The Sweetness Beyond the Candy

Kendall - Havertown, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When I was four, I wanted to be a tree. My mom told me years ago that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up, and my chosen profession was none other than a tree. I truly believed that the world was so huge and full of opportunities that I could literally be anything I set my mind to. Life later made the world shrink. I once heard that as we grow older it becomes difficult to just believe. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just that too much has happened, and we can’t. This may be true, but I feel that there is one day in the entire year where that is thrown out the window. I believe boundaries are overlooked at the end of October. I believe in Halloween.

When I was seven, I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but just for a day. I dressed like a lot of people did. I dressed like someone I admired and wanted to be. On Halloween you can forget that you could never be your favorite musician, or favorite movie character. When I was Belle, I loved to pretend I could be this person I never could, maybe as a way to hide from the boring truth that I was just Kendall. For that one day in the entire year, as people would ask me who I was I would say “Belle” and not “Kendall.” I believe in Halloween because it is a day that everyone can be someone they are not, someone they wish to be. Nothing is out of reach.

When I was thirteen I was a baby, but just for a day. I dressed in pajamas and wore slippers through Havertown. I didn’t care that I was wearing something that I usually wouldn’t leave the house in. On any other night people would judge me as I walked around in my pajamas. Halloween is different. America stops being so judgmental and critical on how you look. No one stops to stare, everyone just keeps walking as if there is nothing strange or out of place. No one asks why, no one is skeptical, and no one even cares. Everyone does what he or she wants because, for some reasons I cannot seem to explain, judging people isn’t worth it for a day.

When I was fourteen I was a sumo wrestler, but just for a day. I wanted to be something different, something that would get noticed in a crowd. As I look back on that Halloween I realize that in that moment, being different was not a risk. In fact, Halloween makes being unusual acceptable. It goes so far as making normalcy different. October 31st almost expects people to be atypical, to step out of the norm. On Halloween different is almost normal, and normal is almost different. On any other day people try to blend in, on Halloween people try to blend out.

When I was fifteen I was a pumpkin, but just for a day. Just for a day I can be whatever I want to be, but every year, no matter what I dress as, I am four. I feel the same way I did twelve years ago, like the world is anything you want it to be. For one day people forget boundaries and can be whatever they want to be. When I say I believe in Halloween some people ask why but the better question is why not. Why not believe in a day that the rules are thrown out the window? I believe that once a year, no matter if you are thirteen, thirty, or ninety-three, there is a day to be four. I believe in Halloween.