The Orange Purse
I needed a distraction. A reason to get up and get out of the house. Emotionally, I was on very shaky ground. Breathing deeply hurt my soul. My thinking was on a loop of anger, sorrow, shame and blame. I needed a diversion, something to do.
My car, without my conscious effort, found its way to the mall. I say it was without any conscious effort because I knew I wasn’t fully in my body as I drove. I was stuck in the loop in my head, sorting and discarding, in an effort to make the anguish less of a reality, so I wandered aimlessly through the mall, looking but not really seeing. Listless and agitated by my current misery.
And then something cut through my malaise - something bright and colorful. An orange purse!
Now, mind you, being a red head, my mother insisted I looked best in browns and oranges. So, once I reached the age where it dawns on youth they don’t really have to do everything their mother tells them - like always wearing clean underwear in case you get into a car accident - I grew an aversion to brown and orange in any way shape or form. I had nothing orange in my closet or in my home, yet this orange purse caught my attention. Why orange? Why now?
I walked away. I circled back. I looked for any other kind of purse I might want … I picked up the orange purse … I put it onto my shoulder and wandered down the aisle. It felt good … but the color - OMG! I didn’t really need another purse. Especially an orange one! So why now??
Internally, I had been working on reclaiming pieces of myself I had given away during my marriage. Pieces of my true self I had when I entered into the marriage.
I think often we go back to our past to see where we went wrong so we could re-write our story in order to change the ending. Was I doing that by being distracted by an orange purse? Perhaps. I wanted to go back to a time where I was innocent, where I listened to my mother and all her “wisdom.” Had I listened would I have been so miserable and disempowered in my marriage? Would I have married at all? Was that what the color orange was saying to me? Go back to your youth, to the time before you married when you had more self-esteem and you felt like you were a rising star.
I never really answered that part for myself. I do feel like I reclaimed all of the better pieces of myself by navigating my divorce in a conscious and growth-oriented way. But orange?
As I strode out of the store having purchased the orange purse, the only reason I could give myself to this day is it made me laugh. And I really needed a laugh!