So, now that it's Halloween, I guess there won't be any more 31 days of Halloween cards. I'm pretty broken up about this, since I have been counting down since the beginning of October.
The picture above was from Halloween 1999. I was 7 years old, and my little sister Perris was 4. I loved this costume to pieces. It's a pumpkin costume that my mom bought from somewhere. Somehow, I found a way to wear it for like 3 years in a row. It was my favorite thing in the world.
Perris dressed up as Barney, her favorite thing in the world. Being a kid is all about having your favorite things at your fingertips. No worries, no cares. Everything is as it should be.
Once you get older, Halloween becomes more about getting pretty and drinking heavily than collecting candy and having some laughs.
So, since it's Halloween, and it's more special to me than Christmas I decided to write something special, a kind of photo journey through some of my favorite costumes, memories and moments. We only live once, but on Halloween we can live forever.
This costume reminds me of the simplest time in my life. When I was old enough to think for myself, but didn't have any worries to cloud my mind. Every day was an adventure. My parents were my heroes. School was easy, friends were plentiful. I didn't have anything wrong with me. No damage. No harm.
It was also the first year Perris went trick-or-treating. If you scroll right you can see her adorable bear costume, my grumpy dad holding her happy as can be.
This is a happy little kid. Without any strings, Halloween was her favorite time of year.
I wore this pink Power Ranger costume all over the place, and not just on Halloween. When I was told I could pick out my outfit for school I decided to wear it. yeah people stared at me, and they still do.
I was always a weirdo. Too weird to be friends with, but too interesting to be ignored.
This one isn't that creative, but it was a memorable one. My little brother (pictured in the pumpkin hat) was just born. My sister and I were adjusting to having a brand new friend to play with, and life was getting complicated. We were living in Philadelphia at the time, and were on the verge of another move. We moved around a lot when I was young, but each time brought a new adventure. This Halloween was special, because it was the first time Griff went trick-or-treating.
I was in third grade. Now...I'm out of school entirely.
Little moments like this, whether you're wearing a tacky-90's bride-to-be costume or not, are worth remembering.
It's hard to think that this photo was taken a mere 7 years later. The costumes before this got lost in the jumble. It's that odd in-between-time before facebook where you have to dig through actual camera photos in order to find your memories. Things are simpler now.
This time, my sister and I went trick-or-treating with my best friend from school. She had a dog that looked just like Scooby, but it wouldn't cooperate with me. That hideous wig didn't keep me from having a nice time either.
This was the last time I went Trick-or-Treating.
In 2009 I formed a band called Tess Stevens and The Thrills with a few of my high school classmates. We played graduation parties, school functions, and concerts downtown Cleveland and Lakewood on punk rock bills. It was a massively good time.
We used to play this oddly vacant restauraunt in Brecksville. It was called Zeke's Tavern at the time. And they gave us the chance to play a Halloween concert.
So, being the crazy person I was, I decided we'd do a theme. And that theme was batman. As you can see, we've got Batman on guitar, Robin on drums, Batgirl singing lead, Joker on Bass and Alfred on Keyboard. This was a good time.
College Tess wanted a bit more glitz and glamour...so she dressed up as Lady Gaga a few times. Honestly, it got better and better every year. This year, my friends and I decided to be glamorous and got elegantly wasted. This was the first time I drank on Halloween, and it wouldn't be the last.
Halloween at Ohio University or "HallOUween" is made for debauchery. Literally, it's an incredible street festival where everyone dresses up in their costumes and attends a block party. I came out of technical rehearsals for a play I was in and hit the party scene. It was a blast.
Realizing how insane Halloween at OU was, I had to step up my game. This was one of the first times I had created my own costume from scratch since my mother made me dress up as a refrigerator in the 4th grade. Yes. A refrigerator. We have to move on.
Anyway the Telephone music video was my favorite. So I decided to recreate her famous hat and plastic dress. It was pretty awesome. People stopped to take pictures with me, and I felt like a superstar. I made all of it, and It reminded me that no matter what, being an artist doesn't have to stop at words, drawings and music. It can transcend to Halloween too.
In 2012, my band from college, "Breaking News" played a show called "The Blood Ball" It was a fundraiser for this music magazine I was working on at the time. And we all covered ourselves in blood and had a screaming good time.
The audience even dressed up, donning blood stained T-shirts and bopping along to our unique brand of pop-punk. It was one of the best days of my life.
If you scroll right, you can see the crowd, and our performance of "The Kill" by 30 Seconds to Mars. We decided to cover it because it's one of the creepiest music videos ever, and has that Halloween vibe.
Scratch that, it was the best day of my life.
I love Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games. And when I was asked by my university program council to play her for one of their campus events, I couldn't say no.
This was an awesome costume. I think I nailed it yeah?
In 2013 a lot of things changed. I didn't have a band anymore, I broke up with my boyfriend and I didn't really have much to look forward to. Things seemed a bit lonely and bleak. It was the first Halloween where I wasn't doing something I really wanted to do. This was just parties and stuff. Nothing too exciting.
Had to be Tinkerbell because I got my hair chopped off for a play, and it was the right look. Still, fun.
My last Halloween as an OU student, I was Fionna from Adventure Time. She's the gender-bent version of Finn the Human. I got a lot out of that show. I was going through a hard time of transition and it was something to keep my mind off the future, the thought of leaving everything I knew. The unknown.
This costume was really fun, and I got into some trouble this Hallowen, but it was still memorable. And 2014 was a good year for me. Lots of downs, but lots of learning too.
And my friend Emily decided to be Cake the cat, since Miss. Tuffsey was uncooperative.
This year, I'm a vampire. Just your run-of-the mill, ghoulish, ghostly aparition. It was simple enough to purchase at a Korean costume store, and easy enough to transition out of should people start to make fun of me for looking odd. Since Halloween is a largely American holiday, I decided it would be best to go simple.
I put on some of my best vampiric make-up and headed off this morning. I don't know what this year's Holiday will have in store...but I'm hoping it's just as memorable as the others.
Halloween and I have been through a lot together. 2015 was a huge year for me.
As November approaches and more change is on the horizon, I can sit back, fangs in my mouth and smile, because come next year I have no idea where I'll be. It's okay though, because there will always be another Halloween.
What are you guys going to be!? I'd love to see some of your costumes too.
You can read more of my thoughts about Halloween here: "Why Halloween Is The Best Day Of The Year"
And check in with the "31 Days of Halloween" Collection.