Pink

via Daily Prompt: Pink

I was born pink. My cheeks were rosy, my little hands and feet were chubby and pink. I was dressed in pink dresses, bonnets and little pink shoes. I had pink bows in my hair, and pink everything. I was told “pink is a girl color”. I was told “Only girls can wear pink” or “only sissies wear pink (if they are male)”. I learned at a young age that anyone dressed in pink is by default a girl.

So I grew up loving the color pink. I had a pink bedroom I designed myself. I had pink shirts, pink pants, pink shoes, pink hair ties. In college I bought pink bedding and pink decorations for my dorm room. It never occurred to me that a color could have so much meaning.

As a feminist and a woman there’s many things that I’ve been told about pink which counteract what I learned when I was younger. I’ve been told that pink is a gender norm. Pink is a color for everyone, not only girls. The color pink is not associated with weakness or less power than any other color, it’s a color. Colors are not gendered, but are only in existence to color our world. Liking one color over another doesn’t make you anything, it only defines your likes and dislikes. Wearing pink isn’t a statement. Wearing or liking pink doesn’t determine your sexuality (aka “make you gay”) or your gender identity. Not everyone who identifies as female likes pink like I do, and that’s ok. Deep down I wonder if I really liked pink growing up or if I only liked it because of what I was told about it.

pink

 

Today the color pink means more. At the women’s rally back in January pink was the color of resistance and feminist support. Pink was the color of the hats that told outsiders what we believed in. Pink signified support in women’s sexual and reproductive health and support of Planned Parenthood.

The resistance wore pink.

Pink was powerful, dominating and loud. Pink wasn’t afraid to step on toes and fight for the rights of those who are vulnerable. Pink wasn’t just for women, it was for the LGBTQII+ community. Pink represented equality for those who can’t afford healthcare should the ACA be repealed. Pink stood for racial equality for those being oppressed. The strong wore pink. The noble, the proud and the brave wore pink. The humble, the meek and the neglected wore pink. Pink wasn’t a “girl” color anymore, it was the color of a movement.

Now my ideals about pink have changed. I’m eager to stand on the edge of revolution and wear my pink for all to see. I’m happy to support those who choose not to wear pink. I’m happy to hope for a world where all colors can live together and work as one to make changes for the better, one where pink is just a color that anyone is free to like.

 

Fireflies

I remember clearly being a child and catching fireflies in the summer.  While many other kids my age loved Christmas, I longed for fireflies and summer. There was nothing better to me than a summer evening. I loved running through the tall grass behind our house barefoot and chasing those flying green orbs. I loved collecting them in a jar. More than anything I loved letting them all fly out.

As an adult we lose this connection to nature. We no longer catch fireflies. We no longer run through the grass barefoot. We aren’t grounded in the Earth, but entangled in our work, friends, families and lives.  We no longer seek to catch anything elusive outside of a promotion or possessions. We don’t let go. We don’t disconnect from our modern lives.

Sometimes when I feel stressed or overwhelmed I go outside at dusk (summer is still my favorite). I take off my shoes (and socks if I’m wearing any) and I stand on the grass. I root my feet into the Earth to remember where I’m planted. I drop my shoulders and feel the energy pulling my hands towards the ground as my head floats towards the sky. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds all around me. I breathe. I feel the air around me, pulsating with energy and the last tiny speck of sunshine. I connect to nature and I remember all those memories of catching fireflies, running through the grass and laughing.

Nothing can calm my mind better than being in nature. No medication exists to do what grounding does for me. It’s not just the sensory experience for me. It’s feeling the energy inside me and feel it wash over me from the ground, to my feet, up my body and out the top of my head. It’s this connection to the world that keeps me sane. In this moment I know I’m alive. I’m grateful to be able to feel the grass, the breeze, hear the birds, smell petrichor in my nostrils. It brings my focus back to my purpose, it allows me to know why I’m here, and in this moment I find complete bliss.

Tonight as I opened my eyes, I saw fireflies. They floated on the soft, warm breeze of summer. They blinked between the green leaves on the maple tree in my back yard. I felt completely at peace. And as I watched the neighbor’s children laugh as they ran barefoot across the grass, I remembered what it feels like to be where they are, to feel that the future is a million miles away and that summer will last forever.