Red Leigh Cooper

Red Leigh Cooper

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Coloring Outside the Lines


     When I was in kindergarten the only thing I ever remember doing was coloring. One day we were given a couple of pictures to color in. I remember one distinctly.  It was a girl walking down the street, I can't remember whether she was pushing a stroller or walking a dog, but she was definitely eating a doughnut. The boy sitting next to me had an interesting suggestion when he saw me accidentally color outside of the lines.

        "Just color the whole thing red..."

        (A few things to mention. First, I probably should have learned to never listen to boys. Second, I ended up always being surrounded by boys  in my friendships and that probably started here. Third, I think this began my fascination with the color red.  Now back to the story.)

       Hhhmmmmmmm...I mean what could it hurt right?  I colored the whole picture red.  Then with my little friend's approval, I colored the second one orange.

     "WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?!?!?" I heard coming from my teacher, Mrs. Mercado (and this is probably why I remember her name to this day).  I was in huge trouble.  I got yelled at in front of the class. I remember sitting their crying while everyone else was turning in their pictures.  I remember being ashamed when my parents came for some parent's night and our papers were displayed on the wall...

     ...all because I had colored outside of the lines...


     I have a great amount trouble being out of my "comfort zone."  It's something I've struggled with for a long time.  Young kids are extremely impressionable and that's the lesson I learned that day.  Go outside of what is "normal" and be prepared to feel the wrath for whoever and whatever.

     When you move outside of your comfort zone, you become open to all of the possibilities for your life.  What makes us want to stay in that safe place is desire avoid disappointments, hard challenges, and loss.  You have to ask your self, though, as you stay in your cozy world, are you really living?  It may be stable, but I'm betting it's stagnant, too.  If I had to say one thing to make you move want to experience life outside of the bubble, it would be this:  All of the bad things are much easier to take when you are doing something you are truly passionate about.  Rely on your belief in your gifts to move you through the hard times. Learn to say, "Okay...that!"  

     My life over the last six months or so has been a tremendous lesson in letting go, moving forward, and not sticking to a schedule on any level. It's been spinning out of control with opportunity after opportunity and a good thing. However, it doesn't mean I haven't been extremely uncomfortable in the process.  It's hard to fight the notion that nothing bad will happen if I just stay right here inside the lines...

     ...nothing good will happen either.  Go ahead.  Color the whole picture red... 

Happy Fishing!!!