Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giving Thanks (Disney)

If you’re looking for a short’re reading the wrong blog! I can’t do it...I’ve tried...They just keep getting longer and longer. I just have too much to say :) If I keep going at this rate I’ll have to make part 1 and part 2 haha

I suck at intros so I’m going to just jump right in. Today, while I was contemplating life at an empty pool I decided I needed to quit thinking so much (my brain hurt) and just talk to God. I make an effort to talk to God everyday but today my conversation with Him was a little different. I didn’t pray for strength, nor did I ask for help putting others first. I didn’t ask Him for patience or to protect my heart...Today I asked Him for nothing...instead I thanked Him. I told Him of all the things I am grateful for. You see, God isn’t a genie..and if all we do is talk to Him when we need or want something, we are simply asking him to grant us our wishes. But you see God isn’t our Genie, He is much more than that..He is our Father and we are His children. Children thank their fathers for what they are grateful for and so today I told my Father exactly what it is I’m grateful for and then thanked Him for it :) I’m going to share with you one of the things I’m most thankful.

The Disney College Program.

I first applied to the program as a back-up for Grad school. I didn’t think I’d actually go because I was sure I’d be on my way to earning a Master’s degree in Speech Therapy come August. However, I was wrong..when it came acceptance time I wasn’t accepted into a single school that had a program which I thought was right for me. I was upset but I had that’s where I went in August. I didn’t know it at the time but something in that college program was going to change me, change my life. God had it all figured out and I just didn’t see it coming. He knew that I’d go to grad school one day but it wouldn’t be in my time it would be in His. I first needed to learn and grow from my experience in Florida. I can honestly say that I am a completely different person after Disney than I was before and I can also say that I’m still changing and I am not the same as I was during the program. Each day I’m evolving more and more into the young woman God created me to be. So what happened in Florida that caused my life to change so dramatically??

The answer is..I’m not sure. It could have been the job I had or the wonderful people I met or even a combination of the two. I’m leaning towards the latter. All I know is that for the first time in my life I truly LOVED my job. Not one day did it feel just like a job, it felt so much more rewarding than work. How does Disney get their cast members (employees) to feel like this? Is it magic? Is it a brainwashing mechanism? No. I’ll let you in on a Disney secret. It starts in their Traditions class. Traditions is a training class that all cast members attend to learn the Disney culture. This is where we learn that we aren’t employees but cast members and we’re all part of the show.

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dream a reality”—Walt Disney.

For the first time I felt needed, included and work was fulfilling. I wasn’t just dancing around for nothing...I was creating happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere. (I put that line on my resume hahaha) Disney CEO’s don’t just tell us really is true. I can remember the first child I met who was bald from a battle with cancer. When he went up to meet Donald Duck he had the biggest smile on his face. I could tell he had no care in the world other than playing with Donald. This kind of thing makes my eyes can a child be so sick yet so happy? I was helping make this kid’s dream come true. Now thats rewarding and thats why work never felt like work. I’m unbelievably grateful for my job at Disney because I’ve brought some of the same principles back to my job at Walgreens. Although, I don’t enjoy my job at Walgreens as much as mine at Disney, I don’t hate it like I did before. Instead of looking at it as just a job I try to look at it as a way of helping people in my community. I help them capture and save memories in the photolab, provide a listening ear in cosmetics, and help the get well and stay well with our services in the pharmacy. This outlook on the job makes it more rewarding and slightly more enjoyable. In fact, I can see my improvement as I was awarded a customer service star for excellent customer service this past week. My customers are even noticing that I like my job at least a little bit...haha...

In addition to being grateful for my job at Disney I’m also thankful, if not more thankful, for the wonderful people I met down there.

Let me tell you about a few of the people I met and why I’m thankful for them:

My training group (Tiffany, Joe, Alyssa, Kartez, Hannah, Elizabeth) —these kids almost died with me the first week of work. We were absolutely exhausted but had so much fun.

Arianna-- My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after I arrived in Florida. I was naturally very upset and it showed. I was blown away by the kindness and thoughtfulness of this girl. At the time, I didn’t know Arianna very well but after hearing about my mother’s battle she showed the greatest sympathy and provided a listening ear. Whenever she saw me at work she’d ask me how my mother was comforting to know that someone who knew so little about me could care so much.

Jack—He lived across the hall from me and we’d talk about the girl and boy drama in our lives. I’m not sure we ever helped each other but it was nice to have an opinion from someone of the opposite sex.

Amy—I’m thankful for such a great roomie. We didn’t always see eye to eye but that girl dealt with “Samantha mood-swings” so well. She put up with me when I went on crazy cleaning frenzies. She laughed at me when I had an epic romantic comedy movie moment the night of formal. (imagine girl jumping giddy in circles and then tripping over her own feet, falling and landing face first in the bed) was funny and a little embarrassing. She also didn’t judge me for dancing in my socks around the living room to Fantasia.

Alyssa--I’ve told you all about Alyssa before and how we are twins. I miss this girl so much. We met in training and have been best of buds (yes I did say that) ever since. Whenever I’m really missing Disney I can call her and she’ll talk to me about Disney as much as I’m willing to listen.

Branden—my workout buddy. This kid showed me that spontaneity (in moderation) in one’s life is a good thing. Even though we were always arguing we had fun doing stuff together (as long as we didn’t plan for it) hahah.

Josh—This guy put up with my late night visits, willingly sat through The Little Mermaid with me (not a lot of guys will do that), and taught me it’s ok to be different.

Not only were these kids my friends, they were my comforters and my teachers. I miss them all.  Can you tell the my post Disney depression is at an all time high? haha

I’m so very grateful that God gave me the courage to experience Disney through the College Program and blessed me with the opportunity to meet so many great people.

Here are some of my favorite Disney memories revisited: 
**For those of you checking back I added music and a few more memories :)

Even though I’m far away...I still feel the magic.

ºoº .•:*¨¨*:•.Samantha.•:*¨¨*:•. ºoº (I love it when I get to use this signature)


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