Disney Lovin, my little fan site, was the culmination of a lifetime. From Disneyland cast member, to stay at home mom, to romance novelist, full circle to Disney blogger, I’d come home again. Though it wasn’t an easy journey at all, and in truth, God sort of forced my hand.
Still, what has been happening here this year has been everything I have ever wished for and more. There have been great struggles, but also such inexplicable blessings and I find myself more in awe of God and his ways then ever.
I recently debuted a very personal “magazine” The Life I Write. Those of you who’ve followed me a long time know that was a blog I used to have because I believe we write the story of our life one day at a time and that we can, in truth, create a masterpiece. Now I’m revisiting The Life I Write in this new format to continue to share what is an absolutely remarkable journey with God.
If you’re going on this particular adventure with me, then you need to know two things:
1. There are two constants of my life, my faith, and my Disney.
2. That I hear the spiritual realm, I hear angels, guides, those departed… and I often hear all that the clearest out at Disney.
Truth is that I’ve always lived and breathed Disneyland and now Disney World. Those parks are a part of my soul. I’ve always felt the deepest connection to God there though I’ve never been able to explain why, but the point is, I live my life based on the direction I get from my own guides.
Which is why I make so little sense to so many people. 😉
And just like I felt before this Disney ride took off, that I could no longer hide my Disney side, I can’t hide my spiritual side anymore either.
With both Disney and God, I’ve been taught not to share it. That I was abnormal, a heretic, a freak. I’d been taught a lot of shame around my Disney love growing up a dreamer in a family led by a realist. I was always told to get my head out of the clouds and grow up. I was always asked when I’d outgrow that Disney thing. Following dreams was not something we did in my family, but what no one seemed to understand was that Disneyland was my home, my family, my church, my comfort. Without that refuge, I’m not sure I would have made it to adulthood.
Almost every best memory of my life is centered around Disneyland and now Disney World. I knew from the time I was very young that I’d grow up to work at Disneyland, and no one could convince me otherwise. When I achieved that dream, my family actually staged an intervention and told me I had to quit because it was too far from where I lived and wasn’t fair to make my mother drive me the hour there to drop me off… to be clear, she was driving me because she wouldn’t let me take the bus by myself.
Anyway, that was a first stand of my independence as I’d just recently turned 18… I moved out. I moved to Anaheim and I lived my first dream.
Life has a funny way about it though and through all the twists and turns, it always leads you home. I spent ten long years away from Disney altogether, but I’m home now on the other coast making my dreams happen again and this time, I only answer to myself and that which I recognize as god.
Making peace with your own truth is sometimes the hardest thing you ever do. For me, the two biggest components I had to come to grips with was Disney and God and I guess The Life I Write is sort of the culmination of that. I don’t expect it to be easy, but I can see so many lessons learned with making peace with Disney that will serve me in making peace with who I am with God and what my gifts and purpose here is.
Coming home to the Disney Lovin fan site was an awkward transition because I felt like there was no place for me. I felt like there were already so many great fan sites and blogs, what could I possibly bring to the table?
I also worry about my voice as a writer, I know it’s unique, which can be good, but I talk about God, which makes people uncomfortable at best, and angry and argumentative at worst and Disney for me is always about God and my connection to the spiritual realm so how in the world was that ever going to work?
Plus. photography is one of my longest held hobbies that I’ve done nothing with and I was soooooo self-conscious at first because I knew my photos weren’t professional caliber. In the end, I realized that they show the beauty of the parks and they tell a story and there are people out there who enjoy that.
And while my reviews are always very personalized, which means they always include the odd and the quirky —you will always hear about the light fixtures and the flowers, you just will!— I seem to somehow have found a place. I have found connection through the streams and the photos and hopefully someday through video, my own personal final frontier where Disney is concerned.
But where my soul is concerned…
I’ve found a way to be me with Disney, now I need to find a way to be me with spirituality and God.
I’m hoping by having several “sections” on FB and on my website, people can find what they need and not get bogged down with what they don’t want, but for me personally, The Life I Write needs to be the most honest and raw expression of everything I am.
As a writer, we need to write our experiences, our thoughts, our ponderings. I very often feel like I’m not really sure what I know or think until I write it out. And while, yes, I have a ton of private journals and notebooks, and several very good friends who let me write them my ponderings, this next step just felt like it needed to be bolder than that.
I need to see if I can find a place for all of me.
This Disney dream is already so much more than I ever could have imagined it being, but right now it’s getting away from me. I can feel myself out of balance with wanting to please everyone all the time and that’s just not realistic.
I truly believe that when I take care of myself, I shine brighter than anyone has the right to. Again, The Life I Write will be a tool I use in my life to maintain that balance and alignment. I know God uses me to be light and inspiration to others and there are days I stumble and I can’t get back up, but through it all, I trust God, I lean on my faith, and I keep going.
Everything I do, I put out there for the universe to look at and use as it sees fit. I am way too small to decide where my words will do their best work, but God knows. It is only my responsibility to keep myself aligned properly so I can be used in the manner in which God needs to use me.
I am amused at how something that seems so superficial as a themepark could be such a huge part of my life’s journey. But I’m very glad that it is. Every time I see the connection to the deeper parts of my life flowing right through Disney, I just have to smile and think, God really does know what he’s doing. I’m always in awe.
At the end of the day, Disney is my joy, but God is my purpose and The Life I Write will be something akin to a journey log, a compass, a study guide… I have no idea where the journey may lead, but it is my heart’s desire to follow the path before me, so follow I must. If you’d like a front row seat, subscribe to The Life I Write for just 1.99 a month and you’ll be a part of the most vulnerable part of my life, the continuing journey to truth and home.