Today is Halloween (as I’m sure you’re well aware). People everywhere have spent the weekend celebrating, children have gone trick or treating and they (and even more adults) will take days to recover from the sugar crash. Halloween is probably my favourite holiday (apart from maybe Christmas) – I spend a whole week watching horror films and eating sweets in the spirit of it. This year, as you saw, when I went out for Halloween drinks I was a cat (a cheap costume thrown together at the last-minute from clip-on cat ears I’ve had since I was 15 and a lot of eyeliner!).
Next year, I have vowed to make much more of an effort with a costume. My sister, boyfriend and I (and probably other friends too!) will be taking part in our city’s annual zombie pub crawl. I’m sure that it will be awesome, but it got me thinking. I know a lot of people who take Halloween as an opportunity to really express themselves. They go all out, their costumes are extravagant and for that one night, they can be whoever they want to be. Dreams come true on Halloween, for one night and one night only. It’s the one time a year where my motto ‘be your own superhero’ can simply translate into wrapping a bed sheet around your shoulders and putting your knickers on over your jeans.
So to me this begs the question – if Halloween is the time when by putting on masks and costumes we can become who we want to be in our wildest fantasies, then is it in our ‘real lives’ that we’re really wearing a mask?
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Who IS that dashing gentleman with that fine moustache?!’ I hear you cry! Well, fair readers, its ME, your humble blogger! Betcha didn’t see that one coming, did you? I am the MASTER OF DISGUISE! *evil laugh*
Think about it. If we only go all-out to express ourselves on this one night, then what the hell are we doing on all the other nights of the year? What are we doing in the days?
I make a conscious effort to be true to myself in my everyday life, to express myself and seek every opportunity to let out my creativity. But it is, undeniably, hindered. Because of the area of my day job, I have to be ‘professional’. I don’t go as far as wearing a suit jacket (though god knows my bosses would like me to, and every single day at that), but I can’t be completely honest in my opinions – I am not supposed to voice them, since I am effectively the lowest rung on the corporate ladder. I am there to get stepped on, and nothing more. So every day I try to turn up to work with a smile on my face and a rockin’ PMA, but I can’t go all-out to express myself and my passions.
In the world we live in, there is all too often very little room for individuality in the workplace. Corporations aren’t so big on unbridled creativity and self-expression, for the simple reason that as far as they’re concerned you’re not you, you’re a representative of the company.
It doesn’t just extend there though – a lot of folks can’t be their true selves around their families, because their families are not accepting of them and their views. While with their families they too are wearing a mask – the mask of the person they think their families want them to be. Sometimes they are wrong about this, and if they gave their families a chance they would be accepted with open arms. Sometimes, sadly, they are not. These things are, regrettably, unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean that we should just lie down and accept them.
So this Halloween I say to you this: Go proudly into the world. You may not be able to speak from your heart all the time. You may not be able to show every shining thing about yourself, or express your inner awesomeness for as much of every day as you would like. BUT TRY. Seize EVERY AVAILABLE opportunity to let your soul burst forth, to show people the AMAZING true you! If there is the slightest chance that you can show off your talents (or even better, use them to do good for others), then do it!
Be proud of who you are! Be your own superhero: live life the way you dream it*. Don’t hide yourself away – to do so would be a disservice to the world. Live your life they way you feel is RIGHT. Let your actions reflect what feels the right thing in your heart.
You are amazing. Don’t ever forget it.
Happy Halloween everyone.