True colors

restoration2

“I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you.”  Why does this Cyndi Lauper song stop me in my tracks every time I hear it? 

It makes me visualize an old painting, like the ones you see on the antique roadshow.  “My Great Uncle Henry had this up in the garage for 50 years and he just LOVED it. Of course, he did smoke his cigars out in the garage.” 

Layers and layers of gunk have built up on the painting over the years, masking the brilliance of the original colors.  All it needs is some careful restoration and to be brought out for display under museum quality lighting… and it’s priceless. 

Of course, being a man, I would be tempted to just take a powerwasher to it.  But no… restoration is a painstaking process, carefully removing each layer of haze without damaging the original brilliance underneath.

I believe we all start out as masterpieces. Your true colors are the real you, the talents you bring to the table, the dreams you had as a kid.  Over time we build up layers of dirt – creating personas to succeed in business, putting on acts to please other people, putting on masks to protect ourselves from pain.  Revealing your true self is not easy or risk-free. 

I’m finding that the real me is coming out more and more as I get older. It happens when I surround myself with people who love and support me. Just like in the song. Support from true friends gives me the courage to try those things that I think I may be good at, and to spend more time doing things that I love.  If you can find the intersection of those two lists – things you are good at and things you love -you are well on your way to museum-quality pricelessness.

Restoring the real you will take some time. The layers may need to come off as slowly as they built up over time.  And you may need to change the environment, the wall you are hanging on, to start the process.  But there’s no doubt about it… you ARE a masterpiece and your true colors are still there. 

Don’t be afraid to let them show.

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10 Comments on “True colors”


  1. FAB!! Looove this and have discovered as you have, with age, comes a rainbow. I actually have a wall in my living room – key words there, LIVING room… where I have masks I’ve collected from all my travels, hanging on the wall. The idea is that if you enter my home, you take off your mask, as you are in a safe place to be yourself. There is no judgment, no scrutiny, only acceptance and respect.

    It’s a tough world out there and I think if everyone was brave enough to show their true colors, we would all see that this would be one beautiful technicolored place to be. 🙂

    Great blog!!!

    • davidgoad Says:

      Stacey, indeed you are one of the supportive friends mentioned in the story. I’m glad I connected with you “way back then,” and I’m happy to reconnect with you now!

  2. George Jackson Says:

    Peace David,

    You, as usual, hit it right on point. When we’re young it seems, our “true color” shines bright and the person inside shows clear. As we age and go down the “roads of life” we become chameleons, changing colors to fit into the present work or social environment. As we get older in years, it’s not as important to “fit in”, so we go thru a kind of restoration within, in an attempt to bring out our “true colors” again….

    • davidgoad Says:

      George I like your point “it’s not as important to fit in.” In fact, I think it becomes the opposite. We need to “stand out” and become leaders, not followers.


  3. David,
    Excellent post! It’s interesting how you can read the title of a song, and immediately have it start playing in your head. That’s what happened when I read your article. It’s also interesting how you can enjoy something (a song, painting, book) for many years, and have someone help you view it from a completely different perspective… giving it a new meaning… That’s what you did for me today. Thanks for being who you are. I am honored to be able to call you my Friend.

  4. Karen Mudd Says:

    Nicely done David. I’m delighted that your true colors are shining through. You express yourself so well in writing and live… in person… on stage and off! You are very encouraging to all of us David! So keep revealing yourself and proding us to reveal, grow and share. I’m thankful for your contributions to my life David!


  5. My God, Dave… is that a recent pic’ of you atop this blog?

    I doubt that you have changed much visually over the years. If wrinkles have been added, they don’t show up in the pic. But the smile is the same, and your general persona is the same…

    …I think your true colors have been glowing strong for years, in spite of upper level managers who restricted creativity in fields of thought that they should have left to us, and dying industries that could have benefitted from an evolution in community that could have been revelatory. Inevitably, all we know is that we grew in some way, albeit in parallel with growing a little older, if not wiser.

    You’re completely right about the curving relationship between showing colors and blending in. At my age, it’s pretty much impossible to hide who I am, so I just try to gravitate to those who can stand to see me. :o) There are enough around to keep me sane and happy. I think we’ll all find this algorythm to hold true for each of us.

    …so what are we so worried about anyway?

    Take care,
    Roland.

  6. Shelley Says:

    David,
    You and I had some words about this subject. I think you put it down on paper masterfully. You are doing a great job at working on your true self. Davey Gravy shines through. Very proud of you. I can so relate to wanting to be my true self daily but afraid she won’t always fit in. Or be liked especially if they really knew her. I feel like a camoflauge mask most days. Trying to blend in with the different groups I am in and the different hats I wear. Fortunately, I have a loving family that reminds me I don’t have to be anyone else but me and they love me just the way I am. Then,I am again encouraged to bring out my true self for the next day. But thanks for the reminder, because camoflauge lady is always lurking around the corner when confidence lacks.

    Write On!
    Cuzin Shell

  7. Patricia Cox Says:

    I am encouraged that as we grow older the restoration process is still a viable option and promising for those who welcome it.

    Our family has been fortunate to have youthful genes and allowed us more opportunities in a culture that is fearful of ageing.

    I carry a youthful image of myself when I was about 17 years in my brain so that my brain keeps trying to replicate that in my energy and smile. We are what we think approach. I realize the brain can only do so much!

    I believe your lively imagination has kept you young!

    Love, Mom


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