because they’re busy living their lives and pursuing their passions. I love people who are chasing their desires, setting goals for themselves, and doing what they love.  I’d rather be with someone who has nothing and struggling to achieve something, than be around someone who has everything but lack vision or a goal.  I love the dreamers and the visionaries, and people that are not afraid to risk their hearts.  I’ve missed that so much in life.

No, we don’t need more sleep – we need to wake up and live!

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Musing, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Today

Not Today

I have this insatiable bad habit of noticing the broken and seeing the damaged, and then immediately my mind and heart begins racing and my brain begins looking for solutions, remedies to heal, to help, and to pull all those broken pieces back together. I’ve always been this way, probably because that’s what I’ve needed most in this world.  But, I’m really working on retraining my heart and my brain to say, “Not today.”

There are many little quips and memes that I pull from the card catalogue in my brain to help.  One of my recent favorites, probably because I just visited the zoo, is to remind myself, “Not my monkey; not my zoo.”

Why this change of heart?  Because I allowed myself to get lost, becoming stuck in that frame of mind and trying to save everyone around me.  I’m the one that drowned.  I’m the one that ran out of air.  There was no one there to save me. I lost sight of all MY goals being so concerned with everyone else.

Please don’t get me wrong. I STILL care. I STILL worry. I STILL desire to see those I love healed, healthy and happy.  I just came to the realization it’s not in MY power to give that to them.  I can’t save them.  They have to want to save themselves, heal themselves, and be happy with themselves.  JUST LIKE I DO.

That’s what I’m doing.  I’m healing myself. I’m working on getting my body, mind and soul back to a healthy medium.  I am working on MY happiness. I’m not there yet, I’m just beginning, but I am walking in the right direction. Some days I take giant leaps, and other days I curl up in a tight ball and hold myself so tight just to feel arms wrapped around me.  It hurts.  God it hurts. Dealing with failure always hurts.  Being unloved and unwanted by those you loved most ALWAYS hurts. Recovery always includes a mixture of pleasure and pain.

My good moments now outnumber my bad moments.  I smile more often than I cry. My body is changing, getting stronger, slimmer, and more tanned and toned.  My soul is mending one tiny rip at a time.  I’m being surrounded by light instead of fighting alone in the darkness. My tribe is coming together and lending me strength and courage.  My daughter is my biggest light and inspiration. My friends are beautiful to me. My new friends are water to my soul.

We’ve got ONE life, people, just ONE.  I can’t afford to keep wasting what precious little time I have left in this world on stupid, shallow, vain, and selfish things or people.  I value MY life too much to allow that bullshit to drag me down. I want my life to have value, to have meaning, to not be a waste of space.  I am fiercely guarding my life from the stupid shit and people that don’t give a shit about their own lives and want to drag me down. I am learning to let people solve their own problems. You want to waste your life chasing after a drug instead of love – go for it.  You want to be angry and spend all your time being destructive and blaming the world for your problems, being a manipulative asshole instead of becoming a decent human being – go for it. You want to be a shallow person and tick off your notches by fucking whoever whenever instead of investing in a real relationship – go for it.  You want to hide from the world because it’s too uncomfortable, too inconvenient, or too scary to get out there, to face rejection, to face your fears in order to succeed in life – go for it. Don’t look to me for help anymore, because the only thing I’m going to say is, “Physician, heal thyself,” walk away and then shout to the heavens, “Not today!”

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Destiny, Dream, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Life, love, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swoozie’s Cheerleader

Okay, if you guys don’t know my boy Swoozie, from YouTube, you’re missing it. Adande Thorne is infectious. He’s one of the naturally funniest guys I’ve ever watched.  My good friend, Emilio Solano, introduced me to his videos a few years ago, and ever since I’ve been a loyal fan. I anticipate his videos and when I see a new one has been posted, I literally can’t stop the smile that spreads across my face. I usually watch the video right there, right then, even in the middle of a date, No matter what I’m doing, except perhaps while having se… well, maybe even then too, I’ll stop and watch a Swoozie video.

He’s charming. He’s funny. He’s adorable.  He puts it all out there, all the embarrassing stuff, all the mistakes, all the funny day-to-day life tragedies and mishaps.  His raw honesty helps restore my faith that good men still exist. He’s brilliant. He’s talented. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also very, very handsome. It’s also a plus that he’s a gamer, but doesn’t let the games consume his life. I have this fantasy of us playing a video game and the controllers get all mixed up… and… um… well… where was I?

