It doesn't make much sense for me to think that I spent eight days in Florida and yet have what feels like no memory of any of it happening, despite picture after picture of evidence and somewhere over 17 hours of video clearly showcasing the fact that I was, indeed, at Walt Disney World. But that's sort of how I felt, and I believe I finally understand why.
When I was younger and in Elementary School, Disney was a vacation. It was the most exciting part of the school year for me, when I'd get to take a week off of school to head on an airplane to Florida with my family. It was a tradition, and absolutely something I grew up with. But as I got older, I think I realized that I couldn't take these trips for granted. After all, more often than not, they come exactly when I need them most.
The past month has been, undeniably, one of the most difficult months of my entire life. I've been tested in ways I never thought I could be, and I realized that in high school, when I thought I knew what a fight with my friends was, I really had no idea what I was talking about. To truly lose your friends, honestly, is like ripping out a piece of your heart. That being said, I've also become very aware of the amazing people that I have surrounding me, including many of the readers here at Everyday Disney, some of which I've ever even met in real life, and I thank all of you for that. In fact, it was in a discussion about a month ago with a good friend that I eventually concluded that maybe the best thing for me was to get away for a while, to leave the state, and clear my head.
What I ultimately ended up doing was just that. I went far, far away from Wisconsin and my college where I spent the majority of my J-Term, and headed home to Walt Disney World. However, it didn't feel like home at first. Just because I left Wisconsin behind doesn't mean the problems left too, and it certainly wasn't like I could put up an "out of the office" automatic email to deal with the rest of my responsibilities. Everything was still waiting back home, and I was very aware of the fact that my best friend was still dealing with much of it. It made the first few days of the trip extremely difficult, and a part of me was unsure of what I was even doing there. In fact, I wondered if, somewhere along the line, I'd been tested to the point where Disney no longer mattered to me.
But somewhere amidst World Showcase and Star Wars and Indiana Jones and everything else, I think this trip was more important for me than any other I've taken (aside from, maybe, the band trip in 2014). I found myself again in those days in Florida, and a lot of the sadness and frustration I blogged about on the first year of the year eventually lifted away as I was reminded of why I do what I do. And that's what I love so much about Disney. It can take even the most wounded soul and remind them of who they are, and it's more clear to me now than ever that no matter what happens here, I have a lot to look forward to in regards to a future with the Walt Disney Company, and even if I get lost along the way, home will always be waiting to remind me of that.
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on January 24 due to travel).