Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Versions of Me...In Living Color

Note: I didn't plan this post for St. Patty's Day, but it sorta worked out, no?

February was a strange month. It started with a batch of clean laundry and the choice between putting on my orange or green turtleneck. Orange had long been my defining color. At one point, there was so much orange in my wardrobe that it constituted an entire load of laundry on its own. But the green...I had never really liked green at all before, but somehow, that green sweater was calling me. Twice before this I had chosen the green over the orange, but that day the choice bothered me. Was I no longer the kinda gal who draped herself in orange? And why all of a sudden was I being drawn to green?

Later that week, I attempted to do some spring cleaning. The fatal error was beginning in the room that houses my trunk-o-stuffs. You know, the one with yearbooks, old letters, track ribbons, PHOTOS. "Sidetracked" doesn't even begin to describe what happened.

It was one thing to look over all these different versions of myself, at different times in my life, through pictures and letters and journals. Then around mid-month, there was an odd e-mail exchange wherein I was confronted by yet another version of myself, this time through another's eyes. It was very idealized, and I was left wondering what happened that version of myself, and whether she ever really existed in the first place. On top of that, my advisor shared a letter of recommendation she wrote for me. Seriously, I don't know who she was writing about. I mean, there were parts that felt vaguely familiar, but other parts that left me feeling like an inadequate fraud. (She assures me it was the truth...*shrug*)

All of that leads me back to the colors. Some people have the same favorite color their whole lives, but mine has changed a bit over the past ten years. (Oh man, has it really been that long?!) In some ways, I can see people treating me like an orange-yellow person even though, on the inside, I feel like I'm growing into someone else. So I decided to look up what my favorite colors might reveal about me, and I think it accounts for the different periods of my life better than anything I might have put in my trunk.

1997-2001 Yellow. These are the years I was finishing college, moving to DC for grad school, then Seattle, then back to New Mexico for another master's degree.

Yellow is the color of happiness, wisdom and imagination, Yellow is chosen by the mentally adventurous, searching for novelty and self-fulfillment. Yellow usually goes with a sunny and shrewd personality, with a good business head and a strong sense of humor. It is the color of intellectuality and all things to do with the mind. Yellow folks are usually clear and precise thinkers who have a good opinion of their own mental capacities and who have lofty ideals. They may at times tend to shun responsibility, preferring freedom of thought and action.

2001-2007 Enter orange.
To quote a Faith Hill tune, I'd say these years could easily be characterized as "living and loving and learning the hard way." Also: "full speed ahead," and "taking big fat juicy bites out of life" would cover it too. Yellow was still very much a part of it, but in more of a supporting role until the orange overshadowed it completely around 2003-4. I love orange for it's brashness and impracticality. I mean, it's RIDICULOUS! Love it! Plus, not many people like orange or have the guts to wear it. In your early-mid twenties, that's all fine and good. But late 20s into your 30s...well, I'll say that I still like orange and yellow but have less need for an all-encompassing orange lifestyle.

Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness.
2009 Green. I guess my trend toward green has been two or three years in the making. I've really been wanting to move toward a life of balance and peace so I can thrive. Hence, the latest blog makeover.

The color of harmony and balance, green symbolizes hope, renewal and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere. Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, fairly sociable but preferring peace at any price. Green people can be too self-effacing, modest and patient, so they may get exploited by others. They are usually refined, civilized and reputable.

In reality, I'm not sure if I'm really going all the way to green as the star, but it is definitely part of an ensemble cast. When I look back, blue has always been in the mix as a supporting player, accented by white. Given their descriptions, I see how they fit into the background as minor, but present, parts of myself. Not surprisingly, when orange took over, the blue dropped out entirely.

Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, blue is the color of deliberation and introspection, conservatism and duty. Patient, persevering, conscientious, sensitive and self-controlled, Blues like to be admired for their steady character and wisdom. They are faithful, but are often worriers with somewhat inflexible beliefs and can be too cautious, and suspicious of flamboyant behavior.
White: Symbolic of purity, innocence and naivete, white has strong connotations of youth and purity. If you are an older person, your preference for white could indicate a desire for perfection and impossible ideals, maybe an attempt to recapture lost youth and freshness. It may also symbolize a desire for simplicity or the simple life.
That scene above is how I think I will always remember Iowa. Blue skies, puffy white clouds, and green rolling hills.

But green. I think I'm going to feature green for a little while...for all the reasons Kermit thinks it's not easy, and for all the reasons it's what he wants to be.

1 comment:

Jessica - This Is Worthwhile said...

Color has always been really important in my life, too. For me, I've always loved yellow and blue, equally. I think it reflected what I wanted in my life more than what was really happening. Now, what I wore, those were the real-time colors of my life. Lots of black, then tons of blues, then lots of green, back to blue, blah blah blah.

What does it mean if I have 10 shirts (of varying colors) that are striped? I'm a stripe whore. Seriously.

I love that you looked up color meanings and I also totally dig that cookie jar. It looks like something you could buy from Pottery Barn for $75 because it was hand painted by an artist in Venezuela.

I've been following you in my Google Reader so I missed when you redid your blog look. I love the green! It's inspired me to do a little spring update on mine, too!