Sunday, August 23, 2009

to know exactly where we're from.



During the summer of 2004, after my first year of college, I moved to Chicago. I was with a group of people doing summer sales, but I got to work in the office with a few really awesome girls. Most people don't know that it was also a hard time in my life. I had been through some big changes that year and suddenly found myself struggling to figure out who I was exactly. I felt surrounded by strangers who didn't understand me at all, and sometimes that meant I was really lonely. In short, I cried a lot.

Looking back on what proved to be one of the best periods of growth in my life so far, I mostly remember the good things. How my friend Melanie and I shared a room and all of our secrets, the days I got to spend wandering the city, letters I'd get in the mail from Clint who was on a mission in Pittsburgh, the shopping and the food, rain and thunderstorms like I'd never experienced before, and how I would always feel better after a nice jog listening to my music.

I also remember a small and sort of ridiculous detail about my first day there. When I was introduced to the group and asked my favorite color, I responded with grey*. Several people called me weird, which made me uncomfortable, and that was that.

These days I take weird as a compliment. I'm grateful to be who I am, to have my own identity, and to love what it is. And of course, my love for the color grey is still evidenced everywhere from the walls in my house to the polish on my toes.


*that's how i like to spell it; also, now my favorite color changes pretty much every week...

36 comments:

  1. It was wonderful to read your post. I think the best periods of our life is when we struggle, find ways to solve problems that trouble us, take refuge in those who support and stand by us as our best friends and learn to believe that despite all the odds, we are able to surface again as winners.

    Also, I too love grey. I think its not a weird or depressing color. Its really very classy and sophisticated.

    Keep writing.

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  2. Cute.

    I too love Grey {and yes, that's how I spell the color too.}

    As for "Gray," I really want to name my first son this. Graham's grandmother has always called him this, and I love it... {he on the other hand does not.. for a first that is. maybe a middle.}

    Oh, and Chicago? Awesome. That is our next city to visit. I'm hoping for our 5 year anniversary this fall.. We'll see if it will happen! :)

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  3. I loved this post-I admire you so much for looking back on a struggling time with gratitude. I should probably do that more often. I also admire what a way with words you have.

    I just bought the cutest heather gray flats. You must get them. If you are in the market for some, let me know and I'll give you details. :)

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  4. i like this post. i had the same experience around the same age only in provo, utah...never mind. that's not the same at all. but i do love grey. and i prefer to spell grey with an e rather than an a. it just feels better.

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  5. This is such a sweet and honest story. I think I'm going through now what you went through then. College seems to reveal, or hide in some cases, the uncertainties about life, and without the comfort of home, which I knew from age 0-19, it's extremely unnerving. I'll take you as a reminder that everything will go it's course and smooth out.

    XO

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  6. Oh, and my favorite color is white, and I guess that's pretty "weird," too. In a good way, of course. :)

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  7. gray is also my favorite. there are so many shades of it, warm + cool, and it makes so many beautiful combinations. i guess i have favorite color combos... not just a favorite color.

    any way, i like you + the thoughts you shared.

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  8. oh my gosh this is too funny...that is one of my favorite colors too. People say the same thing..."grey!??! whose favorite color is grey?!" um...me...and angela! haha

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  9. In a time when so many people are adorning themselves with feigned identities, it's nice reminder that there are other women out there on the quest to accentuate the talents and interests within them.

    I think we'd all be a lot happier if we tried to pursue that which makes us personally happy. It would save a lot of time trying to be the best of anything other than the best of ourselves.

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  10. I love who you are and that you have never changed for anyone! I admire that. And that's a good memory :) Happy Monday!!

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  11. i'll always remember a funny little secret we share about that summer :)

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  12. i have grey toes too:)

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  13. I absolutely loved that post! And i love that you are who you are and don't care.

    i, too, take weird as a compliment.

    :)

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  14. Are you going to tell us what grey polish that is, please?

    Please?

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  15. Middle (18%) gray is the most important color.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_gray

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  16. oh Chicago was so fun! I totally forgot about my obsession with cool whip! Those were some pretty crazy days, but packed with fun memories! Lets get together soon and relive our summer. "who is that girl i see, standing there straight at me..." I swear I probably drove you absolutely crazy!

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  18. I meant to compliment you in the beautiful dress yesterday. And, even as an English teacher, I also prefer the spelling of grey to gray. Some how it seems to mean more.

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  19. grey is awesome! it goes with everything.

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  20. hello, i'm a reader of your blog and loved this lil' post (my fav colors lately are grey and purple) ... also, please do tell what polish you are wearing :)

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  21. thank you all...

    the polish is: OPI Recycle

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  22. i always thought grey was actually spelled with an 'e' not an 'a'...until i typed it out and spell check corrected me.

    i have a great shade of grey nail polish as well.

    it's nice to hear you open up. you've never struck me as one who would ever be insecure about yourself... but i guess we all have to truly find ourselves at some point.

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  23. Great post. I know we've all been there.

    And I adore the color grey.

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  24. gray is my favorite too...

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  25. i'm the same. weird is a compiment to me :) only it took me a while to figure it out. loved this post.

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  26. I love who YOU are. You are so inspiring to so many people. I always feel refreshed after reading your blog :)

    I heart grey too!

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  27. Stop it..you're making weird look pretty cool. Before you know it everybody going to want to be weird:)

    You really are a cool cat. Grey is cool too!

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  28. Great post. I've just moved interstate in Australia and almost everything is new and different. Its exciting, but sometimes I do feel like a [weird] fish out of water trying to make all of my dreams happen.

    ps... love GREY :)

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  29. comment #32! just wanted to say how awesome you are. and grey/grey i'm undecided... but it's a nice color and looks really good on toes, i'm surprised.

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  30. your skirt looks amazing.


    (i agree with niki.)

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  31. what's going on with all your comments angela? are you famous now?

    before i read the words on your post i was sitting here in my gray shirt, looking at your post pic, seeing your nail polish, and thinking how much i love the color gray. it's always been a favorite color, but i never realized that was weird. spelling it the british way, now that makes you weird, for an american.

    so anyway, i feel surrounded by strangers who don't understand me at all, still, all the time. i wonder what that says about me.

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  32. Oh, wow. Your story is inspiring; love this line especially: 'grateful to be who I am, to have my own identity, and to love what it is.'

    Grey (I like this spelling better than the other one) has always ranked in my top favorite colors. It's kind of pretty and sad and hopeful at the same time, and it strikes me as a very cozy color.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  33. I love this post! I can relate with feelings of loneliness when you are away from the people that know you best.

    p.s. my favorite color changes all the time too...I'm currently on yellow, LOL!

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