An Introduction

[Yellow]: freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, joy, cowardice, and deceit.

Growing upmy Ma always insisted on dressing me up in the color yellow. I had bright blonde hair, and a light olive complexion, and there was nothing I hated more than the color yellow (except for turtlenecks, of course). The name Naomi was a nearly unknown name to my Ma before she discovered it, and decided it was the name that she wanted for me. The name Naomi has several meanings, one of them being, “filled with sunshine.” To my Ma, this was an important sentiment, and it foreshadowed the rest of my life, as I was a naturally joyful person (even when I pretended to be resistant of such a personality), and as she continued to beg me to clothe myself in this color as well.

As a child, I was my brother’s shadow. I wanted nothing more than to be just like him, and to be liked by him. At the time, yellow symbolized a “girl” color, and I refused it all costs because I wanted to be more like him – not more like a girl. As I grew, and my Ma continued to push the color on me, I resisted the flamboyance of the color even more. Granted, it was the early 2000’s, and I was going through a very important emo phase. The color yellow symbolized happiness, and vivacity – two things I was timid to imitate and embrace. I did not have the energy, nor did I have the right attitude, at the time, to wear the color with pride, in the way that I believed it needed to be worn.  

Somewhere in the recent moments of time, slowly but surely, the color yellow has trickled into my life, and though I hate to admit it, into my heart as well.  This unanticipated love for yellow, has caused me to recognize that much like life, and much like myself, yellow is not a one-trick pony. Yellow is not one-dimensional, it is not simple, and it is not to be ignored. Assuredly, the color yellow represents happiness and hope, but it also symbolizes being a weak, yellow-bellied existence as well. The yellow rose is a symbol of friendship, but a yellow skin tone is the sign of sickness. Yellow represents hope and optimism. Yet when one is stressed, it is recommended to decrease the amount of yellow one is surrounded by – because it not calming; it overwhelming.In Japan, yellow can represent a sign of bravery, but to be yellow-bellied is to be scared. Nothing is as it seems – not even the color of happiness. Yellow represents dichotomies, contradictions, juxtapositions; life. 

The phrase “Suddenly Yellow,” represents my gradual understanding, as well as my reluctant acceptance, with the color yellow. Somewhere within this experience, I find myself in the messiness of the color because I, too, can range from happiness and energy, to cowardice and deceit. Yellow, though it be bold and appear to unyielding, is unapologetically dynamic – and just like the human life, it is layered and it is not always positive. Yellow stands strong in the fulness of life, because it represents that in this life you will have moments of happiness and strength, but you will also falter as well. Occasionally I am happy, and I am optimistic. I pride myself on my bravery and integrity, yet I am not immune to white lies or the fear of standing up. I am perplexed, I am yellow.


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