But, seriously, one of the reasons I love this guy so much, is because I see what’s not quite apparent. He’s talented and a hard worker, and he’s out there doing it, chasing his dreams, and making it come true. He’s an inspiration because as a writer, author, and artist, I hear so many people talk about their dreams, talk about what they want to do in life, but I don’t see them doing a damned thing to go out there and make it happen.  It’s like this world expects everything to just drop in their laps like they’re entitled, but dreams require sacrifice, they require dedication, they require sticking with it when it looks like the whole world doesn’t give a damn – but you. I’ve watched Adande back when he only had a few video posts push forward.

Every time I saw him accomplish something else, I smiled.  When my boy went to the White House to interview President Obama, man… Oh, man… I was so damned proud.  His success has NOTHING to do with me, but I can’t help feel like I’m one of his cheerleaders from the sideline, cheering him forward, and getting to witness his run right into greatness.  Watch this man!  I’m telling you, watch him… because he’s one of the greats.  His spotlight is bright.  His presence is infectious.  His mind is clever.  His determination is steel.  He’s going to make it. I can already see it, and I can’t express how freakin’ proud I am.

The very first video I watched by Swoozie was Video Game Girlfriend, and then a year or so later, Kiss the Gamer Girl.  He blew me away. I know he’ll absolutely have you rolling on the floor.

So, guys and gals… if you haven’t checked out my friends, Swoozie, what the heck are you waiting for?  Do it now. I promise… I promise… you won’t regret it.  In fact, you’ll be sending me messages thanking me. Show the love, people. Don’t forget to let Swoozie know how much you love his videos once you do fall in love with them.

Till next time,

~Swoozie’s Cheerleader

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My Family, My Clan

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Family is a mixed up concept for me.  I often struggle with the thoughts of whether my emotions are connected through an intangible bond or from man-made expectations.  I understand the biology, the nature, but I have also witnessed the nurturing bond that families produce as they take care of one another.  I even understand the bond that survival produces – when people are thrown together in violent or volatile situations.  Yet, all this understanding doesn’t answer the question of why it hurts so much to be rejected by those we expect to love us most. Is it some unseen bond that has us endure that which hurts us, or just stubbornness?

I’m a beautiful woman.  I’m adored by many.  I’m pursued by several and even have inspired arguments, fights, and jealous disagreements. Yet by those who are supposed to love me most, I’m rejected and unwanted. But, don’t judge my ‘family’, because the feeling is mutual – I reject and do not want them either.  I’ve often felt guilty for feeling this way.  Many of the people that have come through this life often try to make me feel guilty for feeling like that, but I’m honest about how I feel. I always have been, and that’s not something easy to face.

There is this group of people that have come into my life recently where I feel such a deep bond.  I question if it’s because I’m in survival mode and I’m bonding with them for that reason, or is it because they nurture things in me that have been long neglected.  They adore me.  They make no secret I’m wanted, I’m needed, or even that I’m desired.  This group I’m talking about is my Destiny clan, Omega Victrix Mortalis.  They’re my family, and like all families, they are a motley crew of one mess after the next.  It’s like we are the clan filled with misfits, rejects, and the misunderstood.  What makes us different from the other clans we meet in the land of Xbox Live, is because we care about each other as people.

Recently my beloved clan has endured a division where a couple members (family) cared more for the game, more for the power and control, and more for the stroke of ego than for the people behind the controllers.  My gameplay is important, something I often struggle with much stress and trepidation, but it’s the lives behind the controllers I care about most.  This split hurts because I have to watch more people I care about walk out of my life.  I will stand by and watch them go, because I’ll never be where I’m not wanted.  I’ll never want or force someone to be around that doesn’t want to be around. Just because I’ll stand to the side, doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain of that separation, or the rejection.

For those who have remained, they’ll never know how much they mean to me. As I mentioned before, we’re a group of misfits, but this bunch of misfits have some of the greatest hearts I’ve ever met.

