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How it All Started

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Theresa Robb

Theresa Robb


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Do you want to know where Life is Like a Walk-in Closet came from? Do you want to know how I came up with the tools for creating your tailor-made life? Do you want to know more about me? This show should explain it all!


0:25 Theresa Robb

Hi. This is Theresa Robb and this is the Theresa Robb Radio Show. The show where we talk about your life, your family, and your purpose. You're not going to find any one-size-fits-all solution here. What we talk about is creating a tailor-made life, a life that fits you perfectly. Today we're going to be talking about... How it all got started? Kind of who I am and how I started talking about this and why you should listen to me? You know, do you want to know where "Life is Like a Walk-In Closet" came from? You could ask that one. Do you want to know how I came up with the tools for creating your tailor-made life? Do you want to know more about me? Hopefully, this show explains it all. If it doesn't, feel free to call in. If I'm not answering your questions, call in. The toll free guest call-in number is 866 691 7711. Again, the toll free guest call-in number is 866 691 7711. If you're listening to the show on the archives or if you're too shy to call in, feel free to email me with your questions onair@theresarobb.com, onair@theressarobb.com. And if I don't answer your question on the air, you know, I'll let you know what show I'm going to answer your question on. And if I'm not going to answer your question on the air I will email back you the answer. Because I think you guys have every right to ask me questions and I will give you the best, most honest answers that I can give you. If you want to follow me on Twitter and on CinchCast, iamtheresarobb, one word on Twitter and CinchCast and I would love to have you as a friend on Facebook. And on Facebook, I am Theresa Robb Volkmann. Okay. Now that that's all done, let's jump in and start talking about how I started doing all this? And where all this comes from? Because I always wonder when people are talking is like, how did they figure that out? And why did they figure it out, and why is it so important to them? And I think you're going to hear today, why this is so important to me. And actually, I'm not going to start off with "Life is Like a Walk-In Closet." I'm going to start off with a Forrest Gump quote, "My momma always said, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." And the reason why I start off with that, and if you can't guess - life is like a box of chocolates, life is like a walk-in closet - that's kind of where it came from. And the reason why I draw that analogy is in my 20s, late teens, early 20s, a lot of my friends referred to me as the female Forrest Gump and if you've ever watched the movie, Forrest Gump, you know that Forrest always seemed to be at the right place, at the right time. And that really was me. It really was. For a long time, a lot of my old friends predicted great failure for me. I would go out on a limb that none of them were willing to go out on the limb as far as I was going out on the limb. And they were waiting for it to break or fall and for me to fail. But I'd go way out on these limbs and come out A-okay. Come out better. And you know, they would always look and go, "How did she do that?" You know, here are some examples. I left college and my friends' predictions of failure, leaving college, seemed almost certain until I landed a job with a software company. Even my dad was really worried about that and you've heard me talk about this before. You know I came home saying, "Hey dad, I'm going to work for a software company (laughs), it's paying twice as much as my old job used to pay." And he looked at me because he didn't even know I had turned in a resume to this company or anything like that. And he looked at me and he goes, "What do you know about computers? You'd never even taken a computer course." And I was like, "Oh dad, I know hotels. I know how to run hotels. I know all that, and that's what they want. They can teach me the computers." And it was this confidence, it's like, "Oh, I can do that!" And that really was me. And I did that. For five years, I traveled nonstop. And after that five years, I decided I had made it as far in the industry that I wanted to go. I was ready to spend some time at home and explore other options. And making this decision, I left, and if you've heard this for a while, you know I was living and working in Hong Kong when I made this decision. I moved home without any job lined up, without any idea (laughs). Sometimes I always thought you never leave another job until you have another job lined up. But I did it. And you know it seems like I was leaving this job that I was one of the best at what I did. And I was walking away from it. And again, my friends started, and the people around me started predicting failure. It's like I cannot believe you walked away from that. I cannot believe you cut your ties to that. And, and you know, they thought I was weird. But I survived. And yes, there was a little time where I was working three, four, five jobs at the same time, going