How Far I’ll Go

I am a girl who loves her island, and the girl who loves the sea…it calls me!

I recently saw Moana in theaters (yes, yes, I know it’s been out since Thanksgiving. Whatever) and I pretty much cried the entire time. Now, as of late, I’ve been pretty emotional about just about everything, but this was different! Moana wasn’t just a sweet story of a girl who saved her island and her people while finding herself in the process, and it wasn’t just a wonderful way to include young girls of color all over the world with a beautiful Disney character to call their own: it was a story that spoke deeply to me personally.
And if the voice starts to whisper to follow the farthest star, Moana that voice inside is who you are…

Since returning home from Florida, my heart has not been here with me. The voice inside is calling me elsewhere, but I have felt tied to this place. I have struggled against myself, knowing this is where I should be but also knowing that I want so desperately to be elsewhere. Listening to the Moana soundtrack, and finally watching the movie was like seeing my own story play out before me. The underlying themes of “follow your heart,” and “find your happiness,” resonated so strongly with me that I spent many of the musical numbers wiping away tears. Not only in the music beautiful and tropical, but the lyrics are powerful and meaningful. The message the movie teaches young children in amazing: be who you are, despite the forces trying to keep you tied down, and the message it taught me was powerful and altering: don’t be afraid of the voice inside you urging you to listen.
Every turn I take, every trail I track, every path I make, every road leads back…

Am I making this a bigger deal than it is? I have believed in destiny and fate for a long time- everything happens for a reason. During my senior year of high school, all anyone could talk about was what you going to do with your life. What are you going to do? Who are you going to become? What are you going to study? And then, throughout college, I had this underlying thought that I had to discover who I was, and I had to do it in 4 years time. When it started to become apparent that it was going to take me longer than 4 years to complete school, I began to worry that I was defective, and when I reached my junior year and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation, I worried that I wasn’t trying hard enough. What is wrong with me? Will I ever figure it out? Will I ever be happy? Then: Disney.
I have never felt more content in my choices, more at home, or more happy than when I was at Disney working in the parking lot. And sure, maybe immediately after arriving I was scared and homesick and annoyed by my job placement, but hindsight is 20-20 and I wouldn’t change those six months for anything. I was talking to my tattoo artist the other day and explaining how amazing it was to finally have this feeling of satisfaction, to have this one thing that I want to chase. I went years without an idea of what I wanted to do after school, and now, as silly as it is, I have this thing sitting in front of me that calls me. I worried when I came home and I still worry now: is this childish? Am I yearning for something that is now part of my past and should stay there? I think though that if I believe everything happens for a reason, then I have to believe that this voice inside is not just taking up space.
And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me…

Disney isn’t calling me, my own heart is calling for happiness. For the first time, I found something that made me feel fulfilled and content, and I can’t turn back and pretend I don’t know what that feels like. I was helping people, creating happiness, and I was having fun. So maybe I need to set my sights higher- is it Disney I want or is it another job that fills those requirements? Would I settle for a job in the parks, or would I want to rise within the company? So many possibilities, so many opportunities. The one thing I am absolutely certain of: I need to listen to the voice inside. Trying to keep it quiet only makes it louder, and pretending it isn’t there only makes me more restless. I may not know the way just yet, but it’s time to see how far I’ll go.

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