Authenticity is My Most Non-Negotiable Core Value and that’s Why I Love Halloween

Every year, I look forward to expressing my creativity without limits, and I pretend to become something else, just for fun. Halloween – an excuse to eat a lot of candy and just have fun – how can that go wrong?

Since I met my husband Michael ,who is an engineer, I’m often the one with the ideas, and he’s the one who brings them to life. We usually start talking about Halloween ideas in August, we research and start building our costume in September; then, we finalize and execute our idea in October.

Things were a little different this year, we talked about Halloween a few times in August, and then again in September.  The next thing we knew, it was October 26th, and we had no Halloween costume. Worse yet, that evening, we had a costume party. At that same party last year, we took home the Best Costume trophy. Yup, we had raised a high bar.

It’s the Saturday before Halloween, and I’m searching the pop-up costume megastore. As I roam the aisles filled with common costumes stuffed into plastic bags. I felt totally resigned. I thought, “That’s it, I’m going to have to just get something that’s not as original as something I would create myself.”

I handed a typical costume to my husband and said, “This would look great on you, and I can grab a flowery dress from the closet with a handheld fan and be a Flamenco dancer.” He quickly questioned me – “You are going to give up on our joint costume?”

It was heart-breaking. I didn’t want to let him down, and more importantly, I didn’t want to let myself down. I didn’t want to feel defeated because I didn’t have enough time to find something that fit and could work as a costume all in one day. The creative juices had to kick in very quickly. Then, almost like a lightning strike —it happened. I saw a Hershey’s Chocolate bar costume, and almost in an instant, I had a flash of what I could do.

The items I needed included two dry cleaner bags, a lot of balloons, cardboard, construction paper, and lots of packing tape. I was in business. In less than four hours, I had a costume I made myself and one that made me proud. A costume that expressed my creativity, and one that allowed me to join my husband and 16-month old daughter in a group costume.

And that’s when it hit me. I know why I love Halloween.

I never lie. My honesty to myself and to others is non-negotiable. I am always 100% me, myself, what you see is what you get. Halloween is that one day a year, where I get a break from me. We all need breaks from everything, even ourselves. So, yes, I am already thinking about what my family and I will become next year.