(Originally posted on my old personal blog, Adventures with KHill!)
A lot has been going on in the two+ weeks since I’ve posted, but at the same time, I can hardly think of what to write about. In the past, I used this blog for travels, so I could just be like, “On this day, I did this and it was awesome! Then I did this…and it was awesome too!” But most days since I last wrote have been work days, and those contain a lot of the same things and all kind of run together. So the blog ends here. Bye.
Work has been pretty fun so far and challenging in different ways on different occasions. I passed my assessment a while ago and have been working on my own since then. Fortunately, though, most all of the positions that I rotate through in any given shift have coworkers nearby who can answer my dumb newbie questions. Here are some of my observations/lessons learned in the first few weeks of working at the Haunted Mansion.
- Florida is hot. My long sleeves and long skirt and black stockings make it hotter. But the sweat also seems to be making my hair softer. #beautyhack. They say it'll get better...in December.
- My nametag is my best and worst feature. It lists my alma mater, Transylvania University, under my name and people comment on it all. the. time. "Is that an accredited school? Har har." "Did you major in vampire studies? LOL" And I haven't quite figured out how to handle the attention. Sometimes, my school pride/tour guide instinct kicks in and I inform them that it's a real school in Kentucky that I actually attended and not just a funny pretend nametag since I work at the Haunted Mansion. That answer is satisfactory to some and disappointing to others. "But I won't apologize for who I am." - Selena Gomez, 2009
- I am #BLESSED to be at a location where smiling is not always necessary or encouraged. A little girl passing by me in the queue the other day asked, "Is it hard not to smile all the time?" and I could honestly say, "Nope." Disney World is so so fun and wonderful. I know that. We all know that. Walking all day and standing in lines for a long time when it's hot and crowded and sunny can make it a challenge for some to remember that and they can act accordingly. So anywho, this job has already given me a new perspective on how I may have felt/acted in vacations past and reminded me of the importance of being patient with and kind to strangers who are only doing their job. Especially when at Disney World, a fun and happy (and expensive) vacation spot at which I am very privileged to be.
- Change is hard. It always has been for me, as it is for most people, and right now, some of the biggest changes of my life are happening all at once at rapid speed. Living in a new place, making new friends, working full-time, schooling no-time. Then in a few months when my program is over, I'll be doing it all again. It's a lot. Depression and anxiety are conditions I've dealt with the past few years and normally manage totally fine with medication, but a lot of life changes, both current and anticipated, can easily cause "flare-ups." I get so incredibly anxious about going to work at times and there are definitely days when I wonder why I'm here. But I keep talking to the people who love and know me best, the feelings pass, and I can keep going. I really think it's all worth it and I am supposed to be where I am right now, but I appreciate the people who help me through it when the chemicals in my brain try to make me feel differently.
- Fireworks are everywhere and they are wonderful. Seriously, it is hard for a day to end badly when there are fireworks. On a couple of my training nights and a few nights I've been at work, I've gotten to watch the Magic Kingdom's fireworks show, Wishes. It's just as sweet and beautiful every time. Seeing it is probably one of the biggest reminders of how lucky I am to be here. I also pass other parks' fireworks shows on my drives home sometimes, which is cool. 'Thunder or Fireworks?' is a real game played every night in my apartment.
- Making magic is real. Cheese alert! Okay, most anyone reading this should know that I am the most Disney-obsessed, drank-the-Disney-kool-aid-a-long-time-ago person. But I have to admit that during training when we were chanting the words, "We create happiness," even I thought, mmmm this is a lil weird. But as I've gotten further into work, I have to say it's real. Disney always created happiness for me in the past and now I get to do little, easy things all the time that make people happy. For example, I got to do a task at work the other day that literally just involved walking through the park handing out celebration buttons and fastpasses, trading pins, and talking to guests. WHAT? That's a thing I got paid for. What? That's what they call living the dream, everyone. The Disney dream. A dream is a wish your heart makes. Okay I'm done.
Anyway, getting tired and loopy now, so the last thing I wanted to mention was that last Wednesday, almost all of my roommates and I were off work, so we went to Magic Kingdom and rode rides and met a ton of characters. It was super fun and here are some of the best pictures.
Now I’m off for the next couple of days, and then I work a couple of days, and then it’s my birthday weekend! 23! Such a significant number! I’ll be doing a lot of fun things with roommates, though, so I’m very excited for it.
Appreciate ya for reading. Apparently I did have some things to write about after all.