Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lighthearted? Today I'm anything but.

...so maybe it's a good time to do an entry all about being lighthearted, anyway? :)

A friend of mine took on an amazing project some time ago - to fold 1,000 paper cranes, put a positive word and its definition on each of these cranes, and then to release them all in random places in the hopes of spreading a bit of goodwill and/or positive thought. She keeps track of the cranes she releases on her blog, Sandy and the 1000 Paper Cranes, and recently she released two cranes in two places that are very, very important to me. One of these places was Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, and this crane had the word "Lighthearted", with the definition "(adj) cheerful and carefree" on it.

Why am I not lighthearted today, you ask? Well, yesterday evening I discovered that someone had walked into our garage while people were home and a car was in the driveway yesterday morning and stolen my Trek bicycle right off its wall mount. This follows hot on the heels of an incident late last year - our roommate's boyfriend (now ex boyfriend, obviously) stole about $3,500 worth of stuff from us when she left him alone in our house. Even after we told her not to do so. Needless to say, not only am I not feeling lighthearted at the moment, I'm feeling downright angry and disappointed with the human race in general. People suck, and that's why I stick with pets most of the time.

That said, I suppose today is the perfect time for me to talk about a place so near and dear to my heart and the reasons why that place in particular made me feel lighthearted, cheerful, and carefree. Nearly 10 years ago I embarked on my first Walt Disney World College Program, and when I arrived I was assigned to work at none other than Pirates of the Caribbean - the attraction.
With some of my fine co-workers around Christmas time (obviously). Gotta love those snazzy costumes.
To be honest, working at Pirates could be seriously monotonous. Especially when one got stuck at unload for hours at a time. But it could also be really great...such as when I got to be the one who did the end-of-the-night ride-through and I was the only one on the attraction, and it felt both totally awesome and a bit spooky at the same time.

Or when the little local girl named Tara would come by every Saturday and always ask for me because we had the same name, and talk to me about how Pirates was her favorite ride. And how one Saturday it was her birthday and I got to surprise her and announce it and wish her happy birthday(in Pirate speak, of course) over the loudspeaker system on the ride.

Working holidays was tough, but Thanksgiving that year was actually one of the coolest I've ever had - we didn't have to use the computer for rotation and we had so many staff members that we ended up with extra paid breaks, and the managers had laid out an entire Thanksgiving feast for us - including turkey and all the fixings - in their office.

I wish I'd kept some of the crazy doodles we would all leave for each other at the various positions. It was always fun to show up at Greeter and be met with a cartoon about how you had just come up from the depths of hell (a.k.a. unload) or some other hilarious picture or poem.

And at the end of the night when the only people in the park were crowded on Main Street to watch the Fantasy in the Sky show, and we would close up Pirates and walk across Adventureland to the sounds of Disney music and fireworks exploding.

I really could go on and on, but I already feel a lot more lighthearted than I did a little while ago :) Sometimes I miss Disney - working there, specifically, over living in Orlando - so much that my heart aches. I know it's not where I was meant to be, though, so thankfully I'm easily consoled by regular visits.

And now that I've waxed reminiscent, please go check out Sandy's lovely blog, or leave me a comment about...I don't know, a place that makes you lighthearted. Or about Disney. Or about Pirates of the Caribbean specifically. Whatever your heart desires :) Pin It


  1. A trip to Disney is my gift to myself when I'm done with nursing school. Kind of my light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Disney makes me lighthearted and I can't wait to go back.

    I'm sorry to hear that your bike was stolen and you're right, people these days are down right cruel.

    Hope your day gets a little bit better.

  2. what a great post. i love reading your reflection, it makes me so excited for my brother to get started.

    the beach makes me feel lighthearted, but not so much recently. a church makes me feel lighthearted, too, sometimes.

  3. That's a neat project! I can't believe someone stole your bike out of your garage, that's truly terrible. I'd feel so unsafe after that.

  4. i liked this post, Tara. I also love Disney. I've only been there twice, but it is a magical place, where kids from 1-101 can enjoy themselves. I can't wait to take my daughter there someday...a place where I feel lighthearted would be 1) the Snip...I love to go there and take a walk thru the woods, and it on my favorite rock by the water and just reflect, meditate, or just take in the scenery. This is one place that I consider to be my "church". 2) my grandmother's house