To be blunt, I have never been a fan of the holiday. I have always thought it was such a hassle to find the perfect costume that was clever, witty and not too scandalous (because, let's be honest: put sex in front of ANY noun, and you've got yourself a costume). This year though, I tried to approach the holiday a bit differently. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and act a little more me. Confusing, I am aware.
This past weekend I went back to Pittsburgh to spend time with those who have seen me through my best and worst times. These people have seen Rebecca shine and ED dominate, but have stood by my side through it all; thus, I wanted to give a little something back: my full and undivided attention as Rebecca, sans ED. In the words of my mother, my goal was to "let loose, have fun-- and relive the life of Rebecca as a college freshman".
Do I get an A for effort? Excitement filled every vein of my body, as I drove to Pittsburgh with one of my closest friends. I admire her for so many reasons, but mainly because she has this careless aura about her that is alluring and contagious. She's one of those girls who appears to be so comfortable in her own skin. She laughs out loud, loves until it hurts and takes advantage of this precious life we've been given-- each and every day. Yes, I admire and thank her for allowing me to be my ridiculous, silly self in her company. Anyways, the entire car ride was spent laughing until our stomachs ached, smiling until our jaws hurt and chatting and screaming lyrics until our voices were hoarse. I savored each and every of the four-plus hours it took to drive from the greater Philadelphia area to Pittsburgh.
Once arrived, I was immediately greeted by two of my favorite girlfriends. I have learned so much about myself as a person since I met them the night of their Vokols auditions. They make me want to be better and show me, individually and collectively, my full potential. Though I value the unique and beautiful characteristics they possess, together they make a great team, and I hope they recognize and appreciate their compatibility. Through all the excitement of the weekend, perhaps what I enjoyed most was the time spent dressed in layers of comfortable 'Pitt gear', laying around, noshing and gossiping. I am able to confide in both of them with only the most trust and respect of their opinions. Great pride is taken in knowing that honest, trustful friends who "have your back" are out there. I want to thank them, again, for their lovely hospitality and sacred, cherished conversations.
I spent the majority of my weekend in Pittsburgh with my closest friends, and although I wish more time could have been spent with several individuals, their presence, alone, was enough to familiarize my identity and motivate me to continue on the path I lead. I enjoyed an intimate pot-luck dinner, made a few appearances at the bars in Oakland, frolicked from tailgate to tailgate for the Pitt football game, experienced food poisoning for the first time (I promise it's not fun) and made the most of every moment spent in my college town.
So, I suppose I deserve an A for effort this Halloween, because rather than flaunt myself as a fictional character, I was able to live a little more like me-- like the silly, vocal and carefree girl who refuses to settle for anything mediocre.
Pittsburgh will always be my home away from home, as memories serve as a reminder of who I was, where I've been, and how I got to the present reality I am confronted with. I often question decisions and motives, especially those which I've made within the past month, but I can't obsess over what's been done. I suppose what hurts the most is the thought that I could have let one of the best parts of my life loose. But after a weekend spent with several of my closest friends, I am reminded that there is always a brighter tomorrow, so long that I open my eyes and heart. And what's more, I am reminded to try and refrain from wondering what could have and perhaps what should have been, because all that's left is what will be.