A Blue February

Written by Jordan Cooley

Doing my color journal this month, I illuminated all the blue around me rather than taking the blue inside of myself and painting her on a page.

And so, I found that February was a month of playfulness.

There was the blue light from my phone mixed with the blueness of Twitter which revealed Victoria Chang’s sign, “Leave more room for the accidental.” I wrote it on a blue sticky note and stuck it on my mirror, a daily reminder to make space for both good and bad things to happen.

Then there was the blue, vibrant sky which met me through a budding spring tree as I woke from a nap with my dog.

The fresh blue-purple bruises on my arms and knees from dancing and falling drunkenly as I walked home one night.

And my blue tattoo over my heart, an homage to a line in a poem I wrote, “The sky is every shade of blue and it does not question its own beauty — so who are you to question your own beauty, or the beauty of others?”

Blue seeped into every moment of February. In the past, I have struggled sitting with this kind of joy and goofiness. I have been afraid that if I’m not prepared for the worst, then when the happiness is inevitably taken away, it will hurt so much worse.

And I’m here to call bullshit on that.

Living in a way that is purely survival or protective has led to a life of anxiety; of constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering what the next bad thing is to come; of dipping out of plans or dates or myself because I am afraid of taking too large of a bet.

But this February, I lived more presently. I made space for accidents, for my humanness, for joy to root itself in my skin. That’s where happiness exists — in the ability to laugh at myself; to make a fucking decision rather than weigh all the possible outcomes; to look at those decisions and see the silly accidents that came from them : the friendships, the growth, the embarrassment.

Hell, I lost my wallet the last week of February after getting too drunk. Surprise : it wasn’t the end of the world. My friends showed up and helped by paying for food and beers and costumes while I venmo’d them my share. We grew closer both because of my mistake and my ability to tell them about it.

February was the month I learned that blue is what exists between us. It’s the sky, the air, the kisses, the spit, the water, the bruises, the moldy blueberries, the “I told my crush I liked him just for him to tell me he has a girlfriend in New York,” — it’s what connects us to each other and brings us closer together.

Jordan Cooley is a writer and self taught artist in Austin, TX. She graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in English and has worn many hats, including Slam Master and President of a poetry non-profit called Mic Check, financial analyst for JP Morgan, researcher and executive assistant for AmeriCatalyst and now bartender at Better Half Bar. Each day, she is feverishly working towards becoming a better ally, a more nuanced writer, and a woman who accepts the goofy slips and slides of life. Follow on Insta @jarcy_ and on Twitter @jrcooley_ to see what kind of falls she makes on the daily.

Chelsea Francis