Dare To Dream On Halloween

Halloween is hands down, by far, my favourite holiday. Always has been and always will be. The streets of Smalltown, USA where I grew-up were absolutely lined with every type of miniature ghoul, monster, horror film creature, princess, and mythical being you could imagine. Magic filled the slightly cooler Autumn air, like a thick fog lingering above a swamp, true to the genre that dominated the TV screen in the month of October. As I said, it was only slightly cooler, and the leaves on the trees didn’t offer the same drastic array of vivid color changes other parts of the world experienced. This is Southern California I am talking about after all, seasons don’t really exist, they are just a game we play. But the faux cobwebs, carved Jack-o-lanterns, and delighted squeals of children were enough to set the spooky scene.

You took those few steps toward each front door full of excitement, joining a smaller group of children who had collected with the same pillowcase, or plastic pumpkin bucket, and the same goal in mind; candy. Its easy to see through Pavlovian conditioning alone how Halloween can become cemented as every kid’s favourite day of the year.

But my love for All Hallow’s Eve was about more than the Snickers bars and Hocus Pocus on repeat on the Disney Channel. It was an escape. It was the opportunity every single year to ask myself, what do I want to be? Then without judgement, you could transform yourself into anything your heart desired. There was no choice too outrageous, no costume too over the top.

As the years passed, Halloween in my 20s became more about how to drink lots with my college friends, and create a slutty version of childhood favourites; the slutty witch, the slutty vampire, the slutty nurse, the slutty black cat, etc. Much like the restrictions being placed on female adult Halloween costumes, in our adult lives we have lost the nerve to ask the same questions we so confidently did as children. What do I want to be? What version of myself will bring me the greatest sense of pleasure, happiness, excitement?

My challenge for us all this year is to take back that childhood right. To dare to dream. To allow ourselves to be bizarre 365 days a year. Let’s stop viewing “being like everyone else”, being “normal” as an accomplishment, and rather as a failure. We each have an intricately unique set of experiences that we have collected like postcards in our back pocket as we traversed life’s landscape. We each have innately different motivations and desires, that drive us. Find your inner child, and place yourself back into the early Octobers of your childhood. Its time to embrace our own weirdness, to ask ourselves what do I want to be, and to go out and be that person, no matter who it scares!