La Vie en Jaune (Life in Yellow)?!?



It’s been too long.  Hope you’re well.  But anyway, let’s jump in.

Edith Piaf released a song in 1946 entitled “La Vie en Rose”, translated to mean “Life in Pink” or roughly translated to “Life through Rose-Colored Glasses”.  When I was deep into my quest to become a francophile, I started listening to French music and this quickly became a favorite of mine.  I’m not sure what exactly endeared me to this song primarily between the lyrics being sung beautifully in French or the nature of the song which talked about a sweetness that love can bring to life.  That’s where life in pink came in – love colored life in a way that made everything look and feel better.  Now, as a natural romantic, I love these types of songs.  It allows me to daydream and get lost, which is something I have always loved to do.  And in some ways, I had figured that life would be like my daydreams.

But life hasn’t happened that way.  I, a person who has generally been able to advance ahead in most of what I wanted to accomplish in the way that I wanted to accomplish them, was having my rosy colored glasses turn to a bright blinding yellow.  

In an unprecedented way (at least from my perspective), I was encountering yellow lights and yellow signs in many areas of my life.  Any driver knows that yellow lights mean slow down and yellow road signs are known as cautionary signs, generally to warn of unexpected road conditions.  I was so used to largely uninhibited success at whatever I decided I wanted to do, especially academically and professionally, that I did not know how to deal with life in yellow.  Slowly I saw my goals and my timeline slow to a snail’s pace due to the traffic conditions in my life.  PhD by 28? Yellow road sign.  Marriage by 26? Yellow light.  Nonprofit company? Yellow light.  Great credit score? Yellow road sign.  Out of parents’ house by 24? Yellow road sign.

And i reacted the way most of us react naturally to yellow lights and yellow road signs : ignore and proceed.  But ignoring and proceeding doesn’t make that light any less yellow.  In fact, I’ve learned the hard way that after every yellow light is a red light, and you are forced to stop whether you want to or not.

So I’m learning to be content with life in yellow.  Living life in yellow is slower but as you move along you see some of the things that you were saved from simply because you slowed down and took heed.  Living life in yellow is more frustrating on this end but as you move along you cherish the frustrations as they grow into wisdom that you may have never intimately known living life in green.  Life in yellow grows you through shining light on those dark and stunted areas, breaks down build up like lemons, but allows you to appreciate the sunshine.  Life in yellow has maturing beauty, a beauty that is truly in the eyes of the beholder.  Life in yellow produces a determined optimism – an optimism that you must work for, not that you inherit from a life in green.  

Most importantly, life in yellow is never a life in red.  You may be slowed down but you are certainly never stopped.  A warning sign heightens your awareness of what you may face or it simply warns you that you may encounter unexpected things.  A yellow light warns you to slow down.  It says “be aware”; it says “be careful”.  There have been many unexpected things that have happened to me since January 2012 – job losses, relational difficulties, humbling experiences, etc.  And they have certainly disrupted my green lights (sigh).  But each of them have taught me about myself, about others, about life, and more importantly about my Heavenly Father.  So I type this as a grateful woman who is still learning not to take life in yellow as a stop but to take it for what it is – LOVE.


“…you can hold on longer, as long as you want…” – John Legend (sorry…Love in the Future has been blessing my ears this week :-))

2 thoughts on “La Vie en Jaune (Life in Yellow)?!?

  1. Hi Ashley, this is beautifully written. I know exactly what you mean about “life in the yellow.” What a beautiful way to phrase that stage in your life. I have been there. Eh, I am still going through it. Thanks for these powerful words. I wish you the best of luck.

    1. Yasmein,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog! I don’t take that lightly. I am glad that you enjoyed reading and I wish you the best as well!


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