Why I'll Always Love Halloween

Beginning November 1st I start the process of mourning the passing of my favorite time of the year, consoling myself with the only thing I have, candy I bought at 70% off retail price. Halloween time has always been my favorite season, with the fun not being limited to one day in my life. As a young child I would start thinking about what I was going to dress up as and what neighborhoods I was going to trick or treat in. When I aged into my teenage years I spent even more time thinking about my costume and trying to figure out a way I could still trick or treat in my favorite neighborhoods without being judged.

Now 23, Halloween hasn't become about how sexy of a costume I can pull off or how many parties I can get invited to, it's much more about celebrating the season the way I used to when I was a child. With most people my age RSVP'ing to events and shopping for the most trendy costumes, I'm at home carving pumpkins with my boyfriend and visiting local haunted corn mazes.

Halloween now and forever will be not only my favorite holiday, but my favorite time of the year. With every month having a some sort of event, October really takes the crown for being fun for the whole family, or the single millions of us who just want an excuse to eat lots of candy and watch teenagers make bad decisions.

The chance to be someone else for a night...
or in my case, the entire day/weekend/week, depending how hard I begged my mom to "please let me put on my costume already!" For kids this means they can be a superhero for the evening or their favorite animal, as an adult we get to dress up as the characters we idolize. In my case I am dying to be Michonne from the Walking Dead, as soon as my boyfriend agrees to dress up as the governor with me.

Looking forward to be scared.
What is it about the calendar hitting October 1st that we are all so willing to pay money to have monsters jump out at us? Ask me on March 1st and I have no interest in watching an all day marathon of horror movies, but October 1st? I'll bring the popcorn. Fear is an interesting thing, we avoid it in our everyday life but when we control when it can happen, it's just to jump in our skin and for those few minutes/hours let others in costume remind us that we're alive.

Everyday life rules don't apply.
This mainly applies to celebrating Halloween as a child but how incredible was it to run from house to house and ask for candy from strangers?! As a pretty shy and cautious child, I had trouble saying hello to friends of my mom, but on Halloween I literally ran from door to door. To add to the fun, trick or treating had to happen once the sun went down, which meant I got to stay up past my 9 am bedtime. And the next morning? A pumpkin full of candy for breakfast! #childhoodvictories

Television the month of October is amazing.
Somewhere in my teenage years I realized that AMC plays horror/thriller movies nonstop the month of October. For a TV addict, Halloween loving, no plans on a Friday night kid like me, this was a gift from the TV gods! Just this past weekend I saw four movies in one day, four! Yes my dreams were a bit stressful that night but I'd do it all again tomorrow.

Halloween is a pressure free holiday.
This is probably one of the reasons why I will continue to love the day until I'm too old and tired to do much more than throw on some cat ears and toss chocolate bars at the neighborhood kids. Unlike Christmas which demands buying the perfect gift or Valentine's Day for which you need a date, Halloween asks for nothing more than you celebrating it in the way that makes you comfortable. Don't like costumes? That's cool, just wear all black. Hate scary movies? Just pass out candy to neighborhood kids. Don't like fun? Don't worry, Thanksgiving is almost here.

How do you celebrate Halloween each year? Has it changed over the years or are you still continuing traditions you started as a child? Also, if you're dressing up, I'd love to hear as what!

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The Cost of Living the Dream

Moving to Washington DC was one of the biggest and most unplanned decisions I've ever made. I'd like to say that in typical me fashion I had plans to move here after graduation, with a job lined up and ideas of what neighborhood I would rent an apartment in. But I cant.

Somehow I found myself walking across the stage of my college graduation totally unaware of what my next step was. All I knew was that moving back home was the last thing I wanted or needed, and I was willing to take the first flight anywhere.

Luckily I didn't completely drop the ball my senior year, having spent a quarter interning in DC and applying to one graduate school. I didn't think too much about it, the application fee was waived and it's hard for me to say no to a good sale. Hell, I was saving 40 dollars, how could I not apply? Amazingly I was accepted, but I didn't say yes to the offer right away. It took one month of living at home to realize that beggars cant be choosers, so I said 'yes' to moving back to DC and starting grad school in the fall. Goodbye year to find myself, hello crippling student loans!

