Sunday, February 19, 2012

I May Be Leaving California, But I'm Taking Disney With Me!

Those who know me in my personal life know that I spend most of my free time either at a Disney park or talking about a Disney park. We currently live an hour away from Anaheim and our annual passes are usually piping hot and steaming from being swiped to death at the gates of our two Disney parks. My family's love for Disney is somehow a tangible energy that is picked up by anyone who interacts with us almost immediately. Sometimes I don't even recall discussing Disney with any particular person, and yet I will hear them remark to someone else "Go ask Brandy. She's crazy for Disney." The other day, the guy who takes my office's catering order at Rubio's said to me "Yeah, don't you love Disney? Weren't you just there the other day? I know you're always there, right?" I swear to you, I don't recall ever discussing that with him. But he was right! How did he do that? Then I start to think "Maybe it's the Tinkerbell sweatshirt you're wearing. Or the Mickey clippie in your hair. Or maybe the sticker on your car that says "My other car is a Monorail". "

At any rate, my love for all things Disney is a defining characteristic of me. The first question anyone asks me when I tell them about our upcoming move to Texas is "But...what about Disney?" People know that Disneyland offers some sort of mystery nutrients that my body, mind and soul are able to feed off of and are vital to my existence. And like any good nutrient, regular consumption is paramount. In other words, my friends showed deep concern that without easy freeway access to Disneyland, terrible things may begin to happen to me. My eyes could get deep and sunken in appearance. My soul could blacken. My hair may fall out! My health deteriorate. My will to live may begin to ebb and my mind will begin a slow decent into madness.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. But you get the point.

I have a few remedies to my new location.
1. I did a quick mapquest search on the driving distance from Houston to Walt Disney World. It's 16 hours each way. Tough, but doable.

2. Disney Cruise Line will soon find a home in Galveston, Tx until May 2013. And I love Disney Cruises.

3. Become an authorized Disney vacation travel agent!!

A few years back on Facebook, through circumstances I cannot recall, I "friended" a lady who was such an agent. I loved following her page and looking at the pictures she would post of Walt Disney World and of her families vacations there. I would think to myself "What a wonderful and perfect job for me." but thought it only a pipe dream. Something real people can't ever actually do. This lady was somehow way more well connected and better equipped to work at such a magical job. (I can see how that I may have a confidence problem that needs attention. I'll look in to that later.)

So a few years later, I see now that an actual friend of mine, someone I know personally, has also become a Disney vacation Planner. Now I am just dripping with a need to make this my own reality as well. I can't think of something I would rather do. Make money while working from home doing something that comes naturally to me. The American Dream. So I ask my friend how it is possible to have such a wondrous job. She tells me about the agency she works for and how much she likes them. I let this sit with me for a while. Still not knowing if it is possible for me to make this dream a reality. Honestly, the biggest blocker in my mind is money. Of course I don't know for a fact yet, but I do not believe that you make very much of it while doing this. So how would I live in California and support my daughter? Well, fate intervened and took care of that little issue for me. Jiminy Cricket! Your words never felt so intentionally directed towards me. Because my heart was in my dreams, fate stepped in and saw me through. A-mazing.

What's more amazing is the day that I finally decided to go for it and see if they would have me. I googled the company, emailed the lady who runs it and asked her how it is that one becomes employed with them. I also threw in there that I am a former Disneyland Cast Member, and have even worked at the Disney Store, figuring "what have I got to lose?" Her response was this, "If you complete this interview questionnaire, we will be happy to review it.  I'm not necessarily hiring right now, but I like to hear about people who seem enthusiastic and qualified (and a past cast member doesn't hurt!).  We may contact you in 1-2 weeks for a phone interview. We look forward to hearing back from you!"

When I open the questionnaire, something happened to me that almost never happens when I am applying for a new job. My confidence SOARED. I knew 20 different ways to not only answer each question, but to blow it out of the water. You know how when a certain song comes on the radio there is always someone who's eyes light up as they yell "Oh turn that up. That's my jam!!"? Well, this questionnaire was my jam. I immersed myself in it. I had never had so much fun filling something out. I sent it back to her in an email so packed with confidence I'll bet her computer jumped a little bit when it got there.

She read it. She set up an interview with me. Then, she hired me.

"Lack of Disney" crisis = averted.