The Colors of Emotions

I guess you could say I’ve been dealing with a lot of emotions lately. A big move, a big breakup (I guess it’s time to start speaking this out loud), a big new job with big girl expectations. The kind of place where you want to remain in your comfort zone because at least you can control that…but where embracing the unknown could lead to greatness.

But I was talking with a friend about it and we talked about having a day that feels…full of…emptiness. A day where you know you’re having emotions but you don’t quite know what they are. Two things he said struck me — first, that days like that are not wrong. When you feel like you need to do everything, but it’s paralyzing, so you just do nothing — that’s when the small steps are IMPORTANT. Small tasks are easier than the big ones. They’re more doable and they can lead you anywhere. So I went to the pool because I know it makes me happy, and the sunshine is good for me (the Vitamin D does wonders for my moods!). Even if it was small, I did something. I challenged myself to do something completely on my own.

But the most important thing we talked about was what color I felt. He asked if I could describe it as a color. Long story short, but I was describing my emotions as…mostly curious. Which is purple. Maybe because it’s a combo of two colors so it’s very ambiguous because you don’t know which is stronger. You just don’t know. You just always wonder. Then I described some other colors. I always think that’s kinda dorky to do these activities, but then again, I’m super dorky. So we’re rolling with it.

I described red as irritated. Even if it’s a pleasant, bright red — it’s beautiful but it’s aggressive. And a dark, brooding red — also beautiful, and dark and angry and wired. You might feel that when the sky is dark and grey outside because they compliment each other nicely. You can see red, taste it, feel it, hear it.

I don’t think I described orange. But I don’t know if I can yet because it’s got a very special place in my heart. It makes me think of orange Gatorade which is how I see myself. I don’t think anyone will understand this, and I’ll never explain it. But in other ways, it means friendship, kindness, warmth. Ease and simplicity. Everything glides and flows.

Yellow — it’s a weird, hollow, melancholy sadness. You’re sad, but it’s not crushing you. It just sits there and maybe invades your head space a little bit. It nags and pushes you a little bit. But there’s also this weirdly placed happiness that you’re doing something hard by sitting with the sadness. It’s the color I think of when I listen to Dashboard Confessional…it lets the sadness out, and you remember it, but then you “choose joy”. It really is a choice, It’s hard to feel joy and sometimes you really do have to try. And I think this is how I feel a lot, especially now. Even though stuff is tough…I know I’ll get through it.

Green to me is comfort. I guess it’s usually jealousy, or it’s whorish according to Angela Martin (hehe), but seeing green outside calms me down. It’s soothing, smooth, and relaxing. It’s neutral. It gives you room to breathe and grow and take your time.

Blue is, of course, sadness. But also brightness. The pale blue sky on the just barely cloudy days is that sadness. But the turquoise, bright blue water in pools or lakes or oceans — it tells you to just get out there and that everything will be alright. Blue isn’t something that you think of though…it finds you, you see it everywhere, and it reminds you that it’s there. Not invasively, but just enough.

I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I rarely feel like I have any of them. But I have my own answers for myself, and myself alone. Maybe these colors mean different things to you, but describing them and making my emotions seem more real is just another tool that has shown it’s alright to feel good, and it’s alright to feel bad. Everything will be alright.




Athletic trainer, coffee lover, looking for a hobby I don’t have time for. I write about fitness, mental health, being Asian-American, and personal growth.

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Jen Xu

Jen Xu

Athletic trainer, coffee lover, looking for a hobby I don’t have time for. I write about fitness, mental health, being Asian-American, and personal growth.

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