Posts Tagged With: Moving on

The Importance of Setting Goals

The Importance Of


I just can’t do it. I can’t be the kind of person that lives by the seat my pants and plan to have a bat in my hand to take a swing at all the objects life wants to throw at me. YES, there will always come an unexpected obstacle, and we should ALWAYS be ready and willing to be spontaneous, but that doesn’t mean we don’t set goals for ourselves or design an outline to help control the direction we walk.

All life is chaos.  It’s fluid, it’s moving, it’s modifying, it’s ever-changing, and most of all it’s full of drama.  Not matter how much we protest, we can’t remove drama.  However, by the goals we set, by the structure we build around our lives, we sure as hell can have an effect on the kind of drama we attract and deal with on a daily basis. I touched fire.  I got burned. There’s a scar. I touched it again, and got burned again, and it left another scar. While I don’t completely remove fire from my life, I now know better than to touch it again. I won’t live my life without fire. But, I also don’t let fire trap me or burn me up anymore.  I am born of fire. It’s a part of my soul. I’m just learning how to control it better.  Can I get burned again? Absolutely, but it won’t be because I reached out for it.

I love goals. I love having aspirations and dreams.  The spirit woman that lives within me – she’s dances in the sand with her bare feet, she lifts her arms to worship the sun and moon, she bathes in their light and warmth, she closes her eyes and sees the beauty of all that God has done in, around, and through her, she breathes life, and to her NOTHING is impossible.  Freedom isn’t free. Peace isn’t given. Hope isn’t alive without first being planted and watered and harvested. Love – love has so many colors, so many valves, so many branches, and so many facets like a diamond. Health must be maintained. Prosperity isn’t guaranteed but must be pursued with passion.

I am so blessed because I can reach unimaginable heights of peace, love, success, health, and imagination and I don’t need drugs, alcohol, sex, or another person’s attention or money in order to reach them. I’ve never been a drug or people user.  My drug is love – life. I’m not blind to the evil of this world, I’ve often been its victim, but I don’t strive to escape the pain or dull my senses so I don’t have to feel, or separate myself to try and protect myself from getting hurt again. I’m not a coward. I’m sorry, but I believe with my whole heart people who use drugs, money, sex or people are COWARDS.  No – I fight like hell to rise above it, to heal from it, and to learn. The heartbreak I’m going through right now, I choose to face ALL the pain, so I can heal.  I face all the uncertainty of every day. I have no security but myself.  So, I understand the importance of setting goals. I have dreams that I want to make a reality. I have responsibilities that I need to fulfill.  I’m a grown ass woman and I face my own problems and I take care of my own responsibilities and bills. I’ve got my shit together.

I was angry and greatly hurt from the neglect I received from my last relationship, but the person I was angry at most was myself – because I neglected ME.  I set my dreams and needs aside, ignored my goals and wants, and drowned in the despair that followed allowing the toxic darkness to consume me. Love wasn’t enough.  I got lost.  I misplaced that girl with her all-consuming fire.  But, I’ve found her again – and together we dance under the moonlight, and in the sun, and in the rain, and the spirit wind moves all around us.  My biggest goal is to never lose her again.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Destiny, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Love You, But I Hate You Too!

I’ve wasted so much time on you, most of it waiting …waiting for you to call, waiting for you to text, waiting for you to think about me, waiting for you to choose me.  I’m always waiting.

I check my phone a thousand times a day just to see if you’re there.  My heart skips a beat every time I hear the message notification or see the green blinking light.  Every time when it’s someone else I feel my shoulders slump and a lump of disappointment tighten in my throat.  I’m always checking.

I try not to think about what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, or what’s got you preoccupied.  When I feel you crouching on the edge of my consciousness, I remember your smile, your laugh, the sound of your voice from the moments we’ve already shared.  I can’t help but smile. I’m always wondering.

I’m trying so hard to live my life without you, because you’ve left me no choice.  You stole my heart and never gave it back. I love you, but I hate you too.

I hate the way your words move me, push me outside my box, and make me think of things bigger than me.  You challenge  me.  You don’t just let me say what I want.  You question my motives, my core believes, but not to argue – to understand, or to get me to understand a different way.  I don’t always agree, often disagree, but I don’t doubt your sincerity.  You’re not indifferent.  I’m always pondering.

I hate how you know the perfect song, the perfect word, the perfect story, the perfect game for me, ones you know that will touch my soul, make me cry, motivate me, or make me think.  You also share the things that move you, giving me a peek into your heart, your emotions, and your passions. Many times I’ve cried many tears listening to the beautiful messages, melodies, and meanings. I’m always listening.

I hate how I shiver when you touch my hair, how my stomach flutters when you look at me, or  how I feel safe wrapped in your arms.  I hate it, because each time you do those things I betray myself and all the promises I’ve made to hate you. You unravel me and melt my resolve.  I used to think I was strong, having bravely walked away from impossible situations,  hard choices with even harder consequences.  Why can’t I walk away from you? I’m always returning.

My world can be in chaos, flipped upside down, falling apart, but one message from you, one word, one look, or one touch and it suddenly shifts, rights itself, and I feel emboldened, strengthened, and calm.  But as time goes by in your silence, in your absence, my world starts falling apart again, and after a few days, a few nights, I can feel the tattered shreds and the pressing walls.  I hate that you have that power over me, because you don’t deserve me. I’m always falling.

You don’t deserve my good mornings, my good nights, my dreams, my thoughts, my hopes, my wishes, my musings, my time, my attention, or my love.  I’m not yours. You’re not mine.  I would have followed you anywhere, but you chose another.  You chose a path I cannot follow. You say you took the safe route, the sure path, and perhaps you’re right.  I’m not safe. I’m not sure.  I wander down the unexpected, the odd, the complicated, the bold, the quirky, the wild, the open, and the honest paths.  I am the hard way and I never stay still.  I have scars.  I have imperfections.  I have fears. I’m always running.

Part of me dies a little every day without you, but another part of me fights to live, and every day I fight to breathe.  I love you, but I hate you too.

One day I’m going to be okay without you, my heart will once again belong to me, and I will hold it, and I will heal it, and I will make it whole again.  Because I’m not afraid to love me, and walk down the unexpected, the odd, the complicated, the bold, the quirky, the wild, the open, and the honest paths. I embrace my scars, celebrate my imperfections, and fight through my fears. I’m worth it. I’m never giving up… on me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Not Giving Up …Changing Gears

Not Giving Up …Changing Gears

Just to be clear, I’m not giving up on dating right now, I’m just not giving it any of my focus.  I do plan to return to the wacky world of 21st Century dating after I take a little time to figure out what the hell I want to do first with the rest of my life. I’m at a crossroads …again.  I really wish I could find me a nice, long, winding, coastal road, one that I can just sit back and enjoy the scenery and get past all the interchanges.

I’m changing gears.  I’m taking a new road.  I’m looking for new adventures.  One thing I’m not changing is my focus and my direction.  I’m not looking backwards. I can’t go back to what had been, and I have to let go of what could’ve been.  Both were beautiful dreams, but the journey has moved on and I have to make room for new horizons. I know where I’ve been, I know the road I’m on, I just have no idea where it leads.  In some ways I like that – just hitting the open roads and letting it take me where it dares.  But, in other ways, I need at least a near point of reference.  All I know is forward.

I guess the first question is …what do I want? How the hell do I know?  Seriously, do any of us know?  I can’t answer that question, not honestly.  I know more of what I don’t want than what I do.  The only thing I know that I do want is something real.  I’m so tired of all the bullshit.  I’m tired of the games. I’m tired of the excuses.  I’m tired of the delusions.

Over the last several years I have done some really hard soul-searching.  I have uprooted everything in my life, put myself out there, and dared to love.  I have met some assholes and I have met some angels.  But mostly, I’ve met a bunch of liars. Why is the world so afraid to be honest, to be who they really are?  I’ll tell you why… it’s because they have no fucking idea who they are or what they want.  They can’t even see the obvious lies right in front of their faces.  Can I do this, too?  ALL THE TIME.

I’m not perfectly minded, but I’m honest.  I’m not perfectly sculpted, but I’m real. I’m not perfectly educated, but I’m smart. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I learn from them.  We all have fucked up, many times, but we have to learn to get back up and keep moving forward, keep learning, keeps trying, and really live in the moment.

I have faced death and I have won.  It’s changed me, I mean, it’s really changed me.  It’s not only changed a little part of me, but it’s like I’m being reborn again – made new.  There are so many things I could go back to, but the life bubbling inside me refuses to allow me to look backwards.  So, I can’t.  Sure, there are things the world made say needs to be fixed, but I disagree.  I will not step backwards… but forward.

What does this mean to all the plans I once had, the dreams I dared to dream, the work I was working on, and the relationships that have come and gone … that none of them are guaranteed to be a part of my life now.  I’m alive.  I’m awake. I’m moving on.  Everything up to this point has helped get me here, and I’m grateful, but not everything or everyone will be moving onward with me.   If it wasn’t good enough to sustain me then, I’m not wasting my time hoping it would sustain me now or in the future.  If not loved then, they don’t deserve to love me now.

For those I leave behind, while I may miss you, I don’t need you.  I’ve never needed any of you. I wanted your love.  If you were in my life it was because I chose you, I loved you, or I wanted you.  If you couldn’t simply choose to love me back, that’s your loss and your dumbass decision. I’ll never be where I’m not wanted.  I won’t love, wait, and chase that which doesn’t want to be found or loved. I can’t save you and it’s not my job to fix  you.  Love yourself, guys.  Me, my love, who I am, what I have, or what I can do for you will never be enough.  I don’t want anything from anyone but honesty and something real.  Take your lies, your games, and your fucked up ideas and go away. If you couldn’t fight for me in the storm, you don’t deserve to dance with me in the sunlight. I’ve had enough bullshit.  I’m so thankful to be alive.  I’ve got things to do, places to go, dreams to chase, but I don’t have time for nonsense.

So, having said that – I’m going to take a break from the dating scene for a little while, re-evaluate who I am, what I want, and get my life set on a particular road, and then perhaps take another look at the idea of dating.  It’s quite exhausting shoveling through bullshit, talking to people who don’t listen, or caring for people who don’t care in return.  I’m running.  If you can’t chase me, you sure as hell will never catch me.

I’m happy.  There’s been a smile on my face for days now and it’s for simply being appreciative to be alive, for being and loving myself just as I am.  I’m alone and happy – go figure.  Don’t call me with your problems.  I actually don’t answer my phone much these days.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Etching Scars Upon Our Souls

Etching Scars Upon Our Souls

There’s something inside me, a certain flickering flame, one that for a brief period of time burned really bright. So bright, in fact, it threatened to consume everything inside and around me. With both feet, I surrendered to it. It was magnificent, wonderful, and greater than anything I could ever imagine.  But it was only for a moment.  Over the past year it’s been dying.  I felt it slipping away from me.  Every day it grew smaller, colder,  and darker.  Every once in a while It would flare, just for a second, before it dimmed even more. The difference is that I’m not doing anything to stop it, now.  I’ve done everything I could. I don’t understand why it has to be this way, but I’m praying it will hurry and die completely.

I can close my eyes, hear a particular song, or come across a familiar scent and instantly be transported back to that particular moment when that flame burned it’s hottest.  I can still feel myself shaking as I stood on that curb, and in the background heard the sound of jet engines.  It’s like an adrenaline sting  – ice and fire at the same time.  I’ve tried to hang onto that feeling for as long as I could, but I’ve finally reached a point – to let it go.

Recently, I’ve sought to see if another flame could be lit in its place. For a brief moment, the band-aid held. While there were definite sparks, there was also something missing inside.  I’ve felt this emptiness before.  It’s familiar.  It’s the same numbness and void I felt standing in a little restaurant many years ago staring down at a set of dog tags.   I can still hear the sound of those tags clanging against one another,  reflecting the sunlight off their dented faces, sliding around along the riveted chain that held them. They made a distinct sound.   Even to this day I can’t breathe when I think of that moment.  What I find odd,  I pass that little restaurant almost every day now –  and though it’s closed, I can still feel the pain of that moment as if it were yesterday.

