Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Real World

It's been three weeks since I left Disney World and the magical, totally immersible, fantastically overwhelming whir of what we alumni like to call "The Disney Bubble". Life back home is nice, but I find myself in near constant boredom. Even if I'm constantly keeping busy, I still feel underwhelmed with my surroundings here. I think I got so used to being oversensitive to everything around me to soak it all in and now I don't know how to turn it off without this feeling of slowing down more and more with every second that I'm home. And again, being home is nice, but even that short amount of time in Florida made me feel like Disney is my home, almost as much as my real home. I made friends, who became family, who will continue to be some of the most important people in my life. My time there changed my life and my being in such a substantial way that five months felt like five years. And its incredibly difficult to let go of.

The count of people reapplying for Fall Advantage 2011 is climbing. Hopefully we'll have a nice little Spring 2010 reunion next year! I was going to end this blog when I got home but since I'm going for a second program in less than a year, I think I'll keep it and just have a little Disney hiatus while I write about Texas life until I make it back to the sunshine state. During this time, I'm going to try to update as much as possible. I don't write enough, and I'm an effing writer for goodness sake. haha. I thought, a time or two, about xeroxing my real life bounded book journal and uploading it here but I think I'll just stick with my new moving forward life slogan and try my best to put everything up here as well. Hakuna Matata.

So, Texas life in a nutshell: I'm looking for a job and its proving difficult. There are plenty of opportunities out there but they all fall flat to Disney. Of course nothing is going to come close to touching it, so I think I'll go the materialistic route and look for a job that can be fun and where I can make bank, mainly to save up for next year in Disney, but I also really want to visit some friends from my CP and see the country a little bit. Thats of course on top of going to school and having to pay for it myself this time since I dropped below my financial aid's regulation of taking two classes last semester. I'm still kicking myself in the ass for that one but whats done is done and I just have to make the best of it. Story of my life lately but that's alright.

I've also been going out and seeing friends that I unfortunately neglected in the last few years like the jerk I had accidentally turned in to. It wasn't anything personal, ever, but I just stopped going out and found my nice little niche of people and places and stuck to it. Now I know better and I'm trying to make up for lost times. Its so strange to me that even after a year or two, some people, while their lives are different, they're still the same silly amazing people. I love it and I'm glad we can find the time to hang out now. Special shout out to Lillie who helps me get my Disney fix every weekend when we watch Disney movies (and their sequels) on her big screen TV. haha. I'm actually heading over there shortly so I'll end this update here. I hope all of you are doing wonderfully and good luck to those heading to Disney in the next (or last) few weeks! You'll love it and please keep the world updated better than I did. haha. I'm looking forward to keeping up with yall!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Now its time to say goodbye to all our family

M-I-C-K-E-Y   M-O-U-S-E!!!!

My college program is officially over. This experience has given me so many wonderful memories, skills, and personality adjustments. I am so very appreciative that I was able to do this program and meet all of the amazing people I was able to become close with while in Florida.

My last few days were quite fun and exciting but of course terribly bittersweet. My very last day in the parks, Sean Chip and I spent the entire day in the parks hitting our favorites one last time. We went to DAK at opening and rode Expedition Everest twice in a row with a 5 minute wait, once in the back and once in the front. Since it was our last day on the program, the ride operators were extremely helpful all day with letting us sit where we wanted to. We then went to ride Dinosaur and get our picture in front of the tree. I ran into Tyler Kia, my DAK photopass friend and while he was taking our picture, a coordinator started talking to us about the end of our program. He asked what our plan was for the day and we told him we were just heading out the exit to go to Studios. He then told us that was too bad because he was going to ask if we wanted to be VIP guests and ride on a float in Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade. What an amazing amazing offer, but we had to turn it down because we couldn't afford to wait all that time in DAK on our very last park day. We thanked them immensely and suffered on the tram ride back to the car.

