My best friend from childhood once decorated her college dorm room in vibrant blues and oranges. From the moment this sea of complementary colors enveloped her room, she wondered aloud whether the oil-pastel drawings covering the walls and swaths of patterned, Indian fabrics draping the bed and windows would make her dizzy with the way the hues buzzed off each others’ surfaces. But, I loved everything about them and came to associate orange and blue with my home away from home. I would take Amtrak to visit her for long weekends on her campus, which was just outside New York City, and we would stay up far too late listening to piano-driven pop music and talking about art, what little we knew of love, and our dreams. Everything about our futures seemed so limitless back then, and – the funny thing is – merely thinking about this friend’s pastel drawings and our endless conversations makes my future feel similarly boundless even now. It’s amazing how there are certain times and certain people throughout our lives that push us more than others to achieve our dreams. Sometimes this is very intentional, but sometimes it’s just the way they naturally compliment us that makes the difference.
As my husband and I filled our very blue apartment with orange tulips this weekend (in honor of Halloween), I could not help recalling my dear friend and her old room of complimentary colors. I was transported back to the days of taking Chinatown buses into Manhattan, roaming art galleries, buying paperback books on street corners, and sifting through the still-too-expensive “discount” racks at SoHo boutiques. I thought of the time when – even though my feet were killing me and my stomach was aching for dinner – she convinced me to walk through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur for the first time. I wonder how many years I would have gone without seeing this magical room of Egyptian pools if it hadn’t been for her energy and insistence that night, and I feel so grateful for her artistry, all those philosophical conversations we shared amidst her orange-and-blue dorm walls long ago, and the ways she pushes me and believes in me to this day…Have there been people like this in your life who make your oranges more orange, blues more blue, and you more you? Leave a comment.