The most wonderful time of the year draws close again, and I meet it with a feeling and mindset quite unlike I can ever remember having before.
I’ve always been the type of person where I always need something to look forward to in order to get by. As an angsty teenager, these future happinesses were what I would cling to in order to survive a little longer, always just a little longer. And the big one each year was Halloween, when the hateful heat of summer would lift and cool, crisp air rush in, when for a little while everyone was interested in the occult things I thought about year-round.
Even in my family, a temporary peace would break out, my feuding parents cheerful, busying themselves with decorating our large yard with such elaborate spooky décor that people literally came from miles away every year just to see it and take pictures. There were also Jehovah’s Witnesses who would throw pamphlets in our vampire coffin, but that’s quite a different thing.
Halloween episodes of shows, slasher movies of childhood playing on TV, decorations all over the house to revel and play in, planning costumes and trick-or-treating companions, holiday events, Ouija board sessions…I loved it all. And now…I still do. But usually this time of year would find me obsessively watching my traditional group of scary movies and paranormal documentaries. Clinging to them, as though within them a ghost remained of my childhood contentment, and I could see for a moment and relive the peace I once I felt.
Thus, even in my darkest years, my family would see me cheerful and energetic in October. And then, when it was over, when I woke to find November, my mood would swing vehemently the other way, and I would be even more depressed than usual for weeks, because the beloved atmosphere had gone, because I would have to endure another whole year to experience it again. But now…
As I said, I’m still pleased about where on the calendar we currently are. But I find myself…not clinging. Not needing to. I feel like if I miss out on some time watching those ritual movies and docs, I’ll still be okay. I feel like when Halloween has passed us again, I’ll still be okay. For the first time in a long time, there’s more than one thing to look forward to. I actually have had a much easier time forcing myself to go to bed at night, because I don’t dread waking up every morning anymore.
I hope this October has found you well, whoever you are reading this. I hope the sadness that plagued me for so long never touches you. I hope this feeling of hope in myself persists forward into the eternity I know as a soul I have, and that every earthly life feels like.