Comfort colors: one less fear

Comfort colors: one less fear

Jonathan Hatchett, Staff Writer

It has to come to my attention that I only ever wear primary colors. I don reds, greens and blues of practically the same shade virtually every day. The color is not the only thing, the feel of the clothing also plays a big part in whether or not I will be comfortable wearing it. 

It took me coming home to notice. After unpacking and hanging my clothes up, I realized the pieces I had chosen were the same color and type of material. Back in my room on campus I had picked them by feel, running my hands along the rows of hanging fabric. Now, staring at 

the ones I had brought along with me, I had this revelation. 

I made the trip home because it was the week of both the election and my birthday. I fully expected to spend my time watching political coverage and eating cake. I did not expect to have a come-apart over Comfort Colors. 

This seems irrelevant based on what is currently going on in the world, right? I promise that I am going somewhere with this. 

If we relate these findings to those of the ever-debunked Freud, it would be safe to assume that this could be defined as a defense mechanism. I have to point out that defense mechanisms are different from coping mechanisms because they are unconscious, meaning your brain does it on its own to protect you. Also, there are plenty, but I will list only the ones that sound familiar to me: repression, regression, displacement, rationalization, denial, projection, ect. In my case, I am faced with regression. Regression is when we unconsciously find ourselves going back to a behavior that we previously found solace in.

That brings me to childhood. It was perpetually cold in the house that I grew up in, so much so that warm things bore elevated importance. Tea, blankets and heating pads were pseudo-currency, which paired nicely with my family’s mandatory need to wear pajamas — or something comfy — to relax. It is no wonder they had such an affinity for napping. On the other hand I found comfort wearing the fabrics that I wore on the daily, and saw no need for shut-eye when the sun was still up. This led to many lonely hours silently sneaking around the house. I soon found that when I pulled my tiny body into the usually primary-colored hand-me-down fabric around me, I would cease to feel alone. This was my comfort. 

So, comfort was on my brain. But why? Aside from my prospective scheduled meeting with some baked goods and a national news provider, I had no other plans. But that was just it, I had planned to be comfortable amidst the chaos that was the election. I was going to pull right back into that knitted chrysalis and hope to be reborn in a better place than the hellscape that is 2020. I had made an unconscious regressive decision to protect myself from the week to come. Bummer. Little did I know that there was to be a ray of sunshine come my birthday. 

Saturday rolled around, and my birthday came with it. I awoke to calls and texts, but the first one was from my brother. He has a streak of giving the best presents and did not disappoint this year either. It was nonchalant when he relayed the message to me, but I could hear the relief in his voice. Biden had won and was to be the 46th President of the United States. He may not be perfect, and neither is Harris, but in a world where no matter what color I wear I will always be black, I feel much safer with them in office. 

I spent my day watching people dance in the street, finding myself comfortable in my own skin and void of the need to crawl into a layer of familiar armor. I, like them, had one less thing to fear.