Monday, April 19, 2010

What a Little Pixie Dust Can Do

Saturday was part of another typical weekend. I had spent the entire day writing the second half of my term project, putting the finishing touches together and submitting it to the "drop box" for my latest professor to grade. Twenty percent of my course grade is in limbo until she comes back with her final decision. Term projects are always a two-parter. A sigh of relief when you finally hit the "submit assignment" button, but with it comes the anticipation of whether or not you got "at least a B." That evening I also had a final to finish studying for, but after staring at a computer screen for the entire day, I decided to take a break, drink a few glasses of wine and watch a movie or two.

Yet, as my ruminating mind couldn't quite find a movie it liked amongst the available choices from "On Demand," it drifted to the company I did my term project on; Disney. More specifically, Disney's theme park operations. It made me realize how much I've missed it and that since I'll be in both L.A. and Tampa in the upcoming weeks, I might as well pay a little visit to my former employer and compare how Cali's version of magic now differs from Florida's. The last time I was at Disneyland was in 1997 and it has now expanded into its own version of WDW's Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney. It'll cost me (no more freebies since my Cast Member id card has now expired), but it'll be worth every penny.

After all, my spirit could use a little pixie dust. Revise spirit could use A LOT of pixie dust.

Granted, I still have a little packed away in a bottle carried within the piece of myself that is still creating those magical moments Disney is famous for. Sometimes it's hard to remember. Sometimes I can't believe it has been ten years since that part of my journey began.

I remember the day I was staring out the window of the plane that would take me back to Colorado forever, or so I thought. It was a January morning. Overcast. About to rain. Still warm and humid enough for a "Northerner" to wear shorts, but I opted for jeans. The palm trees on the ground became more distant as the wings of the plane lifted up, carrying me and my fellow passengers into that wide open space we think of as the sky.

I didn't want to leave that day and my heart felt like a weighted down knot about to unravel. I had experienced so much. I had finally left the place called home that I didn't want to exist in. I had made new friends, seen new places that I now loved, felt new joy, found new idols, bonded with co-workers, became a different side of myself. I had given back smiles, love, conversation, and a few sprinkles of those yellow stars we Cast Members called pixie dust.

I will always miss it. It was a demanding kind of fun. A happiness that made work seem like play. Almost as if it was another world, shielded by a bubble from its less than benevolent surroundings. Perhaps I'll return to that bubble someday. You never can really tell. Journeys have a way of making you think you're headed one way and then you suddenly find yourself back where your heart always knew it belonged.

Still, pixie dust has a special way of leaving behind its magic. Like all good things, it shows up again. Unexpectedly in the form of a fellow former Cast Member who's now one of your customers. It can show up in the spirit of a beloved fabrication who has somehow manifested herself in not one, but three souls you have encountered in this lifetime. It can be felt in the form of someone you once looked up to, whom you're now able to help in return.

Or in the way it can suddenly transform what you think you see into what you always knew you would.

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