On a message board recently, someone said to me, “When I grow up I want to be just like you.” I replied that when I grow up, I want to be just like me too. I was just being my usual silly self, but after I typed that it dawned on me how true and deep that statement is. Being true to yourself, embracing the spirit of you, without regard to what others might think is probably one of the most beautiful and sometimes most difficult things that you can do.
There are many elements to my nature that have been with me since childhood. I’ve always loved Halloween, spooky movies, dark music and art, goth/punk/alternative music, nature, animals, cemeteries and more. It would have been easier as a teenager to wear what everyone else wore and listen to the same music as the masses. I would have avoided stuff like being called a freak or having boys tell me I’d be beautiful if only I would stop dying my hair odd colors and wearing black lipstick. At the time, my ‘look’ was a means to express myself and also a way of weeding out shallow or closed-minded people. As an ‘adult’ my approach is less extreme…usually…but I do tend to remain on the fringes. Fashion is only a tiny example. It applies to my work, my relationships…my life.
Despite teen angst, I think it may just be harder to embrace your spirit as an adult, because you are supposed to let a lot of stuff go and “grow up”. I feel like society hands you a tiny box and tells you to climb in by a certain age or you’re done for. I looked at the box, maybe even jammed a limb in a few times, but always pulled back out, re-examined the box, shook my head and said, “It’s too damn small. How on earth can I fit all of me in there? Nuh uh.” Ideally, we find a way to be true to ourselves and have some form of success doing so. In a lot of ways, I’m doing it now. I don’t have much money but I stick with doing things that feed my soul in some way and am focusing on surrounding myself with people that aren’t afraid to show their true selves. Dark, light and shades of grey. It’s all good, if it’s real.
I didn’t mean to go off on a mini tangent. Hehe. I just thought it was a cool sentence so I based the comic on it. I could have created a haiku that grasped the concept, but I just really liked the simplicity of the sentence so I’ll leave the haikuing to you guys. 😉
This week’s adventure really ties in to what I’m talking about. I attended Beach Theater’s Night of the Living Dead showing where people were invited to dress like zombies. I had been working all night and decided at the last moment to go so in 20 mins. I put together a creepy little outfit complete with shredded stockings and blackened eyes and lips and ran over to the theater where I handed out some GingerDead postcards and indulged in wine and classic horror-movie goodness. If you believe in the whole ‘inner-child’ concept, this is the sort of thing that makes mine giggle and dance.
Outside the theater, I met a really cool woman who took her childhood wants and turned them into a career. As a kid, she explained there wasn’t much horror literature out there for her age group. She was frustrated because she couldn’t get her scare fix and had little interest in reading until she was much older. Once her passion for literature developed she followed her spirit to the next logical step: writing horror for young adults.
Her name is Lynne Hansen and in her own words she is ‘the gateway drug to adult horror.” (I loved that description!) Lynne explained that she is actually getting kids interested in history and literature by tapping into their love of a good old fashioned scary story. Pretty cool, huh? Her books are even finding their way into schools complete with teaching guides and stuff. If you are a parent that loves horror, share that love with your young ones and get one of her books. Teachers who want an alternative option to the usual reading material, check out Hansen’s work. You might reach a few kids who you thought unreachable. 🙂 Buy Lynne Hansen’s Young Adult Horror books here.
Tampa’s Gasparilla Film Festival Feb 27th – Mar 2nd sounds pretty cool. Horror fans rejoice because you’ll be able to attend Blood Feast, a 35mm Florida made horror movie described as the most shocking film ever. There’s a Q and A with creators, the Godfathers of Gore: H.G Lewis and David F. Friedman as well. Blood Feast will be shown at Channelside Theaters on Saturday March 1st.
I can’t leave without reminding you to check out the moon tonight (Feb 20). It’s a full lunar eclipse and will be visible in many parts of the world. With a full lunar, the moon can turn blood red. How sexy is that? I know I’ll be at the beach with a bottle of wine, a camera and someone special. I suppose first I’ll have to get a sack and a baseball bat in order to ensure the ‘someone special’ bit, but it’ll be worth the effort I’m sure. O.o
See you next week!