A few days ago, a Facebook friend posted an old photo of herself in a bad outfit with a caption about how she's "meh" about Halloween because she feels like she spent so much of her life playing "dress up"—meaning, she's tried on her fair share of identities with their corresponding "costumes" over the years.
YES. SAME. PREACH. 🙌
As an artsy teenager trying to figure out who the heck I was, I experimented with identity a lot. In the 9th grade, I wore strange, flashy combinations of clothing and accessories with the sole intention of standing out. In 10th grade, I wanted to be a "swing kid" and wore wing-tips and 1940s-style cardigans—and best of all, I dyed my hair orange because I was obsessed with Lucille Ball (sidenote: I loved being a redhead). In 11th grade, I was all over the studded belts, thrift shop shirts, and Chuck Taylors. And by 12th grade, I was listening to so much Ultra Lounge that I really only wanted to wear leopard print and cocktail dresses.
It's honestly taken from high school until my freaking 30s to learn how to dress myself in a way that actually makes me feel like myself. After the identity crisis that was my teenage years, there was college, which had its own fair share of questionable fashion decisions, some awkward years post-graduation where I unsuccessfully tried to look "professional", the lululemon days when I truly only wore clothes with 4-way-stretch for 3 solid years, and then the last few years, where I think I may have finally figured it out?
I've had a lot of fun dressing up for Halloween in the past, I have. But at this point in my life, it feels more unsettling than enjoyable—I've been in one "costume" or another for decades, and really, I just want to look like me, because it's taken me 33 years of bad experiments to get here.
So, sorry Halloween. I'm sure I'll come back to you someday. Until then you can find me wearing cat ears while passing out candy to trick-or-treaters—and I'm totally fine with that. 🎃