(Originally posted on my old personal blog, Adventures with KHill!)
Well, it’s been a weird week. Around this time last Wednesday, I started to have a sore throat. That progressed over the next couple of days into feeling worse and worse until I finally decided to go to the doctor on Sunday (I have a tendency of waiting too long to do this), where I had a blood test done and found out that for the second time since early summer, I have mono. Or the early summer mono never went away and the symptoms just started coming back. Either way, not good news seeing as last time, I was knocked out by it for over a month (and that potentially wasn’t even enough time to heal). SO after tearfully talking to the doctor, my family, and my manager by that evening, it became clear that I wouldn’t have the time or space while in the Disney College Program to rest and fully recover, and I reluctantly decided to go home.
Not my best day, friends! Easily did more crying than I’ve done in months, all the while trying to make all the necessary arrangements to leave the program and get home, turning in costumes and IDs, packing my things, telling roommates and friends what was going on. I’m incredibly thankful for my dad, who dropped everything to fly to Orlando first thing on Monday morning and then drove me and my tiny car packed with all my stuff all the way back to Kentucky that day. He might just be superhuman. I also feel really lucky to have so many other wonderful family and friends in my life who have reached out over the past few days offering their love.
I am still really, really sad to have left the DCP. While there were a lot of challenges to working at Walt Disney World, I was having a lot of fun on my program and never expected to be home before January. I still feel so lucky to have been placed at the Haunted Mansion – a dream placement, really, and I probably won’t get to do anything like that again. I had just started to really feel comfortable there and like I fit and knew what I was doing. I also didn’t get to say goodbye to anyone but my roommates, which is a bummer and I hope to see various friends and coworkers again sometime. My roommates were definitely the hardest to leave, though, and I already miss them immensely. I’ll always be thankful that I got to live with such amazing people while on our fun adventure together. If they get a new roommate to take my spot, I kind of hope they hate her so that I’m never truly replaced. Just kidding. Sort of.
I’m already missing Disney and don’t feel like I got any sort of ‘goodbye’ or closure to my time there. Like a break-up, without the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ conversation or returning each others’ stuff (…I’ve never been through a breakup like that. Can you tell?) I didn’t get to ride every roller coaster in the parks that I planned on finally riding, though I am proud of myself for getting on the few that I did. My roommates and I never completed the kitchen sink challenge, which involves eating a sickening amount of ice cream and toppings. Although, now that we know that my mono is a thing, that’s probably for the best. I won’t get to see Disney at Christmas, which is something I was so excited for, nor will I get to enjoy my anniversary trip with Stephen there or my parents’ holiday trip.
After dramatically crying while canceling various future reservations and reading people’s super sweet and concerned messages and Facebook comments, though, I’ve been able to think about all the things I’m really glad I got to do, and there are a lot of those. I celebrated my birthday at Disney! I visited resorts I had never been to, spent time in every park, ate delicious food, bought a lot of cool merch with my fancy 40% off discount. I got to work at the Haunted Mansion during a Halloween party and get cool spooky hair and makeup done. I spoke German with a real live German guest! Plus, I got endless comedic material to use at parties for the rest of my life about working at the Happiest Place on Earth. That’s priceless. I also made friends; those are good too.
Looking at what’s next, I feel optimistic and excited enough to almost cancel out the sadness of leaving Disney behind. For most of the next couple of months, I will be at home in Lexington resting. Seriously, I am hardly leaving my bed because I want the mono to be gone for good this time. Hopefully I don’t go too stir crazy. On November 19th, the weekend before Thanksgiving, my sister gets married in Memphis! And I think I have some important role to perform in that wedding and a toast to give or something… (best maid of honor ever, right Brianna?). Then I’ll spend Thanksgiving with family. The Monday following that…the next move! My dad will be accompanying me in a cross-country drive that will end up with me moving in with Stephen in Seattle. This was always the plan for after I finished my internship in January, but I am now looking forward to getting there even sooner and hopefully getting a good start on finding a job there for the new year. Plus, I absolutely can’t wait to finally live with my favorite person.
So, as they say…hakuna matata? I was trying to find a good Disney quote for this situation and that’s what came to mind. “It means no worries,” according to Timon and Pumbaa and I definitely have worries right now, but my other option was from Sadness in the movie Inside Out who said, “Crying helps me to slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.” That one is probably closer to how I’ve felt the past few days, but I’m trying to channel my inner Timon and Pumbaa and look on the bright side moving forward. Hakuna Matata! You-can-a Move-ta-Seattle! Wow, that was bad. But at least I make myself laugh, and I don’t think that’ll stop anytime soon, mono-ridden or healthy. Thank you to everyone who has checked in on me and followed this latest adventure. I’m sure you’ll hear from me again soon. :)