Monday, October 26, 2015

Letting Go

Letting go isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be, or as easy as it sounds. Hell, it sounds so simple… you know, just open your hand and let it go. Elsa even understood it so much she sang a song about it. Holding on is hard. Holding on is scary. Holding on takes so much out of you; it breaks you down and pulls at the very center of who you really are. The way ‘letting go’ is made to sound so easy is like saying holding on is a bad thing. But is it, really? Isn’t holding on what makes a relationship work? Isn’t holding on what gets you ‘through’ the tough times in life? Hold on to the promises. Hold on to the hope. Hold on to faith. Hold on to love. Right? How come I feel like I’m the only one that ever ‘holds on’ to anything in my life? I’m sure that probably sounds like such a selfish and self-centered attitude, but I can’t help but feel the lump in my throat when I think about it, and feel the warm tears streak down my cheeks as I think of all those that found it so easy to let go… to let me go.

Yesterday, I was faced with the stark reminder that I’ve once again been left behind, forgotten, that life has moved on without me, that they have ‘let me go’ and are busy with their new life, without me. Yet, feeling the pain of it made it clear that I’m still holding on. The tears that flow this morning are tears from facing the reality that they’ve moved on. I suppose it’s time for me to do the same. It’s time for me to let go of the fairy tale that will never happen, the knight-in-shining armor moment that’s never coming. He’s got his Cinderella and I’m faced with the reality that I was just another faceless dancer at the ball; all dressed up, but didn’t quite possess the right shoes. Obviously, that wasn’t my fairy tale.

So, what do I do now? Let go? That’s easy to say, easy to think, easy to plan, but… what everyone fails to explain is ‘HOW’. How do I turn a part of my heart off? How do I stop dreaming? How do I stop hurting? How do I start to breathe again? I should know how to do this; I’ve done it so many times before. I should be an expert, or know how to write a how-to book on “letting go” and “starting over”. Yet, I know as much now as I knew every time before. I’m lost. I’m just lost. Nothing’s familiar in my life right now. For a few seconds in the mornings I forget I’m in a new town and separated from everything I love. I’m in a new job, and haven’t yet started back writing. I have everything I own and possess stuffed away in some storage unit, waiting to be reclaimed. That’s how my life feels: stored away just waiting to be reclaimed.

I have to let go, I have no choice. Those decisions were made without me. I may have been the one who moved away, but they left me long before that. The tears this morning remind me I’m still holding on, but there’s nothing in my hands except broken pieces of myself. Was it worth it? Is the pain I feel now worth the joy I felt while falling in love? Yes. I loved falling in love. It was scary, but exciting. For just a little while, I was the princess at the ball in the beautiful gown, and it was me with whom he was dancing. I felt the magic. The music moved me. Everything about it was beautiful. He was beautiful. I don’t know how long it’ll be before I dare dress up and attend another ball, but before I do I have to somehow “let go” of this particular fairy tale. Elsa, help me. My friends, please just hold me close and very tight. I love you all very much, and it’ll be your love that helps me find my magic again.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Monday, October 19, 2015

Manly Man

I’ve often heard a guy talk about being ‘manly’, like his actions determine his level of maturity. But really… who makes up the rules? What is the measuring rod that determines the level of manliness that determines whether a male is manly enough? I hope to God it isn’t his ability to spit a nasty wad of tobacco half way across the yard, hit a chicken in the head, and bounce off a bell. That’s just stupid. I also hope it isn’t the deepness or squeakiness of his voice, because I’ve heard some squeaky men and some deep-toned whiny babies.

So, what truly determines the level of manliness accepted by men? Or do the women set this level of acceptability?

For me, what makes a man a man is simply the way he treats the women in his life. Does he respect his mother? Does he refer to females as bitches and ho’s? Does he treat his girlfriend like an object? Does he treat his daughter like a burden or mistake? Does he treat his sisters like they’re not important? How does a man treat the woman in his life? An imbecile treats their women deplorably… and their accomplishments, achievements or abilities mean SHIT, regardless of their virginity status or deepness of voice. An asshole is an asshole is an asshole. A manly man, in my opinion, is someone who loves, adores, respects, protects, worries, and defends the women in their life.

Also, the way that a man is in life, often determines the type of woman he inspires in life. A cheap, lying, asshole creates a long line of damaged, hurt women. But a real man, a manly man, creates a long line of strong, creative, loving, independent women.

