I don't know if I really loved dressing in costumes when I was little. They came in ready made, one size fits all boxes. There weren't many choices for a girl to pick from back then. Wonder Woman (the only female superhero at the time, kinda still is), a cat, a ballerina, a princess. After 4 years, I could rotate through this list again. I see kids now dressing up and WOW! So many more choices, what creativity! I mean they really bring it!
Having gone to Burning Man (amongst other influences) has opened my eyes to the amount of play we can have as grown ups. It gives all of us permission to be whoever we want to be. Total freedom. Since then, being in costume not only feels liberating, but a must. It gives me the opportunity to flex the muscle of 'permission' to expand beyond the parameters of my daily responsibilities and roles. To exercise playfulness, creativity and sheer joy. For years now, every Halloween my entire office dresses in costume. Every year we create a theme and enjoy the planning of our outfits weeks before. My team and patients love it! I like to think we inspire all that come into our office that's it okay to dress up still and connect to their inner child.
All of this has become a norm for me and it feels more authentic than the proverbial masks I used to wear depending on the environment I found myself in. The masks I wore I was hiding behind, thinking they were really me when they weren't. No one knew they were masks, not even me at the time. I am thrilled to have shed them and have found tremendous freedom in doing so.
I guess thats the difference between costumes and masks for me. The ones I cant wait to put on and the ones I am so excited to be rid off. It takes a long time to grow young. I am having a blast finding out.