Hello, my name is Halle and I am Miranda’s 19 year old daughter.
When my mom asked me to write this for her blog, it was a day after we had had a girls’ night. During that time we had had a conversation where I brought up the fact that I would never want to live a “gray life.” She told me that she thought what I had to say was interesting and asked if I would be a guest on her blog. Obviously, I said yes.
At first I defined a gray life as boring, like working in office cubicles and coming home to the same thing day after day. Never really achieving anything in life, but never really failing. But, that just isn’t true. That’s MY version of a gray life. I never want to be cooped up in an office or forced to do the same thing over and over. I want to travel the world doing groundbreaking research, helping people and animals. I have big dreams for an almost adult, but I know I can put in the effort to achieve them.
When I thought about how quick I was to define what a gray life was, I realized I was wrong.
Others may strive for this life. That could be exactly what they want to do and I shouldn’t judge them for it. When I think about it, I am very appreciative of people that work in office cubicles. They do that job so I don’t have to. Then I also think about how some people in an office cubicle are so grateful for me because they don’t have to do what I am doing. People are allowed to have different opinions and interests and are allowed to want to do different things than me. In fact, my dream life might be their gray life.
We have the opportunity to be a well oiled machine of different people with different interests all working together to use it. But if you are living in your gray life, where you are working at the machine keeps on breaking. You aren’t supposed to be there. So figure it out and move.
Everyone’s ideas of a gray life is different. But for each person, their gray life is being stuck doing something they don’t want to do or loving someone they don’t want to love. They never feel content or happy. I suggest you figure out how to get out of that situation. You might have to take risks and fail. Failing is a big fear of mine, so I understand that this is hard. But unless you want to stay comfortable and always live a life tinged in gray, you will have to do something hard to achieve what you want.
I experienced this “gray life” concept my first club swim season out of high school. I had been doing club swimming since I was seven years old, and had only taken breaks in the summers. All of my friends were on the team and it was fun to work hard and accomplish my goals. However, once high school swim started I struggled with going back to club swimming. It made me bitter and angry. I didn’t agree with or like my coach and I struggled to connect to the other swimmers. Something I had treasured doing for years suddenly became a drag. But I didn’t feel like I could quit. I had been doing this for almost my whole life, I couldn’t just stop. I don’t know when exactly the realization came, but I was getting up for another 6am practice and just thought that I didn’t want to do this anymore. So, I quit. With my free time I got to enjoy high school through the sporting events and have more time to hang out with my friends. I felt happier and solid with my decision. It wasn’t easy, especially when some of my friends that continued to be on the club team would talk to me about what they were doing in practice and the different meets that they were going to. In the end, the decision was hard but it was the right one. It helped high school swimming become special and more colorful.
My mom always tells me, “Be you, Halle. Be the authentic you.” I think my mom can be corny and sometimes I scoff at these Pinterest quotes she says to me but when I think about it this one is pretty important. Don’t be anything else but yourself. If your friends don’t like you for you, they aren’t your friends. You shouldn’t have to feel suffocated in a relationship because you are not free to be you.
To avoid living your gray life you have to make sure you are being the most authentic person you can be to yourself.
I know I am young with little life experience. But I still urge you to look at your life and see if you can spot any color in it.
If not, something needs to change.
Thanks for reading,