Growing up Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. Getting dressed up, trick-or-treating, scary movies, endless candy... What's not to love?
Somewhere along the way, however, Halloween changes drastically. I remember my first big Halloween party in high school; everything was suddenly different. Girls were expected to wear the tiniest outfits they could find and candy was traded in for alcohol. Feeling awkward and out of place at these parties, as the years pasted, I stopped looking forward to this holiday.
For the past several years, my Halloweens have been spent alone with a pile of scary movies to help distract my brain from the "what is wrong with me for not liking the young adult version of Halloween?" thoughts.
This weekend I took a road trip to visit my best friend with an original plan to attend one of these massive, drunken, slutty Halloween parties, but quickly began to feel anxious about the situation. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure (after a few drinks) it would have been a great time; however, I just couldn't find the willpower to go through with it.
Actually, somehow for the first time in my life, I did find the willpower and self-confidence to turn down an invitation that made me feel uncomfortable. So I'm left wondering why that makes me feel like a horrible person. I'm twenty-five years old. Theses parties are supposed to be my favorite thing in the world, right? And if I don't enjoy being surrounded by drunken idiots then there must be something wrong with me, right?
Worst of all, for girls there is a pressure to dress a certain way. Halloween is the one holiday where it is not only acceptable, but also expected, to go out in public wearing next to nothing. I know this goes against popular opinion, but if I'm being totally honest, I just think it's trashy and have never been into that whole scene. It's not for me. That's not who I am. So again, why do I feel guilty and ashamed for going against this unfortunate norm?
After chatting with a friend of mine last night about my Halloween insecurities,
I finally realized two things:
1. I'm not alone with my uncertainty and
2. There are other ways to have just as much fun as everyone else
on Halloween without getting too crazy.
A friend of mine also expressed her fear of Halloween and the pressures to show some skin, which of course made me feel better. She decided to wear a fun costume, go out and focus on the silliness of the moment rather than her insecurities. Her exact words were, "The mental chaos will be present, but I will allow the enjoyment of the situation to be louder." Amen, sista.
As for me, I spent a day with my best friend eating pumpkin donuts and drinking fresh, local cider at a nearby farm; followed by an evening of pumpkin carving and munching on roasted pumpkin seeds. We took full advantage of what the season had to offer without all of the alcohol and skimpy outfits. Best of all, we both spent the evening being our goofy selves, laughing until it hurt, and celebrating Halloween anxiety-free.
I might not act the same as most people my age, but for the first time in my entire life I am finally okay with that. I'm learning there are other ways to have fun and feel good about myself in these situations. Just because I'm not doing what everyone else is doing does not make me crazy or wrong in any way.
Halloween no longer needs to be about insecurities.
However I choose to celebrate is the right way to celebrate.