What Color Am I Now?


Transitions and turning points? Well, they’re hard to maneuver. One foot in the all-too-familiar world you’re living in and the other reaching across (in my case, tentatively) to get a toehold in the new world, the unfamiliar one. The one I’d like to spend more time in…

I was hoping my predisposition as a deadline setter would help bring about the transition. Deadlines help me focus. That’s why when I started this blog in February 2007 I also set a deadline of sorts (June 2008) to reach a turning point where infertility is concerned.turning_point

What’s so special about June 2008? It brings a milestone birthday, and the anniversary of our first expectation-filled attempt with IVF — more on both of those in upcoming posts.

As my June deadline approaches I’ve been busy behind the scenes preparing for my transition. My latest posts have dropped some clues. I’ve been getting a little more breathing room, waxing philosophical, researching stats and theories, trying to be more playfully ironic and less caustically sarcastic.

You see in most character-driven stories there comes a point when the protagonist rather than fight his or her fate, accepts it. It’s usually the story’s turning point. I’m fairly certain I’m at that point now.  As for evidence that I’m evolving and in line to get my passport stamped:

  • I held and cooed in the face of an infant this weekend. He was just five months old, the son of caring colleagues turned friends who allowed me the time I needed to prepare for my first visit. Old PJ: I would have found multiple excuses to avoid these friends, perhaps indefinitely. New PJ: While uncomfortable initially about actually holding any infant I screwed up the courage to establish a bond, to hold him. He seemed to like me. Okay, he was flirting with me big time, all smiles and coos.
  • I had a matter-of-fact discussion last week with a colleague in the office supply room. I was there to fax and reload post-it notes. Not remarkable until you consider she was there setting up her breast pump waiting for me to finish so she could lock the door and get down to business. Old PJ: I’d have refrained from small talk and shot her the hairy eyeball that would have angrily suggested she find a less in-your-face locale. New PJ: I calmly completed my fax and walked away (perky-breasted I might add) thinking that hers was an activity that’s got to get old, and fast.
  • I was seated this week next to a (very) pregnant colleague waiting for a meeting to begin. Old PJ: I would have found another seat. New PJ: Compared home remodeling tips and actually heard what she had to say instead of fixating on the pregnant belly I would never have.
  • I went earlier this month to my nephew’s little league game. Old PJ: I would have focused on all of the differences between me (the infertile) and them (the fertiles) and ruminated on all sorts of parenting faux-pas. New PJ: I felt a tenderness toward all of the grown men standing next to their little boys trying to teach them how to be little man-boys.
  • My guy asked if it would be okay to invite our neighbor’s little boy (conceived when I failed my last IVF) over to help remove the soft top of his beloved Jeep Wrangler. Old PJ: I would have protested or removed myself in a minor huff from the premises. New PJ: I encouraged him to bring the little guy over and offered to help.
See also  Head In the Clouds

Lest you think I’m going to become all artificially sunshine and happiness starting June — no, while a nice idea, it’s unrealistic. I don’t know anyone whose life is consistently nirvana (with or without kids). Besides being a deadline-driven type, I’m also a realist.  I expect I still have a few infertility hairballs to expel, but I’m working hard on my deadline.

Instead of feeling black in mourning, white-hot angry over the injustice of infertility, green with envy over those who succeeded where I did not, or blue with sadness over not achieving the dreams that once seemed within our grasp, I’m seeking a new color to coincide with acceptance — something that says: I’m resigned to my fate. I’m, ahem, barren but beautiful. (Calliope: I’ll be dropping you a line about a new blog header).

I’m not sure what color best showcases acceptance — welcome your thoughts. You see, bitter doesn’t go with anything in my closet.


35 Responses

  1. kristin

    May 29, 2008 4:16 pm

    orange. not as cheerful as yellow… a bit more cautious, but not as angry as red… happy but guarded. 🙂

  2. luna

    May 29, 2008 5:06 pm

    what an intriguing post. looking forward to hearing more…

    as for the new look, what’s your power color? what color makes you happy? what color provides a sense of serenity if you stare into it long enough? bold red? warm orange? earthy brown? I’m sure you will find something that feels right and meshes with the evolving you.

  3. Chrissy

    May 29, 2008 5:45 pm

    Kristin beat me to it…I was going to suggest yellow to represent the sun rising out of a dark horizon and helping you see beyond the dark.

  4. Kami

    May 29, 2008 5:56 pm

    I’m incompetent when picking colors, but wanted to applaud your progress. You are amazing!

  5. tammy

    May 29, 2008 6:07 pm

    I think that the perfect color is an orangish yellow. It signified the dawning of a new day and the sun starting to climb into the sky.

  6. Beth

    May 29, 2008 6:24 pm

    I have to 2nd Luna’s sentiment… the color should be what feels right to YOU.

    For me, anything in nature can bring on that peaceful, serene feeling. The blue of a lake, the green of a lush lawn, the orange/yellow/pink/red of a rising or setting sun, the rich browns found in the woods…. But that’s me.

    I’m certain that once you decide what feels right for you, Ms Calliope will undoubtedly create something spectacular!

  7. Pepper

    May 29, 2008 8:09 pm

    My first response to the color question was yellow because it’s actually been shown to be a calming color. I also like the idea of orange, combining the power and heart from red and the calm serenity from yellow. 1st choice: Yellow. 2nd choice: yellow-orange.

  8. Sunny

    May 29, 2008 8:59 pm

    I love this post! I have felt myself change this year too. It is easier to live in this world now.