When we got to Studios, we went straight to Tower of Terror. This was the second time I've ridden it and it is still just as nerve wracking and terrifying as it ever was, but I'm glad I was brave enough to go on it one last time. After ToT, we got something to eat then went on Rockin Roller Coaster and got to sit in the very back. It was so much fun. On the way out of Studios, we stopped and talked to some street entertainment people who were ridiculous and hilarious, and we made our way to the parking lot to stop for food on our way to Magic Kingdom.

Once in Magic Kingdom, we tried to catch a ride on Space Mountain but it was 101ed for some reason so we continued on to ride Haunted Mansion and meet Mickey and Minnie in the Judges Tent one last time. The fairies had an hour wait so we skipped them, and went back to Main Street to watch the 3:00 parade and shop for friends back home in the Emporium. After that, we left to take Chip to work to fill out last minute paper work and go home to shower and chill for a minute. We came back to Magic Kingdom to ride Haunted Mansion again and then find friends to watch Wishes with for the very last time of the program. I ran into Khristine and all of her roommates and I'm getting emotional just thinking about it all. I think I was the only person in the castle hub that wasn't crying during Wishes. The crowd was at least 90% leaving CPs and was a tear fest if I've ever seen one.

After we got home from the Magic Kingdom, I went home and finished packing and then met everyone over at Chip's apartment where I got to see Nick for once last time too! We all just hung out and talked about leaving the next morning and how awesome our programs were and who all we still had to say goodbye too. Chip and I left for a bit to go to Vicky's to say bye to her, then went back to his apartment to sleep. We didn't get to bed until 2 AM and we had to wake up at 6 AM for his flight.

After Chip left, I finished packing my car and went to Khristine's to say goodbye to her and all of her roommates. Lauren eventually showed up and I was so glad I got to say goodbye to her as well. Nick was downstairs so Lauren and I went down to say bye to him again and Robert was coming out of his apartment. Those of you that don't know me personally, don't know the situation between us but we had a big falling out about a month ago and haven't spoken since. As much as I had intended on never seeing him again, I'm glad we ran into each other just to get a bit of closure. Giving him a hello and goodbye hug made me feel a lot less angry and upset about things. It just takes the sharp edge off of the situation I think and I'm glad I was able to let go of some of those feelings. I called Sean and we woke up Ria and the two of them talked with me for a while before I got in my car to drive out of Chatham for the last time. On the way out of town, I stopped by Patterson to drop off all of our food for Taylor and Ivan and then I was on my way. I called about every family member to say I was on my way and I then started the 11 hour drive to my aunt's house in Birmingham.

The drive was partly fun and partly unbearable driving that long by myself. All it took to reenergize me was seeing the sign that said "Alabama State Border, 10 miles" and at that time, Sweet Home Alabama comes on the radio. It was the perfect epic moment. I was on the tiniest high way in the middle of nowhere, windows down, radio all the way up, singing my heart out. Ah, I loved it, especially because they sing about Birmingham AND Muscle Shoals, the two Alabama cities I'm going to.

So now, I'm in Birmingham. I'm going out to lunch with my Aunt at Olive Garden, then I'm driving to the other side of town to see the house I grew up in. I absolutely cannot wait. I want to see how different it looks than what I remember. I haven't been there in 10 years. Then I'm making the 3 hour drive to Muscle Shoals to my cousins' house for steaks and beer and a few days of relaxation. My cousin Jacob is then making the drive back to Austin with me, hopefully with a stop in Memphis to see Graceland!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dear Future CPs: Some Advice

With my CP coming to a seriously quick close, I've been thinking about how I would do things differently, or perhaps the same, for my next college program. While falling asleep last night, I had all these ideas running in my head and I thought to myself "What a great idea it would be to write all of this down", but of course now I've forgotten most of it so this might be a multiple part post.

The very first thing I want to touch on is how expensive living in Disney World actually is. If you're able to save up money before coming down to the CP, I highly highly recommend it. Of course, hundreds of CPs go without starving while living on just their CP paychecks, but it makes it difficult to do very much outside of the Disney parks. I never had enough money to make it to Universal or Sea World or the beach or Cirque Du Soliel... see a pattern here? All of these things aren't that expensive, its just the matter of having an extra $100 lying around for when your roommates want to go on a holiday to Miami. If you have it, it makes life here so much easier.