to school surviving. But then I started getting some really good job offers coming in. And I'm getting these really good job offers coming in, and I'm turning them down. And my friends are looking at me, I cannot believe she just turned down that opportunity. But I wanted a balance between work and life. I wanted that balance. And I had the confidence in myself that I knew I could do it. And so it was kind of this idea of wanting the balance and having the confidence that I could support myself if I needed to and having the sense of self that I had at that time to say, "This is what I want and I'm not going to take anything less." And it was through my adventures--I wanted adventures. It was through my adventures that I met my husband David. And that was when things started going downhill. And it wasn't because of my husband David. It was totally because of me. I found this great guy. I did. And if you are like me, I was always told when I was growing up and I was led to believe that I could only feel complete when I was married. And it wasn't that I was feeling incomplete before I met my husband David. I just grew up with this belief of that fairy tale knowledge that I would magically know who and what I was supposed to be once I wore the white dress and marched down the altar. Magically, everything was going to come together for me. And you know what happened? I went from being this girl that could not fail to this girl--I don't know what happened to her. But man, oh man, oh man things started going quickly downhill then. I came home from our honeymoon and folded up and hid in the back of my closet my favorite traits--the traits that made me, me. My sense of adventure went away first. I folded that up and put it away. I folded up and put away my passion for learning and finally I packed away my unwavering confidence in myself. My thinking was, I was married and I was complete and I didn't need those characteristics anymore. I also--if you've listened to my show at all, you know I'm a small town Nevada girl and I married a city boy. Country mouse married city mouse. I also believed that when we married, both families, his family would embrace me and my family would embrace him and we would come together as one big happy family. Well part of my problem was this belief that we were going to be one happy family. And our families were so totally different that I forgot to look at that David married me for me. If he wanted to marry the kind of girl that his family wanted him to marry he would have done that long before he met me. He was looking for someone like me. But I spent a lot of my early marriage trying to keep both families happy. And when I was keeping one family happy, I was disappointing the other. And I was in a no-win situation. So I put away my confidence. I put away my sense of adventure. I put away my passion for learning. I was trying to be settled. And I was disappointing everyone but the person I was disappointing the most was myself. I was trying to settle into my role as a wife. And settle is the keyword here. I was attempting to settle and be settled. And I went from being an extraordinary person and loving it, to trying to be an ordinary person and hating it. Instead of meeting challenges head on, I learned to walk away. And I kind of look back at that time and wonder how my husband stuck with me because he married this spunky girl who lost her spunk. Now growing up, the fairy tales always tell us that if marriage is supposed to make you feel complete, having a baby will make you feel fulfilled. And I really needed to feel fulfilled. And so I was thrilled when I found out I was pregnant with my son Daniel. Thrilled. The summer that I was pregnant was a great summer. The first year of Daniel's life was great. I was needed. I did feel fulfilled. I was able to settle because I was busy being a mom. Hey, this may be too much information for you, but Daniel never took a bottle, so believe me I was needed. And I loved that first year. But as Daniel grew up and got older and started becoming more independent, things started--I started really losing myself again. I really did and probably the ugliest moment of my marriage to David. And we're still together and we're very happily married now. But Daniel was about two and I was lost. I was really lost. David had given me everything I asked for. He wanted a happy wife. And so when Daniel was six months old and I was in tears because I was living half in Reno and half in Northern California with him and Daniel's clothes hadn't been in the drawers yet. They had just stayed in these big Tupperware containers that I put in my truck and traveled back and forth. I was in tears. I was exhausted. And I told him I said, we have to find one place to live and one place only and that place has to be in Reno. Before Daniel was a year old, he was nine months old when we moved, we sold both houses and moved to the house we currently live in. How many husbands would do that? When we first moved over here he was commuting back and forth to Northern California to work, but he was working his way on distancing himself, from working his way out of the company that he was co-owner of. He was setting it up for him to leave and his partners to buy him out. And he did that for me. And that still wasn't good