Phoenix Mortalis – (the defender) is a young, twenty-year old, gorgeous, shy college student, studying to become a CSI agent.  He’s loyal.  He’s sensitive.  He notices the little things.  Though a girl getting upset makes him very uncomfortable, he’s always there, even if it’s being there in silent comfort for those in his circle.  He’s a true knight in shining armor, willing to risk everything to protect, to defend, or to support.  He’d make a great soldier because he already has the natural instincts of a defender.  He has a tight inner circle and guards it well.  But, if you’re lucky enough to get inside that circle, you’ve truly found a beautiful treasure of a friend. He’s a great player.  I watched him do amazing things with a broken controller.  The greatest was his determination.  I watched him do amazing things with limited abilities, and since he’s regained a lot of those abilities, he’s gone on to do even more amazing things.  He reminded me of how wounded soldiers who never let their disabilities define them, but strengthen them.

iTz CriMSonDxsk – (the nurturer) is a young, twenty-year old, gorgeous, shy college student, studying to become a Surgical Technician and currently works as a transporter at a hospital.  He’s also loyal and sensitive.  He’s an Empath – he feels what others feel around him. He’s one of the best gamers I’ve met so far, a beast in the battlefield, and there isn’t a feat yet I haven’t seen him unable to accomplish.  He’s a natural.  He’s humble. Yet he desires no power or praise for his acts.  He doesn’t seek the limelight but prefers to sit in the shadows, yet is unable to hide in obscurity because he’s in great demand.  Players constantly seek him out to join them because he’s the best.  He’s greatly misunderstood, often thought of as naïve, but he’s much more complex. I see a great man in the making.  There’s no ego, just a quiet confidence.

RevertantPath – (the counselor) is a young, seventeen-year old (going on 40), not sure if he’s gorgeous or not because no one has seen his picture but he has a heart of pure gold (with a dash of trickster), shy, high school student who doesn’t yet know what he wants to do with his life.  He’s also loyal.  He’s a fountain of information and wisdom.  There’s no task he’s afraid to tackle.  He’s independent, yet he understands the bonds of our family.  He never hesitates to jump in and help someone out, yet never asks for help (because he doesn’t need it).  He’s mostly quiet, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t listening.  He’s always listening.  When he decides to speak (it usually starts with … “So, I’ve been thinking… “) you should pay attention because what follows is always something deep, something profound, something often unexpected from such a young man. He’s left me speechless many times.  He’s not afraid to confront, yet chooses his moments with precision.  He’s one of the wisest people I know (and I know a lot of them).

iTz CrimSon Jr – (the mascot) is a young, thirteen-year old, who I’m sure is adorably cute, funny, and a big ball of energy.  He brings life to the party chat and game no matter what’s going on.  He’s a reflection, a symbol, a mirror of who we are as a clan.  He loves without question.  He trusts without wariness.  He’s a treasure to be protected, not manipulated and used.  He reminds me what it’s like to be a mother.  I miss being a mother, being needed.

The rest of our clan is filled with other wonderful members too.  They have their own set of skills and diverse personalities.

  • CJBIGMAC never fails to make me laugh. I could listen to his silly stories all day, his natural and free responses to every situation, and his KV worship is like no other.
  • gr3y ninja is often really quiet, but when he gets relaxed and lets out his personality, it never fails to make me laugh. Just don’t depend on him if his girlfriend calls. She comes first.
  • XxTrsXshoTxX is a little passionate in both positive and negative ways. He’s a beast in the Crucible and a great asset in the raids, and a faithful helper when you just need someone to hang out with to help with missions and bounties.  I like to listen to his silly stories.
  • Oz Bacon is another little trixster like RevertantPath, but he’s also fearless, ready to jump in no matter how big the task.
  • Set off the DJ is still getting his feet wet, but so far he’s doing a good job. If only I can get him to understand the usage of ‘wilco’.
  • Deathstroke1997, Phoenix Mortalis’ brother, while busy with school, he’s a great player and never hesitates to jump in and help where it’s needed.
  • Mike Honcho470 is guy I went on a date with and the whole time talked so passionately about Destiny that I inspired him to go out and buy an XboxOne and Destiny. While this is his first FPS game, he’s got a zeal that’s to be envious.  He never fails to make me smile.
  • Last, but not least, is Godly Furrrball. I love Destiny and the concept of clans because of this gorgeous man. The way he talked with admiration and pride about the boys in his crew stirred a deep need in my heart and made me realize I had an empty space in my own that needed to be filled. My clan has done that for me.  I also admired the pit bull in him that would come out to defend his family, even if was against me.  He’s taught me a lot. He’s pushed me beyond my limits.  He’s broken my heart.  Hey, he’s family, what can I say.

