I’m almost at my one yearavesary!
I’ve called Orlando home for nearly a year now. I can tell you exactly what I was doing one year ago today: I was wondering if I was actually going to end up moving to Florida, wondering if my family would let me actually leave Wyoming. I was probably staring out my window, imagining the fireworks going off at Cinderella Castle, thinking I want to be a part of that.
Also, I was trying to pack, which meant my room was a war zone of suitcases and dust bunnies.
But guess what? I watched the fireworks from backstage Magic Kingdom tonight and as I sat there, breathing in the humid Florida air (if you can actually call it breathing, it’s more like drinking air) I just grinned like a madwoman, high fiving my past self for making it this far.
I guess I expected that once I moved to Florida, all of my problems would magically work themselves out and I’d just be happy. Just like that.
It hasn’t really been as easy as I thought it would be. It’s been downright frustrating at times. There are always problems, like uncooperative people and dream shooters that like to tell you, “No, you can’t do that.”
But somehow I made it.
My first official job, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, was hands down the BEST thing I’ve ever done in my life. And Columbia Harbour House has proved to be such a massive educational experience I can’t even begin to describe it here.
And can I just say Cast Members are some of the coolest people ever? Its like a brotherhood of the Mouse.
Last night, I got the chance to see Maleficent with some of my Cast Member buddies. We then went to a friend’s place to eat pizza, drink coffee and watch endless Disney movies while we tried to out-fact each other. (Most folks by now have learned not to question my Disney authority. I have the answers. I am the Disney Google.)
Maleficent was a stunning movie and I loved every minute of Angelina Jolie’s ferocious femme fatale version of the villain. I expected something rather cheesy, but it was actually quite phenomenal.
Then I went to work, where people are still wearing the Maleficent promotional paper headdresses they handed out at the Rock Your Disney Side event, and I marveled at Disney’s omnipotence. It’s a company that is everywhere. It dominates the media. It is such a large company, and it manufactures…dreams. A company this big is, of course, about the bottom line ultimately, the way all businesses are. But they don’t peddle rinky-dink daydreams. They pour time and effort and talent and money into fostering people’s imaginations, bringing childhood back, helping Guests realize dreams do come true.
That’s a powerful mission statement. We make magic.
Every day, I labor over a hot grill and churn out food like a magical salmon machine. I write labels for all my prep work and draw Mickey Mouse heads on them. (Which always amuses my coworkers. “Who made this? Oh, no, wait. It was Erin. I can tell.”) This work is hard. There are thousands of Cast Members working tirelessly every day, and for what?
To help other people make memories?
That’s pretty cool.
So I’m going to take a second to clink my invisible champagne glass against the imaginary flute of awesomeness. I’m not even twenty yet, and I’ve crossed my one life goal off my bucket list.
Also, I rode Splash Mountain for the first time the other day and holy cannoli, now I know what all the fuss was about. Best ride ever.
Anyway. I just thought I’d take this moment to wave at my past self and say, “Don’t worry! You’ll make it! You’ve got this!”
Dreams do come true!