A few years back, when I was much more Disney, I spent a great deal of time chatting with Terri Hardin, Disney imagineer, and all-around amazing person.

Terri is a gifted artist, but her true gift is the way that she makes everyone she meets feel special. On one of her trips to Florida, she and I spent the evening at Disney Springs together. This was a couple of years back now, she took me to STK for dinner. It’s the only time I’ve been there, and it was a beautiful meal. She’s a true foodie so that made dinner an extra treat.

I think what was magical for me was just being able to watch Terri be Terri. Just watch her magic spill over onto everyone we met. You know, I tend to be quiet and shy and I like being invisible, but Terri is larger than life and I think she’s the only person I’ve been that close with who is. So it was eye-opening watching how someone like that moves through the world and how the world reacts to her.

The experience taught me to be more bold, too. Because one of the things I remember about that night was that I didn’t know the musicians at Disney Springs all that well at the time. I felt aggravated with myself that my shyness prevented me from introducing her to them, when she wanted to meet them. I think back to that moment often, not because it mattered in any real way, but because that’s one of the clearest examples of who I do not want to be but so often am.

I can be so very anxious around people, so fearful of rejection, and yet, I’m a Libra, a sun sign who needs to socialize and be chatty. I see myself on that night, feeling shy about people I’d later come to know and adore, and realize how dumb I was being in not just going over there and saying hi that night with her.

That night was also at a turning point for me. I’d finished the 365 Disney Adventure, and Josh had ended our friendship just before that night, and I wasn’t sure where I was going in my life. I knew I wanted to spotlight the music, but I was feeling betrayed and hurt, and then my inability to just go and talk to people, it all had me feeling like I had failed before I begun.

I think we all feel that way sometimes, but we have to remember that this life is personal. We aren’t here to do anyone else’s bidding, or move to the beat of anyone else’s drum.

I’ll never be as outgoing as Terri Hardin, but I do have my own brand of magic, and it’s honest and sincere, if a little quieter. I don’t require the approval, or buy-in, of others to live my life. None of us do and yet so many of us sit and wait for someone else’s validation on our ideas, our lifestyle.

Just a year later, if Terri and I had gone to dinner again, I knew everyone and they knew me. I was known for my photos and videos and I came to realize everyone out there (almost everyone) was so freaking kind and sweet. The summer of 2018 became one of the most magical times of my life. In some ways, it was that sense of failure I felt on the night with Terri that pushed me to do what I wanted to do, and that’s a gift!

Here we are at the end of another year, and it’s been a doozy. I’ve actually loved 2020. In part, because it proved all my psychic abilities weren’t mental illness lol, but also because I’ve enjoyed the quietness. I’ve enjoyed the time to get straight within my own head about what I truly want in life. I’ve appreciated the successes and looked at the few areas I’ve not been able to break through on and made plans to do so. That’s exciting, because I know me, I may be shy and enjoy being invisible, but I also kick ass on following and achieving dreams.

It will take the world some time to get through this shift, but I think the road ahead will eventually be very beautiful. I hope you’re finding beauty in the now. Ohana, I will see you all on the 22nd, in the meantime, sending you my love and thanking God that even the craziest of dreams come true.

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