Saturday, August 31, 2013

Color Me Happy

I can divide the years of my life into colors.

When I was young, before any siblings, my color was shadow gray. Dark corners and cloudy skies, hallways and bedrooms and closets with very little light. My memories are unfinished and rough around the edges, like I'm straining to see too hard inside my head.

Then my brother and sisters came and we were all color-coded. Those were my purple years- down jackets and Easter baskets and lidded cups at grandma's house. Everything was some shade of violet or lavender or plum. I'm not sure if I ever truly liked purple or if I just stuck to my guns- a slip up of some sort that I was too embarrassed to correct. I have always been conscious of pleasing others but my assumptions of what was right weren't always true to myself.

I stepped away from purple for black. I found eyeliner and Hot Topic, determined to fit myself into a mold I didn't understand. I assumed it had to be better than the boys and organized sports my blonde contemporaries enjoyed- neither of which I excelled at. I drifted in and out of degrees of black, trying to find myself. Instead I found others, bruised and damaged and alone. Black was transitional.

I hoped that high school was teal blue- the sort your girlfriends paint on your toes or the color of your favorite sweatshirt. It's the color that people notice you in and the one you wish your eyes were. In reality I was surrounded by brown. My hair, my eyes, my school colors, the scrub brush that surrounded our little island in the hills. I couldn't run away from brown but I sure tried- as evidenced by my bleached blonde bangs at 14.
College was yellow. Bright, vibrant, cheery. I thought if I projected a happy color on my surroundings then the anxiety I felt at not fitting in would be easier to forget. It worked after a fashion. Mr. E's house had butter walls and I let everyone know my future kitchen would be decorated in sunshine hues. And it is.
2011 was green. The color of new beginnings and growth and luck and our wedding. It's my little brother's favorite color and was represented in varying shades by all of my new extended family. It's the color of leaves through the windows and forever hills during road trips but most of all it's the color of Mr. E's bright eyes as we said "I do".
Last year was tangerine orange. A color to strike all other colors down. One that shouts and declares and uses exclamation points, dammit!, but it has a softer sherbert-y side too. The color of our first kitchen as a married couple and my favorite necklace. A color with moods and attitudes as changeable as I am.

Now we're blue. Blue blends in, it stands back. It's neutral enough to mix and match and feel our way to exactly what we want to be or do or say in our new lives. Blue is accepting and comforting and unassuming.
Blue is my springboard.
Blue is my gateway.
Blue is my starting point.

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Mrs. E