I always hated halloween growing up. To me it was the most pointless holiday of the year, but now it’s one of my favourites.
When I was a child halloween was a nothing holiday. Mum never let us go trick or treating, no one really had halloween parties so for me halloween was all about the left over sweets laying around the house because trick or treaters never ventured down the country lane I grew up on.
That all changed a few years ago when my choice of costume was a Spider-man morph suit that I wore while visiting a friend at UEA.
That trip to UEA was during my nine month therapy process and for large parts of that phase I hated a night out, I was a man severely lacking confidence at that time and the social situation of a night out was an nightmare for me.
That halloween night at UEA was different. I was a much more confident individual, and considering I hardly drunk anything because I wasn’t consuming an awful lot of alcohol during my therapy journey – I put that down to the costume.
For halloween parties since I stuck to a superhero theme albeit switching marvel for DC to become The Joker, inspired by Heath Ledger’s portrayal in The Dark Knight in 2016.
In 2017 I went against everything my friends wanted for me to dress up as and became Harley Quinn for an evening.
Following an off year for halloween due to being at an Oktoberfest event I made my return this year as I became Maverick from Top Gun.
The costumes change by the year and will do for years to come but there is one similarity they all hold. Whether I’m behind a mask, a wig, face paint or in this years case, a pair of aviators – my confidence levels rise considerably.
I think the increased confidence that arose from wearing such outlandish costumes was because I completely wrote off the fear of judgement, almost as if I subconsciously told myself ‘When I’m dressed like this in a public place, what else matters?’ from there I would go onto have some of my favourite nights out and since then I have been a huge fan of fancy dress.
My self-esteem grows by the year, and with that I get more and more confident.
I try new things, I engage with new people and naturally become more comfortable in my own skin.
But I still have a long way to go.
I’m not saying that the only days of the year I have full confidence in myself are when I’m behind the distraction of an outlandish costume and when I’m surrounded by others who are also in outlandish costumes.
There are days in a year where my self-esteem is at an all time high, and there are others where I still question what’s the point of what I’m trying to achieve in life.
The big positive is that it’s increasingly tipping in favour of being at an all time high more and more.
I wanted to tie this post into halloween because those nights when I was Spider-man or The Joker were when I really began to notice what it feels like to be fully comfortable in who I am as a person which seems somewhat ironic because I was trying to be someone else.
Once I had that awareness and experience of what it felt like to be so full of self-confidence I knew what I was working towards which took a huge weight off my shoulders and made the whole process of working towards that so much easier.
I may not be there yet, but I know I’m getting closer.
And that is why I love halloween.