My favorite color is…


Gita Majumdar

Girl with pictured with a rainbow reflected in her eye, showing different possibilities and a sense of confusion regarding these possibilities.

My favorite color has always been red. Red was bold, red was passion and fire, red was adventure and independence. I loved red, I still love red. But see, it’s been 16 years, and never once have I doubted myself when someone asked me, “What’s your favorite color?” It became part of me. Everyone knew my favorite color; they associated me with red.

Red is known for many things. Red is courage, energy, and action, but red is also angry. Red means danger. But as a kid that wasn’t what I loved, red was just beautiful. I felt that it resonated with my body and soul. Red was glamorous and stunning. It filled in a section of myself that I felt was missing; red was my confidence in a color. The confidence that I lacked was stored inside the color red, but maybe it was hidden, not stored.

Now it’s been 16 years, 16 years of my confidence being hidden inside red walls. But after all these years of red filling that space, it is getting crowded as it starts to fill with reality. The color red isn’t needed to fill that space like it was before.

Now I doubt myself when someone asks my favorite color. It is not a fear-filled doubt; it is not a doubt sprouting from insecurity. It is a thoughtful doubt, a doubt leading to growth. I pause and think.

I love green—not bright green, not like the go symbol in a traffic light, not like bright fresh grass. I love green like the shaded forest, pale sage green, dusky olive green, green like peridot, my birthstone.

We often connect certain physical things or ideas to our identity. We see physical things or ideas, especially our favorite things, such as our favorite color, as a part of ourselves. And when that starts to change we get scared, for who would want to lose a part of themselves?

I can’t bring myself to change my lifelong answer. “What’s your favorite color?” “Red.” It has always been red. It might always be red. And I think to myself, does this matter? It doesn’t matter. It does matter.

We can, and we need, to learn to let go of these things that we connect to ourselves. They can represent us, they can offer an insight into us and our personality, but they should not define us.

We change and grow every day. We will be different people as the years pass and that is ok, that is natural and normal. We are here to experience life—to live, not just exist—and to change and grow as life shapes us.

Look at our bodies, they do not look the same as they did 3 years, 10 years ago. So why should our minds, our personalities, our behaviors, remain unchanged? They should not. Let the world shape us; take pieces of the past and keep them with us for a week or for our whole lives. Learn from the past, but shed what does not suit us, shed what is not us anymore. Let ourselves grow and change as the world sees fit.

My favorite color does not always have to be red. Or I could keep the same favorite color for my entire life. What matters is that we see when these things need to change, we see when they have outlived their stay and we brush them away. We make room for the change and we welcome it.

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