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I have a dear friend who has excellent taste in interior decorating. Her home is always crisp, clean and comfortable. She decorates in whites and metallics, with an accent color or two thrown in tastefully. Each time I visit her, I leave with a desire to streamline my own way of living–to pare things down and embrace simplicity and cool neutrals. I fail every time, though, because that just isn’t who I am.

I thrive surrounded by an abundance of color.      

Bright colors bring me joy, but for a long time I tried to subdue myself. I’m not sure why. Partly, I guess it’s because it’s easier to blend in; you owe no explanations when you’re firmly in the crowd. I’m not a blending in kind of girl though. To be bright and bold is what makes me feel most myself, most comfortable, happiest.

I recently quit a job that was very strict on personal appearance. Natural hair colors only, light pink lipstick only, light neutrals for nail polish only, all black outfits. For many people, this is probably not a big deal. I could still wear what I wanted on my free time, right? For me, I felt as though my entire personality were being repressed (in addition to my need for color, I’m also a fan of a touch of hyperbole). Now I’m able to express myself in color, and a burden I barely even realized I was carrying has fallen away.

So I’ll eat off my colorful plates, enjoy my bright flowers, wear some hot pink underwear and at the end of the night, turn off my yellow bedside lamp. Because even though it doesn’t always feel sophisticated, surrounding myself with color feels like who I really am.