Let’s start with the obvious frontrunner, blue. I won’t talk for long here, because I don’t like to feel sad, who does? There are 3 consistent notions that elicit my blue.
First, the idea that once a moment has passed, I will never live it again. When I was in Spain, there was a week in late February when I was real blue, I didn’t feel right. One night, I walked miles to the plaza on the other side of the city. This place was nuts and I wish I had a picture but I’ll do my best to describe it. It’s a wide open space, which is hard to come by over there, but it is absolutely the most claustrophobic wide open space I have ever experienced. It’s a giant circle, lined with asphalt and taxis, and then a row of benches. In the center, is a smaller circle, which somehow attracts every last breathing pigeon in what felt like the entire Spanish country. In the middle of this pigeon fortress, is a constant cluster of children with toys from the street vendors. In my case, LED spinning tops that shoot so far into the sky they look like comets.
Now let’s run back through that.
We have taxis, then we have pigeons, then we have children, and then we have the LED toys of my own mental collapse. The four horsemen of the apocalypse for the nice little breakdown I had planned.
After my tears, after my segmented breathing, or choking, I felt the strangest, coldest blue I had ever felt. It was so lonely, yet so chaotic at the same time. It was so raw, and so innate inside of me that it was the first time in months that I truly felt like myself. I was feeling, and it was my emotion to feel, no one else’s. I was so irrevocably sad, but it was finally my own doing, and my own thinking, that led me to it. The hurriedness of the plaza fell silent. It sounds truly psychotic, when I read that back, but for one second try to imagine the alleviation of finally feeling like I could take a deep breath. That is something I wish I could feel again, comfort in solitude.
Second, getting older. I’m starting to age like John Travolta and I am not enjoying it! I will not comment further.
Third, without further ado, heartbreak.
Sadness doesn’t discriminate. We all feel it. Where we deviate from the norm, however, is in the vulnerability that we allow ourselves to crawl into, or leap out of. For those of us who’ve mended broken hearts, picture it like a leash.
Everytime he doesn’t chase after you when you leave the party, everytime you hear that he is with someone else, everytime you feel crazy or manipulated or hopelessly defeated, your leash will catch.
It’ll strangle you.
With every missed call or lonely thought, my blue grew deeper, and my vulnerability gap shrunk. I never wanted to feel like that again, so I made a point not to. Never in my life would I ever give another person so much control over my feelings that I couldn’t slam on the breaks or push the gas pedal harder if I needed to. I noticed my blues, and I took note of them. I recognized when the red slowly deepened, saturating into a murky purple. I read my notes, I brushed up on my elementary color wheel, and I wrote some more.
Fifteen is a young age to have the wind knocked out of you by a pair of blue eyes in a football jersey, but sadness doesn’t discriminate.
I still find nights when it takes a minute for me to catch my breath, nights I have to remind myself that blue will come again, and it will be okay.
I find no fault in mistakes. I’m not a one and done person, I never have been. I don't ask you to avoid feelings, or to cover emotions. Rather, I’m asking you to pay closer attention. Recognize when your colors mumble, and when they scream. I recognize my blues, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel them.
Have you ever watched a candle burn long enough that the wild flame relaxes to a steady flicker? The once roaring orange lulls to sparks of yellow-golden embers. Under a closer eye, the flame glows blue at the wick. It’s almost transparent, but it’s there. It’s gentle, but it’s present. It’s kind of like when the water is so hot, it feels cold to the touch.
The orange flame is so fierce, it’s blue.
But it's a flame, nonetheless.