It's been such a long time since we've talked.
I feel like it's been a lifetime since then. Well, maybe not a LIFETIME, but I'm consistently amazed by how quickly life can change.
Well, here it goes.
In early October, I learned that my transfer at Disneyland had been approved and I was able to leave the Guest Relations department (where I was miserable, had crippling anxiety, and all around just didn't enjoy) and go back to my home area of New Orleans Attractions. Not only that, but to the Haunted Mansion, my true home at the resort.
It honestly was one of the best moves of my life, and things dramatically got better for me. I had less anxiety, was happy going to work at Disney still, was with some great old friends and quickly made new ones, and things were just going up. But...what goes up, must eventually come down.
About two weeks after I went back to the Mansion, the HR department at my full time office job called me in. They had heard I was not happy (which was very true, I did not enjoy that job for any reason except perhaps the money) and wanted to discipline me because I was not happy. That makes sense, right? So they pretty much stated they had it out for me and watched every little move that I made, including my computer. One day, about a week later, I took a short break of maybe 20-25 minutes to go for a walk with my office mate, and then worked through my lunch in order to recuperate this time. Well, the next day I was fired for working through my lunch period. Because, again, that makes sense.
But, honestly, the jokes on them. Two days later I was hired at a dog daycare I had applied to on a whim a few weeks before because I couldn't think of anything that would've made me happier. And, honestly, I haven't really been happier since. Working two part time jobs has been much more beneficial to me on multiple levels than one full time job and a part time job. I have more money, for one, despite not having a steady 40 hours a week at a higher rate. I also seem to have a lot more free time as I've managed to work out a good schedule for myself (with the exception of the holiday season when I worked about 70-80 hours a week for almost a month straight).
But most important, I am so much happier.
For the past several years, I thought that having a job that paid me a decent wage would lead to happiness. After all, then I wouldn't have to rely on my family for anything. Not health insurance, not rent money, not incidentals, nothing. I was so focused on preparing myself financially, that I didn't factor in how absolutely miserable it would make me. Working in an office never appealed to me as a child, and for a short period of time, I told myself that I need to get over that. So I worked in an office job, and realized why it never appealed to me. I love being out in the world, love to be constantly on the move, love to help people, and love to do something new with every passing hour. And when I was set financially, I realized that I was actually very very poor. Because I was miserable and spending all of my money on things to fill the void, from food to random electronic items.
It's weird to say but losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me.
It made me appreciate what I have in life, made me appreciate the little things in life, made me appreciate the value of hard work and determination, made me appreciate that I truly know in my heart who I am and what's best for me even if it doesn't make much sense to the rest of the world.
Only I know what makes me happy.
And I can honestly say that I work at two of the best jobs ever, and they truly make me happy. It's two things that I've always wanted to do, work at my favorite ride at Disneyland, and work with dogs all day. The hours are long, it's physically demanding, there's little reward, but I just feel so fulfilled at the end of the day, and that's all that truly matters.
In January, I went on a wonderful 9 day vacation to Walt Disney World with my best friends from both coasts and it was amazing. I felt so lucky to have that opportunity to do it, and now I'm looking forward to new adventures.
Like going to Vegas. And moving to a new apartment with my best friend in May. And learning new things. And going to concerts. And saying yes to life. And to being happy.
This last weekend was my 24th birthday, and it was a lot of fun, despite some not so fun things happening. I went to Los Angeles for the weekend, and visited some great museums in Hollywood, as well as went to the Farmer's Market and to the Griffith Observatory. Then, we decided to go a video game bar in LA, where my phone was either lost or stolen (at this point though, it's safe to say it was stolen). Everyone was freaking out I had lost my phone, but it honestly was kind of freeing. On the actual day of my birthday, a bunch of my friends and I went to Universal Studios and I had no phone. It was nice, to be able to enjoy the world around me without having to be attached to a screen. I didn't have to worry about taking pictures, or posting them on Instagram, or making Facebook posts or anything. I could make memories for myself. And I didn't worry about losing my phone either, knowing I would probably be losing all of my pictures and everything, because the important part was that I had the memories that went along with those pictures. It honestly really made me stop, think, and appreciate life.
Of course, the next day I bought a new phone and wound up not losing a whole lot, which was a real relief to me, however I was prepared either way. It makes for some story of a 24th birthday though.
Honestly, life is nothing what I thought it would be when I was 24. At one point of my life, I thought I would be married and have a house and a family by this point, or maybe be a successful writer or actress, or maybe live in another country on a new adventure. I never thought at 24 I would feel the same I did at 20. Living in an apartment, single, no kids (except for my precious fur child), and still working at the same job I got right after I turned 19. But even still, I am ready to see what new things life will bring me. Not everyone follows the same pattern, and some people, like me, are meant to lose things to appreciate what they do have. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet Prince Charming. Sometimes you have to kick a lot of ass by yourself to realize your self worth. Sometimes you have to be strong because you have no other choice and you have to keep going. But I am still very lucky.
Because I know true happiness.