Today I woke up in a chilly Hell's Kitchen apartment, drank hazelnut coffee while wrapped in a faux-fur blanket, then wrote the skeleton of a personal essay that I've been meaning to write for years. I woke up too late to see the orange of the sunrise. When I looked out the window the blur of pink and purple in the sky had been gone for hours. The apartment is mine. The window is mine. The coffee is mine. The writing is mine. The life is mine.
Except it doesn't feel like it. It all feels false. And I don't know if that's normal, and I don't know if not knowing if it feels normal is normal. Is a feeling like you stepped into the wrong version of yourself cliche? And if that's the case, should I corner myself into feeling content? Should I chastise myself for not being thankful for something I fought for that I no longer want?
Today I sat inside all day and tried to write four different blog posts. I started them. I stopped them. I wrote in different colors. I wrote in pink hoping that I would fall in love with my words. I wrote in orange hoping that I would learn to be funny in the brightness. That I would feel happy.
I didn't. I felt frustrated and I felt, as I always have, that orange is not meant for people like me. I'm meant to live in green and blue. And sometimes I'll lie beside someone so convincingly pink. A rich purple, even a daring red. But when they look at me they won't see my bright blues. They won't see the streams of green, finding life in every corner of the room. They'll look at me and they'll see a color I've never been. A color I'll never get to be. And I'll turn away from them, crying into their pillow without letting them know.
They'll think I'm orange until they don't think about me at all.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.