Gray Can Be Okay, Danielle Riele


Gray Can Be Okay

Life is full of adjustments. Many of us are often going through several at once. Some adjustments are life changing: getting married or moving for a new job. Other adjustments can be minor: a schedule change or no longer helping a loved one in some way. Whether big or small, life adjustments bring on a lot. Most of us tend to focus on the change itself and forget about all the adjustments that come as a result of that big change. Something as small as finding your new route to work or where to get your groceries can add up. The “gray” in between is hard and I hope you can see that it can be beautiful as well. 

The gray area often marks a time in our life that begins with an ending of some kind: relationship, job, move. This time also marks that we are not at the new beginning quite yet: single, in training for the new job, etc. Since we are in transition, we are often more open. There are many opportunities during this time to learn about ourselves, try something new, meet new people, or just allow ourselves to push through our own discomfort in a new way. 

As people, we often feel most comfortable in routine. So how do we work through our discomfort when we are out of a particular routine? Most of us use our phone immediately to give us a map of directions to the destination we are going, but what if we tried to find that place without a map? Allowing ourselves to go with what feels right takes us to new places, gets us to our destination, and gives us the capability to enjoy the view along the way. So take some deep breaths, remind yourself that you’re in the gray learning phase, and do your best to embrace the change. 

Think about when you ride a roller coaster…you have a very different experience if your arms are up and rolling with the coaster verses clenching on every turn. Your life is filled with tons of “happy accidents” that usually come to light when we allow our arms to be up while rolling with the coaster of life. Think about the parts of your life that were unplanned. If you would have stuck to your original plan, would you have had the same outcome? 


A part of my life journey was growing up with the notion that I was meant to practice law. I allowed myself to take a psychology class my first semester of college and fell in love. Currently, I’m in private practice and have been working as a therapist for eight years! This would not have happened if I would have stuck to my original plan. Allowing myself to open up to new opportunities allowed me to realize my love for helping others. 

My encouragement to you is to see some of your “gray” areas of life and to embrace them as best you can. What can you learn about this time or maybe even appreciate? Try something new or take some deep breaths and put yourself out there in a new way. Your new beginning is around the corner and your added growth will make beautiful icing for that cake of life!

Danielle Riele, MA
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist # 84600
Follow me on Instagram: @danielleLMFT