Purple has never been my color. My sister rocks it- olive skin, dark hair, etc. It looks fantastic on her. But for me, I always thought it was too dark (I prefer blues :)) and does nothing for my blonde hair and pale skin. It dawned on me that that fact is somewhat ironic considering the color representing Epilepsy is purple. Ha. Who would’ve thought.
I started thinking about that irony. Sure, the purple is for awareness, which is supposed to bring positivity through change. I get it. Yet, I see it as dark, repressive and a bit depressing. I feel like those descriptors also apply to the disorder it signifies. I’d never encountered a darker time in my life until I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. Having something attack me out of nowhere and not understanding what it is or why it happens brought on a very difficult time in my life. There were no effective meds, no reasoning, no light. And I couldn’t feel my way in the dark- there was no guide and that’s when you feel repressed. I was in college- at UCLA- time to enjoy the reward of busting my ass in high school to do my best at everything to get to this moment. Four years of independence and “control” :) Epilepsy took that. (This sounds pitiful even to my own ears, but bare with me lol) I was still very lucky to be where I was. However, I was lost. I got my license taken away and I had to have my friends drive me everywhere like I was a little sister, not a college student. (By the way, thanks Kat and Sonja :D) I would feel “floaty” walking across campus or in Later Romantic Lit and wonder if this was THE moment where I finally drop down in front of a hundred or so people and wet myself. I became self-conscious and a little depressed, especially when the meds made me sick or when clumps of my thick hair appeared on my brush… again and again. Why? I didn’t know. I still don’t know. That’s my color purple.
Fast forward- I was getting my nails done (a rare treat now that the little man’s in my life lol) and I had no idea what color to paint them. I was running late to meet a friend and she was already in her chair, started, so I sat down without picking a color. Later when they asked me, I looked to the manicurist’s nails for inspiration and she was wearing purple of all colors… But this time I liked it and I surprised myself- “I want what you have.” She pulled it out and proceeded to paint. When she finished my nails, I thought- Wow, I love this. And when I got home, my husband was equally surprised I’d chosen purple; he liked it… I smiled to myself; I remember thinking in that chair, I’ve come a long way since the beginning of my Epilepsy diagnosis. I made it through college, always with friends who knew my issues and took care of me, I’ve kept my license, I’ve kept my sense of humor, I married a wonderful man and conquered pregnancy. I’ve had a Mom who’s held my hand the entire way. I’ve been very lucky. And now, I’ve decided to become completely vulnerable with my writings. Plus, participating in and raising money for The Walk to End (Epilepsy Foundation) blew my mind with the support I received and the emotion I felt. As she painted each nail, I felt pride. Yes, I still struggle, but I’ve been given the opportunity to speak for those who can’t; what an honor.
Now when I think of the color Purple, I realize… I just hadn’t found my shade ;)