Remember who you are.
(I’m sorry, Mufasa.)
(Also: no, YOU’RE watching Disney fireworks on YouTube and crying in your bathrobe. Get it together. [Don’t. You’re perfect.])
(I miss you. I guess that’s usually why I’m here.)
For my 31st birthday, my Dad gave me a framed image of Mickey Mouse and a Walt Disney quote:
“All our dreams can come true… If we have the courage to pursue them.”
I do not think of myself as a very brave person. I am terribly afraid, and I’ve made most of the choices in my life from that place of fear. I am incredibly afraid of being forgotten. It’s why I try not to leave, not to change.
But, at the same time, I am a 1989 baby of the Disney Renaissance and following my dreams and being true to my heart and wishing on stars all thrums mercilessly through my blood. I want to be brave, Uncle Walt, Mufasa, Mickey, Dad, I promise.
I don’t know how to be brave, so I tried at least being true. It’s been… fine.
You are more than what you have become.
(Am I, though?)
I feel impossibly backwards and adrift. I have this strange baby seed of a new dream now and I’m sort of embarrassed to tell you about it, because, like, it’s DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. And I’m super going to cry about it when it doesn’t happen, so I’ll just keep this strange hope (mostly) to my own strange heart.
But, I mean, you’ve met me. I desperately want to talk about it.
If it happened… well, it might be the scariest thing I’ve done so far. (For all my lack of courage, I do a lot of stupid, scary shit, to be fair.) My Dad said it to me on the phone when I at least told him about it:
“Your mother won’t be able to come get you.”
I am 31 years old and I still crave my mother coming to get me nearly every day. To scoop me up and take me away from everything that hurts. What would it be like to be outside of my mother’s reach, even if just for a set amount of time? Am I brave enough to really try? Is it enough to be thinking about it as fervently as I am?
What’s your story? What’s your deal? (The questions that haunt me.)
The Cruel Voice tells my story this way: Once upon a time there was a loser-kid named Dani. They cried a lot. Like, all the fucking time. They were too pathetic to like themselves, so they cultivated an existence for which everyone else would feel sorry.
(I know that’s not why you’re here. I promise I know.)
The meeker, gentler Voice tells the story like this: Once upon a time there was this creature called Dani and, yes, they cried a lot. Undeniable. But they told the truth and were kind to people, and that’s actually why wonderful people surrounded them.
(Depression is a liar. Don’t forget, okay?)
I don’t really know what my dream is right now, which I think is part of the problem. If I may steal as always from Kermit, I think it might just be to perform and make people happy. And I’ve done that, haven’t I? When do I believe that any of it counts? When is it real? When do I feel peace?
Life’s like a movie, write your own ending
We’re not done yet, Kermit, I know that. This isn’t the ending of anything. It never was. This is a beginning. I’m not too old or too sleepy or too sad. Which means: damn, neither are you. When we figure this out, when we decide what we want, when we decide to believe we’re worthy of pursuing it… we’re going to be unstoppable.
Keep moving forward.