There are other players in the Destiny universe that I play with often whom I also view as family even if they’re not in my clan … (ZeroFX AirB SGT, SxProphet, WARSHAC, OZ Vinyl, UCindian11, ShumateClan(Little Light), logjmr, Blaxican, SkyBlaster, and all those guys in I Am Leg3nd, and my son, JewsDestroy99.

So, what is family?  Who is family?  How is family defined? I suppose it’s defined by whatever I choose.  I choose my Destiny family.  I love them dearly.

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

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All I Want for Christmas …

All I Want for Christmas

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The last two holiday seasons haven’t been very ‘joyous’ to me because I’m having this internal struggle with what form I want to ‘celebrate’ the holidays.  I suppose my struggle all along has been me fighting against tradition and expectation more than anything.  I find myself once again pushing back on this huge, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, block of tradition trying to dictate to me what I should do and how I should feel.  It reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting.  I always felt out of place because I lived in a world that was nothing like his paintings, yet I wanted that world more than anything.  I eventually created that world for me and my family – and enjoyed it for nearly 20 years, but felt like a fraud the whole time.

Everyone has their own experiences and interpretation.  For some it’s in keeping the religious observance.  But even for those who march to the crusade to keep “Christ” in Christmas against a  PC world trying to destroy other people’s faith in their own bitterness, they too fight that same curse of tradition  – like everyone else.  What I find ‘funny’ (not really funny) is that Christ often rebelled against man’s traditions, explaining to them they lose the heart of their sacrifice in order to keep the observance, thereby invalidating their efforts.  In the end, he was crucified because of tradition.  It all goes back to Cain’s offering – it wasn’t the offering, but the heart in which the offering was given.

Don’t even get me started on the commercialism of the holiday.  It’s really gotten to the ridiculous stage.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a giver.  It’s in my nature to give.  It’s something I desire to do for those I love, and even the occasional stranger.  That will never stop.  It’s just who I am.  However, I detest being told to give, or being expected to give to people who don’t give a shit about me the other 364 days of the year because I happen to be related, in the same community group, belong to the same church, or work with them.  It defeats the whole heart of the giving in the first place.  But, with the sales that go on – it’s the best time to buy for those we love.  The whole process has become so … hell, I can’t even think of a good enough word to describe it.  It sucks the life and joy out of the act… and the pressure it puts on people – abysmal.  I have a feeling the commercialism destroys more relationships than it ever helps.

The holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s) were the most fun when my kids were younger.  Doing things to see their eyes light up on their faces, watching their joy and excitement as they dress up, pig out, and with sleepy eyes open their presents, and watch the fireworks explode in the night were the best times.  It wasn’t about the stuff, or the tradition, it was about the connection.

All I want for Christmas this year is connections.  This has been a tough couple of years – lots of changes, lots of adjustments, lots of fear.  Walking away from all my security and everything ‘normal’ I’ve known, facing uncertainty every day, and then standing face to face with death  – kind of changes a girl’s perspective.  I want those simple beautiful moments that make this life worth living – a phone call from a friend to talk to me when I’m having trouble sleeping, a link to a song that touches my heart and reminds me of beautiful things, just hanging out while wrapped in pair of friendly arms so I don’t feel so alone, a friend showing up to spend the day with me killing aliens and talking about nothing important, a silly text from one of my kids, a Skype session with my bestie talking bullshit, or getting annihilated in a game of Words with Friends.  These are the things I crave most.  I don’t want the world or anything in it.  I just want to love my friends and family, and be loved in return.

Someone recently told me they were sorry for not being able to give me what I wanted, to love me like I wanted, yet they never asked me what I wanted.  They just assumed my expectations and made the decisions concerning our relationship for me.  I had no say.  I had no choice.  I think they would have been surprised by my answer, but now they’ll never know.  It turns out, it wasn’t the relationship they didn’t want that was lost – but the one they already had. It was something precious and beautiful, though I doubt they’ve noticed it’s gone. It’s not their fault – I’m simply unlovable. If I could give them a gift – it would be happiness.  But I know I’m not the one who can give it to them.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  I have no more faith to wish for a tomorrow.  All I can see is today.  Yesterday means nothing, it’s gone, it can’t be changed, it can’t be re-lived, nor can it be revived.  Today is all I have.  Today I want love… nothing more, nothing less.  If there is no tomorrow for me, know I loved today the best I could.

