Saturday, October 29, 2022

Halloween and your Fullest Expression of Self

It's Halloween season--the time of year when we like to get dressed up in costumes and try on an alternative version of ourselves.

As you can see from this photograph of Papa Callan, he liked to wear a "costume" on an everyday basis. Although, he didn't think he was wearing a costume. He didn't think he was channeling Ernest Hemingway. He just thought he was wearing a hat and relaxing during a camping trip. 

But honestly, look at that souciant grin. That knowing wink.

I come by this love of costume quite naturally. Everyone in my family loves wearing hats. In fact, I began wearing berets as a very young girl. At first, I wore my beret so that I could be just like my French grandmother. For Halloween, I just added a black turtleneck, Audrey Hepburn flats and voilĂ --just like that--I was a Beatnik. 

Oh, and of course I did snap my fingers and say Cool Daddy-oh a lot. (I confess, my version of being a beatnik was more Maynard G. Krebs than Jack Kerouac.)

I still wear a beret everyday. At this point, it's no longer a costume. It's just who I am.

Creative friends, I want you to ask yourself who is my alter ego? Consider your options. A top hat? A pair of James Joyce style eyeglasses? What about carrying a parasol? Perhaps you need to start wearing a gold turban? A Matrix coat? A red cape? A pair of Belle Epoch lace-boots?  Bring your Smith Corona with you. How about your concertina? Your collection of shells. Definitely your paintbox.

This is how you discover your secret self and get closer to the person you have always been, but just didn’t know it. Begin with something that's just a teeny bit outrageous, and yet plausible for you. Be sure this something makes you happy, and gives you the urge to wink at everyone you meet. You will still be yourself, but you'll find that you've created the fullest expression of that self.

And in the words of Papa Callan, have fun.

Happy Halloween!



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