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How to describe colour shades

by Georgiana Hellora 8 months ago in art

The real 50 shades of grey. And shades of one's self. Shades of life. A brief colourful memoir.

what's your favourite colour

I used to love the smell of these type of colour crayons. Growing up, I remember that I was annoyed the colour did not stick to the paper. It was the waxing effect of the colour that you could scrap off the piece of paper and at times, it would simply not colour as per its main purpose. These type of crayons were something popular but kind of fancy in my childhood days. Not everyone used to have them or be able to buy it. It seems to me now, looking back in time, that it was more like a snob purchase. Something with which you show off to people that, "hey I can afford these fancy crayons for my kids and I am proud to exhibit this wonderful trait of me, as a mom, this awesome, trendy woman that I still am, even though the motherhood is suffocating me, but hey, I am here to stay, as a mom, so, cheers to me!". Or at least, that's how I interpret it.

I did not like the other normal carbon crayons. I thought of them as "peasants crayons", like cheap and ugly. So ugly. Maybe, it was the perfection of the wax crayons that I enjoyed the most, while at the same time, in their perfection, you could find flaws. Or maybe, I grew up liking them, because that's what happens when you love your mom and she buys you stuff which you interpret as her love because she does not tell you the words. She shows it to you through objects, through stuff, and food, and shelter. So, naturally, when you receive colourful perfectly cylinder shaped crayons, you think to yourself, "wow, how beautiful". If someone offers you something nice, you tend to fantasize about the affection that giver has for you, as the receiver. You never actually think or consider that maybe, just maybe, that giver is actually expressing herself or himself through that gift.

A gift isn't just for the receiver. It's also for the one offering it. Sure, people choose presents based on what the other person might enjoy, but in my case, as I was a child, you can pretty much expect that I would "wow" at anything new and fresh and colourful. I did not see it at the time. Nor do I believe I could have since I had no discerning thinking patterns developed in my brain. But, I now realise how I have misinterpreted my whole existence. My progress. And how I have endangered my future path by sticking to one single erroneous belief. And we all know, growing up, we have accumulated many, that we may or may not find out about ourselves in time to change the negative behavioural patterns.

My mother needed to express her femininity, herself and her ideas, she craved to offer something else to the world than children. She needed to be part of the society and she was in desperate need to be in charge of her feminine power. Being a woman, isn't just about being a mother. That's just part of the equation. You can't just be a specific per cent of your self. You need to be whole: a mother, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an employee or maybe an entrepreneur, an artist, a professional, a business woman, an independent woman. A woman most of all needs to be free of the burden of just conforming to society's expectation of being a mother and an unfulfilled wife.

I understand her now. She would purchase beautiful things when she was in such a position to do so. The money was there, but not to splurge in it. Rather it was there for the basics. I guess there were times when those crayons were part of the basics. I don't know. Can't really explain it. I am now in the position where the money is there, but just for the basics. I won't starve. I won't be in the situation in which I cannot pay my bills. It's not like I cannot afford to go once a month to a restaurant or buy myself a couple of new books per month. But, the struggles, the relentless anxiety of the insecure future it's putting my brain in default survival mode and so, delicate cautious expenditure is overly supervised by the SELF, always in total control over the EGO. But even so, I may find something cheap, very cheap in a second-hand shop, and quite beautiful and I will buy it. I imagine this has happened to my mother too when I was her little child.

The feeling of unfulfillment needed to be covered with the illusion of self expression through either an object or a piece of clothing that would represent her either sad or happy or both at the same time. She would be sad that once again she avoided fighting for what she so hardheartedly desired but felt she did not deserve or could not go for it now, that she was a mother, she would be sad because she would trick herself into thinking she can still be happy with this piece of junk she just purchased, she would be sad because she could not cry or dare to cry because people around her would probably tell her she is crazy to not be happy with what she had got and that she would be told she is ungrateful considering others who have 1% of what she had received in life, she would be happy because she managed from the little that she had to buy something for herself and for her soul, she would be happy because she had her children to whom she dedicated her life and to whom she could share a piece of her heaven, she would be happy because she could still find peace and joy, even in her saddest moments, she would be happy because someone at least was there for her, even if not as she had dreamt, and she would be both sad and happy because she did not know any better back then. She was never thought on how to better cope with life. She would be both happy and sad because that's what everyday was like. She had a boring demanding job as a mother for the longest I can remember and she was sad to had lost such a big part of herself, of losing what she could had been if maybe I hadn't appeared so soon in her life, and she might had felt that in all those struggles, being loyal to her motherhood self, she disappointed the other parts that she was and she had lost. She was more than a mother and she knew that, and she decided she would be miserable for the rest of her life.

I am thinking about that perfectly shaped wax crayon. Visibly it's beautiful. Clear and sharp and so full of colour. Yet, when you use it, the flaws are exposed. You need to rub it multiple times onto the paper in order to get the colour out. Even if you do so, tiny fragments of the waxed colour dissipate, making you insist on using the crayon even more rigidly onto the piece of paper, trying to fill in a drawing, only to realise you pressed to hard and the crayon broke. That gift. Broke. Does it mean that my mother, in all her perfect appearance would break at the mere use of her obvious nature of having had become a mother? Was it really a gift for her children or a portrait of her wounded soul? Just like that perfectly looking crayon, yet so fragile and flawed, so are our lives. Our hearts. Our hearts are flawed by the countless hurtful experiences we could not pass, by our regrets and our misuse of our personal gifts, by our crying souls for not fulfilling their destinies. We are the waxed crayons. Colourful and beautiful in our appearance but when we are put to do the work we are supposedly created for, we break easily. And that's because we are more than just what we were designed for. We can be gifts. We can be tools. We can be art. We can be everything we need to be for ourselves and for others.

My mom did not know how to be more than what was expected of her to be.

I choose to not do the same. I will reverse this traumatic response to a life changing situation that happened to my mom, which was a child, me. I will be everything I want to be as all women should be. And for that we need lots of colours in our lives. We need to be limitless.

Let me teach you about limits.

Growing up, my mother was a control freak and also a cleaning OCD type of woman. I remember one day I went to school and my teacher decided to show me how I should paint. Note: Of course, I knew how to splash all colours onto the piece of white paper awaiting to be covered in all my girly dreams of drawings! But I knew my mom would be angry with me if I'd messed up the colours, mixing the paints in their places and making a mess out of the box they were in. My fear of being yelled at for not properly attending to my control remote and limits of being an obedient child was properly demolished when my mother found out that it wasn't me, rather my teacher. She wasn't even upset! She cleaned it up and told me to not let anyone use my paints ever again. I guess she was so unhappy that she could not express herself creatively and in all her femininity, that the counterbalance came in the game and it made her all too calculated and afraid of being out of the box. She would need now to control herself and not let ANY of her kindness or feminine side be visible to the outer world. She must have believed that she cannot be that anymore and she fought so hard to restrain herself, not knowing how much she restrained me. She made me feel constrained to what she believed to be ok in the world and for the world. I felt confined to a life that was not mine nor hers. It was a life that occurred as a result of her unhappiness and misery and unfulfillment which imaged her calculated controlling behaviour as a coping mechanism to her creative repression. I felt confined to a prison of anxiety whether she would scream at me or break my soul with harsh words for not properly behaving to what was expected of her to have her child be like.

It was like if I was not something that she envisioned her parents demanded of her for me to be, then she is nothing in their eyes. As if she had lost her parent's respect if I was not somehow cleaning that image. I was supposed to be a sort of tool that would help my mother gain points in her parent's otherwise demanding or strict level points to achieve or obtain their love. I was what she probably felt she was too growing up: someone of whom a lot is expected simply because they are the older sister. The elder sibling. The mature one. But contrary to my mom, I was not tough. I am not tough. Maybe she wasn't either. Maybe she had to become tough and did not know how to teach me become like that other than displaying the same negative soul kicking defence mechanisms she had been exposed to growing up.

Maybe we are just a chain of the same traumatic experience and we don't even know it. We keep blaming our parents for what they had done to us, but we fail to notice that they too were hurt and tossed around and torn apart by our grandfathers. And so they were by the times they were living in and by the way they thought themselves to survive. We just need to break the patterns.

We are free to use the paints as we choose. No one will make us feel remorse for wasting perfectly arranged paints in their box. No one will make us feel bad we wasted all the red colour and now we don't have any of it to paint a proper painting in all the colours, as if anyone would ever know what colours we wish to use and what paints we wish to create. Maybe we don't even need that one. It's a good waste! It teaches us we can work without a specific colour. Maybe we can create a new one. A new experience.

We are free to use the colours. All the colours as we please. No one will scold us. We won't have to defend ourselves. We won't need to defend anyone else. We don't even need to listen. We don't need to feel ashamed for it. We have the responsibility and we take responsibility for our actions. We want to do so in order to be free. Free of judgement. Free of fear of judgment. Free of not being accepted. Free of ourselves and our creative natures. Free to be colourful!

I found these names of shade colours some time ago. We need to incorporate it into our daily vocabular to escape the old behavioural patterns and accept new challenges that we wish to overcome with our own strengths and of which we are sure we can overcome, because we sure can. We need not only to forgive our parents for their mistakes which were actually their pains distorted in what they could cope with at that moment in time, it's how they could function in order to raise us. It's all they could try, but we need to forgive ourselves for permitting this to go on for so long without letting ourselves free. We need to forgive. And bring in the colour to shape a new painting for the future. A fresh colourful perspective.

The followings represent the Colour Thesaurus by Ingrid Sundberg and I think we really need them to change our limited colour beliefs, which will ultimately alter our life experiences.

Please forgive the blur. It's there so you can open your eyes wide to the colourful life that awaits you :)

Shades of Grey
Shades of White

Shades of Red

Shades of Blue

Shades of Green

Shades of Yellow

Shades of Purple

Shades of Black

Shades of Caramel

Shades of Brown

Shades of Pink

The future is pink and the future is bright. The future is orange. :)

Shades of Orange

Which is your favourite colour?

Colour your Life Properly - Limitless


Georgiana Hellora

Don't push the river, it flows by itself

Find me on Instagram @georgiana.hellora

Read next: A Message to Women

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