The Four Pink Walls That Changed My Life

April 07, 2021
a blue cube on a swirling background with windows and two smaller cubes, colored with pink and green, respectively, inside of it
Art by Kim Salac

When I was eleven years old, I came back from camp, and lo and behold, the white bedroom walls I had left behind were now pink. Not a soft pink you’d have for a newborn, but a bold, fierce pink that gave me just one thought: “I hate it.” When my mother told me there was a surprise waiting for me at home, I had not expected this. Those four pink walls turned into the new me, or, shall I say, created a new version of the real, ever-evolving me.

As a middle schooler, I wanted to do so many things to seem cool to my friends. Owning the High School Musical Dance Dance Revolution set was very elementary school, I realized, and by middle school I had to show I had edge, swagger, and style. But how was this pink going to give me that? Thus began my journey to find something, anything that wasn't and isn't pink.

 

Owning the High School Musical Dance Dance Revolution set was very elementary school, I realized, and by middle school I had to show I had edge, swagger, and style. But how was this pink going to give me that?

 

One answer to "not pink" was right outside, literally. Green, the color of the grass and one that meant ‘go’, became my favorite. And that was super edgy, I thought, because how many people could you meet who claimed green as their favorite color? Almost everyone said pink, purple, or blue. Well, it turns out colors have shades, and that is where more fun began. What exact shade of color did I like? Was it a bright neon green, maybe lime green, sage, a dark forest green, or plain green? I still cannot remember which one I chose to become my favorite, though at the time it felt like such a major decision in my life. I couldn't change my mind, or so I thought.

With green as my favorite, all of sudden I could see the beauty in nature, and I found myself thinking of that classic Microsoft Windows background — that endless blue sky with rolling green fields — and that’s when it occurred to me: maybe I can have multiple things that I favor at once. Of course, I knew this when it came to choosing a show or movie, but colors, no way could it be possible to like two at once. Henceforth, my favorite colors became green and blue, and eventually blue and green. My, did it feel free —  I had a say in what I could like. I could decide who I wanted to be, and then I could find an authentic self!

 

With green as my favorite, all of sudden I could see the beauty in nature, and I found myself thinking of that classic Microsoft Windows background — that endless blue sky with rolling green fields — and that’s when it occurred to me: maybe I can have multiple things that I favor at once.

 

But then it was time for high school, where I had to ‘fit in’ and grow up. 

I kept a placeholder for green in my "favorites" repertoire, but blue began to offer such a sense of peace...and maybe, I thought, it was time to let green go. After all, how would I decide which to align with more? Maybe there was a sense of energy that color could give off, and I wanted to seem cool – just like blue. A cool tone, flowing like water, endless as the sky, and encapsulating as the bedroom in which I lay. And that's how my favorite color became blue. Not green, definitely not pink, just a cool blue. And since it’s my favorite color, I obviously had to get pieces to match my so-called aesthetic, with nice blue bracelets, and blue shirts, and blue shoes. Suddenly, blue was just that: color and shade, for all the shades looked nice.

 

After all, how would I decide which to align with more? Maybe there was a sense of energy that color could give off, and I wanted to seem cool – just like blue. A cool tone, flowing like water, endless as the sky, and encapsulating as the bedroom in which I lay.

 

Now here I am, twenty years old, staring at these same four pink walls (thanks, COVID year), and they just kept screaming at me to be someone I am not. After all, it’s not like I can change the color of my walls; or could I? I mean, why not? My mom did it all those years ago, so what’s the harm in choosing a new color? Besides, I have started to understand what my eleven-year-old self felt like seeing those pink walls for the first time and wanting to get rid of them immediately. Since I’m twenty it’s not as if I'm incapable of changing the colors of my walls. I changed my favorite color -- how hard could painting four walls be? It’s just like a very large canvas with some corners. The physical act of painting I could do -- but the big decision was, what color? How could one color, blue, have so many shades? 

It  turns out that painting a wall a new color has given me a new sense of self. No longer a child with four pink walls; I was a young adult with four blue walls. This is now who I am, and this room has became a comforting place that has nestled me like an egg. Here is that swagger and coolness that my eleven-year-old self was looking for. I’m the one who will always know what it means to be truly me.

 

Facebook comments

Letter From the Editor

Check out the latest Letter from the Editor here!