So, I suppose there is a measuring rod for ‘manly’, at least one I use… and I hope the world has enough manly men to help build up these beautiful women. I don’t see many ‘manly’ men these days, but I do have to confess that I’ve some of the best manly friends. I can’t help but become a better woman because of them. I hope they know I love them and am proud to call them my friend. I really am a lucky girl.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Thursday, October 08, 2015

My Personal Epic Fantasy

On my jog this morning I noticed something peculiar that set my mind pondering all sorts of odd ideas. Not new ideas, but really a particular idea that’s been percolating in my mind for a very long time. It’s been years of study really. It’s also been a subject, or at least part of the subject, that’s come up recently in a few casual conversations. Mind you, these conversations are with the male species ranging from 18 to 45. You see, I’m an avid gamer, well, I’m a Destiny gamer, and 99% of the gamers I meet online are male. So, it’s reasonable to expect that 99% of my daily conversations are with the male species. I’m thankful at the moment that my roommate is female, so that way I get a splash of female perspective at times. But, then again, she’s not your typical female roommate, because if we were a lesbian couple I’d definitely be the feminine aspect of that coupling. Not to stray too far from the topic, let me bring it back to my peculiar finding.

It’s very populated where I live now. What a stark contrast from just a couple months ago when I practically lived in a Siberian wasteland and could go a whole week seeing only 2 or 3 people, if I was lucky, and only have to talk to maybe half of those if I was extremely lucky. I now can’t walk out my front door without being greeted by a neighbor or two. So, jogging around the bungalow complex, or down and around the park, or along the sidewalks by the various strip malls, I see a lot of people. Typically, I’d have my earbuds blasting away an upbeat tune to keep me motivated and moving, but mostly as an excuse so I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I also usually glance at the people I pass but keep my eyes forward to avoid contact. Well, that’s NOT what I did this morning. I made eye contact with everyone I passed (mostly men, btw), smiled at them, waved, but kept moving. Every one of them responded, even the ones who moved as I normally do with only a glance and eyes forward to avoid contact.

So, what was this deep thought I had? It involves porn, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Well, this thought occurred to me when this older gentleman, clearly in his mid-50’s, perhaps early 60’s since he’s running and in shape, made no subtle attempt in letting me know he really liked what he saw. He stopped in front of me, took his ear buds out of his ears, and put both his hands up to his heart…as if to say he’s having a heart attack, but certainly not under any true duress. The smile on his face lit up his whole countenance. Against my usual judgment, I stopped. “Darlin’, I just have to say, “Wowzers”. There’s no other expression I can imagine that would fit any better.” You must remember, I’m not 25 with legs that go on forever. I’m 44, short, curvy, and have a wrinkle and a gray hair or two (with hair dye you’ll never see those). Though I look young for my age, it’s clear to see I’m a mature woman, not a ‘young, hot, thang’. I smiled and thanked him for his compliment and continued my run.

That’s not the first ‘older’ gentleman to hit on me since I’ve been here. I live on the Space Coast in sunny Florida, where the rich recreate and the elderly retire out their golden years. If I so choose, I could easily snatch up a “Sugar Daddy” or two, IF material possessions and money really meant anything to me. Unfortunately, I’m sort of a gypsy, a wild soul looking for adventure more than possessions, love more than money, and living life more than just surviving it. I’ve been in survival mode for too long. It’s time I got back to being my wild, adventurous self.

I can’t help but think about what men really want in women. What do the young want, the old want, or the lover want? I listen to the guys talk in the game chats, and while they talk a big game (in most cases dehumanizing women into sexual objects, something to be fucked and tolerated… seriously… I NEVER hear the guys talk about how a woman is beautiful, smart, amazing, something to be cherished, adored, appreciated, and such… what a culture we live in), but I believe they all want the same thing; they just have different ideas of how to obtain it. I.e. I have this one friend that falls in love easily and often. While he’s very wise on a lot of things, very knowledgeable on a lot more things, very brave in almost everything, I wouldn’t take love advice from him because he doesn’t even know what it is he really wants. While being in ‘love’ with one woman, he keeps a small circle of good female ‘friends’ on a string (not too loose they disappear, not too close to be committed) just in case things don’t work out, more than likely so he won’t be alone until he falls in love again. I’m pretty sure he feels deeply, but he doesn’t express those deep emotions, in a failed attempt at protecting his heart from getting hurt. He hurts. He’s human. Failed relationships hurt, no matter how badass you might be. He’d be quick to protest that he doesn’t fear anything, or isn’t affected when something falls apart. But what is it he’s really looking for? What is it he hasn’t been able to find yet in choices he’s already made? What was it about the women chosen before where he thought he’d found it, to only discover a short time later he can’t see that same thing to sustain it?

