Color Outside the Lines Featured

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Inspirational quotes and memes a plenty, all to help us get through the day or get through a tough time. I wondered just how miserable can we all really be? We all do it. We search online for just the right thing to post on Facebook to have the world help us feel better, but why? Can our lives be that bad that we search online for the answer or get angry when we see someone living life?? How hard can it be to be happy?

Well, let's take a look at the simple thing, are you really living? Now let's look back a bit more… I mean really look back…back at our childhood. Do you remember a time when you were happy as a kid? I know all the adults we can say heck yeah…I played all day, my mom made me dinner, washed my clothes and all the other wonderful perks about being a kid. Just doing what a kid does, played outside all day on long summer breaks, then having to return to school, or complaining about nothing. Remember that we had not a care in the world, Until the day we started to get older and we started having to do “things” to help out around the house or yard. As simple as those chores were, our parents and teachers meant well by teaching us to be responsible.

We needed to start conforming to the social norms and we needed to start figuring out what we would do for the rest of our lives. Do you remember the questions "so Billy, what do you want to be when you grow up?" and Billy replies, “I want to be an astronaut!” and that very person says "oh Billy, now really, what do you want to be?" Now as an adult, I look back at those teachers, parents or friends and ask why couldn't he be one? Why do we have to crush the dreamers?

Why is it not acceptable for our kids, or us when we were kids, to pick up that coloring book and color like a total goofball! Color outside of the lines, color the grass red, and the sky purple! Why are we told at a young age to conform to a normal way to live and say that is the acceptable way? Telling a child they need to be something else then what they were born to do is like squishing the bug on the sidewalk. Why? Is this the very reason now as adults we are just not happy people?

I have the pleasure of doing exactly what I was born to do. I, however, fell in the same rut as the rest of the adult population.

I was told at a young age that a girl needed to learn how to cook and clean and mend clothing. These were my training days so that as an adult I would be able to take care of my family...seriously I was 9! Family and housework were the last thing on my mind! I made my mother cry so much when I was growing up, because I wanted nothing to do with that. My dad, on the other hand, had a grin on his face, because his daughter behaved like a rough and tumble boy! However, he wouldn't let my mother see the smirk on his face as I ran off to play. Thanks dad, for that! I ran off and away from my mother and her social norms. Before she could catch up to me, I'd be off on my bike with my baseball bat and glove in tow to the field just a few blocks away. My dad always said, “Renata will be home when she's hungry or it starts raining. Don't worry about her; she will be fine!” This being said as my mother tried not to run after me with a can of Pledge and a towel in her hand to get me to go clean my room.

I was a disaster as a kid…always dirty and if I did not come home with a fresh open wound or a scraped knee, it wasn't a good day. I always knew I wanted to be something in the fitness industry, but I really had no clue as to what was out there. I was born in 1971 and back then the girls of fitness did not exist like they do today. So eventually I conformed to the norm...I had a REAL job (or so I was told) and it was what I should be doing with my life. I had 4 kids and did the entire family thing; I am sure at that point, I finally made my mother happy! But why could I not have it all? Why did I have to live in the picture that someone else painted for me? I was MISERABLE. I was not living with in my true potential. I was unhappy with life.

We are told that we have to be certain things and many people are ok with their choices in life. They get up in the morning not thinking about the job they go to, and how they return home everyday, only to do the same thing night after night, day after day...but are they truly living?

Misery comes from living within the box you were told to live in or even the box you chose to live in; but, are you truly happy? Are you really living? No wonder happy hour was invented and we only live for the weekends, only to escape for 2 days a very unhappy life and pretend.

What if I told you that you don't have to live that way? You can do what you love to do! Make some money and live a life that's rewarding you to get up in the morning. After many years of living in corporate America and working in a field that was acceptable to society and to my ex-husband, I realized I was just living to wake up and come home as quickly as I could after work. We had money and a big home, nice cars, our kids had everything they wanted and we didn’t lack for anything, but a smile and fun. My marriage crumbled, because I wanted more.

I wanted to be me on that bike again doing what I loved to do, but let’s face it, I wasn't going to get paid enough to just ride around on two wheels like I did when I was a kid. I wanted to help people. I loved fitness. I wanted to make that a career, but I was also told to get my head out of my…well, you know! And I needed a real job. I left my husband after 20 years of really not feeling fulfilled in my life, and I still did exactly as I was told. I kept working my so-called “real” job. I went to work, paid the bills and lived for the weekends.

I was truly not happy. Then one morning, I woke up and said, “Screw this. I can make it in the fitness industry!” I left my job and started working in a gym with people half my age. At 42, I finally started to live my life. Getting up in the morning isn't work, it’s fun! The people I meet daily are people I value more than the random ones I’ve met sitting in the bar for happy hour or getting wasted on the weekend. I work crazy hours and a ton of them, but it never really feels like work to me because I am doing what I love.

Bottom line is…Don't we all just want to wake up in the morning to be able to do what we love? Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone loved what they did and didn't try to keep up with the Jones?

I am not telling you to quit your job, but I am telling you to live again. If you are really unhappy with what you are doing in life, you have the power to change it and rewrite your life. Stop conforming and start to color outside the box again…you may be amazed at how happy your days become.