Embrace Who You Really Are

Hey, how are ya?

If you read my first blog post and commented, thank you for your generous feedback. Like I wrote on my About Me page, I want this blog to be just as much about you as it is about me. Your thoughtful responses help me think of new ideas and keep our discussions interesting and relevant.

Speaking of relevant, fall has finally arrived, and that, of course, means Halloween is here. I am 100 percent a Halloween junkie and look forward to this great day every year. But I will tell you a secret only a few people know: I love being handicapped on Halloween.

One Halloween, when I was nineteen, a few buddies in my dorm built and decorated a cardboard box to cover my scooter; instantly, I was transformed into a hockey Zamboni. When I was twenty, I dressed up as Lieutenant Dan while my roommate followed me around like Forrest GumpBy the time I turned twenty-one, and Game of Thrones became popular around the same time, my fraternity buddy and I dressed up as Hodor and Bran. And last year, we went with a NASCAR theme. I turned my scooter into a race car while my three roommates dressed like a pit crew. With the help of some great friends, I have always made Halloween one of the funniest nights of the year, living by the mantra “Embrace Who You Really Are.”

So now that I’m a “mature” twenty-three-year-old, fresh out of college with new but familiar roommates (aka my parents), do I give up playing dress-up? Hell nahh. Halloween is a time to try on alter egos. It is a chance for me to embrace my disability. I like to get creative with it in my costumes for many reasons. First, if you can’t laugh at yourself, then you are really missing out. I think it’s important never to take yourself too seriously. Second, I love the shock value of doing something people don’t expect, then watching them laugh. It puts people at ease and makes them feel comfortable around me. Finally, I think you are wasting your time if you’re not showing off who you really are. I do not want to be disabled, but I am.

You may not want to go to work, but you have to. You may not want to study for your exam, but you have to. You may not want to keep reading this post, but I really want you too.

I view Halloween as a time to let go of what we feel we must do or believe we have to be. I view it as a time to let loose, not simply put on a disguise. It is a time to reveal…a time to show off who you really are. Perhaps you might be too scared to highlight a perceived flaw or insecurity, but c’mon, it’s Halloween! Embrace Who You Really Are; it’s supposed to be fun.

If you feel like you’ve become a working stiff, then dress up as a dead guy holding a Blackberry. If you always hated your big nose, dress up as Pinocchio. If you love the movie Wedding Crashers, then team up with a buddy and wear matching tuxedos. If you have been labeled a pot-head, throw a giant pot on your head and call it a costume.

You get my point…

I don’t use Halloween as a time to forget who I am. I use it as an opportunity to celebrate me. I invite others to share in that celebration. Halloween only comes once a year, and in a way, that means your Halloweens are numbered. Enjoy them while you can. So, what’s your costume gonna be?


One Love, Joey


Image of Susanne


Uhmmmm....Joey, I'm a witch almost every year since I could talk, that's really saying something, right? And I always tell people it's the only day I can really be myself!!!! 😂😂😂😂 (Your Mom might even have an old photo for proof!) I think you've found your niche! This is the first blog I've ever read and it was great! You're definitely a writer with the gift of the Irish gab! Looking forward to more! -your cousin- Susanne

Image of Alana Peoples
Alana Peoples



I am just reading your posts for the first time. Not only did they truly make me laugh out loud but you get an 11/10 for your Halloween costumes. Your perspective is refreshing and I look forward to the breath of fresh air in a world full of smog. Thank you for being you and sharing your story. I look forward to hearing more!

Image of Donna Balletta
Donna Balletta


Like Susanne, this is the first blog I've ever read. You inspire me and make me laugh! I will be a girl (old woman!) from the 50"s wearing her boyfriends Varsity Jacket. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your costume this year. Ummm how will Brenda and David fit into your theme........

Image of Kimberly


Hi Joey. Love the blog! I love Halloween also. Not sure you remember but I always dressed up here at LA. This year was no different - I decided to be Kim Possible. In the last 8 Halloweens, I've been Thing 2, a mime, a Karate champion, 80's prom queen, a fun witch, a pirate, a purple minon and Dorothy. I think each of my costumes seem to represent a bit of me in disguise or maybe what I want to be. Stay creative and dress up every Halloween! And keep writing!

Image of Tony Hawgood
Tony Hawgood


Joey, thank you! These are a gift for the rest of us. I am saving them all for my kids to read when they get a little (but not much!) older - I hope that gives you an idea of how much I value them. Hmm, what is Halloween going to be next year? All I know is that I'm looking forward to reading about it. Keep it up!

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