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The Groove - Hopeful hearts at Halloween
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For Halloween, several members of the Southern Standard editorial staff dressed up in costumes, including myself. The day reminded me of the enjoyment and thrill I used to experience during Halloween when I was younger.

Lacy was spider girl, Lisa was a “tired reporter” and James was … something. He claimed to be a fortune teller, but it was quite obvious he’d dug into a bin of old Halloween costumes and put together a strange combination of apparel. Our editor donned a Rapunzel-length wig, a pirate shirt, red and white striped socks pulled over his pant legs, sandals, a silk turban and peace sign and cross necklaces. I’ve still yet to figure out exactly what he was going for.

I dressed up as Wednesday Addams from the Addams’ Family with pigtails, pale lips and all. The entire staff held a Halloween celebration with food, contests and a dessert bake-off. Lisa won with her bloody eyeball brownies and ghost cake. I won first place in the costume contest. The holiday brought laughter, togetherness and a good time to the workplace. 

Halloween allows us to be silly and express ourselves without reservations. As adults we become too serious, feeling as though we have to put on a certain façade. We become too grown up for our own good in the hopes society will view us in an acceptable way.

While being a child, the world has yet to manipulate you into believing it’s bad to laugh out loud, sing off-key, dance, sway and twirl, speak what’s on your mind and surround yourself with whom you wish. Children haven’t been brainwashed by society, pop culture and the media telling them how to look and what is or isn’t popular or “normal.”

Adults still have the imagination, joy and curiosity we had while young, but as we’ve grown, we’ve replaced those childlike gifts with greed, insecurities and fear. We’ve set limits for ourselves on what we’re capable of doing, and caring what others will think. 

When children are playing together in a world created by their own imaginations, there’s a magical twinkle in their eyes. I remember doing the same. Beauty and happiness were much easier to see, feel and appreciate. Why do we think we have to lose that childlike essence after growing older? 

Each day’s experiences can be approached with an open mind and positivity by enjoying the abundance of small, yet remarkable things surrounding us. We should allow our true selves to shine regardless of our fears and discomfort.

I hope to never lose my childlike sense of adventure, kind-heartedness, imagination and freedom within my own skin and the world around me. I hope to maintain the belief people are generally good, let my creativity soar, dance, laugh and sing when the desire arises, view the world as my playground and appreciate the beauty in everything I see while remembering the happiness I felt as a child just by being alive.

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.