Breaking Up With Red: #SOLSC21

I drafted a version of this poem last semester, and clicking publish makes it feel quite…official. Where do I go from here?!

Red is my favorite color.
The color of my first car that granted me
freedom. Red Mustang that compelled the streets to
be mine. Sixteen year old in charge.
Powerful. Fierce. 

Red is my favorite color.
The pride of being a University of Houston cougar.
With my college student passion, I wore red with
dignity. Youth’s righteous anger emboldened by red. 

Red is my favorite color.
On my birthday, everybody else celebrates Valentine’s Day; annual celebrations filled
with love and fun and zeal.
An eager 21 year old turned red
seeking adventure and energy.

Red is my favorite color.
I make sure to wear red each first day of school
to demonstrate to students that 
reading and writing is not dull. Superstars, we are
brilliant, bright, and bold. 

Red was my favorite color
I felt red embodied me perfectly, 
but I’m no longer that person. 
I’m not sure when it happened; 
motherhood? pandemic? changing friendships?
writing more?

Red is no longer my favorite color,
and it feels like a crisis. Like
I am lost. Like
I don’t belong. Like
instability.

15 thoughts on “Breaking Up With Red: #SOLSC21

  1. That was a very powerful poem. It’s amazing how self-assured you can be when younger and then feel like you know so much less the older you get. I sometimes think about my younger self, and marvel how confident she was all the time about everything. I need a piece of her back!

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  2. I like the transition from “is” to “was” to “no longer”. I feel like these mirror the transitions in you life as well. The confidence of youth is often replaced by the uncertainty of adulthood. However, confidence returns as we age. It will be interesting to see if red then returns as your favorite color.

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  3. Hi Britt! It is nice to “see” you on here! I really enjoyed you breaking up with red blog post. It is so hard letting go of the past. I wonder what your new color is or will be! I also really enjoyed the repetition in your words!

    -Dana

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  4. I love all the things that red symbolized for you (and also a little jealous that you had a red Mustang!). My nephew likes to ask me what my favorite color is and he asked me if I liked green. I said no and my sister reminded me how much I loved green when I was younger. As you said, “I’m no longer that person.”

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  5. Thanks for sharing your relationship with the color red. Red was everything to you and it all changed.This is a structure I would like to borrow. Repeating the first lines made the point of why red was an important color to you until the last stanza.

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  6. Alas! Red was good while it lasted! How you’ve woven the real pain of a disintegrating relationship into this…you can still love it though, from afar… feel fondly toward it, in time…so many thoughts are stirring in my brain just now.

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  7. One of the things I really love about this poem is the gradual drift from a color you absolutely LOVE to a color that – for whatever reason – you’re just not sure about. There’s so much right now that we’re just so unsure about. And the things that brought us joy and warmth before turn us in a different direction now. Who’s to say how, or why? But this poem is a powerful reminder that there is so very much changing around us, within us. Thank you.

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  8. I can highly recommend purple! It is red, evolved! Purple has been my favorite color for so many years and a small part of why I love it is it’s different hues. Try it, you may like it.
    Seriously, love this window into your history.

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  9. Love this, Britt. I immediately thought of having a red pen attack my writing as a young student writer. That would definitely be a reason to break up with red. I’m hoping you are just on a break, though. My favorite stanza: “Red is my favorite color.
    I make sure to wear red each first day of school
    to demonstrate to students that
    reading and writing is not dull. Superstars, we are
    brilliant, bright, and bold.” Such a powerful message for your students!

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  10. There is so much in this, as well as in your “intro” asking where to go next….your growth is clear and, it seems, you are just at the beginning of a journey.

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  11. Red is such a dynamic color. It’s everything you started with: powerful, fierce, bold, and energetic. As I was reading your poem (which I really like, by the way), I found myself thinking that red is, well, a bit tiring as well. It’s a wonderful color that is–as you sort of say–just a step away from a totally different experience. Thank you for sharing this–it’s powerful.

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  12. It’s interesting how our experiences and years of living shape us. I enjoyed going on that journey with you as I read your poem.

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  13. Hi Britt. Wow, that’s really all I have. The excitement of youth to the pain of adulthood, they are all in the voice of this slice. Here’s my question, and it’s more rhetorical than anything else: If you’ve broken up with red, where are you looking for the new color in your life? 🙂

    Thank your for sharing this very personal slice with us!

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