My Honest Thoughts on Moving

My top three biggest fears in life that have stayed with me since I was young go in this order:

1. Elevators, indoor rides, caves, being buried alive, and any space where there is not a clear/easy exit.

2. Being completely alone.

3. Change.

Yeah, that third one’s gonna be real fun here in two months (exactly two months from today to be exact). To be completely honest, I’ve never been a big fan of change. I tend to order the same thing I always get at restaurants, where the same variation of clothes for a while, and I order the same three drinks at Starbucks every time I go. I like things that are familiar and that I know I can trust. Going along with that has been a fear of moving. When my dad had to take his old job back in Charlotte I begged my parents not to make me move. It scared the living daylights out of me.

I think this is one of the major reasons why I needed to go to Walt Disney World next semester. The truth is, I know this is a fear I need to face head-on if I want to be fully “adulting.” I need to be outside of my comfort zone, away from my family and experiencing new things every day so that I can continue to develop and grow as a person.

As much as I know that I need this experience, it still scares me. I’m scared at the thought of my friends forgetting about me while I’m gone, that I won’t stay in touch as much as I’d like to, that I’ll miss out on big things happening back at home, and that I’ll miss out on opportunities to form and grow relationships here. There’s this nagging voice in the back of my head repeating these things to me. Most of the time, my excitement outweighs that as this is an incredible opportunity that I’ve dreamed of doing for so long, but it doesn’t make the fear completely go away.

Luckily, it tends to only come in waves. I think the more I actually prepare for moving, the more excited and comfortable I’ll feel. I love shopping and the idea of decorating my new apartment so I can cling to that for joy. Of course, I’m also excited to be spending almost every day for four months in one of my favorite places on Earth with the amazing new friends I’ll make. I am looking forward to forming a family away from family and getting to know so many new people. It’s things like this, and the reminder that this is a dream come true, that help make everything seem a little less scary.

I’m learning that I’ll have to trust God through the change. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed that He would show me a sign as to whether or not I should go, and everything seems to be saying “trust me and go.” So, here’s to answering that call and going. I’m ready for this next big adventure.

❤ / Bailey

GET TO KNOW THE DISNEY COLLEGE PROGRAM (THE DCP TAG)

Honestly, I still can’t believe that in a few short months I will be moving to Orlando and working at the happiest place on Earth. The anticipation is a struggle and I’m finding myself getting distracted most days by thinking about DCP related things. I’m also realizing that there are several things causing me to worry thanks to my fear of change and the unknown. However, I can definitely tell the excitement side is winning as every time I think about it I end up smiling ear to ear. To help build up some excitement (and hopefully get out some of the things that are making me distracted) I’ve decided to do the DCP tag. It’s a lot of frequently asked questions to get to know more about my program, as I know several people have been asking me about it. Hopefully, this helps answer some of the questions I keep getting asked! Not that I’m bothered by questions, I could talk your ear off about the program no problem.

How did you hear about the program?

I found out about the DCP when I was on my 16th birthday trip to Walt Disney World. I met a cast member in the Emporium on Main Street and we started chatting about why I was at Disney. I told her it was my 16th birthday trip and she immediately ran to get me a birthday button! She told me she was working there as a part of the college program, and ever since that day I knew that was something I wanted to do. I actually went back to the hotel that night and began researching about it.

How was the interview process?

The interview process wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I purposefully tried to not put any pressure on myself, because I knew if I didn’t get in this time I could keep trying every semester until I graduated. I applied on August 23, 2018. You fill out an application with typical job applications questions. They ask about which roled you’d be interested in, where you’d want to work (Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland Resort), job experience, skills, traits, the whole job application shebang. I attached my resume and some photos of floorsets I had done while working in retail (can you tell my top role I was going for was merchandise?)

I honestly was getting a little worried because I hadn’t gotten my WBI (Web-based Interview) the same day. I had read a lot of blog posts and watched a lot of vlogs from cast members doing the DCP where they had gotten there WBI within hours of applying. However, two weeks later I got an email saying they’d like me to move on to interview rounds and I received my WBI. This is in its basic form a personality test. They want to see if who you match the values of the Walt Disney company. I took a deep breath, got a glass of water, and filled it out that night. You’ll know pretty immediately after completing the WBI if you’re moving on the next round… the phone interview.

