Shut the Refrigerator Door Already.

Via on Oct 16, 2011

Stop holding the door of life open, decide what you want, and make it happen.

Do you ever hold the refrigerator door open for way too long, waiting for something to just appear out of nowhere? And what about the times you keep going back, as if exactly what you want to eat will magically be there five minutes later?

I can still hear my mother hollerin’, as us fine southern ladies do: “Stop holdin’ the door open, yer letting the cold air out. You know what’s there. You better figure out what the heck you want before opening that door again.”

Yesterday I was walking aimlessly through the mall. You know what I mean: the type of aimless walking you do when you know you should be doing something more constructive with your time, but you have no idea exactly what. Well, that’s what I was doing. And I’d been doing it for about two hours.

Then my girlfriend called. So I asked her the obvious question, “what are you doing?”

“Holding the refrigerator door open,” she says. “I’m hungry, and I just wish something would appear for me to eat.”

I stopped dead in my tracks with instant déjà vu. I could hear my mother’s voice again, loud and clear, reminding me to make up my mind already and shut the damn door.

So I said to my friend, “well, I guess I’m doing the same thing. Only the door I’m holding open is the one of my entire life, and I’m waiting for what I’m going to do with it to appear.”

I lost my job last week. And, yes, I was at the mall.

I wasn’t shopping, but I was definitely looking. Until my conversation with my girlfriend, however, I didn’t realize that what I was looking for was nowhere to be found at the mall. Nor was it going to be found by just holding the “door” open any longer. I have choices in front of me, which, to be quite frank, terrifies me.

I’ve always had a difficult time pursuing my own dreams. I guess that’s why I ended up working in sales and development for someone else’s start-up company for the past three years. Instead of using my energy to create my own company or pursue my own vision, I worked alongside them to create theirs. At the time, it was much more comfortable for me to help someone else build their dream than to go out on a limb and chase my own. I didn’t have to go out in search of it, take a leap of faith to go after it, or run the risk of failure if I didn’t succeed doing it. There have always been things I’ve wanted to do for a living, but all I’ve ever really done was stare at them like food in a refrigerator.

I got off the phone with my girlfriend and stood in the mall for a little while longer. I thought about my vision of a writing career and of the many yoga classes that I want to teach. I thought about my time spent behind a desk for the past three years and the many hours I’ve spent day-dreaming about creating the life I want to lead. After standing there for what felt like a decade, I promised myself to stop staring, grab what I want with both hands, and shut the damn door already.

There comes a point in all our lives that we are given a choice. Maybe the opportunity for choice is something you choose, or maybe, like in my case, the opportunity is decided for you. Whatever the case may be, chances are you just wait for the next thing to come your way instead of choosing to pursue the next best thing. What about that idea or dream that you really want but are too darn scared to chase after? Do you sit back and take Easy Street again, or do you make the choice to try and live the life you’ve always wanted?

So, the question is, what have you been staring at through your life’s open refrigerator door? What life do you want to create for yourself? It could be something as simple as a planting a vegetable garden or as complex as learning a new language. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to sail and live on a boat, or maybe you’ve been yearning to volunteer your time and travel to places in need. Your decisions and choices will ultimately move you one step closer to becoming the person you truly are and the life you are meant to lead.

Sure, choosing is scary. I’m scared right now. With choice comes risk, and with risk comes the possibility of failure. But by actively choosing not to even try to live the life I’ve dreamt of, I’m risking more than just failure. I’m risking my chance for greatness, my sense of self-worth, and my ultimate version and vision of true happiness.


About Ellen Smoak

Ellen Smoak is a #1 bestselling author, speaker, and expert transformational teacher on love and happiness, whose work has been featured on ABC, NBC, Yahoo, and FOX. Ellen has been interviewed with and endorsed by top thought leaders, including Marianne Williamson, Marci Shimoff, Arielle Ford, and Dr. John Gray. internationally acclaimed Relationship Coach, Speaker, and Author of "Breakups Are A Bitch, But Getting Over Him Doesn’t Have To Be!". A professional dating and relationship coach by day and fun-loving dating diva by night, Ellen offers love advice and coaching for thousands of men and women around the world on her website and through her proven coaching programs. After surviving a breakup with her ex-fiance of 5 years, Ellen realized that her sense of self-worth and self-love were suffering. She promptly developed a plan to mend a broken heart and heal herself from the inside out, which she turned into a revolutionary downloadable system. To get Ellen's free video series "How to Beat Your Broken Heart BEFORE it Beats YOU" click here. A South Carolina native who spent her twenties in Southern California, Ellen combines her East Coast sensibility with her West Coast spirit to teach, inspire, and guide individuals and couples towards long-lasting success in life and love. Ellen’s bestselling book, Breakups Are A Bitch, But Getting Over It Doesn’t Have To Be! rapidly became the go-to guide for people all around the world suffering through the pain of a breakup or divorce, and she now teaches this empowering healing system globally through her home study courses and one-one-one private coaching programs. Ellen’s books, digital programs, and private services are thoughtfully designed to heal you, empower you, and motivate you towards your happiest, healthiest, and hottest life yet. Ellen’s mentoring and private support also include special services to help couples heal their past, reconcile their differences, stay together… or learn the healthy process of breaking up or divorcing with dignity and grace. For more information + a free audio course giftbag (worth $197) .... visit


9 Responses to “Shut the Refrigerator Door Already.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Really loved this.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  2. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  3. catnipkiss says:

    Wow, I think you're my soul sister :) I am on this kind of journey myself, but even in the DOING stage (traveling through Spain and, later, South America) I'm still wondering and waiting and hoping…… maybe that part never ends. I think taking a brave step forward and "taking control" is only valid if you realize how LITTLE control you actually have…. and learn to relax into that! – Alexa M.

  4. This is just great and wonderfully honest. Thanks so much for sharing what so many of us feel.

    • Ellen Smoak says:

      Thanks Diane! Sorry for the last response. You'll understand why if you read my new article that I just submitted. It's not up yet, but it will probably make you laugh (considering your comment about honesty) BIG HUG! E

  5. Jasmine Gill says:

    Great article Ellen! Feel like I could have written this as I have felt this way for a long time too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Ellen SMoak says:

      Thank you Jasmine! I'm so sorry I'm just responding to this. My fiance and I broke up shortly after writing this article, so I've been out of touch with EJ. I've just submitted my new article though- all about how I got over it! Stay tuned :) Thanks for the comment! BIG HUG, E

  6. […] for all of you. But, in hind sight, I was being a total fraud. If you haven’t read it yet, take a look at my very pathetic attempt to inspire you, (when really I was dying […]

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