Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween in Cali

This was my second Halloween in California. The first was 7 years ago in Melrose. It was only a few months after I left home, only one month after 9/11 and I was enjoying the adventure of my new-found freedom. Some girlfriends and I went to downtown Los Angeles to a nice dinner, went to a ritzy mall and then on to a "Freak Show".

I remember the dinner was delicious and expensive. The waiter was cute and one of my friends flirted with him mercilessly as she flashed her fake ID for a glass of wine. We didn't buy a thing at the mall, but we wondered if L.A. would be attacked by terrorists - because it was Halloween (hm...not sure the reasoning of that one). The Freak Show was actually terrifying (I looked up pictures on flickr to accompany this post and i could not get myself to post any of them - they were all too vulgar and awful). One of the major streets was blocked off completely and there were huge stages on both sides of the street with live music. Between both stages, the street was packed with people...well, freaks. Everyone was dressed for Halloween (except us) and intoxicated (except us). I was absolutely terrified as i witnessed people enjoying themselves within the freedom and craziness that being disguised and drunk allows. I think we stayed for 15 or 20 minutes until one of my friends got groped and i insisted we leave. That night i was exposed to a world i didn't know existed, and went home praising God for his redemption in my life.

This Halloween. The contrast - HA! I spent the entire day working at our convention. Then i went out to dinner to P.F. Chang's with a friend and colleague of mine. I was still dressed in a suit and tie (not really, but very formal business attire). The town was pretty quit except at each street corner there were people in costumes carrying signs and screaming chants about "no on 8" and "yes on 7". I got to the hotel early and watched "Lipstick Jungle" on NBC before i went to bed.

My life has changed so much in 7 years. Even when i look back on my former self, it's like thinking of an old friend - was that really me? But one thing that remains the same in my life then and my life now is NOT California (THANK YOU GOD), but that i am in desperate need of God's amazing grace. And that I continue to live a life of joy and freedom because of the redemption of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful.

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