I am the happiest girl on Earth after reuniting with the Happiest Place on Earth after almost 3 years.
I didn’t expect to be overcome by emotions when I visited my old office at the Disneyland Resort. But then again, I could feel it in my heart, especially when I was in Thailand – I yearned to see everyone again and to just have one little day at the parks. While it was absolutely incredible seeing everyone that I had worked with for two years in the orange building, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness for leaving my Disney life behind.
I was nervous to see familiar faces after traveling for such a long period of time. Alas, everything was amazing and I ended up enjoying my time with everyone so much that the hours kept trickling into each other. I ended up staying for six full hours (goodbye, DRC work productivity – sorry!) before finally making my way over to the parks.
And in all honesty – while my main intention was experiencing the parks again – I was much happier just catching up with everyone in the office. Hugging, joking, talking a mile a minute (spastic Debbi), hearing stories, hearing all the new changes and updates within the company and all the teams – everything was unforgettable. I valued my relationships and time spent with everyone in the office far more than running around in the parks, and I realized that it’s okay to miss everyone (and Disney). I’m incredibly fortunate to have such a strong network of great leaders and colleagues within the company, most of whom turned out to be lifelong friends.
It also made me realize that some things will never change – I was able to pick up banter and conversations with people as if I was here yesterday, and the relationships that I held dear to my heart are the genuine people who I nearly cried with joy upon seeing again.
It doesn’t matter how many countries I’ve seen in between my years away from Disney. I know that my family in the DRC will always be there to support me, and that in itself means the world to me. I realized how extremely fortunate I was to have all these amazing people in my life when I first stepped foot outside the country back in 2013. And I will never, ever forget any of them and how much they have helped me in my career and continuously been there for me when times got rough.
I cried when I drove home, I cried when I saw the “Disneyland Forever” incredible fireworks show with all the added projections and props. Then again, I also cried on my last day in attractions over four(!) years ago before I went to the sales office, so I guess I just cry whenever I have to leave good people behind. I’m such an emotional person, but it’s okay – especially when the tears are of nostalgia mixed with happiness. I’m so, so, so deliriously happy, and I never thought that reuniting with everyone and the place that started my career would bring me this much satisfaction and joy. Alas, Disney is magical.
Thank you to everyone (too many to name – you know who you are!) who made my last free day in California so special – I wouldn’t have spent it any other way. I was only back for a week, and now I’m about to board a plane to Australia in mere hours. My heart is just filled with so much gratitude and sheer joy. I love all of you so much.
P.S. To everyone I didn’t get to see – I’m sorry! Next time, for sure – I’d love to do an entire sweep of all the buildings at Disney and all of our surrounding partners (Anaheim OCVCB, here’s looking at you). <3