To summarize what I’ve experienced this year is like trying to explain to an old person what the internet is, but I will try my best so you can all imagine the magical chaos that has been injected unexpectedly into my life.
When my parents told me we were moving to Florida I was first excited because – Yay Disney World and no more snow and oh my gosh DISNEY WORLD! But then it sank in that I would be leaving my boyfriend and my friends and the school I wanted to graduate in. It was tough, and that’s kind of sugar coating it. It’s never easy to leave a place you’re so connected to. It’s like I was tied to many different places and people, and I had a year for goodbyes. The metaphorical scissors cut through all of the ties so that when my parents were waiting in the fully packed vehicles that would take us to Florida, I had one last tie to cut away before I would be tie-less and free to make more in a new place. There were a lot of tears and my stomach kind of felt like I had gone on a crazy rollercoaster that only went down. I told myself that this was the feeling of having no ties but the ones of my family. I was floating around in metaphorical space wondering when I could again have ties.
All these metaphors aside, when we were on the road I felt better. There’s this book I read once called Paper Towns by John Green that said “It is so incredibly hard to leave – until you leave. And then it’s the danged easiest thing in the world.”
When we arrived in Florida, I got excited. It felt like an adventure and I was now on a “rollercoaster that was only going up” (to quote John Green again).
School started and that was a little weird. The first week was treacherous and slow because of all the new people and faces and the immense diversity I wasn’t used to. Then I made friends with a girl in my art class who was also new from another part of Florida. Together we made other friends and things got easy again with my newfound ties.
And let’s not forget, when school got boring or stressful – I had DISNEY WORLD outside my door. Well not right outside my door but you get the picture.
People always ask my mom whether or not the magic goes away after going to Disney all the time. For me I can say it doesn’t. It might not be as big of a deal because there’s no more huge plans involved – unless you count arguments over which park to be visited next – but it’s still a different experience every time. It feels more relaxing this way. If there’s a 65 minute wait for Peter Pan we can say “well maybe tomorrow” and grab a dole whip on the way out. To say I am a spoiled child is putting it very lightly.
This year I met celebrities I never dreamed of even seeing in person, I conquered my fears and rode Tower of Terror and Rock N Rollercoaster, and I made incredible friends from other parts of the country. I’ve grown a lot more mature this year, polished up some nice pieces of artwork, and I grew stronger in my faith. I graduated High School, wore shorts in January, and made a best friend who moved from Georgia (the small country under Russia, not the state).
It doesn’t feel like a year has gone by when I think about it, but that’s probably because I still need to get used to the fact that in Florida, there are only two seasons: 1. This is comfortable or 2. I’m on fire.
Every tough time I’ve had this year is nothing compared to the great times. I honestly think the best part of it all was having the pleasure of seeing my family grow happier because of the move. I love seeing my dad freak out when he sees a monorail or gets a good picture of Spaceshi p Earth (we must have 100 of those by now), or seeing my sister squeal when she sees Merida or gets to draw something at the animation academy other than that evil Donald Duck (it’s a long story). And of course there is momma. I love seeing her smile when she reads the blog comments, or getting a hug from a reader in the parks, or the excitement in her voice when she says she gets to meet a new family for the day at a park.
We all tease her about it from time to time that she’s a big celebrity, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I can speak for my family when I say I am so glad she has all of YOU readers to show her how big of a difference she has made and still continues to make. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I really am lucky to have her as a mom. I’m lucky and grateful to have my family, this home, this life, all of it. s
So there’s the year in a summary from my point of view.
I leave with this: (yet another quote from the marvelous author John green) “The world is not a wish-granting factory”
I can’t guarantee that if you move down here you will be as fortunate as we have been, and you might even be MORE so fortunate than we have been, but if you sit at home saying any of these:
” I wish we could live in Florida too.”
“I wish I could be that happy.”
“I wish I lived that close to Disney World”
,then consider this: the world isn’t a wish granting factory, it’s a world of doing and here and now’s. Jiminy Cricket sang about wishing upon a star, but he and Pinocchio didn’t imagine they would go through the things they did to get to their dreams. If you have the chance to, and you truly do want to move somewhere, anywhere, then do it. It is hard to cut the ties at first but it is so worth the adventure and it could change you in ways you never dreamed.