For those who believe  – Christ gave his life for us because he loved us.  I know that includes me, but knowing something and knowing something is two different things – and I know nothing.

Till next time,

~Clueless at Christmas

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Cowards & Fools

Cowards

You know, I have fears just like everyone else. Contrary to popular belief, I’m a human being and have emotions.  There’s a lot of evil in this world, and I’ve unfortunately faced a panacea of it, and the result is I carry a constant wariness.  I’ve learned how to build walls, place distance, and shield myself by saying no and gathering the courage to walk away.  Yet, despite my shaking hands, I face most of my fears.  I’m not afraid to fuck up, nor am I a coward to own up to my mistakes.  So, I find it quite vexing to be surrounded by cowards – people who talk tough, puff out their chests, and project an image of strength.  Yet when it comes times to act they run and shoot their arrows from the shadows, negating any sense of responsibility.

Right now I’m fighting the biggest battle of my life and it literally rips my heart in two when I see great men run away in cowardice… over stupid little shit that means nothing.  A great man isn’t the one that can hit the hardest or kill the most.  It’s the one that can do all those things, yet with the simplest touch of tenderness earn the devotion of his men.

Case in point.

I recently had the honor and privilege of meeting a man who is strong by all outward appearances, even physically he looks like he could tear your head off with relative ease.  What attracted me to this man was his sense of authority.  When he spoke, those around him listened and followed.  He was a natural leader.  I got to witness this leadership, not by his words only – but by example.  He jumped into the trenches, wasn’t afraid or too haughty to so the menial things in order to help build his team.  Oh, he was tough, and spoke tough, and was hot-headed like you wouldn’t believe.  I watched him verbally incinerate people like a pit bull.  That’s what I compared him with – a pit bull whose growl made all the other tough-talking men sound like puppies in comparison.  I was impressed by this, not because of his domination, but because I saw his aggression as passion.  Passionate people love deeply and hate magnanimously, but they at least feel.  I got to see that compassionate side too… when he stuck around to help a wounded friend.  I was colored impressed.

This man’s compassion was also evident in the way he spoke of his friends and allies.  The love, pride, and admiration that he espoused stirred up my longing to be a part of it, carrying a hope that one day he’d speak of me with like compassion.  I followed this alpha dog around the yard, so proud to be part of the pack, enjoying all the rough-housing, the playful yard fights, just happy being there… until one day he turned around and bit me.  At first I thought it was a small nip of correction, but it wasn’t.  He got a taste of blood and the next thing I know he’s got me in a throat clamp.

Up until that point, I could understand.  I was a new bitch in the yard.  I needed to be tested before I could be fully accepted.  My presence stirred some of the Betas to become courageous, and because one dared to deny the alpha, he was rejected from the pack.  That principal in and of itself, I could understand.  But what shocked me is the display of cowardice that followed.

After the big yard fight, and my submission, all became quiet and the Alpha took his spot on his throne and the rest of us all went to our little corners to lick our wounds.  Assured by the Alpha and all the Betas privately that all would be well as the sun set, that all was forgiven, that tomorrow was a new day, I woke with the golden light of dawn to an empty yard.  The liars moved on in the middle of the night, in the shadows, slinking away like cowards as I slept.  Yet, they were far from unified.  As they reached the edge of the wilderness, they all scattered like the wind. All but the Alpha circled back to me alone in the yard, promising me that I was part of their pack, and that all would be well when tempers cooled. If not, that I had a place in whatever new pack they formed.

This once beautiful pack that I loved, admired, and was often jealous of their bond wasn’t as it had seemed.  For a while I thought I had caused the fissure between them, and the guilt ate at me. I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t sleep.  When taking care of myself was the most important thing in the world, I instead worked tirelessly to try and breach the gap – urging all of them to return to the Alpha without me and make things right – because what they had was worth fighting for, it was one of the few beautiful things in this gray-colored world.  But the Alpha disappeared into the forest, leaving the pack scattered.

I know now that the cracks were not created by me or my presence.  They were already there and I just happened to be a catalyst that brought those hidden things to the surface.  I still believe that there can be reconciliation, but not from the shadows.  I’ve moved on and joined another pack, yet determined to remain independent at the same time.  My hope is that these young pups return to their Alpha.  Life is too short to have stupid shit like this destroy something so beautiful.  If they could see themselves the way I saw them, they’d see it’s something worth fighting for.

