Updated: Aug 21
I met My Life in Yellow at a workshop. The first time I heard her speak, it sounded like poetry and I remember thinking “I want to know her,” then I proceeded to sit next to her while having lunch unable to say a word. Maybe it was my fear of rejection or the intimidation I felt upon meeting women for the first time back then but I sat there thinking about whether I should
compliment her hair, or her shoes in order to start a conversation. I soon discovered all I had to say was “Hi.” Lucky for us in a matter of 24 hours we were standing in front of each other, looking into each other’s eyes and deciding whether or not we want to embrace in a hug or not. We did and so the story continues.
My Life in Yellow inspired me and lovingly pushed me to perform at my first open mic with @theinspiredwordnyc. She sat front row, she smiled, she cried and she took great footage of me. I fed off of her energy on and off stage and from that moment on I knew, I found my place in the world.
When My Life in Yellow hits the stage, you have no choice but to stare and feel and want to be a part of her story somehow. Whether she’s talking about love or walking you through her deepest traumas, her spoken word is bright enough, dark enough, loud in the right way and so intriguing it leaves you wanting more. The good news is, there will be more, so much more because she is just getting started. I’ll let you see for yourself.
Tell us the story of your name? Where does it come from? How did you choose it? What does it mean to you?
My Life in Yellow was the name of a blog I started in 2010. I was about to move to New York City from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and decided to chronicle my transition from such a small city to one of the largest. I sat in my living room surrounded by boxes staring at the Wordpress launch page asking me to enter the name of my blog. My Life in Yellow instantly came to mind. I have no idea where it came from but I never questioned it. Reflecting now, I see that I was declaring to live my life for me and discover who I truly am and what my soul longs for.
What inspires you?
Pain. I'm a poet! What can I say?!? Poetry helps me process my emotions. I sometimes struggle with them in the moment so I use poetry as a way to reflect and understand. It is so hard to write a happy poem. I've written a few hopeful ones but can't say any are bursting with joy. Hearing other poets perform fills me with inspiration, too. Someone says a word or phrase and it triggers a flood of thoughts. One time I rushed out of an open mic and wrote the piece "I am a Castle" in less than an hour.
What does the setting look like when you are creating?
My brain churns constantly. I take notes on my phone all the time. When I go to write, I will have some moody music on to help light the spark but once I get rolling, I need silence so I sink deeply into what I'm really feeling.
What advice would you give to young writers from small towns who dream of moving to NYC & pursuing their artistic dreams?
The best part about moving to a new place is you get to leave whenever you want. Come try it out so you never get stuck in the sadness of "what if." If you find a home here, stay. If it isn't for you, try somewhere else. Also, be ready to work your ass off. Following your dream isn't free so do whatever it takes. At one point, I had five jobs to make ends meet. Getting to know other writers is critical. Surround yourself with people who inspire and challenge you to keep pushing forward.
What is your favorite thing about being on stage?
Having everyone's attention! Ha!
Share a short snippet of one of your pieces. What does it mean to you?
"Ticking away towards forever or never
but it doesn't matter,
I'd rather listen to your uneven breath
while you sleep than silence.
Finally finding rest in the sandcastle
we built with loneliness.
You still love her while holding me.
Choosing to lie in your arms means
I don't love you, either.
Accepting you like a last meal,
Indulging without concern for nutritional value. I count down to the end. Pretend I don’t care, run my fingers through your hair."
This is part of my piece "Better than Silence." I wrote it in the beginning of quarantine when I started seeing a man who told me our relationship was never going to work because he wasn't ready to be in one. In that moment, I chose a future heartbreak and satisfied my desire to be close to him. In this piece I acknowledged what I was walking into but I wanted it anyway. It was an unhealthy choice to make that didn't work out like he predicted but I don't regret it. I adore him still even though I had to walk away.
How do you end a date that isn’t going well or how have you done it in the past?
I'm not a huge fan of dating. I'd much rather just be out in life, meet someone and fall madly in love skipping over the dating part. Does that ever happen??? For the times I cave and go on a date that ends up going poorly, I stayed way longer than I should have. I'm too nice and don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. There was a time when a guy was incredibly rude and insensitive so I got up and walked out.
If you knew this interview would be read by every person in the world, what would you like to leave them with?
You are worthy of Love. You are not alone. I find myself needing those reminders so I'm sure everyone else does, too.
I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with My Life in Yellow a few times. I have some of her artwork hanging in my kitchen. My favorite sweatshirt has a My Life in Yellow quote on the back of it. When I tell you that when you get to experience My life in Yellow’s art you will want to submerge yourself in it, it is no exaggeration. I recommend that you grab your favorite glass of wine or cup of tea and click here @mylifein.yellow and just jump in already. You won’t regret it.