Ghosts of Halloweens Past
By Kya Marienfeld
This week, with the approach of Halloween, I’ve been thinking back over some of the fun I’ve had dressing up over the years. It is funny how putting on the façade of someone/something else can sometimes give a deeper insight into who you really are as a person. By donning a costume, a mask, or stage-grade makeup, we sometimes actually become more “ourselves” than we are just walking around in a t-shirt and jeans.
Since I was younger, I’ve kept an ongoing list of everything I’ve dressed up as for Halloween. To be honest, most of it is quite embarrassing, and although I would normally never reveal some of my more “unique” costume choices over the years for fear of intense ridicule, each and every costume was truly 100% me.
Today, I share these experiences with you, dear readers, because if ever there was a time when you really need to remember who you are, law school is that time. As you read, write, and worry (despite your successes or failures), you are still you. For these few years, you cannot cannot forget that you are still the same person you have always been, regardless of how much the high-speed washing machine that is law school tries to wring it out of you. You are every wacky, weird Halloween costume you’ve ever put on. You are all your favorite movies, the band you’ve seen 12 times in concert, your childhood pet who you still miss, attending your first pro baseball game, the epic games of Risk you played in college, the time you got your car stuck in the snow, crying at the end of the final Harry Potter book, waiting in line for the midnight showing of all three Lord of the Rings movies, and whatever else has helped to stitch the fabric of who you are.
For me, it was all of the above, and being an imaginative (and weird) only child who dressed up as:
- Pocahontas (age 7): I was the only blonde-haired Pocahontas ever, but I had real moccasins, so I felt cool. I still pretend to be embarrassed when “Colors of the Wind” plays on my iPod if anyone else is around. I am not.
- Mariah Carey (age 9): Yes, that is not mistaken. I loved singing, like really loved it, and the thing that first got me into it was Mariah. Turns out, if you put your hair in a side ponytail and hand-decorated a cardboard “MARIAH” on your belt with glitter, kids were mean.
- Gabrielle, from Xena: Warrior Princess (age 10): Again, it is a good thing I ignored the ridicule of my peers, but I was obsessed with this show.
- Mad Scientist (age 11): Before I wanted to go to law school, I wanted to be a scientist. I had a lab coat, a beaker, and unfortunately for my field of vision, my Uncle’s coke-bottle glasses. I fell off the front porch. Twice.
- Twin (age 12): I loved my best friend, and we had matching shirts.
- Hippie (too many years to count): I really love my mom, and thanks to her box of clothes from the 70’s, I got to dress like she did in her twenties. This was a repeat costume whenever I didn’t have a better idea. So pretty much all of high school….
- Eliot Reid, from Scrubs (age 20): I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed. To this day, I still put in a few episodes of Scrubs when I’ve had a rough week at school.
- Professor Plum, from Clue (age 21): My roommates and I all dressed up as characters from the board game. Everyone kept asking why I wasn’t a dude.
- Storm, from X-Men, and Ms. Marvel (this year): I finally let my inner comic book nerd out with not one, but two superhero costumes this year. Speaking of being true to yourself…
This Halloween, I hope you all dress up in a way that is not only fun, but reminds you a little bit of who you are, why you’re here, and all the things that led up to today. When you do, hang on to that feeling for dear life, because nothing will carry you farther.
You are you, now isn’t that pleasant? – Dr. Seuss