I remember running around town with my 35mm camera as a teen, thinking I was so misunderstood, the first person to feel the kind of feelings I was feeling for the first time ever. But it wasn’t true, I just couldn’t see it yet.
On the weekends, my friends and I would pile into our local town hall where rock bands played music to the feel of our bodies beating together in the dark. Each of us hoping that one day we could find a way to harness what we felt inside there, back out in the hectic world that somehow always felt against us, even when I was sure it wasn’t. There was a kind of quiet safety in the loud numbers of people, all different yet the same, studded boots, ripped tights, wild neon hair, dye running down the backs of necks of the brave ones, sweaty tears, and pure elated joy from the shy ones.
I was somehow so shy and completely unafraid. But somewhere along the way, it folded in on itself, like a dying flower on a dry summer day. Everyone’s out there living, man. I lost my crowd in the harsh light of aging. I struggled to find my shade of love against the crippling wave of anxiety. Trauma spread far, it spread wide through towns like the ripping speed of hailstones against the window. I felt locked in. Who was I?
I was breaking thirty now, but I still felt wild. I was chasing a dream, unfinished because I hadn’t found the right recipe words for how I felt about my life, my look, my desires. I wanted to love myself. I wanted to say something in this world, I wanted to be seen.
On a new day, a day like the day we had before, like the one that will surely come tomorrow, I eventually found my love: colour. I finally found that safe feeling again in a world of beautiful blossoming flowers, trying to grow under the torrid weather of life. Oh life. How did you get to be so hard to live in sometimes?
I don’t know what I would do without being able to think these thoughts, write these words. This song that’s playing in my ears right now. Those pictures on my camera, in my mind. The way the world looks from a not-yet-realised ambition.
I need these pink boots for walking my way to it all, especially when I’m lost.
I need my pink lipstick for speaking words into the world, to feel sure, to feel strong.
I need my pink cheeks for smiling true smiles at new people, new art, magic moments.
I need my pink hair for flipping out, dancing crazy to my favourite sounds, in my room, in that hall, on that stage, in my dreams at night.
I need my identity to stand tall for me on days when I don’t feel strong enough to remember I want all of these things.
Written by Samantha Jones
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