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Staying In the Yellow

There’s a marvelous song by India.Arie simply titled, “Yellow.”

I was first drawn to this song when I was in a relationship, and it resonated with me even more when I got engaged.

In the song, she refers to different colors that represents the ups and downs of relationships: making her see red, being green with envy. Together,  she and her love are royal and purple.

Over and over in the chorus, she asks that they stay in the yellow.

I interpret staying in the yellow as, maintaining balance in love and life. Returning to center, even when you are shaken temporarily. Coming back to home base.

That was the hope and prayer for my future marriage. That despite the ups and downs, as long as we got back to yellow and kept coming back to yellow, we’d make it.

It didn’t work out.

I see certain things coming together in my life. I’m appreciative of the real friendships and I’m appreciative of the understanding that comes with letting folks go.

I’m thankful for this renewal of creative energy that’s been happening over the last several months and a surge of passion for myself and for my life and the things that mean something to me.

I’m single now, but the song takes on a new meaning.

I want to stay in the yellow.

I don’t need things to be perfect. That would be unrealistic and scary.

But I do know what life is like when you are so down, you can’t smile and you aren’t sure you’ll ever smile again.

I understand the paralyzing grip of depression, and what it is to feel so lost, everyday is like looking into one of those infinity mirrors. You see the same thing over and over, and there is no end. It confuses you, it scares you, you hurt your brain by trying to figure out how it works and you wear yourself out in hopes of being able to see something else if you squint and look just a little  harder.

Yellow is just fine. “Daisies in a meadow.”

Some people may think daisies are simple and not the most stunning flowers, but there is something beautiful and warm, genuine and subtle in its simplicity. It’s still pretty, it still gets the job done.

I’m happy today. Not crazy, super happy, but a subtle content happy. That’s yellow to me.

I’m going at my own pace, I’m doing things for me.


I want to lose weight. I’m going to keep going to Zumba at least twice a week, and try to eat better. Every time I jump on the scale I’m not going to lose 4 pounds. Some days I may even gain three, but I’m going to keep going and not beat myself up.


I’m moving forward with the business I’m launching, step by step. I’m not going to rush, I’m going to follow my gut, my heart and my standards and not settle. Even if it takes me longer. It’s not a race.


I don’t know what’s going to happen for me in the love department.

Sometimes I get lonely. I know I still love my ex and I can’t shake it and I can’t help it. I often hate myself for holding out hope, still. But it’s best I’m by myself right now.


I’m planning wonderful trips this summer. I’m going to go to places I’ve never been and see things I’ve never seen. I’m going to take it all in.

Financially, people try to get out of the red (debts and deficits), and get into the black (free and clear with a surplus).

All of that is cool.

But emotionally, for someone like me, who had been struggling in the grey all of last year, yellow is a fine fit.

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4 thoughts on “Staying In the Yellow

  1. I never thought that much about that song.. thanks~ …though I think I’ll switch out yellow for blue -as in the ocean 😉

  2. Wow…I love your writing because it’s honest. You remind me of me. I think you’re brilliant (no, that’s not how you remind me of me–hahaha). I also try to stay in the yellow, though my ultimate goal is to live in the purple–even temporarily. I need a little purple in my life. My marriage ended after 18 years together, my children are growing up and moving on-15, 16, & 17–and I’m creating a new version of me. I lost 110 lbs. (ZUMBA WORKS!!! I even teach it myself–6 to 8 classes a week). I made it. You will make it too. I pray that your days are filled with the golden sheen of optimism, happiness, and bright opportunities…and if a little purple finds its way in there–well, that’s alright too.

    • Ha! Thank you so much. Your journey is inspiring. The weight loss, the raising of your children, your reinvention inside and out! I really appreciate your words and I hope purple will be this upcoming season’s color for you! Thank you! Thank you! Going to class after work today! I’m a month in already twice a week!! I’m considering doing three days a week soon and incorporating other activities on the “off days.”

      • Thank you for your kind words.
        Lift some weights on the off Zumba days. Feel free to email me off the blog (cassie.hampton@gmail.com) and I can send you some sites to get you going. Weight lifting has not only been therapeutic–getting stronger physically as well as mentally, but it also completely reshapes the body.

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