There are so many life lessons it took me a really really long time to catch on to.
The First Thing: It’s okay to sparkle…
I never was a pink princess kind of girl. For many, many years my color was red. Seventy-five percent of my wardrobe was red. The rest of it was neutral- black, white, gray, or navy- so as not to clash, you understand. My hair was the color of a fire engine, my lips the color of blood, and my thigh-high, lace-up, 4-inch heeled stripper boots the color of a candy apple. I wrote poetry oozing with fiery, angry red metaphors. My heart was a fragrant, deep blushing bloom secretly inhabited by a consuming, dark parasite and all that jazz.
When, days after turning 20, I announced to the world that I was having a baby girl, I threatened my loved ones, “Don’t you dare send any frilly pink dresses or princess movies!” I couldn’t have a child clashing with my personality. It wasn’t until years into being a Christ follower (bitter, angry, man-hating and immature Christian, but Christian all the same) that my sweet, sainted mother pulled me aside and gently pointed out that I was just so….angry. For hours into the night, we talked and my rage against men was revealed and linked to my obsession with red. Pink was softness. Feminine was exposed and vulnerable.
Over the course of that night, I came to see my favorite color for what it really was, a defense system set up against a past I didn’t have to live in anymore. It culminated in a late night Walmart run on the search for something- anything- pink. I emerged triumphantly with the prettiest pair of pale pink lace panties. Since then, I’ve come far. Not only will I rock pink, I like glittering gems, french gel manicures with glitter, and flowing dresses.
More importantly, I’ve discovered the strength of my feminity. What strength to be hurt and retain the gift of love. What strength in reacting to a harsh, fallen world with tenderness. What strength in nurturing people, openly expressing love, and tempering justice with mercy.
Pink, after all, is just a softer shade of red.