I’m forced to face the possibility of death as I fight for my life.  In this perspective some fights are futile, yet some are worth the pain.  There’s enough shit in this world, don’t let this be another piece of it.  The beauty of this pack was never about the game, but the brotherhood.  Scores don’t mean shit, skill means nothing, and tournaments don’t compare… to the friendship, the love, the support of knowing someone’s got your back, someone’s there when you need them, someone gives a shit whether you’re dead or alive.  Trust me – those are the important things in life, they’re what make life worth living.  Cowards get hung up on the bullshit, because they’re too afraid to let someone get close. Getting close, means exposing yourself to the possibility of getting hurt.  So, instead of putting that possibility on the line – they hide in cowardice – kick out, unfriend, ignore, and run away because that’s the easy thing to do.

I’m such a fool.  I know I’ll die a fool and I’m okay with that.  In my foolishness, I’ll still love the unlovable, even when they will never love me back.  I’ll still love my introverted friends who don’t need me or want me.  I’d rather be a fool than a coward, though I’m often both.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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We Are Immortal Gods

We Are Immortal Gods

It’s a rainy, dreary Monday morning, but there’s a part of me – a part deep down inside that still dares to hope for sunshine and rainbows; a part that forces my eyes open when I find myself knocked out again; a part that is stubborn and refuses to just give up.  Perhaps it’s my inner goddess.

Most of you know I’ve been playing the game Destiny on my XboxOne lately.  Even in a video game I’m being reminded of a lot of things that I needed to remember. Some of those things are:

– what it feels like to be at the bottom when everyone around me seems to have everything mastered.  Just because I’m not as skilled doesn’t mean I’m bad.

– what it’s like to feel excited again, playful, sexy, and funny right in the middle of a fierce battle and a group of confident veterans. It’s hard to just be yourself in every situation. Here lately I’ve felt like I’ve had to hide who I am, once again become what was expected of me, instead of just being who I am.

– what’s it like to face impossible odds, knowing I don’t stand a chance, but give it my best , and keep fighting until I reach the end.  Being a sore loser isn’t an option.  I may not be as skilled NOW, but I’m not a quitter.  I’m not a loser because I refuse to quit. I may or may never be the best – but I’m already a winner.

– what it’s like to be reminded there are kind people still in the world.

I met a group of guys from the We are Immortal Gods – clan.  Our meeting was by happenstance when Evil Flopic invited me on a raid (which I’m sure everybody else on the team shakes their head at him now for doing  – but they should forgive him because he knew not what he was doing).  I have a feeling our meeting was not by mistake.

Watching these guys play, listening to how they interact with one another, how they help one another, how they bust each other’s asses, yet how they band together  – is so inspiring. There’s a brotherhood with this group of strangers that is so beautiful I often become jealous of their closeness.  They’ve been together for years and through many different games.  That closeness isn’t a recent event, but one that took years of making.

My heart is overwhelmed at how quickly they accepted me into their clan. And they just didn’t accept me to accept me (they are only a clan of 6 – and have been for a very long time – so it’s not like they’re accepting everybody, because I’ve seen them play with a dozen or more new ‘friends’ but not extend a Clan membership invitation – which makes them accepting me that much more precious).

This clan has spent countless hours with me, bringing me into raids, strikes, and activities that are inconvenient and often a detriment to them.  They do it for me – to help me level up, to teach me how to fight.  They have patience with me, and grace – because of my inexperience I bring their whole team down and they have to pick up my slack – and in the gaming world points, status, records, awards … are all important.

These are not mild gamers but players at the top of the leader boards.  I go on Crucible Control raids with them,  and seriously EVERY TIME the members of my clan (I love the sound of that) are at the top of the leaderboard and have the highest kills and k/d ratios.  I’m of course (not always, but most of the time) at the bottom of the list. I’m sure I’m the single reason for a few (there have only been a few) of their match losses.  But they’re patient with me and never hesitate to invite me along. They smack talk and give me a hard time (I love it) – but they’re also equally encouraging.  The running commentary would have your stomach aching from laughing so hard (don’t get Furball started on the 1-death/1-kill record in a Crucible match). If they didn’t pick on me, I wouldn’t think they liked me. Even if they never said a kind or encouraging word, their acts of inviting me along says more to me than they’ll ever know or could ever say.

These guys may never know (because I’m not telling them) how much I needed them at this time in my life.  I didn’t know I needed them until I was right in the middle of them.  They’ve become my family even if they never know it.

  • The leadership and confidence of Wicked Furball is so inspiring and sexy as hell. When I hear him barking orders and watching the rest of the clan jump into action, he reminds me of a soldier leading his platoon.  He’s decisive and direct, not to stroke his ego to be in control, but to lead his team to the best possible victory.  He doesn’t need any of us and could outplay us all, but he chooses the friendship, the clan, the best interest of his friends over the records.  I admire him. I’ve watched others come into our fireteams and try to take control for control’s sake, but Furball is a natural leader, not in an alpha pissing contest way.
  • The organization of Evil Floptic is the glue that binds and keeps everyone together (and occasionally he’ll mess up and invite some crazy-ass woman to join them on an impossible raid and expose them all to something they were not expecting. Isn’t that how the Black Plague wiped out 1/3 of the population?)
  • Phoenix is my Battle Buddy. He’s always right there with me, covering my ass, checking up on me, hanging back to make sure I don’t get lost, and when I do, he’s the first to come back for me and lead me where I need to go.  He ALWAYS asks me what I need first, before letting me know what he needs to work on.  I can depend on him and not feel apprehensive to ask him for help, or feel like I’m bothering him if I connect to him, and that is one of the most valuable aspects I admire most.
  • ZeroFX AirB SGT – though not a member of the clan, his silent patrol missions are something else.

The guys brought me for the first time into the Vault of Glass raid yesterday.  Oh, it was so intense, and I know I caused distraction and more work for them (by not being able to defeat my share of enemies and having to be rescued and revived more often than the rest), but I nearly started crying (which I would never, never, never let these tough guys ever hear me) when I heard every last one of them (6 in the team) tell each other to revive or rescue me at different points during the raid– “Don’t forget about the girl.  Go get the girl.  Check up on the girl.  Where’s the girl? Hey, the girl’s still alive.”  With all the chaos going on – this WHOLE group watched out for me and watched over me.  I know I’m being such a girl right now – but that says more about THEM than me.

There are other friends I fight with in Destiny that mean a lot to me that are not part of the clan, but I consider them maybe cousins… LOL… xxTrsXShoTxX, PhillyzPhin3st, KILLER RIP 001, JewsDestroy99, Agent Lead, xLastxHero, Carnassis, and others.

Destiny guardians are just another social community of people with similar loves and interests coming together.  Much like the wonderful writers I’ve met on Scribophile and Facebook, I’ve now met another branch of the family.

I will end this post in the words of my (I get to say that because I’m part of the clan) fearless clan leader (and I’ve heard the rest of the clan use it as well… ) “I’m done.  I’m done, I tell ya. Done!”

Till next time,

~Kvothe09

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

Happy Veteran’s Day

Happy Veteran’s Day

Happy?  Is that the right word to use?  I’m not sure.  When I think of veterans it is not happiness I feel, but awe, respect, deep passion, love, and admiration.  Most often the feeling is so much bigger than I can contain, and much more than I can often express.

I know many veterans.  I’m not surprised that I’m drawn to them, because they’re beautiful to me.  I’ve never worn the uniform, was never married to one, for that matter I’ve never even officially been a girlfriend to anyone who’s worn those colors– but I have loved, love, am loved, and have been loved by veterans.

It’s not surprising that my three best friends in the world, the three people I love and admire most, are soldiers.  I can’t imagine my life without either one of them, and I hope I never have to live that reality.  They’re my heroes, my inspirations, my muses, my friends.  Not for anything particularly they’ve done in service, but for who they are as individuals.  One is my heart.  One is my conscious.  One is my soul.

There was a soldier who once had all three parts of me, but he lost his life in Somalia in 1993. I can’t tell him what he meant to me, how much I admired him, how much I appreciate his service and his sacrifice, his love, his dedication, or his commitment.  Somewhere deep inside I’m still waiting on him to come find me.  I’m always waiting, even though I know he will never come.  One of my best friends says he doesn’t believe there is anything beyond death, beyond this life.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, I can’t prove anything.  I’ve died twice, and saw nothing, but that doesn’t mean something doesn’t exist.  All I know is that deep in my heart I hold a hope and a faith, wrapped in the love I had for my soldier, that love will never die.  Love is still alive, even if my soldier is not. I believe it will still live even when I do not any longer.  Love is bigger than me, bigger than this body.  The love I have for my friends – it’s not just a physical love – but a love that transcends the body, more than something the mind can comprehend, and deeper than the soul can contain.

