The notion of a “flip-flop” is inherently negative. I’m not, as you probably suspect, referring to the cheap foam sandals popularized by American beach culture. Rather, the kind of “flip-flop” I’m speaking about is the idea of “changing one’s mind”. In politics, the term is tossed around incessantly. To flip-flop is to stab in the back. It is to impulsively, drastically alter one’s view on a matter and in turn betray the colleagues, constituents, and supporters who’ve been nothing but loyal. A flip-flopper is bad, is evil, is a nefarious example of the greed, selfishness, and corruption run rampant in this modern political hellscape.
Unless, of course, the flip-flop works in your favor . No, there’s nothing scheming about that, no hand-rubbing, hunched-back villain lurking beneath the surface.
But you know this.
I bring this up because, reluctant as I may be, I feel it as my duty to announce a pretty significant flip-flop in my own personal politics. It is with a heavy heart that I publicize this confession: my favorite color is no longer turquoise. Shocking, I know. Turquoise has been on the list of my favorite things for most of my conscious life, but the older I grow the more apparent it becomes that Turquoise’s reign over my heart must come to an end, regardless of my reluctance to oversee its demotion. It has been a wonderful ride, but I’ve found myself intoxicated with a new color. And so, my allegiance has shifted. Assuming the position is lilac, a shade of purple said to have connections with spirituality, passion, and vitality.
Now, let me be frank: I have no idea how to deal with this new information. What does this seismic shift in devotion mean for my life, both both literally and abstractly? I mean, this is an incredibly significant milestone, when you think about it, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. We’re talking about my favorite color, for Goddess’s sake, not a switch from Crest to Colgate. This marks a fundamental shift in identity, and I don’t know if I’m ready to face the consequences. This is more than just a shift in preference; it is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation.
I have an endless supply of turquoise things: turquoise sheets, turquoise shirts, a turquoise phone case, a half-turquoise quilt. My favorite briefs are turquoise. At the end of summer 2016, still well under Turquoise’s spell, I bought a pair of turquoise dress shoes from the Doc Marten’s store, and in time they’ve become a staple in my closet. But going on like this, with turquoise jutting at me from every angle, would do nothing but misrepresent me and undermine this personal metamorphosis. Do I throw it all away? Do I burn all of the remnants of my former self to make room for lilac?
Well, maybe. I used to have a turquoise dresser. It was an IKEA find that I painted, distressed, and re-knobbed in an effort to refresh it, make it mine. I loved that dresser to bits. It was my pride and joy and I cherished it for years. When I moved to Portland after graduating college, I was caught in a whirl of self-transformation. Truly on my own for the first time in my life, I felt that I needed to take my newfound independence and run with it. I was in a new environment with new people unburdened with outdated ideas of my former self. What a more perfect time to renew myself, to stir the pot and allow myself to be what I’d wanted for so much of my college life?
My beloved turquoise dresser was just another casualty of this flurry of change. I picked out new knobs, gathered some new paint bottles, and got to work. Within a couple of hours, that turquoise dresser was a hazy, mysterious mix of pinks, purples, browns, and creams. A step back would reveal the dresser as *gasp* lilac.. Let that sink in for a minute. Two years before the change of my favorite color became official, I coated my favorite turquoise dresser in lilac paint. Just, wow.
That can only mean one thing, right?: Buy. Lilac. Paint—I have to wipe that shit everywhere.
My Doc’s and the quilt will likely be the only survivors of this Lilac Storm, and that’s okay. I’m prepared to shove lilac into every crevasse of my life. The color has already begun trickling into my wardrobe, and the backgrounds on my electronics have been washed in the soft, pastel purple. It’s only a matter of days until lilac assumes absolute control of my life, and I don’t think I’ll do anything to stop it. It’s LILAC OR BUST, at this point.
Now, I can’t discuss my favorite color change in terms of its material implications without including the mental, emotional and spiritual as well. Turquoise, at least to me, has always been a youthful, energetic, and optimistic color. Since I was little it had a way of igniting my overactive imagination into fits of unabated creativity. When I was 8 or 9, I kept a notebook of all of my imaginary friends. I would start with their name, followed by a drawing and a few sentences on their personality. I came across the dingy, spiral bound little thing a couple years ago. In flipping through its tattered, food-smudged pages, I was delighted to find that most of these friends were colored with turquoise crayon. The discovery validated my obsession with the color. Turquoise inspires, to say the least, but in my short life I’ve also seen it bring peace and joy into my line of vision. I’ve clung to the color for years now, used it as a crutch when times got tough and the world wasn’t as bright as I needed it to be. So why mess with that? What does lilac have that turquoise doesn’t?
Shades of purple, I’ve found, in all their variation, possess a sense of spirituality and mysticism most colors lack. Like turquoise, lilac feeds creativity and encourages inspiration, though without the buzzing, bright energy that could easily become too much for my anxiety-prone little heart. It’s certifiably chill, and chill is something I’ve desperately needed. Riding the line between light lavender and darker purple, lilac balances the elegance, femininity and optimism of the lighter hues with the uniqueness, gloom, and mystery of the darker ones. It is at once calming, spiritually uplifting, inspiring, dark, and mysterious, which is just so interesting to me. Lilac is multifaceted, deep, nebulous, and adaptable—much more fitting for the gloom-ridden haze of my early twenties, right?
In the end, I don’t think much of this matters. Not at all, really, and especially not to any of you. It’s only a color. Eleven-hundred words and counting of an article discussing the significance of changing my favorite color is frivolous, I am fully willing to admit that. But in the current political and social hellscape of America, having something as frivolous and superficial as a favorite color to worry about, if only for a minute, has been an absolute necessity.
So… what’s yours?