The phone interview is probably the most stressful part of the entire interview process. You schedule a day and time and wait until it arrives to speak to a Disney recruiter. It was very stressful! My phone interview was only five days after I had completed my WBI, so I didn’t have a super long time to prepare. I looked up potentially questions that could be asked (thank you, internet) and wrote down some notes to make sure I’d remember to mention certain things I wanted to talk about. The phone rang on September 10th, and to my horror, my phone decided to be an absolute jerk. It sounded like the recruiter was speaking to me from underwater! I had a slight moment of panic but then realized I could make out most of what she was saying and decided to press on. A lot of the questions are pulled directly from your application. She asked about any tattoos or piercings I may have (the Disney look is something I can touch on later), reiterated that many positions involve lots of standing in high temperatures, and went through each role I had expressed interest in and asked some follow-up questions. Of course, the question of the hour was “why do you want to do the DCP?” That is one that anyone who ever applies to the program can be expected to be asked. She also had me talk through some possible scenarios of how I would close a line if I were a character attendant or how I’d react if parents were unhappy with a makeover I was giving in the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique/Pirate League. Overall, I felt pretty confident with my PI and my recruiter was so nice and easy to talk to.

I hung up the phone that day and began a waiting game that would turn to pure joy when I found out that I was accepted!

Where were you when you found out you were accepted?

I found out I was accepted while eating lunch with some friends at Chick-Fil-A (a truly holy establishment). I got a text update saying “Exciting update! Check your email for more details!” and my heart started racing. I quickly dropped my fork, switched over to my email account, and there it was!

What is your role?

I was offered the role of merchandise, which also happened to be my top role! In that role, I can learn more about marketing and PR from a Disney standpoint which I am stoked about. It will also count as my internship as a requirement for my major at school that I need to fill. The other roles I expressed interest in was PhotoPass, Character Attendant, and Bippidi Boppidi Boutique/Pirate League.

What are you going to miss while on the program?

I’m not just saying this to be a suck-up, but I genuinely will miss my friends and family the most. I’ve never been gone for this long from my family and will miss seeing my mom, dad, and sister. I love all of the people in my life right now and am already planning on harassing them with many texts and Snapchats to stay in touch while I’m gone. Don’t think you can get rid of me that easily!

I’ll also miss my current job. I absolutely adore all of my co-workers and the work that I am doing, but in order to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life, I need to experience new things. Of course, I’ll also miss my cat, the cute pets I get to pet-sit for on a regular basis (I basically feel like their god-parent at this point), Pal’s peachy sprite, the possibility of snow in TN while I’m gone, and Daylight Doughnuts bubble tea.

Which Disney park is your favorite?

Honestly, I’m a big fan of Epcot. I could spend days wandering around the World Showcase and never get bored. The Magic Kingdom is a very close second.

What is the first thing you want to do when you get there?

I’ll probably be crying (mostly happy tears, of course) but I want to go sight-seeing around Orlando and get used to the city I’ll be calling home for the next four months. I need to find the nearest Target, Starbucks, and Chick-Fil-A to make it really feel like home!

What’s number one on your DCP bucket list?

Definitely to watch the fireworks with my new friends on our first day in the parks as cast members. I haven’t been to Disney since they changed the show from Wishes, so I’m stoked to see the new one.

What is one thing you hope to take away from the program?

I really hope the DCP provides me with a new sense of self-confidence and just a new sense of self in general terms. I’ll be completely on my own for the first time, making new friends, and having all of these new adventures that will hopefully help me develop and push me out of my comfort zone to overcome fears and self-doubt. Obviously, I also hope this experience provides me with so many amazing memories that will last me a lifetime.

I hope this answers some of the questions you may have about the DCP. Expect a lot more DCP related content to come. Have a magical day!!

❤ / Bailey

 

 

ONE OF MY DREAMS CAME TRUE

On September 25, 2018, one of my dreams came true. I got an email from the Walt Disney Company that I had been accepted into the Disney College Program for Soring 2019! This has been something I have wanted to do since I learned about it while on my 16th birthday trip to Walt Disney World. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I almost choked on my Chick-Fil-A salad and then almost cried (and I HATE crying, so you know I was in a big mood). It’s such an honor to be accepted into this program on my first try. So many people apply and there are only a limited amount of spots, so I am truly ecstatic that Disney chose me!

