Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why I Dressed Up for Halloween

I dressed up as Modern Medusa this year. I'll admit it's a recycled costume, but it was cheap (rubber snakes, a bit of fake hair, and snake earrings), easy to put together, and it's subtle enough that I get the most delightful double-takes when I wear it.

The problem is that, great as it looked, and as much as I enjoyed it, I almost didn't dress up this year. You see, even though Halloween is my most favoritest holiday, I wasn't sure about doing this at my still sort of new job. Being the director plus being among new people plus a budget strategy meeting on Thursday afternoon made me reconsider my normal approach to the day.

The pep talk I gave myself included a reminder of something a reader wrote me - about how I always advocate for people to be themselves. And it's true. In office decor, in how I teach, and so on, I try to bring my genuine self to the mix since I've always gotten better results that way. Heck, I've even had guest posts with similar advice.

Even still, it took me a bit to convince myself. I'm so glad I did, since it gave me not only the joy of the double-takes, but also the opportunity to make dumb jokes by giving the individual snakes names and saying things like "Oh, never mind Jasmine, she's a little hissy today." "Fred's trying to get away because he saw a tasty looking rubber rat."

I share this to remind you and me both to be yourself as much as you can, but also to let you know that it's still not always easy even for those of us who have been in the field for a while. It's true that dressing up might not fit with every community (which could be a municipality, a law firm, an institution of higher education, etc.), but trusting yourself and being yourself is always a good fit.

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