Not getting off topic, but shifting gears to come at it from another angle. There’s another discussion in my gaming chat groups about pornography. The guys love it. Many of them watch it regularly, especially the friend mentioned above. They think I’m a prude because I don’t watch porn. I don’t not watch it because I’m a prude or think I’m too ‘goody’ to watch it, as if it’s garbage. I don’t watch it because it isn’t necessary and I feel sends the wrong message about sex, love, AND relationships. I love porn… but not to watch. I love making porn with someone I love. Not filming our sexual acts, but sharing our sexual, emotional, and psychological expressions together, using our imagination to play, have fun, and be together in every way. Being intimate. Porn lacks ALL that intimacy and imagination. I’m not anti-porn, I’m pro-intimacy. I love to be kinky, sexy, and fun. There’s NOTHING in porn that can beat my imagination, but when I feel a man expects what he watches in porn, it stifles my imagination. I can’t fake it, so I shut down. What little porn I’ve watched was filled with a lack of emotion, lack of imagination, and minimizes sex to a mere physical act - with strangers. Does a stranger deserve to see and share that part of me, that part of my imagination, that part of my intimacy? Hell NO. Yes, I’ve done it. I’ve had a casual experience with a stranger. While it was a little fun, and sexually charged, once it was over… it was over and I was empty. Yet, I’ve had a better experience when a man I loved very much simply ran his fingers over my hair. So, I’m sorry… I just can’t get excited or get off watching other people who don’t love or care for one another fucking, and doing it in a boring way. If your sex life is like a porn scene, that’s boring and I feel sorry for you, because your love life is going to be just as emotionally empty, because you’re training your mind and your body that ‘the porn way’ is the way sex is supposed to be done. I also believe that this is the number one killer in relationships for guys, because they’ve set up their relationships like a porn scene < Boy meets girl, sparks fly, they fuck, think they’ve fallen in love because they had chemistry and the orgasms were great, but then the orgasms subside and when they look at each other all they see is a stranger. They might fuck a few more times, but then that episode gets old, that page is starting to stick, and they want to see another one, meet another stranger>… and so the cycle goes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying ALL men are like this, but many are… and they don’t even know it. I’m not harping on just men, either. There are many women in the same boat. I hope my friend someday learns to shut the porn off and swim into deeper waters, because I’d love to see him truly happy. I hope all the Sugar Daddy’s out there finds beauty in the older women they may overlook, while they’re tripping all over themselves over the pretty plastic ones. As for this gypsy, I’m still not going to watch porn, and I’ll still avoid the Sugar Daddy’s and their pockets of sweets, and keep running and smiling until I find my personal epic fantasy. I suppose that’s why porn doesn’t work for me, I’m not into the small and empty, but epic and fantastical magic. It’s no wonder my gamertag is Kvothe from The Name of the Wind. The music this Edema Rue plays has a meaning so deep the Chandrian will try to hunt me down and silence me, and the Arcanum doesn’t have enough room to record it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Let the Music Move Me

We’ve all heard the song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. In fact, it’s one of those irritating songs that get stuck in my mind and I find myself humming it all day just from hearing the familiar simple notes. But I’m discovering there’s a little power in that song, as well as others like it. Power that moves me. When listening to it, I can’t help but sway to the familiar beat and feel my spirits lift as the positive lyrics run through my mind. Perhaps I should actually take the time and learn the whole song. I haven’t yet, because the chorus is powerful enough on its own. I should, though. I’ll put that down on my ‘to do’ list.

There’s another song that gets me moving without fail and that’s the Black-Eyed Peas, “Let’s Get It started.” Man, I can’t help but move to the beat no matter how tired, how exhausted, how sad, or how upset I might be at the moment… I start bobbing my head, moving my shoulders, moving my soul. If I’m sitting, I start doing the chair dance. If I’m standing, my whole body is moving to the beat. “Let’s get it started …in here. And the bass keeps runnin’ runnin’ and runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’, and runnin runnin’… everybody, everybody let’s get it into it, get stupid, get started, get started, get started, let’s get it started.” If you’re looking for a good workout song… this is it. If you just need a little pep in your step… this is the song too. It’s more potent than a Red Bull or a 5-Hour Energy. Hm…. I wonder how it’d do during a long session of tangled legs. I imagine it’d involve lots of sweat… and… well, I better get my mind out of the gutter and back on topic.

There are other times when my heart is filled with things I can’t quite express in words, when I need to disconnect from the rational and let myself go in the spiritual, the emotional. Go figure – a silent writer. But, there are those wordless times, where deep emotions are pulling my insides out and blanketing me with despair, pain, or… like I mentioned, unspeakable feelings. Those are the times I like to pick up my guitar and let the music out. Most times there’s no rhyme or rhythm, no chords, no particular progression, breaking all the music rules and just let the music move me. Often I can never replay those particular chords or find that the same strumming progression, because I’ve released that emotion, I’ve release that unspeakable pain, and it isn’t something to be made sense of, to be captured in a song, to be bounded by rules and regulations.

