The Story of my (2017) Life

 

Hey hey everyone! I’ve been missing from this space ALL YEAR LONG – even after I said I was going to do better. I’ll admit to my big ole lie and honestly say that I prioritized other things over updating my blog. In many ways this has been great – I’ve had a chance to write for new places like Syfy Fangrrls and I’ve continued to do coverage at conventions in several states. But in other ways it has been awful because I am paying for this URL name so I need to utilize it and share my work on this space. I can’t use my own website as a solid reference point when I am seeking new work and that is NOT okay!

Are you ready for my true life confessions aka word vomit? Here it goes…

I went to Vegas in July and had a great vacation with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law. But when I returned to Virginia, I found myself in a constant state of unrest. I felt like I was slipping in several areas of my life. My finances were not where I wanted them to be, I felt spiritually broken, and I was not satisfied with my progress as a writer. I looked around my home and it was a cluttered, disorganized mess. Yes, I have two small children so I don’t expect it to look like a magazine cover. But, there was too much stuff everywhere I looked and it reflected how I felt in my mind and spirit. I was confused, disheveled, and on the verge of shattering into a million pieces. There had been some major changes at my job, so I quickly contributed all of my problems to work and kept pressing forward. I had a lot on my plate there and I was gearing up to do DragonCon coverage for BlackGirlNerds. I marched through August in a proverbial haze and went through the daily motions of life. I worked, cleaned, ate, slept erratically, and prepared to make my way to Atlanta.

DragonCon was a blast as usual. It gave me a few days to escape my mess of a life and focus on doing what I loved – taking cosplay photos, interviews, live tweeting, and writing panel notes. I came home feeling exhausted, but living on a convention high until I returned to the reality of my life. It’s funny how running away, even if it is for my freelance work, didn’t change a damn thing at home. I became even more in tune with the issues in my own world. In the middle of rolling out convention coverage, I sent my oldest daughter back to school and began to adjust to her new life in a gifted student program. I grinded hard at work to keep up with the never-ending changes in a fast-paced environment. I filled large black trash bags with clothes and things we didn’t need anymore and gave them away. I started tuning into podcasts like Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday to try to find something to satisfy my soul. I started feeling like I was healing, but there was still this wave of unhappiness under my skin and I could not shake it. I confided in my husband and he had no answers, but he did present me with a few interesting questions.

He asked me what I needed to take away and add to create the life that I wanted to live. I spent some time thinking about it and I came to a few realizations. First, I wanted to feel like I had a living and (writing) work space that reflected who I was as a person. I looked around and my house didn’t feel like a home. It was just a sleep and hangout space filled with things that didn’t reflect who WE were as a family. I realized that I needed to do more than purge – I needed to organize and rearrange spaces to add my personal touch to them.

Next, I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be as a writer because I wasn’t investing in my craft. I was sporadically working on a book that made me well up with excitement and passion when I thought about it. I was trading that passion for articles and other writing assignments that put some extra cash in my pocket, but weren’t helping me grow and develop as a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed doing them but I needed new challenges. I wanted to dive more into content marketing and move away from website work. I wanted to dedicate more time to my book and take more courses to help me learn how to become better at world and character building. I wanted to stretch my wings and do different things, but I was too comfortable and afraid to allow myself to take the chance.

I realized the combination of a stressful work environment and displeasure in my writing and home spaces were all contributing to my spiritual downfall. I was falling in bed at night like a zombie and forgoing prayer. I woke up frantically in the morning after missing multiple alarm clocks and I would shelve my morning meditation as I rushed to barely get to work on time. I was leaving my spirit malnourished and it was beginning to chip away at my patience and overall health. Persistent headaches, dizziness, and random nausea became a daily part of my life.

Today is October 1st, 2017. It is the start of a new month and the last quarter of the year. I am stepping away from things that distract me and often disturb my spirit, including social media and several people. I love a good live tweet, but I have to do this for my own life. I am going to focus on my book, Orion’s Chains, and spend more time making my house feel like a home. I’ve tapped back into my prayer/meditation life and I am reading, learning, questioning, and growing as a woman. I want to document some of my journey here and I hope you will follow me. Let’s talk spiritual, TV, pop culture, and Pinterest projects!

With Love,

 

Tai Gooden 🙂

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You vs. Them: Stay Focused on YOUR Path to Success

Happy Saturday!

I have been grinding over the past few weeks! My days have been filled with conducting research on new places to pitch, writing pitches, and even writing a few articles. I saw a few freelance writing opportunities and I took the time to put in my application. I have yet to hear back but I believe I will secure the right opportunity when it comes along. Until then, I will continue to take a leap of faith and send my resume to potential clients!

Lately, I have had a message on my heart and I want to share it with you. If you are reading my blog, I know you are a doer and a dreamer. I know you are working hard toward your dreams and trying to stay inspired. I also realize how hard it can be to stay motivated when you look around you and see others success. You wonder why a person with less talent is outpacing you in your field. You see a person you admire continuing to make big moves and you wonder when YOUR time is going to come.

You are not alone. Sometimes, I find myself comparing my writing journey to others. I wonder when my moment is going to arrive. And as much as I try to avoid being envious of my writing idols, it happens.

But you know what? I don’t allow myself to stay in a negative space. I realize that social media only gives us a snippet of what it took for someone to achieve their dreams. Their glorious successes, accolades, and admiration are often the end result of YEARS of hard work, setbacks, frustration, and dedication. There was a time when these same people were newbies. They had to find their own path to success. And they built their brands by knowing when to keep their blinders on.

That is what we have to do. We have to keep our blinders on and focus on our own path. Constantly coveting another person’s achievements will not help us stay focused on our own journey. While we can learn from their words of wisdom and apply their solid advice to our career, we cannot allow envy to derail us from our dreams.

So, how do I avoid this dangerous trap? I take a step back and give myself some credit for the progress I have made. I stick to my quarterly goals and make sure EVERY move I make is going to help me achieve my milestones. I congratulate others on their success and I remind myself that my unique journey will not look like theirs because I am not them. And I realize that there is a writer out there who wants to make it as far as I have made it today!

I hope you decide to focus on the accomplishments you have made and keep your mind focused on your own path.

-Tai Gooden