Some of you may be asking, “what exactly does this mean?” Well, In January of 2019 I will be moving to Orlando, FL for a paid internship at Walt Disney World. I’ll be working in Merchandise in Disney World stores. As of right now, I’m not sure at which of the parks or resorts I will be working at, but honestly, I’m excited for any of them. IT’S DISNEY WORLD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I will remain a full-time student taking 15 credit hours of online classes through East Tennessee State University to stay on track with graduating in May 2020 and maintaining my academic scholarships. It’s gonna be a lot, but several people believe in me, and I think I’ll be able to balance it all well.

What I do know now is that this is something I am meant to do. I have to keep reminding myself about this because I can already tell the transition is going to be hard. I’ve never lived away from home, especially not 10 hours away with a bunch of people I’ve never met before. I’m dreading saying goodbye and leaving my life as it is right now that I love so much. I love where I work now, I love my school, and I love my friends and family. But, I feel like any growing that I have left to do in order to become a fully functioning adult is going to need to be done away from home. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and not let fear or anxiety stop me from potentially having an experience that will change my life. I’ve prayed long and hard about this situation and every sign God is sending me seems to be pointing me to go, so I will obey and trust that now is the time.

I truly am excited about this incredible opportunity. I’ve got a lot of packing, planning, and preparing to do in the next three months before move in! While I’m deep in preparations I also have to remember to keep on top of this semester’s workload (going to school when you know you’ll be going to Disney soon makes concentrating very hard). Please pray for me as I am awaiting this adventure. There’s lots to do, lots of people to see, and lots to think about.

See ya real soon, Orlando.

❤ / Bailey

MENTAL HEALTH DAY

First of all, I just want to start by saying I’m sorry if my recent blog post about caring for yourself while caring for others made you worry about me. I didn’t write that post with the intentions of causing worry or even talking in depth about the pits of my mental state. I was simply trying to get everything that’s been going on lately off of my chest, and after getting some feedback from those around me I realized it may have been perceived a little differently than I originally intended. October is mental health awareness month & today is mental health day, so it feels only fitting that I go into it a little bit more on my mental health. Being quiet does nothing but make it worse, and we need to accept and talk about our mental illnesses to get better.

I did realize that maybe I scared a few people with that blog post because I haven’t really let my anxiety show that much. I’ve dealt with over-worrying and anxiety for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was super socially anxious and shy. In the sixth grade, I was voted “most quiet” out of the whole class. I went through phases where my anxiety got the best of me with no known cause, like when I didn’t eat for several weeks because I was afraid I was going choke and die or because there were tapeworms in my food (we can thank a documentary on Animal Planet for that second one). Another example would be when I was petrified of ghosts and would sleep with my blanket all the way up over my head for nights on end (if I can’t see them, they can’t see me, right? Expert logic!) and not to mention the lack of sleep I got every Christmas due to my deep fear of Santa Clause.

Over the years, I have been able to manage my anxiety, fears, worrying, and paranoia. I’m an extrovert at heart who loves people, so the social anxiety part is mostly gone after forcing myself to talk to random people every week while greeting at Church on Sundays. I don’t fear to talk to new people, although sometimes walking into a crowded room can still get my heart racing. It’s virtually impossible for me to walk into a crowded room late. I do still also have a lot of random fears and paranoid spells. I will do everything humanly possible to avoid stepping foot in an elevator or on an indoor ride. I constantly worry people are judging me and that I’ll never be good enough. I need a lot of reassurance to build up any sort of confidence in myself.

Yes, my anxiety has been increasingly worsening over the last month, but there’s been a lot going on so I know that’s probably why. It’s nothing that I am majorly concerned with right now, and after talking about it with some lovely people (you know who you are and how grateful I am for you) I realized that it helps me be less anxious if I actually opened up about everything that’s swirling around in my head and didn’t try to hide it with a fake smile. I could just keep pushing on like nothing’s wrong, but that wouldn’t be in the least bit healthy.

I am looking forward to soon having a break. My fall break from school is next Monday and Tuesday and I’m thankful for the opportunity to also take off work to spend those days recuperating. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, this semester has not been the best. Like I’ve mentioned, a lot has been going on and I cannot wait to have a few days to rest and recover from it all. I plan on doing nothing but Halloween decorating, watching Hocus Pocus and Scary Godmother on repeat, and (hopefully) catching up with some friends and family. It feels like this is what my mind and soul needs, so I’m listening to it.

