This moment – the colors of right now


Natalie Mix

When I think of the happiness I feel, I think of a greenhouse, full of growth and full of change with every season

My mornings start at 6:45, I spend two hours a day in room 139, and I’m happy. There aren’t many synonyms for happy, at least not for happiness like this—sustainable, liberating, peaceful.

No, there’s no way to say it but this: this happiness is green.

Green like the earth and her resilience, her flourishing gardens and rolling hills. Green like the mist shifting off the leaves in the morning light shining in through great glass windows. Green like the paint that I rolled onto my bedroom walls and refuse to resent—imperfect, but chosen by me. Green like happiness that lasts. 

Last summer ended in bold streaks of red and rich yellow, left in a panic by my paint brush, smearing and ruining as I reached out with my clumsy hands to preserve their perfect image. Now I view those memories, captured in smudged paintings, as a prelude to the cacophony of our orchestra falling to its knees, instruments crying out their final ominous notes. We had spent innumerable hours with our fragile arms strung together, and without each other we broke.

But now we are green in the sunlight and the fluttering fields, green and growing and almost grown up. 

This first week of senior year has echoed those early days of sophomore year, when the newly-released Lover by Taylor Swift was the soundtrack to my early mornings, when I’d take my meds with a granola bar in the morning, when I spent two hours a day in room 139—one of those hours occupied by Honors English 10, when I felt more like myself than I had in years. 

But now we are green in the sunlight and the fluttering fields, green and growing and almost grown up. ”

Now, I take my meds at night, and all I can stomach in the morning is coffee. My brother refuses to listen to Taylor Swift, so we listen to Bo Burnham songs as we drive to school. But I still spend two hours a day in room 139—both of them to fulfill the dream I’ve held since I was a freshman, the dream of becoming Editor in Chief of The Central Trend. And I feel more like myself than I have in months. 

My happiness is also rendered in shades of gold and brown—like the coffee I bring in a thermos to school, the oat milk pumpkin iced chai that I’ve gotten all of my friends addicted to, the couch that I share with Avery and Emma at the beginning and end of each school day, the weekends that I spend working at a café within a bookstore with my oldest childhood friends. 

And my happiness is streaked with shades of pink—like the sunset Emma and I drove to barefoot as it faded into the night, the stupid song we can’t stop listening to, the color I dyed my hair a week ago, the feeling of growing up and trying to decide what I want beyond all of this, the deep breaths that placate my constant train of thought, the struggle to set it all aside and accept what is here, in front of me, right now—this vivid rainbow unlike any I’ve ever seen.