There are some moments in our lives that create these shadows, imprints, rifts in the universe, etching scars upon our souls.  They never go away.  Some are good, some are bad, all are significant.  This is yet another scar.  But as I have survived the others of my past, so too will I rise above this one.  This latest burned brighter than all the ones before.  Perhaps the next one will consume me completely.

Till next time,

~Scarred Soul

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Philosophy, Spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where To From Here?

Where To From Here


Have you ever been in one of those transitional states where the past is almost behind you, but you’ve not quite stepped squarely into your future?  I hate that place of transition – but it seems that’s where life is lived – in a moment of transition.

I’ve been here for a while now.  I’m not complaining.  I’m moving. I’m breathing. I’m feeling both anguish and hope, but the key is that I’m feeling.  I’m awake. I’m aware.  I’m not just existing from moment to moment, counting down the days to the weekend, to reach the weekend and have it pass in a haze.

A very close Sergeant  friend of mine seems to live in the day.  I admire that.  I’ve been working hard trying to apply that to my life, to focus only on the here and now and what I can do to make my life better, happier, and more full in the day, in the moment.  The moments I’ve been able to do this have resulted in some very awesome adventures.   But this way of thinking goes against my very nature.  I’m a planner… I like to make lists and count all the costs of time, energy, heart and money before I start anything.  This is how I’ve been taught.  Responsibility, excellence, and accountability were drilled into me so fully that I already had everything figured out before I made the ‘leap of faith’.  (Yes, there was a hint of sarcasm in the oxymoronic example.)

The true Leap of Faith I took was when deciding to live my own life – for me – landed me flat on my face. It had me questioning everything I ever thought or believed.  It forced me to look at myself honestly.  Who likes to do that?  The woman reflected back at me broke my heart.  I hated who she had become because she wasn’t herself.  She didn’t know who she was or what she wanted.  She’d spent too much of her life trying to please and take care of everyone else – her god, husband, children, pastors, church, family, job, career, fans, etc.  Only as each of those things were snatched out of her hands (and literally all of them did at one point) did she face the fact she couldn’t save or help anyone until she saved and helped herself.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been loving me and taking care of myself in every way.  I’m establishing a relationship with myself.  I’m learning my likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, values, ideals, dreams, limits, pleasures, capabilities, weaknesses, sensibilities, desires, etc.  I’m dating myself, and I have to say I really like the woman I’m turning out to be.  I’m crazy, I’m passionate, I’m hungry to live, I’m adventurous, I’m imaginative, I’m sexy, I’m low maintenance but high class, I’m honest, and I’m brave.  I’m often afraid, but I face my fears – especially facing the truth.  I’m compassionate, optimistic – yet stoic and realistic.  As one friend recently told me – I’m a contradiction of contradictory contradiction.  I will stand against a tempest and beat my chest in defiance, yet curl into a ball and wish to close my eyes and drift from existence all in the same day. I love deeply, yet believe I’m unlovable.  I’m not afraid of confrontation.  I hurt honestly.  I’m not always right (oh, boy do I know that) but I’m always wrong – honestly. I can admit my mistakes. I don’t try to hide my failures, embarrassments, or fuck ups – but own them and try to learn from them.  I over think and question everything.  I’m a mess.  But I’m never boring and often quite funny.

So, where to from here?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

We’ve All Moved On

We’ve All Moved On


Today, the home I worked hard to build stands empty.  Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too.

The rooms I painted, the halls I decorated, the shrubs I planted, and the place I have called home for over two decades sits bare and abandoned.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?

Everyone has moved on.  There’s no going back.  A new family will soon fill those rooms, new memories will be made, a new life will be built, in both that house and in the hearts of my family.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?  

I’m the one that left, and then they soon followed suit.  It was because of me that house stands empty, that family is now scattered, we’ve all moved on.

For what?  I just wanted to be loved, wanted, and desired. I still want.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?

It was the only home I’ve ever had. I was lost and alone before, lost and alone while there, and I’m still lost and alone.

Where is my home?  Where do I belong?

I can’t seem to find it.

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Poetry, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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