Paint Chips

Painting your room is a more difficult decision than it’s typically portrayed.
In real life, you don’t have that one blue vase of your grandmother’s that is the perfect combination of robin’s egg blue and teal.
What you have is a 10-by-12 square with a black bookshelf from Target and a plain bed frame with brown sheets, with the occasional wine bottle set on the windowsill amongst the tangled nest of Christmas lights you found on a Home Depot clearance rack. So, unless you want to match your paint to “Lost Angel Wine Bottle” Green, or “Arrogant Bastard Ale” Brown…You have to make the decision yourself.
You have one shot- a single, one-gallon can of Behr Indoor/Outdoor paint, to change the entire feel of your bedroom (hopefully) permanently. Let’s be honest. If painting were easy, then it’d be more like the Valspar chameleon commercials, but it’s not.
One color. One can. One shot.
Basically, it’s you versus your future comfort and happiness in the Hunger Games arena that is disguised as your tiny bedroom. This is how you find yourself with a pile of paint chips, matching them to the closest pure white thing you can find: hotel bed sheets, notebook paper, that one dress in your closet that is miraculously sans-coffee stains- anything but the heinous “Oh God, is this actually what you think WHITE looks like?!” shade of your current bedroom walls.
However, you conquer that gauntlet. You find the perfect, warm shade of gold that just sends warm, fuzzy feelings through your body- your room gets painted in an evening with the help of “Chicago,” a rotating fan, and a beautifully freeing lack of clothing (hey, if you can’t afford Throw Away Clothes…).
One issue: The name. Something as simple as the name given to a color can invoke unsightly tears and an inner emotional breakdown.
What is it about names? The simple, multi-syllobic strings of consonants and vowels that are assigned a 3×3 inch of paper, a town name, an address. But something hits the sweet spot about those ridiculous names assigned to paint chips.
“princess Ivory” “Rare Earth” “Bittersweet Chocolate.”

I’ve resolved to never be a paint chip.
Why would I want to be a scrap, an example of the full experience?
A paint chip isn’t the real thing, it’s a sampling of the actual product, the full experience of the color. Why would I want to be an example of life? A “Coming Soon to a Life Experience Near You!”
Why?
Why should we look at our life day by day, minute by minute, instead of looking at everything, all at once?
LIVE moment by moment, but plan for the future as well. Figure out your game plan for the next month, 6 months, 2 years, who-gives-a-fuck-5-year-plan?
That trip to Australia? Plan it, but don’t you dare miss going out with your friends on a Friday night in the name of “saving money.” Money will be made and spent. That’s why it’s there. If you don’t spend the money on that drink, you’ll probably end up eating it away in the form of a Burger King hamburger, and let’s be honest, that drink would be much more satisfying that that damn burger.
Start thinking about where you want to move after school, grad school, or even 2 years from now, just for the hell of it.
The world is huge, unexplored for many, and it’s just waiting for your two puny, human sized eyeballs to tear it wide open, to experience it for the first time.
See it. Live it. Experience it. Throw your fears out the window and just GO.
Don’t be like paint chips.
When compared to the stark white of the hotel bed sheets, of course, they look colorful and interesting. Bleach will make any world look colorful. That’s the terror and beauty of technology. You can be tricked into thinking you’re actually living, when you’re not.
A dear friend slapped me in the face (lovingly) with this truth a few weeks ago, and I cannot be more grateful.
What’s the use in exploring the world, if you never leave the start line in the first place?
Go out on a limb.
Race head first around the bend.
Forget your knee pads when you go rollerblading.
Drink just ONE drink too much.
Enjoy living.
Enjoy the scars, memories, headaches, and callouses you get from experiences that can never be forgotten.
Live life to the fullest. Experience the full spectrum of color.
Don’t be a paint chip.
Don’t be a sampling of what life has to offer.
Don’t be content with a smaller version.
Don’t be a paint chip.

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