The beginning of this week was rough– way rough. On Monday morning, I woke up and genuinely thought about calling out from work. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t wake up and I couldn’t do another day at work. As I laid in bed contemplating my reasons for calling out, I forced myself to get up and go through the motions of getting ready (just in case) while still questioning whether or not to go in. This is when a storm of negative thoughts and depressing emotions down poured over my mind.
“Why am I so sad about going in? Do I hate my job? Why can’t I get up? Why do I feel so depressed? Am I gonna feel like this for the whole five months of my program? Am I going to end up self-terming?”, are a few of the frightening thoughts that crept their way into my noggin. I’m working and living at the Most Magical Place On Earth! I work for Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse! So… why am I feeling like this? Shouldn’t I be happy and grateful for this opportunity– an opportunity that took three times of applying to actually get it?
Because I realized that there would probably be a few other times where I’d actually need to call out, I didn’t want to waste a call out and a dreaded point on an insignificant day like this. Alright cool, I made it to my car so there’s no turning back… let’s get this day going. Luckily I had a good rotation at work for the day so I didn’t feel as depressed. At the end of the day, I genuinely thought about asking for a role change. I couldn’t do it– I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. I didn’t take any action about it just then, but instead I called my mama to vent and went to Magic Kingdom that night to make me hopefully feel better.
I was scared for the next day and how I would wake up feeling. I’m not a super religious person, and I should probably pray and talk to the Big Man upstairs way more than I do, but I decided there’s no way I could fix this on my own. I sent up prayers and begged to be relieved of my sad morning emotions, to have improved and happier thoughts towards and about my work, and basically have the strength and courage to go on in a positive way.
I woke up the next day and forced myself not to even think about work. I discovered that from the time I wake up all I do is place dread in my head and heart about the day and what’s in store for it and that just builds up and up until the time I get to work. Any time a thought would try to sneak into my mind and cause chaos on my sanity, I would push it out as quickly as possible. If you asked me how I suddenly was able to control what’s going on up there in my dome, I couldn’t tell you.
I got to work and basically had a “f*ck it” mentality. I realized I had been placing too much pressure on myself and taking my role and work far too seriously. After all, even thought it’s Disney, this is only a job. It’s not something important enough for me to allow to have such a significant impact on my thoughts and emotions. I needed to chill tf out and relax. What’s the worst that could happen, right? I was assigned a new rotation that I was really scared about for the day (I even tried to switch with one of my co-workers but wasn’t allowed to), but with my new mentality, I was like “screw it! Once again, what’s the worst that could happen?”. This new rotation ended up being my favorite. And this day ended up being my favorite day I’ve ever had at work. It was just the kind of day at work I so desperately needed. I had hope. I could have good days at work and actually have fun. All I needed to do was chill out.
After work that day, I met up with all my roommates at Hollywood Studios to watch the Fantasmic show and it ended up being the best show I’ve seen since I’ve been here! Hanging out and singing with my friends and roommates before the show, enjoying watching it together, and bonding with some of them at Taco Bell after we left was the perfect ending to my great day at work.
I woke up the next day and did the same thing– I blocked out any thoughts of work while getting ready until I actually got there. Honestly, the thoughts and dread I have before going to work are far worse than what it’s like to actually be at work. My job once I get there isn’t bad at all… it’s just all the fear and terrible thoughts that ruin my mood before I’m even there. This day at work was good too. I got another new rotation I was scared about, but once again, brushed off the fear and just did what I was there to do. When I start getting upset or scared or angry about a certain situation at work (like getting this certain rotation), I’ve been forcing myself to think about the good things about the situation. For example: on this certain rotation I was able to sit for one of the stands. God bless! Now I was scheduled to be at work this day from 9:45 am to 11:30 pm to work both regular hours and a night event, but the stars aligned once again and I was realeased early! I got to go home at 5:30 pm. To make matters even better, after getting off, I checked my phone and saw the one of my roommates had gotten reservations to Beaches and Cream– a restaurant and ice cream shop that we’ve been trying to go to since we arrived in Orlando but the reservations have always been unavailable! That night we went to the Boardwalk and chowed down on the famous Kitchen Sink (serves four).
The next morning, I once again continued doing what I had been the past two mornings. To make matters even better, after work this day I would be going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Party at Magic Kingdom and once I clocked out for the day, I would be free for the following two days because I was off! Those thoughts made it easier than ever to get through the day.
At the beginning of the week, I woke up depressed and scared and actually contemplated the possibility of self-terming if my feelings like this remained. Each day, from the time I decided to take matters out of my own hands, got progressively better and I haven’t dreaded even the thought of going to work or fearing what the day will hold.
The Disney College Program is not easy. As a college program student, you really are at the bottom of the food chain and everyone knows it- CPS and full-time/part-timers alike. There will be days when you do think about self-terming. There will be days when you don’t think you can do it anymore. This experience isn’t supposed to be easy. Anything worthwhile and life-changing isn’t going to be all pixie dust and obstacle-free. I know that I will have my hard days. I also know being able to go to the parks for free whenever I feel like it, having a 40% off Cast Member merchandise discount, meeting people from all over the world, and seeing first-hand the happiness that The Walt Disney company brings families makes the hard days with it.