My Most Embarrassing Halloween Memory

Happy Halloween Friends! 

Saying that Fall is a gorgeous time of year seems cliche', but really - it's a pretty magical time! As much as summer is always lovely, it's a little over-rated to me (too hot and sticky!) Autumn on the other hand gives us such a fantastic color palette, has a whole set of tastes, flavors, smells - and holidays, that just feel warm. I know technically it's getting colder and darker, but there's a coziness, or a "Hygge" surrounding this time that I truly love.

I hope you're enjoying this season and taking it in. I often find that when I've traveled during seasonal transitions, I sort of miss out on the feeling of change that we need as humans to mark the passing of time. Since most of us are mandatorily stationary right now, I hope you're taking advantage of this time to reflect and really process this transition. 

As we ease into a darker, colder season ahead, and turn our clocks back this weekend, I thought it might bring a smile to you to share a memory that I recall every year on Halloween. Setting the scene: It was my Sophomore year of High School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Snow would already be on the ground by this point and the sun would be setting about 4:30. The Friday before Halloween was always a dress up day at school - spirited, fun, and... the Friday assembly! Remember packing a few thousand teenagers into a school gym and letting them make a ruckus?

In my regularly geeky fashion, my costume was a very large, very round Pumpkin. Classic, can't really go wrong. I've never been the type to go for the cute or girly costumes - Halloween for me has always been about letting ourselves be a little silly. Underneath the Pumpkin I wore some type of black unitard get-up or leggings of some kind. This was before it was in fashion or "appropriate" to wear leggings as pants. 

Last minute, the choir director (oh, who also happens to be my mother) realized she needed a student to sing the national anthem at the school assembly that day and hadn't scheduled anyone. Choir Director-Mom pulled me from a class and asked if I would be willing to do it - probably because she didn't want to put last minute pressure like that on another student, but she knew her daughter would forgiver her. I was indeed willing (can't say no to that request from mom right?) but I immediately realized that my only options were to sing America's most patriotic song while wearing a giant pumpkin, OR stand in front of all my classmates in an outfit that felt equivalent to my underwear. You can see where this is going...

I sang The Star Spangled Banner for my entire school and faculty, wearing an enormous pumpkin costume. And really, it wasn't until the moment that I was standing there holding the microphone, staring at all the quiet blank faces in the room that I realized just how SILLY I felt. To this day though, I'm glad that I had that "embarrassing" experience, because it's a memory that shaped me. Now I just wear it proudly and remind myself that it's okay to be weird/different/geeky/nerdy/eccentric/silly... insert host of adjectives describing the human existence here. I somehow seem to always end up bringing this story up around this time of year, and I think I finally realized why. My halloween message for you is this:

I hope you embrace everything it is about you that makes you, YOU. There is only one of you in this world, and there will never be another. 

Much Love, 

Johanna 

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