enough. I was miserable. I was confused with who and what I was. The lowest point, Daniel was about two, and I was confused and I thought maybe another baby would fix it. You know how you're grasping at straws, and you're trying to find something that's going to fix the situation and you don't know what's going to fix it. And I asked to have another baby. And David told me that he was trying to be the best father he could be and he didn't think he had the time and the energy for two kids. And so no, he wasn't willing to have another baby. And I asked him at that point in time, if he wanted a divorce. That's how far down it was. I couldn't see how much my husband loved me and supported me. And I couldn't see, and I'm almost crying now...I couldn't see that he just wanted me to be happy. I couldn't see that. He wanted the old Theresa who he met and fell in love with and married. He wanted that Theresa to come back. And it took quite a while. You know I kept reading self-help books, trying to figure out how to find myself. I was lost. And I didn't know how to find myself. I was reading self-help books. I was going to life coaches. I was doing all these but you know, I'm doing this but I had my special traits still hidden away, folded up and put away and hidden in the back of my closet. You know, as a new mom I became risk averse. And my sense of adventure was all the way gone. And my passion was gone. And finally I realized it was time to start pulling some of that stuff out. I had to become fun again. I had to, and my husband David he would always looks at me and say, "Find a passion, Theresa. Find something that you can be passionate about." How many husbands are that nice to tell their wife, find a passion? I will support you in any passion you decide. Just find a passion. And slowly but surely, I started pulling back out of the closet and unpacking some of my favorite traits. You know adventure. David would say, come on honey let's go on an adventure. And I had to learn how to start saying yes. I'm going on the adventures again. And shutting off that, "Well this can go wrong and this can go wrong and this can go wrong so, no." And then I started reading again, and really learning again and really looking at my situation. Instead of looking, and this was the turning point for me. And this is where "Life is Like a Walk-In Closet" really came from. I finally realized that, and I got the confidence to do this. Confidence was coming back. I finally realized that the self-help books weren't going to fix me. Life coaches, they all have the one-size fits all. And I'm not one-size fits all. My lifestyle has always been very different. Mine and my husband's marriage and what we love doing is very different. So one-size fits all was always constraining, and I realized, and this became my passion, that I needed to figure out how to create a life for me. I needed to figurer out how to create a life that fits me perfectly because there's no one else exactly like me. And you know what, there's no one else exactly like you. We all have different kids. We all have different marriages. We all have different lifestyle. There isn't a mommy manual out there who tells you how to raise your kids. You can't look at your neighbors and go, oh this is the way everybody in my neighborhood dresses, and this is the kind of car that everybody in my neighborhood drives, and this is what everybody in my neighborhood does. Everyone is different. And so my passion for learning came back. And I started reading a lot. And it was anything and I learned from anything, from trash romance novels to some self-help books, you know none with step-by-step instructions. The Art of Possibilities by Benjamin Zander and his wife was a huge turning point for me, but my passion for learning came back. And I started creating the life that fits me perfectly. And Daniel is now 10 and so this has been a six- to seven-year process for me to get to the point now where I can sit here and tell you that here are the design tools--here are the tools that you can use for creating your tailor-made life, the life that fits you perfectly. And life is like a walk-in closet. We can have a closet where our roles clash and don't go together. We can have a closet that's very compartmentalized where you know, we're a mom now, we're a wife now, we're a businesswoman now, and none of the roles match. You don't act the same, you don't dress the same. Every role is distinctly different. And the roles compete with one another. Your professional job, your professional role competes with your wife and your mom role. You mom role competes with your professional role, which competes with your wife role. And so you're living in this whole area of competition and I realized that. You know, I could wear roles well, but I couldn't make them match very well. I realized that I would find a passion, you know, for instance for a while I got really into cooking lessons, and then I went to, I got involved with some direct sale companies. And all of that and I always said, "My husband and my son are the most important to me." I always said that. But my actions spoke louder than my words. And if I was out of the house every single night doing this stuff, my husband and my son were not the most important things to me. And I started