An entry for the Blogging from A to Z in April challenge.
A true story I wrote about myself in the early 2000s. I was practicing writing in third person; Anne was me at an earlier age.
Yellow worked itself into Anne’s life in an odd sort of way. She wasn’t really aware of the color before an aha situation. She knew yellow existed, of course, but it wasn’t in her color wheel, so she wouldn’t wear it. Wouldn’t even use it as an accent color in her decorating.
Anne’s favorite color was blue, so she wore blue, ate off blue, and sat on blue. Until the day when her favorite color changed. At that time, Anne was considering a job change and expressed her pro and con dilemma to a friend. “You must read Barbara Sher’s Wishcraft,” the friend said, “and work the exercises. It will help you decide what to do.”
Always interested in what she wanted to be when she grew up, Anne, at age 54, checked the book out of the library. Sitting on her blue velvet chair, Anne read, “Answer the following questions quickly, without thinking.” She picked up her pencil and read the question that would change her life. “What is your favorite color?” A second later, she saw the word “yellow.” How did it get there? Had she written it? She must have. No one else was in the room except her napping husband.
When her daughter dropped in that evening, Anne recounted the yellow story. Several times. Her daughter threw a look across the room at her dad. “This is not the first time mom has flipped.” She soon tired of her mom’s colorful rambling. “I need to go,” she said, extending her hand. “It’s been good getting to know you, yellow. I guess it’s about time we met.”
Yellow became a joke for Anne’s family. But it was not a joke for her. If her unconscious was telling her that her favorite color was yellow, she wanted to get to know it. Yellow might even help her discover what she wanted to be when she grew up.
To get acquainted, Anne painted a bedroom yellow. Not only was a yellow room new for Anne, but, for the first time, she decided she needed to do all the painting herself. And the prep work. Patching walls, removing outlet covers, taking down mini-blinds. Her husband acted as if he were seeing a mirage.
There was something about yellow that nudged Anne to greater heights. Even on the ladder with the roller roiling her triceps, Anne refused her husband’s offers to help. There was no giving in now. Anne was yellow, and she could do this alone. Three days and three coats later, the room was yellow. Very yellow. To celebrate her accomplishment, Anne held an open house for her friends. She served lemonade.
Anne’s next yellow project happened accidentally. Walking among a crowd of tourists in Lake Geneva, she spotted a yellow sweatshirt on a manikin in a store window. “Stop,” she commanded her husband. “That shirt. That’s my color. I must have it.” Her husband, beyond surprise, said, “Be my guest. I’ll wait for you out here.” The price tag was triple what Anne had ever paid for a sweatshirt.
Wearing her new shirt with its print of wildflowers lightened Anne’s mood. Other yellow things began creeping into her closet and decorating. The swap from blue to yellow switched Anne’s brain circuitry to wonder what intrinsic meaning the color yellow held for her.
She sat down with herself—on her new yellow Lazy-Boy—to ponder. Yellow, what could it mean? Surely not simply clothes or decorating colors. What in her past could have been yellow that would have produced a positive unconscious association? Memories of the summer she was 16 jumped into her mind. Baking on the beach with girlfriends. Giggling about boys and biology. Gritting hot grains of sand between her fingers. Being free to simply be.
Anne knew, now, she would never have to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up. She would not have to grow up. She was yellow, and she was free to be…whatever she wanted to be.