I am starting to understand that in this world, you have to be sincere to be reach others that do not understand you. However, opening up is hard, it makes us vulnerable. It gives others the opportunity to strike you down for what you are not.
I guess I’m just afraid to look like a fool.
I don’t remember what was the first question someone asked me in my life. However, if I allow myself to search really deep in my mind, the furthest I can go is “what’s your favorite color?”. A little girl, or a boy, in kindergarten, curious about me for whatever reason.
And my answer surprised everyone. Every time.
To be absolutely precise, the answer I meant to give was RAL 1023 / Traffic Yellow / #f7b500 Hex Color Code. According to Encycolorpedia, the hexadecimal color code #f7b500 is a shade of yellow. In the RGB color model #f7b500 is comprised of 96.86% red, 70.98% green and 0% blue. In the HSL color space #f7b500 has a hue of 44° (degrees), 100% saturation and 48% lightness. This color has an approximate wavelength of 579.95 nm.
‘How can you prefer yellow above all the other colors?’, would ask the friend. ‘Boys like blue, girls like pink, and both are allowed to like red without being cut from their group’, implying no boy or girl likes yellow, which leaves me to not be human.
When you look at this (admittedly anectodal) social study of humanity’s favorite color, you can clearly see that I’m pretty much all alone in my camp. My favorite color is, on average, the most disliked by both genders. Incidentally, most of my hobbies have endured the same fate in real life! I’m used to feel like the weird one in a crowd.
These results seemed to follow my narrative a bit too well, so here’s another random one I found:
This one makes yellow look a little more popular than the first results shown above. However, if you filter these results only to include colors from the rainbow, yellow is still found at the bottom of the pile. It still feels bad, and in the back of my mind, I know it’s even worse because brown is also part of my favorite colors
I think I remember the first few times I revealed to someone that my favorite color was yellow. Every time I was met with the same confused reaction, something that felt like the person was saying “What? How can you like yellow? What good thing in this world is yellow? Yellow is the color of urine, don’t you know?”
Well, I do know. Thank you very much. My urine is yellow too. That doesn’t mean I admire the inside of the toilet when I’m done. I just like the color yellow. I like it on school buses, I like it on warning signs, I like it on bananas, I like it on lemons, I like it on pop art. It’s just the color that first grabs my eye’s attention anywhere I look, almost as if my brain is constantly looking for it. I can’t do anything about it. If I could have a yellow cake for my birthday, that’s the color I’d choose. Yellow is fun. Yellow says to everyone: it’s ok to look! Yellow is a golden sunset. Yellow is butter. Yellow is cheese. Yellow is potato chips out of the oven. Yellow is toasts grilled to perfection. Yellow is gold.
When I was young, I wanted to fit in and to be accepted. I wanted to be normal. As an adult, I still have that fear. I want to fit in the crowd. I want to have meaningful, reciprocal interactions with my peers.
These days, however, I am starting to realize that it’s ok to be different. It’s not better or worse for any of you, and it won’t change my amount of wealth. It just makes a weirdo’s life lighter and allow them to focus their energy on challenges that really matter to them.
We cannot all be normal, because society would not work. We would have a surplus of people with the same talents, same fears, same preferences, same weaknesses. Weirdos would have power because they would be able to do unbelievably rare things.
I used to want to be part of the 90 %. Now, I want to feel what it’s like to be part of the remaining 10%. I shouldn’t be scared of being different, it’s literally baked into my end goal.
All this time, I lied to myself in order to please others.
The road to truth
At first, I just flat out pretended that blue was my favorite color. “If you can’t beat ‘em, ‘join ‘em!”. I think this phase did not last longer than a few days. Even myself wouldn’t buy such an obvious lie. To my eyes, blue is one of the most passive colors of the rainbow. Sure, blue is nice and all, but it doesn’t grab me.
Then, I switched gear. I went for my second favorite color, brown. I figured it was still part of my top, so I’d still somewhat respect myself. But people were almost even more bewildered than when I told them my favorite color was yellow. I swear, your favorite color could be anything, even black and white, but brown is almost an alien choice. Almost as if brown is less of a color than black and white.
Finally, I settled on the green for my lie. It was halfway between yellow and blue, and was still prominently part of the rainbow. And, for once, people accepted the answer most of the time.
You know what? There were times when I’d slip in that my favorite colors were green and brown - like the colors of a tree! People seemed to accept that approach. I guess they forgot that they are surrounded by brown stuff all the time. But never again did I slip on yellow being my favorite color.
(I just realized the my top 3 colors were the primary colors found on a banana. What does that mean about me?)
Well, I’m able to say it now. Yellow is and will always be my favorite color. If I have told you anything else in the past, I was lying to your face (sorry). Out of respect for my favorite color, I am making this blog post to make up for lost time.
There is a silver lining, though. I have just realized that, after all these blog posts, the only color featured in my logo and website icon is orange-yellow:
The deeper I look into my history, the more evidence I find. Just look at the glorious colors of the first journal I bought for myself (this is actually my second journal, first one I used was given to me and can be seen here):
Maybe this is all a dumb confirmation bias… But I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt, just for once. 😃
“What’s your favorite color” is a line people jokingly say when they want to amusingly pretend like they want to get to know you. But I think it’s an interesting question because it asks a person to give their opinion on a subject that does not matter, that shouldn’t have any concrete consequence in this world. Is answerer going to be truthful? How many layers will their answer have? Are they the type of person that lies to themself to make it easier to lie to others?
This has to be the first time I personally spend more than two minutes talking about colors. I told you what growing up felt like having yellow as a favorite color. It felt bad. I can’t even begin to imagine how detached from society a handicap or different skin color can make someone feel. No amount of lies or pretending can get you out of that type of rejection.
I tried to be as objective as I could when telling my story after seeing the results I have shown regarding the favorite color of people in general, but I must admit that it is hard not to be influenced by these charts.
So, what’s your favorite color? As far as you can remember, has it always been the same? What does this say about you?