To Costume or Not to Costume…

The eternal question of every invite to a Halloween party, or fancy dress (to my Australian friends) – to costume or not to costume.

A bit of history here, I’ve never much been a fan of dressing up – this started somewhere around the age of having to both determine the idea and source the costume.  I was able to minimize my issue with this as Canada has very few events requiring a costume – namely just one day a year – Halloween.

Then I moved to Australia.  Australia calls anything requiring a costume – a fancy dress party.   Fancy dress – aka, source an idea (if not already given a theme) and acquire a costume.  Ugh.

Australian’s love fancy dress parties.  Love.  They happen far to frequently for my general liking but what I realized only this weekend was that I actually didn’t mind getting dressed up this time – for a fun crossfit competition at my local gym.

It was a surprise to me and got me thinking what has suddenly changed – the answer wasn’t that hard to come by – I just don’t care anymore.

Whoa, wait – that sounds harsh doesn’t it?  That’s just the boiled down reason but is ultimately the truth.

When I was a child, I loved everything about Halloween and had some epic costumes as well (though for many years I seemed really keen on being a witch, trying hard not to read too much into that one).  I was young enough to not be influenced by what others might think, I was full of imagination and desire to just be whatever it was I could dream up and it didn’t matter.  

Once a witch, always a witch?

Once a witch, always a witch?

Somewhere along the way though my insecurity about being judged jumped to the forefront and any demand to wear a costume put me front and center for being judged and I was terrified.

The easiest response – to stop playing along.  To stop trying, act like I didn’t care and sit on the sidelines instead of just being me.  Instead of making a choice and being confident and carefree in my imagination, my creation.

In getting dressed up this weekend, I was confident and carefree.  There was a moment of self doubt as we pulled up and near 90% of those there were not in costume, I knew I was going to stand out but I decided to own it (it was too late to do otherwise anyway). 

As the day neared an end and the few of us who were in costume were called to the front to be judged – worst nightmare come true – it still didn’t matter.  I didn’t care.  We had fun, took things a little bit less seriously (kind of the point of the whole event) and ran with our imaginations and it was fun.

We got judged standing there in front of everyone and I knew full on that they weren’t judging me – it wasn’t going to define who I was as a person but just what I had chosen on that day to adorn my body with. 

They could like it or not but it didn’t matter.  I didn’t care, it was fun to just be confident and carefree.