Sunday, January 6, 2013

Taking a Leap of Faith

My favorite recreational activity at Walt Disney World is shopping.  Anyone who knows me knows my love affair with a) all things Disney and b) shopping.  I used this to my advantage *many* years ago when I was a Cast Member with The Disney Stores.  I loved that job so much...I had so much fun.

This looks like the store that I worked at in the mid-90s.  We took so much pride in that store!!!  The Camp Rock posters in the windows lead me to believe this is 2008...I was a Disney Store CM then, too!!!  Image: Google Search 

One day, something clicked...and I walked into my Manager's office. 

"You know, I think I want to work at Walt Disney World"

Everyone who knew me, knew this day would come.  It wasn't a was just a matter of when.

I packed up my little Ford Probe {I loved that car}, my parents packed up their GMC Safari {can't tell you how many trips to WDW that old van made!!!} and my younger brother  with me {he was eleven at the time}.  I knew virtually nobody.  I found a roommate via "Eyes and Ears", the WDW Cast newspaper {ummm, okay...looking back, I was rooming with a STRANGER!!!}.  My parents set me up with some basics for my apartment.  Then they left.

I was on my own.  In a new state.  Knowing nobody. New job {that couldn't start until I took Traditions. Again. Two Weeks after I moved.}  I enjoyed those two weeks as much as I could, while not spending *too* much of my savings!!!  I was still able to get into the Disney Parks, because I had transferred from The Disney Store, so I was still an employee of the company. 

I survived Traditions {and I stood out as a "Disney Nerd"...hello, I was a Traditions Leader for the Stores!!!} and started my job at World of Disney.

This is where I started as a WDW CM.  I stood at this (or the other two) door and said "Hi, Welcome to World of Disney" for eight hours a day.  And I loved it.

I made some amazing friends, and learned some new trades.  This is where I would learn how to use the engraving machine.  If I wasn't standing at a door greeting Guests all day, or wasn't at the Information Desk trying to locate that special souvenir somewhere on property, then I was engraving items.  Ornaments, pens, watches, Boston Marathon Medals {seriously...the most nerve-wracking item I ever worked on!!!} 

One of my managers at WOD got a call from a manager at {then} MGM Studios.  They were short-staffed and needed an experienced engraver to pick up some overtime.  Being the broke-newly-on-my-own new Cast Member, I totally jumped at the chance to pick up some shifts {extra shifts = extra $$$}

I LOVED working at Head to Toe.  It was a tiny shop, the ladies there pretty much ran their own show {since the managers had no idea how to run the machines} and I was having FUN.  I picked up as many shifts as I could.

Head-to-Toe.  Don't blink, or you may miss this Right Block Shop, just past the 5 & 10 and before L.A. Prop.  Image: Google Search. 

The more shifts I picked up there, the more I realized I was meant to work at this shop, inside this theme park.  I got to know many of the ladies there, most of whom were retirees who worked part time...not someone just-on-their-own looking to work as much as possible.  I got LOTS of shifts.

The more I got to know the ladies in the shop, the more they began to "mother" me.  This was NOT a bad thing.  They fed me {I lost an *amazing* amount of weight being poor!!!}  they would cut my hair for free {retired hairstylist, not just a woman with scissors} they took care of me. 

They also meddled.

This, as it turns out, was not a bad thing.

"You ought to talk to him, he is a good guy", they said.

"He is such a family man.  He takes care of his younger brother.  Family.", they said.

"He works so hard.  He is so nice.  Talk to him.", they said.

Well...thirteen years after a first lunch together in the MGM Cast Cafeteria, that nice guy and I are still together.  Made a move {back home} to Missouri, got married, had a baby, experienced highs and lows, joys and triumphs.

That leap of faith was the best move I ever made. 

Big Daddy has talked about moving back to Florida.

We have this discussion every winter.  We have had the same discussion for the past eight winters.

This time, I *might* be ready.

But I am scared.

I need to find what was deep down inside me that day that I marched into my Manager's office at the old Disney Store.  That seems SO long ago.  That was a different girl.  That was a girl who was confident, who had no care in the world.  She just wanted to follow a dream.

There is so much more hanging in the balance.  So much that we have to consider now.

Such a roller coaster ride.

Will be giving this much thought.

{Love to All}

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