I'm not complaining though, at least not completely. I love Washington DC and all the opportunities it has presented me, but every great chance has come at a price. And that's what happens when you take advantage of the things not everyone is offered, you give up all the comforts of predictability. Anyone who moves away to a new town far from home glamorizes packing up and catching that long awaited flight, yet no one talks about how hard it is once the plane lands. With no one to greet you at arrivals and welcome you home, living the dream feels more like surviving.

Related Post: 7 People You See on Your Morning Commute

I keep reading all these articles on sites like Thought Catalog and Elite Daily that talk about all the great things that come with moving to places like New York and being in your twenties, but who is writing about all the stress that comes with feeling alone in a place as big as New York City and how fucked up dating in your twenties has become.

Moving to DC meant leaving behind every friendship I had created in California, from past roommates to high school best friends. Going to college 400 hundred miles from home meant I wasn't new to having to start over, except this time there weren't planned socials for me to meet new friends or extracurriculars I could sign up for with the hopes of leaving with free pizza and a new friend.

Leaving my best friends had to be the hardest transition, with no one to run errands with or invite out on a Friday night. You don't get used to not knowing a single soul, and after a while, you began to give up on the idea of finding a new group of friends.

I can honestly say I haven't really found a group of people in DC yet that I can truly call friends, and it sucks, but it's the sacrifice I've made. That and giving up 50% of my income to keep a roof over my head.

Related Post: Things You Miss When You Move Away From Your Small Town

Shows like How I Met Your Mother and New Girl glamorize living in the city, and especially sugar coat what it's like to have roommates in your twenties. This year I decided I would do everything in my power to live on my own, and while it was possible, the struggle is very much real.

Quitting my job and praying I'd find a better paying one fast, renting a studio and putting up with pipes that smell like rotten eggs are just some of the challenges I face on a daily basis. But I try to not dwell on the price of rent or the fact that I'm just not clicking with the crowd in DC, cause I am living the exact life I pictured when I caught my flight to the East Coast. Sure it took a year before I found a decent paying job and semi affordable apartment, but hey, it was worth waiting for.

The point of all of this was to remind you that life isn't as simple as all those listsicles make it out to be, people who travel often than you are most likely broke and lonely half the time, and it's perfectly normal to have to settle for less for a greater purpose. So ignore people who tell you how it's so important to be single in your twenties or move to a new city, do what works for you, because at the end of the day nobody's happiness is more important than your own.

Have you ever made a major life change to be happier overall? What's the biggest risk you've taken, and did it work out in the end? 

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On Rating Other People

Like most people, I enjoy a good piece of gossip. I'm not above occasionally talking about a stranger's choice of clothes or a friend's rash decision, and while I don't try to make a habit out of it, I'm not perfect. I'm a firm believer in you get what you put out, so no matter my dislike for people's choices or beliefs, as long as they don't affect me, I keep myself out of it.

A few months ago I heard about an app that let's you rate men on everything from how they treat their mom to how good they are in bed. Sitting at brunch surrounded by a group of my boyfriend's friends, I sat back and heard them listing all the things past hook ups and friends had said about a person at the table, and for someone that enjoys some harmless gossip from time to time, this time, I felt sick.

I used to be the girl who wanted to know every bit of history in my boyfriend's dating past. I wanted to know how many girls he had dated, for how long, how they met and why it didn't work out. Then I met my current boyfriend, and somewhere in between getting to know one another I unconsciously made the decision that I had no interest in knowing that part of him.

Weeks passed and the app would occasionally be brought up over endless mimosas, with people laughing over the ratings and trying to decipher who said what. Over time I just kept thinking about the fact that there were people out there rating one another, and we all know the saying, unhappy customers are the first to make a formal complaint. Or in this case, profile.

Whether it's a sign of me maturing or my general distaste for negativity, no matter the odds of an app helping me avoid a jerk, nothing will ever overpower my dislike for the idea of rating one another. One person's experience with another has nothing to do with how your interactions will be, believe me, ask any of my ex-boyfriends.

With social media already serving as a tool to dig into virtually anyone's past, the last thing we need is a formal way to lodge our complaints about how the check was split or whether or not they took too long to text back after a first date. Maybe it's just me, but I like a little mystery.

Have you ever heard of the app that let's you rate ex-hookups? Is that someone you would be interested in? Lemme know in the comments below!

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