I didn’t get the memo. I must have missed that day in “Halloween for Adults” class, because as soon as I walked in, I realized I was the only girl who was dressed. (And by dressed, I literally mean clothed.) It was like the scene from Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon shows up in a skimpy playboy bunny costume and everyone stares. Except this time, it was reversed. I was the only one not wearing a skimpy costume. And no one was looking.
What was my costume, you ask? Oh, Amelia Earhart. Because nothing says sexy quite like a liberated feminist who dresses like a man! Not only was I wearing pants AND a jacket – but the little bit of skin that was showing was covered. With a scarf. Oh, and I had goggles. Not exactly pilot goggles. They were more of the steampunk, cheap variety.
On the dance floor, the tall Sriracha bottle asked me what I was.
“Amelia Earhart!” I emphatically said, while pointing to my lapel wings. Never mind that they were Alaska Airlines. And plastic.
“Oh… I thought maybe that’s who you were,” he smiled.
“Yeah,” I awkwardly paused trying to figure out how to continue the conversation. “I’m dead.”
“I know,” he turned.
Sheesh. I’m DEAD?!! Obviously. And, so is the conversation. What was I doing?? I felt completely out of place. I was surrounded by married couples and selfie-snapping minors. Almost everyone was with someone. Even Eeyore and Pooh were making out in the corner. I tried to push down the middle-school-sized-insecurity and dance. Just me and my scarf. Getting down on the dance floor.
It’s a strange season of life that I’m in. On the one hand, there is an incredible sense of freedom and fun. I’m doing things I’ve never done before. I’m collecting material and memories with friends.
But, there’s also a gnawing sense of loneliness. Living in a world which puts love on a pedestal, I am very aware of my singleness. Of being the odd one out.
My therapist explained that it’s like having two scoops of emotions. You feel one thing, and another thing at the same time. Together. Some things, or actually most things, are not an “either/or”, but “and.” I’m realizing that you can be fulfilled and lonely. Busy and bored. Free and fumbling. Awkward and confident.
And maybe that’s what makes life so complex. The grayness, the “andness,” is what makes it all so interesting.
The next day, my friend asked if I had a good time at the Halloween party. I loved it! And I hated it. I had fun and I felt foolish.
But, I’m finally okay with both.