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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October and Me

Since leaving Utah and moving to Texas, October and I have had a strained relationship. The month leading up to Halloween was always full of hard work, fun, friends, and all-around good times, until three years ago...

When I was 15, I started working at a seasonal haunted attraction in Utah. I spent six weeks running around and scaring the poop out of people. I met some amazing people and fell in love with haunting. At age 18, I became Cast Director of the Nightmare on 13th Haunted House (the best haunted attraction EVER), and spent the next eleven Halloween seasons managing, developing and promoting one of the country's greatest haunts and working with some of the most fun-loving freaks in the world! It was a big, big part of my life and my identity.

My last Halloween season with Nightmare on 13th was in 2009, and it was my favorite season. We had orders to Texas, and Mr. Duh had already moved. Since I knew my time there was coming to an end, I savored every last minute of it. I didn't sweat the small stuff and just had a good time with all my amazing coworkers.

I have always said that leaving that job was the hands down hardest thing about leaving home. I know all my friends and family will always be there whenever I decide to return home... but I'll never get to go back to my job at the haunted house. I had to leave that part of my life for good, and I was not ready to say goodbye.

My first October sans-Nightmare on 13th was difficult. It was kind of like going through a bad break-up. I couldn't really face the fact that it was Halloween. I hadn't had a "normal" Halloween season since I was 14 years old, and I definitely felt something was missing. Seeing the Facebook posts of all my friends and coworkers was like a knife to the gut... I still wanted to be there participating in the haunted house festivities! I put on a brave face during October, but spent most of Halloween night holding back tears.

I'm now on my third October without the haunted house, and it gets a little easier each year... but it still makes me sad. I'm trying to get into all of the "normal" Halloween things that people do, like carving pumpkins, decorating my house, getting costumes, going to parties, and attending haunted houses. For the most part, it feels like filler... but I'm starting to enjoy it a little.

The saying about break-ups goes like this, "It will take you half as much time as the length of the relationship to get over the break-up." So, after a 13 year relationship, I should be back to normal in about 6.5 years... Three years down, and three more to go!

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