Disney is a lot like being a 20 something.
The landscape in front of us is filled with lights, glitter, promises of tons of fun and magic. We stand in lines 2 hours long having no idea what we are even signing up for but the crowd is doing it so it must be a good idea. Cinderella’s castle glows from the light of fireworks with promise of happily ever after in the backdrop. We set out with gusto and excitement ready to have more fun than the history of fun.
But at the end of the day we are tired. The directions were off, that two hour long wait left more pain from standing than magical memories. Dang Cinderella’s happily ever after was so much harder to find than we thought it would be and the bottled water cost FIVE EVER LOVING DOLLARS. It all looked so glamorous from the outside but inside it’s mostly just hot, expensive and exhaustive.
Until we met Alex.
As I write this it is early morning on our kids 3rd trip to Disney world. This time we know what we are doing. We checked out all the websites, we got the guide to Disney book. We asked people smarter than us, we brought our own water, and we met Alex.
Alex was the nice young guy that greeted us at Hollywood studios, a park we were least familiar with. Alex took the time to walk us all the way to the far side of the park for our first attraction. He explained the fast passes, the stops that would be great for our kids and the ones that would make us barf.
Alex had been here before, he knew the ropes. He helped us save time, money, made our day the best yet at Disney.
Why do we ask for directions at Disney but forget to ask in life?
No matter where we are in life we need someone who has traveled this road before us to help us out. A mentor, a guide, an Alex.
The mentors in my life are often older but not always. Sometimes it’s just someone who has simply walked in my shoes, got lost a few times, wasted time, and now has advice that I truly treasure.
I seek out people living a life I aspire to attain. No one has it all figured out but no amount of books are as helpful as someone who has simply been there. At Disney you may waste a few hours getting lost but in life you could waste years if you don’t know which way to go.
While I write this I’m 37.
I’ve been to Disney. I’ve also been to fraternity parties, hugging the toilet after too much tequila. I’ve had (lots) of heart break and I’ve also found my happily ever after. I’ve lived in New York City, Atlanta and small towns of Georgia. I’ve worked in print, radio, and TV advertising firms and I’ve been a stay at home mom.
I’ve met Jesus through the eyes of the homeless and at the mansions of greek row. I have served every roll you can imagine at church but my heart is what I do now. Speaking, writing and having coffee with young women. Your heart is so eager and hungry to figure life out. And I love that about you. But as eager as you are, you are only 20. You are not supposed to have it all figured out yet. You are supposed to just enjoy being 20.
Just like a first time visit to Disney you are not supposed to have it all figured out yet but my prayer is you will listen to those that have been there before you, gone the long way, found ourselves exhausted and heartbroken and wrote it all down so you wouldn’t have to do the same. I found the ways that avoid the long sweaty lines. The exhaustive long and winding routes and I brought us both a bottle of water….and it’s free.
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