Monday, December 5, 2011

Birthdays, Bathrooms & Brows...

So here I sit in the lovely Disney’s Beach Club Villas Resort…no, I’m not a guest…just passing through, as it would be, to meet an old friend from acting, Jenn, who’s now a cast member at Disney. It’s a beautiful night…maybe in the high 60’s or 70’s and the only commotion is the pitter patter of little feet walking by and excited voices of children as they embark on their next Disney adventure.

I smiled as I drove in earlier, coming under the gates that read: “Welcome to Disney World: Where Dreams Come True.” It felt like a gentle nudge, as I drove underneath, to continue on my path. It’s amazing the signs of wonder that you get to be witness to if only your ears, eyes, and heart are open to receiving them.
I parked my car and got my bags together to go on a little adventure before I met Jen out for dinner. I walked out to the boardwalk and recognized it as I thought I might. Back during my time living in Florida, I had sang at a friend’s wedding over here. I sang “When I Fall in Love” as Amanda walked down the aisle at the happiest place on earth. That was the second wedding I ever sang, second only to my own sister’s wedding, and I didn’t realize the next time I came back here that I would be on the path of pursuing my dreams on a full-time basis. But I’m so thankful to be back here filled to the brim with dreams in my heart.

When I first made my way to the boardwalk, I made a pit stop in the restroom. In the stall next to me, a mother and a young daughter were going back and forth about something or another. I didn’t catch exactly what they were talking about until I heard the mother say something about the fact that she was really irritated with Disney. I listened closer to hear more about what her complaints were. She said that her daughter had never heard the word “hate” until she watched the movie, “Finding Nemo.” She went on and on about how she would have to watch every Disney movie three times forwards and backwards to ensure that didn’t happen again. I couldn’t help but sigh and realize the truth of the matter. That’s not realistic…no matter how you look at it. The mother can’t spend her whole life censoring every Disney movie to ensure they say everything right all the time. She’ll miss most of her daughter’s childhood obsessing over one word here or another there. And even if she spent the time to do that, her daughter would eventually leave the house at some point and here all the words she wants to shield her from…and then what?

While Disney presents a utopian-like atmosphere with all the things your heart and mind can imagine, once you go back under that Disney gate and enter Orlando, there’s no escaping the reality of our world. And though no one ever ensured that I didn’t hear the word “hate” growing up, I thank God that I was able to discern the fact that hate was a bad word. I’m fairly sure that woman’s daughter will be able to distinguish the same without missing out on any Disney movies.

It reminds me of a conversation that I had earlier today. I was actually just going to blog about that conversation originally, but after a short time here, I realized I had more to talk about than I had initially thought. I went to go get my eyebrows waxed by a woman who used to do them when I lived here. She’s currently working out of a different salon and is now self-employed. She’s unhappy as a business woman as she considers herself, rightfully so (especially if you saw what she did with my eyebrows…shameless plug: Helena Morton: Primp Salon, 1411 Trovillion Ave., Winter Park, FL), an artist. We discussed the pros and cons, mainly cons in her case, of being a business owner and all the responsibilities that one takes on when you go from being an employee to an employer. For me, I’m too much of a free spirit to have a boss anymore. I used to think I just had a problem with authority, but I realized it was much deeper than that, and far less angry. I’m simply too creative and have too many ideas to be constrained to the confines set forth by a manager or anyone who may have some kind of control over my work obligations. I have a relentless work ethic and I find it exhausting to try and place a value on that work ethic. Accordingly, it makes more sense to me to work for myself and, for the most part, by myself. I’ve seen the latest fruits of that labor at my EP Release Party, which was responsible for hosting about fifteen local artists and ten sponsors, all of whom I single-handedly coordinated.

Helena, on the other hand, has no problem being an employee. She wants to do what she does and not have to deal with all the extra obligations that come along with running the business (i.e. ordering supplies and keeping track of the numbers). While I am a free spirit and I like doing things myself, I can totally relate to this aspect of the dilemma, as well. While I was proud of all the work that I put into getting everything organized and prepared for 11.11.11, it left me little to no time to be an actual artist….no time for writing new material, barely any time to rehearse, and definitely no social time to relax and be inspired by life, which is where so much of my inspiration comes from. Yes, I can certainly empathize with Helena and I understand fully that it would just be easier to be an artist. Fortunately, Helena’s moving in that very direction now and should be back to doing strictly what she loves, alongside her adorable and loveable puppy, Lucky. As for me, I’m still doing it all. I’ve officially set the wheels in motion to complete a full-length album by my birthday this June.

What does any of that have to do with where we began? Well, we all have our own dreams and aspirations. For that mother, her dream is to provide her daughter with a life as perfect as she can create despite the world’s reality. For me, my dream is to become a global recording artist so that all the world may hear what it would be my honor and blessing to share. And for Helena, her dream is to help others feel and look even more beautiful by doing what she loves. 

Today, December 5th, would have been Walt Disney’s birthday. I no longer believe in coincidences. I thank God to be fortunate enough to have made a stop at the happiest place on earth where dreams come true on the very day that the man who believed in dreams so much was born. I’ll leave you with this quote in honor and memory of this special man. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney