in which that fireworks show GOT ME AGAIN

I’m not done talking about this, and I suspect I never will be.

And they all lived happily ever after. Each of us has a dream, a heart’s desire. It calls to us. And when we’re brave enough to listen, and bold enough to pursue, that dream will lead us on a journey to discover who we’re meant to be. All we have to do is look inside our hearts and unlock the magic within.

Such is the beginning narration to the Happily Ever After fireworks show at Walt Disney World. And, yo, I. Needed. It.

If you’ve been keeping score at home, it’s been less than a week since I “left” my full-time job. I sat on the back porch after strike and cried, and the next morning, my best friend and I packed up and hit the road for Orlando. And now, here I sit, three days later, drinking an iced coffee in the Polynesian Resort, and thinking about actually everything.

I saw Happily Ever After for the first time back in April, after I ran my first half-marathon. And, that time, the show was a surprise. I was the most tired that I’d ever been, and when that narrator started speaking into the Disney World night sky, I felt called out, almost embarrassingly so. The way that the show tugged at my heart and made me weep made me laugh.

(Side Quest: GUYS, THE FUCKING SONG JUST STARTED PLAYING ON SPOTIFY WHILE I’M WRITING THIS. DISNEY ALWAYS KNOWS. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.)

(Okay, here we go.)

Please excuse the following sentence, but: I don’t go to church, but I do believe in the healing power of a Disney World fireworks show. We got to the parks right at opening at 9 am yesterday, and made it the full twelve hours.  We ate a chocolate croissant in France, we saw a giant anteater at Animal Kingdom, I caved and bought a Spirit Jersey finally. (Arendelle Aqua, thank you for asking.) It was a perfect nerdy Disney day. But all I really wanted was that fireworks show. Here, on the brink of whatever new adventure I can concoct, I needed those words again.

And so, our journey comes to an end. But yours continues on. Grab ahold of your dreams and make them come true. For you are the key to unlocking your own magic. Now go. Let your dreams guide you. Reach out and find your Happily Ever After.

I have done more this year than I ever thought possible. I am still very nervous and scared, but I believe in myself and my friends and in Disney World fireworks. Last night I stood among my fellow huddled masses at the Magic Kingdom, visibly shaking from cold, from tiredness, and from emotion. I cried at those words because they are beautiful, but also because I know what I have to do. I know why I have done what I have done. To have released something to make way for something new. And now I feel off-balance and shaky, sure, but I think maybe I’m also ready.

It has been a magical couple of days, and I am ready to come home.

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