It was Senior year and I was in my Peer Leadership class. Mrs. Rose announced the activity for the day would be, “If you were a color, what color would you be?” By this point in the year, I was pretty tired of these questions. What animal would you be, what fruit would you be… seriously? Enough already.
Our desks formed a circle and we went around the room, concentrating on one person at a time. Each sharing what color we felt they represented.
Soon, it was my turn and my classmates began…
“I think Little would be yellow, because she is bright and cheerful.”
“I thought of Hot Pink because its girly and fun, just like she is.”
“I also think Yellow because its such a bright and happy color. And Little always has a smile on her face.”
Then, it was Mrs. Rose’s turn. She looks at me and says, “I think you are the color beige.”
A little gasp escapes me and I question, “Beige? For…for… boring?” At the time, I was going through a phase where I thought I was boring and her answer had stung my heart a little.
She answered “No, just listen to my reasoning. I say beige because the color can transform based on the colors around it. Among loud, bright colors, beige can fade into the background. Amound other pastels, it can blend in. Among other colors, it can pop out at you. Depending on your company, you can blend in, hold back or stand out. And that’s why I think you are the color beige.”
I sat there for a minute and thought about what she said. I thought about the way I react when I meet new people and how I act when I’m part of a group…
Put me in a group of loud, outspoken, strangers and I’m likely to be intimidated. I come off timid and I’m happy to sit back and take in the conversation around me, laugh at the jokes, listen to the crazy stories and keep the attention off me.
Now, place me with a group of shy people and I will be the one to stand up and try to bring everyone out of their shells. I know what it is like to feel shy so I try to make them feel comfortable just like I appreciate when people do for me.
With my best friends, that is when I blend in. They are the colors that match me best. I feel like when I am with them, I am my true self. Sometimes I’m the listener, sometimes I am the storyteller. But there is no being shy or being outspoken. It is just me being me.
I realized what a true assessment Mrs. Rose had made. There I was sick of these silly, pointless, little activities and now six years later I still haven’t forgotten what she said that day.
Oh and it turns out that being Beige… well… I kind of like it.