Yesterday was a tough day. Funny how those days can so often follow days of pure happiness but they do. On Friday I had what can only be described as a “normal” day. Now normal days here are rare – at least what I would describe as a normal day and yet those few days are when I feel at rest. I wasn’t working so I spent the morning running errands and doing laundry and then picked up one of Collin’s friends who is here on vacation and headed north to a very non-touristy part of the area known as Windemere for a baseball scrimmage with Collin’s new team, the Central Florida Wolverines. It felt good to be out of the hubbub of Disney and into something that feels like home. Then I drove back to Port Orleans where we met up with Ty and our friends from Texas and spent the evening just having a good time.
So on Saturday, when I woke up back on the ‘vacation’ that has become my life I was sad and lonely. It’s not going to be like this forever but sometimes it seems like it’s never going to end. Living in a hotel, working 50 hours a week in a job that feels like it’s literally tearing my body up. I’m beaten down and exhausted. I’m having issues with my right elbow and my left shoulder and wrist. I’m tired of not eating well, not sleeping enough and having little life outside of Walt Disney World. I still have hope and I still see a future that is better than what we have but on days like yesterday, it feels as if the now is never going away.
Yesterday, I needed to remind myself what I’m doing here. So I took a walk. Through the Magic Kingdom. I listened to the music on Main Street. I watched the kids eyes light up as they saw Merida and Belle. I sat in front of the castle, similar to the spot at Disneyland where Walt Disney himself would sit and watch people. I peeked through the construction walls into the new Fantasyland. I rode the People Mover and Space Mountain. It didn’t cure me of my worries but it did help to reframe my perspective. Everything that we’re doing here is bigger than a caricature or a bread pudding. Our dreams are bigger than being a line cook. Our goals take us beyond a hotel and back into a normal life and instead of seeing those beautiful moments of normality as something far out of grasp, I begin to see them more as possibilities. There is a future with people around a table. A future with friends – both for us and for our boys. There is a time when I won’t be doing backbreaking work for ridiculously low amounts of money. But for now, we’re paying our dues and we must stick with it. We can’t be deterred from the dream. Too much has been invested and too much could be lost if we gave up now.
And so I start again. Each day, giving my job and my choices here all I can. I start over, focusing on saving every dime I can toward the deposit on a house or apartment that right now seems hopelessly out of reach. I thank God that I’m alive and well and that we’re able to design a new life, a better life. I realize that hard work goes with every dream worth building. And with every step comes some reward.