Living in the Gray

Monday, 05 November 2012 21:14 Written by  Iya Bakare

Some may hate on gray, but it’s actually a beautiful color. From a fashion sense, it compliments every color of the spectrum and looks magnificent with bold shades, such as orange, red and yellow. It can also be subdued and paired with earth tones and its predictable partners: black and white.

Many aren’t fond of gray hair and run to their hair stylists or the nearest drug store to find a remedy to not only conceal it but to make it disappear to the naked eye. I think my mom’s hair is gorgeous when she sports her silver pixie. She likes it at times, but even experiences her moments when she longs to return to her natural, dark brown roots.

People tend to associate the appearance of gray skies with undesirable weather because they want to curl up in a blanket, dive into their favorite book or watch their favorite movies. Rarely do individuals want to dance in the midst of a thunderstorm or a blizzard. It’s fair to say we’d rather feel the rays of sun kiss our skin and stare at the clear, blue skies above.

From these examples, gray is linked with negative connotations: a dreary wardrobe color, old age and dreadful weather. On the flip side, I see gray as not necessarily the opposite, but in a different light. On the optimistic side, gray can mean distinction, maturity and wisdom. As I mature and gain wisdom from life experiences and from those around me, it’s become clear to me what gray truly means in the broad scope of things. Gray means balance.

The perfectionist nature, Type A personality, control freak and workaholic in me likes to distinguish between left and right, this or that and so forth. I’ve always heard there’s a “gray area” and I’m asked to meet people on a “middle ground.” It’s a process, and I’m learning everything is not cut and dry. I’m learning working with people (which involves thoughts, feelings and emotions) is the grayest area ever! Everyone is different and each person can’t be treated the same because each interaction is a different exchange.

Balancing work and play is about finding that gray area. All work and no play leads to a dull, unfilled life and too much play with not enough work leads to a bankrupt budget. I can’t escape the gray area of life, and why should I? There are times when extremes prove to be necessary causes of action, but life seems less stressful when there’s a balanced approach to it.

As I entered a new decade of life, I realized it’s okay to live in the gray. It’s not as dim as some may think and in a certain light, it possesses a silver tint. It all depends on your scope of it.

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

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