Halloween is awesome. I love the history associated with it, I love dressing up, and I love that being scared can be torturous fun. One thing I hate about holidays like Halloween is the pressure to have fun just because of the day it is on the calendar. When looking back at the past few years I can't help but be disappointed with what I ended up doing - there ends up being so much pressure to have a good time at one particular time that almost anything you do doesn't meet the expectations, especially because things like Halloween involve preparation, costumes and whatnot. Don't you hate that? This gets distributed to all matter of fun Holidays - N.Y.E. Independence Days, Summertime in general, Birthdays, and of course the most obnoxious to singletons V.Day. Christmas and thanksgiving usually have the cushioning of family time, they're not those "get out there, dress up and party" type things.
This got me thinking about how there are so many things I have found difficult about the last few years, and while I am most certainly not alone in experiencing hardship, it makes me resent the idea that one's twenties are supposed to be the best time of their life. So far for me, it's just been one big impoverished and heartbroken identity crisis, if this life's best, we're in trouble.
Hopefully our attitudes as a culture are changing, because, your whole life should be the best part of your life, there is fun to be had at every age, and there are inevitably ups and downs in each season. And, of course, the undo pressure of what "fun" is, often ends up sucking joy out of that which is supposed to be enjoyed and out of the things that are unexpectedly delightful.
Case in point: I love just talking, I could just talk for days. I don't have to be doing anything active, I don't have to be drunk, I would be perfectly contented on a Saturday night talking to a stranger at a coffee shop, or a friend in my living room. That is genuinely fun to me. But when I explained this to someone, they looked puzzled, "you're a young person, you should be out having a good time." That made my heart sink. Somehow my standard for an enjoyable time was beneath those that stood in bars trying to have sex. Make no mistake, I do like drinking and socializing, but I don't think it's any better than any other activity that one might partake in to relax.
This is annoying for a couple reasons. One, because it presumes that there is only a few respectable ways to enjoy one's self, and that those ways, especially those specific to my age range, involve risk, brain damage and general irresponsibility. The second reason: I was made to feel bad about myself for that, that I had failed in the way I choose to spend my leisure time because my weekends don't always involve high heels and bar tabs. And what did this person know about me? Would they have said something different if I had been in AA or had trouble with drugs in high school? It's a dangerous norm we have set for young singles.
I guess my hope for this post is just that people would be less concerned with appearance in this way and more focused on the way an activity makes them feel. Stay in and play with a Dreide on Halloween if that's what lifts your spirits most. Knit by a fire in your twenties and party at clubs in your fifties if that suits you. So long as you're not harming anyone, who cares how you have fun, or with whom?