It is October.
Fond memories of Halloweens, bonfires, Homecoming, and ironing brilliant leaves between waxed paper, fill my head.
I am reminded of costumes that were created over a series of days that left us breathless with hilarious laughter. Dressing up was such a step outside of the person you were supposed to be. It was fun and somewhat magical to take that step away.
It is a day of make believe.
Today, I observe the holiday from behind the door, a bowl of candy at the ready. I guess I have come to the conclusion that my trick-or-treating days are done. Time to hang up the mask. I want to be an observer.
A group of 20 somethings validated me recently with enthusiasm and thanks. They recognized me for who I am, a woman with a few more years and experiences than them, a person not really in their “inner world” but one for whom they didn’t need to put on a mask.
Today, I wonder about that group of young people. I guess we could include all people in this reverie.
How many of us feel like we must live behind a mask in order to fit in? How many put on the costume that allows them to be a part of the crowd, all the while living in uncomfortable scratchy and ill-fitting clothing?
We spend hours making our lives about someone we wish we were.
I hate to say it, but I would guess it to be the majority.
There are very few who have the gumption to hear their own drummer and live by that tune.
Being authentic is a vulnerable place to be.
I have met quite a few young people over the past few years. They disguise their happiness in snapchats or selfies, posted on social media, so someone else has a bar to live up to. The fact is, most of the time, our lives are pretty ordinary. Posting ordinary pictures doesn’t give for rave reviews.
When we draw analogies from Halloween to our daily lives, what do we come up with?
Masks. Costumes. Not the real you.
So for this one day out of the year, go ahead. Go nuts with a costume. Be crazy and magic and make believe.
When the day is done, we move back to reality and hopefully, closer to the person who is real.
Thanks for listening.