I know I’m not typical. I tried that, and I failed miserably. But, I also know I’m not the only one who can see some of the things I see, feel some of the things I feel, see some of the things I see, love some of the things I love, hate some of the things I hate, fear some of the things I fear, or think some of the things I think. While there is no one exactly like me, because there can only be one me, only one who has lived or can live my life, there are similar things our souls share. None of us are perfect. None of us are without moments that create unspeakable words or emotions. When you find yourself in one of those moments, let the music move you, let it heal you, let it remind you, let it be… as special, beautiful, and wonderful as you. Don’t worry, be happy…. And let’s get it started, Ah?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Monday, October 05, 2015


I’m finding it easy to get frustrated these days. My temper explodes at the simplest of things, like this morning when my running tracker on my phone updated and didn’t track my run, as it had for the past year. Why the fuck doesn’t the app continue functioning as it had before it was updated? Why does it disappear from my home keys, make me have to accept the new terms and conditions, change the way it’s displayed and make me spend a half hour frustrated as hell because it didn’t do what it had previously done, trying to figure out (unsuccessfully) how to add it back? I fucking hate the app now and won’t use that program again. If I have to go through all that trouble, I’ll just go to the Google app store and download another free program that will track my running. The app screwed itself in a failed attempt at upgrading. Hint, hint… if you’re going to upgrade, then make it BETTER, but from a familiar point. I’m not one to spend a lot of time HUNTING down what should be easily accessible. I live in the modern age of convenience and I have a very, very short attention span.

Frustration number two. I uploaded the new Windows 10 on my desktop. I had done so earlier on my laptop and it went smoothly without a hitch. I don’t mind the program, it’s a cross between XP and Windows 8, featuring the familiar features I love about XP, mixed with some of the newer features of 8, and splashed with a little bit of even newer options with the 10. THAT I can handle. Give me a little bit of familiar territory and ease me into the new stuff. Smart. Convenient. Doable. But, low and behold, my desktop obviously doesn’t like the transition. I have spent the better part of my morning trying to figure out WHY I get to the load screen, type in my password, to have it only return back to the load screen, to type in my password, but NOT load up the program. FUCK YOU technology. I honestly don’t have the patience to handle all these little road blocks that are preventing me from being at my most productive. I’ve got things to do. I’ve got a life I need to get back on track. I’ve got to get busy, getting busy. But NO, I have to waste MOST of my morning piddling around with fucking updates and booting problems. Can you tell I’m frustrated just a bit? I did actually wake up in a good mood, with a positive attitude, and with a happy outlook for a beautiful day.

Frustration number three. I know I’ve been hiding. I know I’ve been trying hard to acclimate to my new life, my new surroundings, my new …. well, everything. But, damn… do I have to do it with the new ten pounds I gained? Really? Granted I’ve not been exercising. Granted, my routine got detoured. Granted I’ve spent a few days vegging out on television shows and video games, snacking all day (it doesn’t help I have a roommate that likes to cook ALL THE TIME), and smelling food cooking all day long, etc. Granted my allergies are killing me, and I mean literally killing me. I live with a dog. He’s a handsome little fellow, and lovable as can be. He’s adorable. Problem is, I’m allergic to dog hair, and this little cutie leaves hair everywhere. How can I keep him out of my room, off my bed when he’s such a soothing medicine to me, cuddling up to me, loving on me? I’m scared. I’m frustrated. I’m nervous about my future and my life. I miss my kids. I’m in unfamiliar territory. I need him. But, I can’t breathe, my ears are constantly stopped up, I have sinus migraines, and my lungs feel like they have a tight band around them. I’m taking antihistamines that make me drowsy and lethargic, but they help …some. I have an air purifier, that I think helps, but I can’t make myself UNallergic to dog hair. I can’t leave. The dog can’t leave. So what am I to do? How am I to persevere? Why the hell can’t my body, which grew up with dogs, get over this allergy shit and just go back to being normal? Oh, boy.

And sex… well, I haven’t had sex in a while. I’m not looking for a partner at the moment, and really I feel sick just even thinking about jumping back into the dating pool. You want to talk about frustration… dating in the 21st century is very, very frustrating. While masturbation helps a bit, I’m sexually frustrated at the moment too.

So, yeah, I’m a little frustrated. Well, okay… I’m a LOT of frustrated. But even so, I’m also very hopeful, very optimistic about what lies ahead of me. I have returned to my workout (even if the damned app didn’t record it), I will find that dependable job, then I will be able to move into my own apartment (dog free), and my sinuses will get a reprieve (if they don’t kill me first), I will lose these ten pounds and more, I will see my kids again somehow, I will fall in love and be loved in return, I will figure out what my new dreams are… and I will make them come true. How do I know this? I know me. I’ve been here before. I may be frustrated. I may be at another difficult cross road. I may have been knocked down a little bit. But, I’m a fighter. I never stay down too long. And if you know me at all, no matter how down I feel, how tough life gets, or how hopeless everything seems… I NEVER give up.

I’ve rested long enough. I’m dusting my (fat) ass off, standing back up, and lacing up my gloves. Let’s get this show on the road, bitch.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray