Magenta. That’s how I was feeling today, magenta. Truth be told, it’s how I’ve been feeling for the past two weeks.
I love the Golden Girls. It’s in my top five favorite tv shows and where I learned the expression, ‘feeling magenta’. Blanche, one of the show’s characters describes the magenta feeling as
“All kinds of feelings tumbling all over themselves. Not quite blue, because you’re not really sad, and although you’re a bit jealous you wouldn’t say you’re green with envy. And every now and then you realize you’re kind of scared but you’d hardly call yourself yellow…”
I’ve been feeling very guilty about feeling magenta, especially with all the great things that have been happening to me. Great things aside, I couldn’t shake the magenta feeling. It sucked because for no apparent reason I felt numb, excited, optimistic, melancholic, scared, reluctant, grateful and a slew of other words I can throw in here but won’t for the sake of brevity. For two weeks I was perplexed because up until sitting down and putting pen on paper, I didn’t know where the magenta feeling came from.
I dealt with the magenta suckiness by ignoring it and hoping it would pass. But it just lingered there like a hard to trace, bad smell in a room. And only after I decided to sit and journal about it today was I able to explore the feelings and trace the roots. The magenta I’ve been feeling was linked to my transition into a new season. One where I let go of the past and some of the things and dreams I held dear to me. One where I closed off chapters of a life I once knew.
New seasons, no matter how much excitement and promise they hold can be scary and overwhelming. For a while I’ve been trying to sell my house. It’s been on the market for some time and today, months after being viewed by the new owner, the sale finally closed. I’m thrilled but until I started writing and exploring the magenta feeling, I didn’t realize that I was also a bit sad and apprehensive to let go, even though selling it was something I wanted. You see, less than ten years ago I built that house brick by brick. It was my home, not some crappy apartment that helped pay someone’s mortgage. It was my own space. I saw it from concept to the final brick and I saw the last workman grab his tools and walk away before I moved my stuff in. It was the place I would share with my now ex-husband when we got married and it was also the place I would explore my creativity, start my business, drive my first brand new car to from the dealer and let my cat Chardy loose because we finally had a yard. It was also the place of promise and the home I hoped to bring our child to someday.
And shit happened as it always does, breaking the idyll. The marriage became abusive and the police, not friends came to the house. The business dipped, no babies came and midway through the ten year mark I realized that it was not my dream home because I was not living my dream life. Bad experiences sullied it all. I wanted something new. Just for me. Minus the bad husband and all the unhappiness and not tainted by tears, knife marks through the doors because of his fits of rage or all the other unpleasantness that happened there. Yes, there were good times, many. But the overall experience just felt tainted to me. It was time to get it sold and continue on anew. I put it on the market and moved to a place I felt held a better promise for me.
I haven’t lived in the house I built in years. Yet, two weeks ago I had to face up to the past. It was time to get moving up and I went there to help my mom who lived there move. I too had some unfinished business to handle and spent a couple days packing the remaining stuff I’d walked away from years earlier. It was all very bittersweet. Each room bore memories and pieces of a scattered life and broken dreams. It was a bit too nauseating. It was not a place I wanted to be. It was my house but for many years it was not my home. I was glad to legally put space between it and me. And while I’m excited that it is sold and a chapter closed, I’m now understanding that just because I’m glad that season is over and I’m looking forward to my new home doesn’t mean I’ll be spared the rollercoaster of magenta-associated emotions that comes from closing a formative chapter of my life.
And that is where writing comes in, scoops me up and saves me from myself and the feelings and thoughts I sometimes have. I grabbed my journal, pen, a cup of bush tea and a plate of crackers and leaned into the discomfort of the stories I was suppressing. Stories that recounted the highs of him moving in after the honeymoon and the lows of the first beating. The highs of welcoming my new employee through the gate as we worked to build a business from my home office and the lows of helping her get another job when the business stagnated. And as I wrote, more stories, some bitter, some sweet, all worth recounting surfaced my memory bank and forced their way through the tip of my pink jelly-roll pen, demanding they be acknowledged. I gave them voice and let them tell themselves by allowing pen to glide across paper in fluid, emotional strokes. I dug deep into the experiences that had me feeling a peculiar shade of purple-red and the more I wrote the more the magenta feeling lifted.
So I paid homage to that period of my life with rapid pen strokes, wistful smiles and poignant words. I do so because clearing out stuff and handing over the keys is not the best way to close ten years of a life, at least to me. Some introspection, reflection and soul searching was required. And as I wrote, I distilled lessons, recaptured memories and finally, I walked through the door one last time. I locked it behind me with my pen, ending that chapter of my life not with a period, because I don’t believe we can truly start over, but a semicolon to represent a continuation; a move into something new, positive and hopefully sweeter.
I wrote my way out of the magenta feeling and into the feelings of excitement, happiness and expectation for what lies ahead. Because the best is ahead and the future is bright. It is a sunny yellow with a smattering of vivid greens, a shock of electric pinks, a generous helping of blingy golds, flashy neon oranges and energetic, pulsating reds. There are no blues, no grays and definitely no magentas.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.