What’s Your Favorite Color?

I have been thinking back to where I was long before I married my present husband. I’ve come a long way in terms of personal growth. I can remember realizing that I was in a dead end job. I was hidden in the back room of a dry cleaners pressing clothes. I could wear the grubbiest clothes I had because no one would ever see me. What I failed to think about is that I might want to be out front at the counter after a while. That wasn’t going to happen with how I dressed and how I viewed myself. After a year of working the back room, isolated and in the farthest corner of the pressing area, I realized that in order for me to move forward and find a better job I would have to have a working wardrobe. I didn’t have any clothing suitable for interviews or work. I had let myself go. It reflected how I felt in my marriage, my personal life, and in my head.

At this time I was desperate. I took my lunch hour and walked over to the mall on the other side of the parking lot from the dry cleaners. The clothing store catering to large women was having a sale. I found two skirts for $10.00 each and laid them away. It wasn’t long before I quit my job. I just couldn’t stay there in the back room in the farthest corner of the dark hole I had put myself in.

However, I didn’t have the lay away paid yet. I asked my husband for the money to get them out. He refused. I know I had to have those skirts to have any chance of getting out of this abusive and dead marriage. So, I thought about it for a while. My only asset was my platinum wedding band. When we had gotten married it had cost $25.00. I knew the marriage was over. He just didn’t know it yet. Or if he did, he wasn’t mentioning it. Surely in 22 years it must have risen in value. Besides, I had gained so much weight that it didn’t fit any more and I didn’t have the money to have it re-sized.

I took the ring to a pawn shop. They offered me $25.00 for it. It was kind of an eye opener. I accepted it gleefully and took the money to the clothing store and got my skirts out of the lay away. I can remember feeling naughty that I had done this, but so happy about having the skirts and being able to build on a work wardrobe. He never even realized the ring was gone. It was years after the divorce before I told him. I think it shocked him that the little mouse of a wife would be so bold.

This was step #1 of my plan of escape. I could cross it off and move forward.

In the mean time I also realized that I looked frumpy and disheveled. I would sit at the mall with a spiral notebook and pen and write down my observations. I watched people as they interacted. I watched them, noting hair colors, hair styles, clothing, and the way people responded to them. I noticed that fat, disheveled people were treated different than thinner, more stylish people. It took me about a week of observation before I had enough nerve to go out into the field and try on my own idea of style.

Based on what I had discovered I went straight to a hair salon. I told them I wanted a new, exciting, modern hair cut. I wanted to look 10 years younger. That was exactly what I got. The hair dresser got real excited and away we went, on my first adventure. I was so pleased with the cut. She had accomplished exactly what I wanted and needed.

The next thing I did was head straight to the drugstore to purchase a hair coloring kit. I was going to take it to the edge. After much hesitancy and worry, I picked out a red. Red represented how I saw myself. It was far from what I was, but I had learned that most of us fake it until me make it. If I could slowly become this different person, well, eventually I would become comfortable with this person and it would become second nature. I decided that red was my second most natural color. It matched the 16 year old that had never been allowed to be a teenager. I didn’t feel in my 40’s, I still felt that there was this girl just waiting to be discovered.

After coloring my hair, I took my new image and headed for the clothing stores to window shop. I knew that I needed to look for clothes and try them on until I found the style that was my true self. I did that. I was hesitant at first but soon I started to enjoy the adventure.

After changing my outward appearance, I started to look inward. I realized that I was so used to just accepting what ever everyone else wanted me to have or give me that I had lost myself. I didn’t even know what my favorite color was. I knew that I had to start changing the inside and embracing the person I really was inside. Figuring out what my favorite color was took me forever.

After 3 months I settled on pink. I looked around my house and saw not one splotch of pink anywhere. I realized that I had golds, brown, olive drab, but no pink. I went out and purchased one item that was pink and hung it up in my house. It was a bathroom set complete with a wall hung wicker cabinet, tank set, rugs, & Shower curtain. I even bought a macrame plant hanger and hung a plant that had pink petals. I still have pictures of that bathroom set to remind me of that third step. Figuring out what my favorite color was.

My journey had begun. Do you want to know what I discovered about my favorite color? It is what ever I need it to be at the moment. I grew out of my pink phase. That was simply a teenage girl’s expression of a lost childhood. I still find that my teenager comes out once in a while in the form of boas and jewelry, and things I do and say. And that’s OK.

Back then I hated the golds, olive drabs, and browns because it was something someone else picked out and I had no say so in it. Now, I find myself still having the golds, browns and greens in my color schemes because they are my choice, no one but me. And if I want that color, I can have it. The colors don’t seem tainted with the feelings I used to have about them because I am not the same.

After you Breathe…deeply for a while, ask yourself: “What is your favorite color?” And if you don’t know, that is a good place to begin your journey. You might just be pleasantly surprised about what you discover about yourself. Then, add some of that color to your environment in some way. Hope this helps you get started changing your life! Chris

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~ by womenstudycenter on January 3, 2009.

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