    Yellow is too sunshiny but like someone said, maybe orange.

    I applaud you for being so strong and amazing even if you don’t see it yourself!

  9. Dr Bad Ass

    May 29, 2008 11:13 pm

    You go girl! What color represents a STRONG, STRONG woman? I don’t know if it’s orange or yellow or whatever, but you deserve it.

  10. Babystep

    May 30, 2008 1:12 am

    I congratulate you on your impending transition. I looked up some color psychology websites, and this is what I found about violet (purple): Violet is associated with bringing peace and combating shock and fear. Violet has a cleansing effect with emotional disturbances. Also, this color is related to sensitivity to beauty, high ideals and stimulates creativity, spirituality and compassion.

  11. Bonnie

    May 30, 2008 1:16 am

    Love your blog. I have been a couple of those colors. Right now I am blue/white.

  12. Sarah

    May 30, 2008 2:44 am

    Wow! we’re still debating the relative merits of adoption vs. the “childfree” lifestyle, but it’s nice to know that level of acceptance and peace is attainable. while I like all the yellow/orange/sky blue suggestions, may I suggest Purple?

  13. Jendeis

    May 30, 2008 12:01 pm

    Here from NaComLeavMo. You seem to really be at peace with your transition. Happy, even. I’m so glad for you. I think acceptance is yellow or pink. Shine on you crazy diamond!

  14. loribeth

    May 30, 2008 1:01 pm

    My first inclination was pink, not sure why. Then I thought of a rainbow — the rainbow that pops out after the storm, showing the whole spectrum of life’s colours & possibilities.

    But yellow/orange makes sense too, as others have described it. As does purple. I used to read a blog (recently closed but still up) for childfree by choice women called “Purple Women.” http://purplewomenblog.blogspot.com/ (I believe she is going to be on a panel for childfree women at BlogHer in July, so you might run into her!)

    Whatever colour you choose, I’m sure Calliope will create something great!

  15. Calliope

    May 30, 2008 1:54 pm

    We can make any color you want be your hopeful & power color. for some reason I think of you as purple & yellow (but maybe that is because they are often colors of royalty & that is how I see you)
    We are going shazam the heck out of your June!!

  16. Duck

    May 30, 2008 2:04 pm

    wow, those were amazing things that you did, I was once like you (accepting that I was barren but beautiful) and then I met my husband who wanted to have children, and I couldn’t, and then I wanted desperately not to be barren, and have been dealing with all this IF hell ever since.
    Anyway, it was a nice reminder of how happy I used to be.
    from nacomleavmo

  17. shinejil

    May 30, 2008 6:39 pm

    I’m also for orange, the kind of orange you see in sunflowers and lilies. Vibrant and powerful.

    You’ve come a very long way, Pamela Jeanne, and you’re an inspiration to all of us.

  18. paranoid

    May 30, 2008 7:04 pm

    So very weird — when I read your question, the color that immediately popped into my head was cantaloupe — a nice, soft orange. Guess I’m not the only one who thinks orange is the color of acceptance and strength.

  19. Rachel

    May 30, 2008 7:20 pm

    First choice: Yellow. In a shade that you like, and that makes you feel bathed in sunlight and warmth.

    Second choice: Purple. The color of enlightenment (and royalty – and you have definitely earned your crown!)

    Can’t wait to see it!

  20. DC

    May 30, 2008 9:12 pm

    I can totally relate to this post. I’m still struggling with infertility and am coming to the end of the road with my treatments. (By choice; a person can only take so much pain and disappointment.) I’m finally starting to let go of my anger and appreciate children again. I still can’t do baby showers or kids’ birthday parties, but I’m getting there.

    Please stop by and say hello if you get a chance! 🙂


  21. ArmsforanAngel

    May 31, 2008 12:28 pm

    Orange symbolizes vitality and endurance.

    Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

    Gold is wealth, prosperity, and wisdom.

    I’m so moved by this post. You did a thing or two I don’t even think I could. Bravo!

  22. Star

    May 31, 2008 12:42 pm

    Before I looked at the comments, I thought of purple — glad to see that a few other people had the same thought. It seems like a brave, regal color, and it communicates acceptance and quiet strength.

  23. chicklet

    May 31, 2008 4:51 pm

    These girls have way better ideas than I on color, but I love the line “barren but beautiful” – love it.

  24. Mel

    June 1, 2008 1:51 am

    Actually, I think of blue as a peaceful, acceptance colour. Sunny colours like red, orange, and yellow feel a little too perky for what you’re talking about. What about a deep purple? Plum? Plum and silver–regal! You are a queen 🙂

  25. Deathstar

    June 2, 2008 4:56 pm

    I had tears in my eyes when I read your post. I get it. I just want my life to have a purpose. I understand what it’s like to want to be the person you used to be, find that you can’t, and then have to recreate yourself all over again. It’s tough work.

  26. gabrielle

    June 2, 2008 10:17 pm

    LOVE the idea of a plum with silver (as Mel suggested) or yellow (via Calliope). I do think a deep purple of some sort suits you best – for some reason, I think of you as purple. Blue feels a little too passive, a little too c’est la vie and I’m not sure that it’s feisty enough to contain your feist.

  27. And M

    June 5, 2008 3:11 pm

    Here from NCLM. I applaud you for your strength in doing all of those things you were able to do with and around babies and pregnancy recently. As for a color, I think purple expresses acceptance well. It’s calm, peaceful, and yet vibrant.

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