This is my first blog post, or really any kind of post in nearly three weeks. For the first time in four years, I actually took some time off.
Astounding, isn't it! lol
So what did I do with my three weeks off, you may ask. I spent some time at Disney, of course. A friend and I tried Skipper Canteen for the first time and I tried falafel! I spent a ton of time out in the pool. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, this summer, I fulfilled a childhood dream of being able to be in the pool every single day.
I grew up in Southern California, but my family never had a pool. Swimming though is like heaven to me. I remember never wanting to get out of the pool when I was at friend's houses, or other family members, that all had pools. My three greatest wishes as a child (aside from all the Disney stuff) was to have a pool, a piano, and a horse. I never got any of the three, but this summer, I'm definitely feeling that sense of joy having finally had a summer where I've been in the pool for hours every day, some swimming my laps, but a lot, just hanging out in the water. It's blissful! And makes the Florida weather totally bearable. ;-)
Honestly, it makes me a little teary when I think of how long I've wanted to do exactly what I've now done this summer. I just think about how good God is, and how it's never too late to achieve dreams, no matter how long you've had them.
Maybe next I'll get a horse! ;-)
A big part of the reason for my three weeks off, was thatAugust finally hit, the month I'd been dreading all year because with the reversal of fortune I've been experiencing this year, I knew August was the month my savings ran out, and I was officially broke.
I've spent so much of this year trying to find avenues of income that would replace what I lost, but nothing I tried worked and with the beginning of August, I had a moment where I just realized, God's in control, not me. That somehow it will be okay, and now that I seriously have no money, what do I really want to do with my life?
This no money thing was actually not as scary once it got here, and it's given me a sense of freedom in a way. So I spent three weeks being VERY honest with myself about my life, as it is, where I've been, and where I want it to go, and then I saw a video trailer for a movie called Disney Dreamfinders and everything sort of stopped for a moment.
My life, from the time I was five years old, has been about Disneyland and Disney in general. I've always said that Disneyland was home to me. My parents moved around often, but Disneyland was constant. When I was thirteen my dad left, my mother kept me from his side of the family, her side hated him. All I knew was my dad was gone and I'd never felt more alone, Disneyland was my refuge. I was a dreamer in a family who wanted logic, no one understood that Disneyland represented my heart in some way. Everyone wanted me to "outgrow" my love of that place, but when I was there, I felt like everything would be okay. That someone, somewhere would finally see me, and love me. That dreams did come true, and that magic was real. For me, that was everything.
When I was eighteen I first visited Disney World, and my obsession only grew. I remember sitting at Epcot thinking, I have to come back here. I went on to plan trips to Disney World every year that we just never had the money to actually take, but I never lost my dream of being here. In my forties, my best friend took me back to Disney World for my birthday. I spent a week at Coronado Springs and trying to see everything and, again, knowing that I had to be back here.
It took ten of the worst years of my life, five miscarriages, a divorce, being arrested (on false charges) and the utter implosion of my life to actually get me to Orlando, but I'm here now!
In a way, five years ago I was in a similar place where I'd lost everything and had nothing to lose when I decided I was going to take care of myself for a while and follow that life-long dream of moving to Orlando and living at Disney World. That's worked out really well. This time, my life, on the whole, is in really great shape. I have the best friends, I love my little home, my kids are with me and in good places emotionally, which given their history, their autism, and social anxiety, to have them happy and feeling safe and secure, is the most important thing in the world. I have two crazy little pups who are, on the whole, surprisingly well-behaved... I mean my life is unrecognizable to how it's every been and that's all because I followed a dream. It's only that I have no money that's the problem. lol Little thing really. Oh, but because nothing else worked out this year financially, as I said at the top, I've got nothing to lose, so why not try something new?
I guess I'm adventurous. I'm a woman of great faith. I've seen miracles. I live by listening to that voice that comes from the deepest place within, and when I do, miracles happen. I love my life, my relationship with god, and my constant journey, so here I am, about to try something new, that isn't really new at all, it's a coming home.
I took the three weeks to think, relax, laugh, and dream. I also worked on some healing of very old issues from being a kid and a young adult. I cleared shame that had become a barrier in my life, and I made peace with a choice I made a very long time ago that derailed my original Disney dreams.
What I know for sure is that I have a gift of being able to turn my life experiences into writing in such a way as touches other's lives. I've been so humbled to see how my journey these past few years has encouraged and inspired others. I'm also an ENFP in the Myers-Briggs personality types and that type is known as "the inspirer". It's my destiny to share my life. It's also my honor. The mail I've gotten from people sharing their stories has been so humbling and I want to continue to encourage and inspire with my journey, but here's the scary/exciting part, my journey has come home... to Disney.
If you've been following me for some time, you've already seen the changes to the site. I've simplified everything and it's all Disney focused now because my new direction, is to live and share Disney... not the news that you can get any one of a thousand places, but the heart of Disney. I want to share my stories of times I'm there. I want to share my photos. I want to share the feeling of being there, with anyone out there who's like me and couldn't wait to be back inside those gates. This next phase of my journey is going to be very Disney oriented, because I've stopped worrying that this was all going to go away, that I was going to fail horribly here in Florida and end up back in Virginia, and I've decided to embrace my Disney love and my Disney life.
This is going to be new, and I'm sure it will take me a bit to get the hang of it. I'm SO used to the people around me just wanting me to shut up about Disney already. lol So this is very different. When I started the FB Disney page, it was because I finally had an outlet to share Disney with people who loved it too. In a way, that page has given me the courage to do this site and newsletter, and helped push me to my own truth that Disney is, and always will be, a part of my heart and soul and anything I do with a Disney lens, will always be perfect in its own way, because it's who I am, and what I'm meant to do.
I was reading an article last night about Chip and Joanna Gaines, and how their lives and their business has entirely transformed a town. I see god in that. I don't know what my future holds, or how I'm going to continue to sustain myself financially in this world, but what I do know, is that I just want to be used like that. I want to be an inspiration in some manner. I want to encourage people to follow their dreams, and for those of us who love these parks, I want to bring you something different than what's already out there.
Today is the day I start to move forward in this new direction, excited and a little scared. Who knows where this ride ends up. All I know for sure is that this is a ride I was always destined to take. Thanks for being with me! I hope y'all have a wonderful day with much love and many blessings everywhere.