The colour orange is how I would like to remember the year 2016.
This fall, during a yoga & meditation workshop, we had to colour. YUP! 14 adults were asked to grab a crayon and start livening up our blank mandalas. Complete excitement would be an understatement to describe that moment. My five-year old self was apparently very much alive inside of me as she guided me towards the colour orange among the stack of crayons that lay before me.
That bright orange was quickly filling up most of my mandala. As we were encouraged to slowly let ourselves drift into a meditative state, I began to rock my mind back and forth like a little baby. Back my mind went to the early 90’ and forth it returned to our current decade. Suddenly, I connected the dots between colouring, my five-year old self and the colour orange.
A vivid memory came back to me. It was that of my mother, my brother and I shopping for school supplies before my first day as a kindergartner. Momma pointed to a pyramid display of KIT crayon boxes which was the next item featured on our school supply list. My eyes grew wide in excitement. I’d finally have a home for all my pencils, erasers, crayons, rulers and more!
She asked me which colour I preferred between the pink and the purple. My confused gaze turned towards her and I inquisitively asked “Why pink or purple Momma? There is also a blue and an orange box!” She replied that Domenic wanted the blue kit box and she thought that maybe, being a girl, I’d like the pink or the purple best.
I’m not sure as to when the rebel inside me was born but I can sure tell you that she got woken up at that very moment. I told Momma “I pick orange, thank you very much!”
Even at 5 years old, I cringed at the idea of being just like every body else. I didn’t want to choose a girly colour because I was a girl and it was expected of me.
First day of kindergarten and I had the two best accessories: my smile and my orange kit box. I placed my orange box in my cubby. Soon after, my class mates did the same. My smile grew even bigger when I realized there were only two orange kit boxes displayed in the row of cubbies. One belonged to me and the other to my new friend, a little blond boy.
And yes of course, my mandala-colouring-30-year old self began to cry at this point into the memory! Feeling a connection to someone is always unreal no matter how many times it happens. However, feeling a connection to ones-self is triple that of connecting to another topped with fireworks in the background.
Thank you to the colour orange for warming my heart with dear memories. For reminding me who I really am on the inside: This young woman who longs for individuality, equal rights and freedom of speech.
As we bring in 2017, I dare you to choose your colour. Among the sea of people confusingly picking too many in hopes of finding a combination that suits them best, I dare you to look inside yourself and choose your truest colour and let yourself shine brighter than any other. 🙂
Mel Ciamp xox