looking at that, and bit by bit, piece by piece, looking at the closet and looking at how my roles worked together. Looking at me and how being a mom fit me the best. And how being a wife fit me the best. And how could I create a professional life. I love working. I love creating things. How can I create a business that fit in with my mom roles and my wife roles, and what I wanted to accomplish, and they all worked perfectly. Life is like a walk-in closet. I needed to figure out a way to create a life, create the roles that mixed and matched beautifully and fit me perfectly. Don't you want that? Don't you want to create a life filled with roles that mix and match beautifully? When you're doing your wife role, it mixes and matches with your mom role beautifully. When you're in your professional role, you understand, you are the same person and you still can be a great mom. When you're working, it is not a question between working or being at home. You can merge it all together. And believe me, you can merge it all together. And so slowly but surely I have come up with the tools for creating your tailor-made life, slowly but surely. I've gone from life is like a box of chocolates. I've got to find that piece of paper again so I can give you the quote correctly. "My momma always says life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you're going to get." That's true. But you don't want to reach into your closet and not know what you're going to get when you're pulling out the role for your life. So life is like a walk-in closet. Life is like a walk-in closet. It's your choice, what kind of closet you have. You can have a closet that clashes and doesn't go together, doesn't fit you, and doesn't feel good wearing it. Kind of chase. Or you can create a closet, you can create a life closet that is tailor-made just for you and fits you perfectly. Everything mixes and matches. Everything goes together. Everything fits you. What would you rather have, a box of chocolates where you don't know what you're gonna get? Or a life closet that's filled with roles that fits you perfectly where you know you get to be you. What would you rather have? I want the walk-in closet and I also want you to not go through the heartache. And believe me there was heartache, and the frustration, and the stress, and the disappointment, and the tears. I don't want you to go through that and I don't want it to take years for you to figure out like it did me. I don't want you to go any longer than what you have to go in creating a life that fits you perfectly. And so, I have my tools, and in the last three minutes of this show, I'm going to let you know what the tools are. And if you listen to this radio show and I hope you do. Listen to it often. Go to the archive and listen to the different shows, you know, oh I'm working on this area. I need to work on this. Listen to the shows. The first thing and this is a new thing. The first thing that you need to do, the first design tool that you need to have is to design our mindset. You need to have the mindset of a designer. And that mindset is the decision to take responsibility for your life, but along with that decision to take responsibility there's also a decision to give away responsibility. Give it to the people who need it. You're not taking the responsibility for your husband. You're not taking the responsibility for your children. You're taking the responsibility for you. Yes, you are responsible for your relationship with your husband, and you're responsible for your relationship with your children, but you have to allow them to have their own designer mindset. But the designer mindset is the decision and this is what I made a few years ago. The decision that this really isn't working and I can't look for happiness outside, I have to look for happiness inside of me. I am responsible for my own happiness. I am responsible for my own success. And then comes the tools of knowing yourself, trusting yourself, letting go of your preconceived notions and looking at the possibilities. A lot of times we hold on really tight to the things that are really comfortable even though they don't feel good and we forget to look at the possibilities. And then we get to create the fabric that goes into our tailor-made life. And the fabric that we have the choice of, is we have the major choice of a life filled with chaos and conflict, and consequences, or a life that we are content, that we are happy with the path that we are on. That's our choice. And I hope you pick the fabric of contentment. And then we get to start looking into mixing and matching, and finding our balancing points. That's creating the pattern. Looking at our relationships with our spouses and our children and our jobs, and our relationships even with ourselves, our children, and their school. We get to create the patterns that go into making our tailor-made life. So, I hope you join me in creating your tailor-made life, the life that fits you perfectly. I'm not going to give you step-by-step instructions. I'm not going to tell you who and what you're supposed to be. I'm going to lead you in figuring out who and what you should be. Go on your contentment path. Thank you for listening and again if you have any questions email me onair@theresarobb.com and go out and be you.