I can’t tell my lost soldier I love him, but I can tell the soldiers that are still in my life.  They’re beautiful to me. I often call them that – Beautiful.  I’m not sure they understand why I use that term.  It’s not in reference to their looks, appearances, or physical features (they are sexy as hell though), but toward the colorful essence wrapped in admiration I see and feel when I look at them or think about them.  It’s beautiful.  Why them?  I can’t tell you why my heart chose them, there’s no logical reason, it just did.  I’ve tried so hard to push them away, to forget about them, to not love them with such a deep love, but I fail in every attempt.  I think I try to push them away because I’m so scared I will lose them.

When I tell a veteran “thank you” – it’s not just for them and their service, but through them to all those who have served, are serving, and who’ve never come home.  It’s appreciation for the life they’ve voluntarily chosen, to give up their daily freedom for one of structure, rules, regulations, duty and service in order to grant me the freedoms and protections I enjoy.  Military life is hard.  For many, when they’ve returned home after combat they will find civilian life is complicated and filled with difficulty and struggle to fit into the chaos.  Lots of heroes come home to rejection, betrayal,  confusion, hardship, disrespect, doubting who they are or the value of their lives.  I can’t love them all, but I can love them through my three best friends and the military friends I make along the way – by loving them as much as I can.

I thank God for my veteran friends.  You are my heroes, and I’m honored to call you friend.  I love you with the deepest love of my heart.

PV2 J. A. Sandlin – thank you for your service and your friendship.

Sgt.  J. L. Suwak – thank you, Ranger, for your service and your friendship.

Sgt.  T. E. Solano  – thank you, Drill Sergeant, for your service and your friendship.

I know many more soldiers, marines, pilots, reservists and sailors… too many to name them all because I’m sure I’d forget one in the mix. Forgive me if I do.  M.C. Nannenga, D. Mathis, J.T. Watkins, F.A. Rogers, T. Bucher, G.G. Goad, S.M. McDowell, R. Swanson, B. Cerros, B. Christopher, T. Sharpton, C. Tinsley, J. Byrd, J. Banks, J. Sprunk, M. Lawrence, M. Cole, M. Sullivan,  S. Hardegree, P. George, R. Conner, S. Formby, R. Herbster, T. Kervin, Z. Starnes.

Thank you all for your service.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Natural Stupidity

Natural. Stupidity

Why are our natural responses always the wrong way to act in a situation? It’s sort of like those stupid people in scary movies always making the wrong decision that would lead to a better chance of survival.

In fear, we run away and hide.  When has being alone and where no one can see you, hear you, feel you, or know you’re scared, been the best laid plan?  In my mind, I want to cling tightly to those who love me or who I love so they can help me feel safe.  Instead, I curl into a tight ball and shut everyone out.

In pain, we pull away and get angry at the ones who only want to help.

In depression, instead of surrounding ourselves with laughter, happy people, or exciting and vigorous physical activities that produce adrenaline and dopamine – we lay around feeling sorry for ourselves, being inactive, eating bad food, and ignoring everybody as we wallow in our depravity.

We’re stupid.  Life is too short for all this stupid shit.  Yet, here I am pushing away those who love me most, not sharing my pain, not seeking comfort in my fear from those I trust.  Instead, I’ve been playing with fire and hating myself for it.  I don’t know if it’s some kind of mental defect that causes me to punish myself, by hurting myself with destructive behavior.  It’s like I’m trying to make those who love me, hate me, before they choose to hate me on their own – as if me making them hate me would make it any better.  They would hate me if they knew how I was hurting myself.  I hate me. It’s like I’m on a crusade that declares, “Since I’ll never be good enough to love, I’ll bad enough to hate.”

Yeah, yeah… it’s stupid logic.  I’m not trying to justify this type of stupidity.  I’m just admitting I’m capable of doing it as much as the next person.

The next time you see someone being destructive and stupid, instead of judging them or get angry at them for playing the game, maybe take a step back and look at them with a different set of eyes.  Maybe they’re just scared, or they’re hurt, or they’re fighting battles you don’t understand – and they’re lashing out because they’re in pain.  Or maybe they’re just assholes.

It’s easy for us – outside the pain – to just say, “Get over it.  Grow up.”  It’s a different story when you’re on the inside.

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