Aubrey Slaughter

My life was once black and white. Every decision was either right or wrong. People were either good or evil. When I would experience something, I was quick to label it. I wanted it to fit neatly into a little box that I called my life. As time passed, I realized I was not only limiting myself but also the world around me.

Life is complex and full of surprises, and by labeling everything black or white, I was sure to miss out on the depths of that life provided. Instead of continuing to have an all-or-nothing outlook, I opened my mind. I gave myself a new pair of eyes. Suddenly, I realized life is filled with color. For every situation and every decision, I give more thought to what is really happening instead of going with my initial reaction.

Seeing life in black and white came from being a perfectionist. I saw things the way I "wanted" to see them. I tried too hard to remove myself from a situation by thinking about the extremes. On June 27, 2008, my oldest brother decided to tell the family about being gay. At first, I did not believe it, but as time took its toll, I began to realize this was not a black or white situation. There was more to the situation, and there was more I needed to think about. It was not right, but it was not wrong. I disagreed, but I accepted his lifestyle. From that day on, my life was no longer black and white; instead it was filled with color.