If youre a procrastinator like me and don't happen to save any money, there are a few places I can recommend.

Steak N' Shake: down the street from the housing complexes past the Crossroads shopping center lies Steak N' Shake. Not only does it have slammin' milkshakes, real burgers and fries for $4, and a cheesy 1950s diner feel, but its 24 hours which comes in super handy for CPs as our hours are crazy. Well, not mine, but people I know. haha. And the food is consistently better than that of Denny's or IHOP, so its always where I choose to eat for late night/early morning dinners.

Orlando Ale House: Always hoppin' but still manages an intimate feel among the dozens of tv screens playing any sport you can think of. Its always clean and always has good service. The best specials: Any time, $5 pitchers and $6.50 buckets. Once a week: Ladies night, where ladies drink free beer or well drinks until midnight, and they don't skimp on the alcohol just because its free.

Buffalo Wild Wings: or B-dubs as most people refer to it. A ton of CPs and ICPs head to B-dubs on Wednesday nights for karaoke unlike any I've seen before. They move half the tables out of the restaurant and the floor fills with standing and eventually dancing college kids, turning a wing bar into a club. The karaoke is performed on a low platform mixing the singers in with the dancers making it super personal. Its so much fun. On not crowded nights, my friends and I like to go to B-dubs and get what they call the College Keg.

For $25, you get 200 fl oz of Budwiser, Bud Light, or Bud Select. Yeah, look at that monster. haha.

Monday, April 19, 2010

On the Up and Up

I haven't been updating on here at all and I'm so very sorry. I am feeling MUCH better though. I'm done with all the drama and emotional mess here and I've moved on. Now I'm just trying to have fun. My application to extend my program was denied. Apparently over a thousand people applied to extend and there were only a couple hundred spots. A lot of people were denied who, according to the guidelines and what we've been told all semester, should have been able to extend. I was upset about it but now I'm okay. I'm ready to go home, back to the real world, and continue on with my life.

I'm pretty fond of the idea of doing another college program in the future. There is just so much this place and this experience have to offer that I didn't take advantage of. This entire experience was definitely one to learn from. Its unfortunate that it took me three-fourths of my time here to figure out what I really wanted from this program but at least I figured it out at all. For the time being, I'm thinking about applying for Fall 2011. That gives me a year at home to save money (very important), get further in school and settle into what has become my new life, complete with a new outlook on it.

This whole program has taught me so much about myself and I'm so very thankful for it. While at times it was trying and even crushing, it was all worth it in the end because it got me to where I am now. I have 25 days left and I'm going to try to make the absolute most of it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Apologies and picking up where we left off

I really should be keeping up with this more than I do.

The past few weeks have been such a mess. I'm going through a world of ridiculousness with a few people here so in reaction to being sick non-stop and depressed and all over the place, I haven't been as together as I'd like to have been while on my program here. I officially put through my extension and requested to move to character attendant, while having my current role/location as my second choice and attractions as my third. I hope they let me switch to attendant. At the same time though, aside from my wrist, I really do like my job whenever I'm in the world showcase. Its just Future World that I'm not particularly fond of. Spaceship Earth and I have a love hate relationship. Also, no one asks me how to get to Soarin when I'm in the World Showcase, which I don't miss one bit. haha.

After going through the toughest couple of weeks I've had to deal with in some amount of years, I'm hoping today is the start of moving forward. I woke up feeling a bit better, although everything is still lingering. I'm really hoping I can pull out a bit of bravery and put on a nice face and just let things fall where they may. I think most of my trouble is how much pressure I put on relationships I have here. I can't entirely help it, as these few people have become my life here, but I need to learn to be on my own. I haven't actually been by myself without depending on someone else since I was 15. Its something I have to learn to do, and while its a little late, better late than never.