Make sure you take some time to take care of your mental health. I know it can be easy to forget, but mental health is just as important as your physical health. Rest, do some of your favorite things, and listen to what your brain is telling you! Know that you are loved through the struggle & despite what you may think, you are an amazing human being who is doing great things in this world!

xx,

Bailey

IT’S BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

October is here, which means the spooky season is coming (hello Halloween)! It’s a really exciting time of year, but it’s equally as important to remember that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is something that a lot of people, including myself, are very passionate about. For me, several family members have had their own battles with this disease. Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers bravely fought the battle and so have other family members. It’s something I’m very conscious of being proactive about when it comes to my own health.

I’ve been particularly aware of maintaining awareness because earlier this year I had my own minor breast cancer scare. I say minor, but nonetheless, it was a terrifying few weeks. I had a spot on my breast that the doctor could not identify the cause of. It was a dark purple spot about 2 cm wide with a yellow and blue bruise looking spot the size of a quarter surrounding it. I hadn’t actually bruised it and it didn’t hurt to press on, so I had no clue what it was. I took skin lesion antibiotics that helped it slightly but it still stuck around and scared me for several weeks. After multiple visits to the primary care physician, the words “breast cancer” got thrown around a bit. This wasn’t a typical symptom, but with my family history, we wanted to be extra careful. I went to the dermatologist about two months after discovering the spot to see if they could solve the mystery of what it was before we moved onto looking deeper into breast cancer.

I am lucky to say that I was not diagnosed with breast cancer. It turned out to be an abnormal cyst that the dermatologist was able to drain. I was so relieved and thankful to find out, but it also made me remember that so many other people aren’t so fortunate. To know how scared I was, having panic attacks at night, at the slight possibility of having breast cancer made my heart break for everyone who didn’t get the same turnout that I did. It also makes me realize how strong people like my mammaw, grammy, and great aunt are to go through so much.

So please, remember to be proactive and check yourself! Make sure you’re giving yourself monthly self-examinations to make sure everything seems well. If you are of age, go get a mammogram. Talk about it too! I know it can be awkward to talk about boobs sometimes (thank you stigmatization) but do it! Raise awareness and potentially save someone’s life. Also, there are plenty of ways you can donate. A lot of retailers have partnered with organizations such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to raise funds throughout the month. Isn’t time we find a cure?

Side note, I will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s Tri-Cities Making Strides 3k fun walk at Founder’s Park on Oct. 28! If any of my Tri-Cities friends would like to join me I’d be happy to walk with you. I’ve done this walk in the past and it’s a super fun event. It would mean a lot to me too. You can register here.

xx,

Bailey

HOW TO CARE FOR YOURSELF WHILE CARING FOR OTHERS

It’s no secret, I love helping people. I’m often the friend that people turn to when they need a shoulder to cry on or some advice. A lot of times, I was known as “the advice giver” and I love being that person! It explains why my number one trait when I took the Clifton StrengthFinders Assessment was Developer. I see the potential for improvement in people (not in a cocky kind of way, but in an “I want to help you” way) and it’s hard for me to fight the urge to let them talk to me and give them advice.

Lately, I’ve been carrying a lot of other people’s burdens. There’s been a lot going on for family and friends and I want to be there for them with all that I have and help. I’m realizing though, that I can’t sacrifice my own mental state to help someone else because that just doesn’t work. All of this came up when I remembered something my mom said to me recently:

“Everyone always comes to you with their stuff, but who do you take your stuff to?” 

Mom wisdom coming through. She wasn’t wrong in saying that & definitely shook me up a little. Of course, because I wanted to maintain my put-together “I’m fine” self I said, “I have people that I talk to.” Which, isn’t completely a lie. I do tell my best friend most of what I’m going through, but I definitely don’t share everything. It’s super hard for me to open up to people and let down my guard. This isn’t because I don’t trust people, it’s because I’m afraid if I do then people won’t want my help anymore because I won’t seem as strong. I now realize this isn’t the best logic and I shouldn’t let it be a guiding force in how I live my life.

This is particularly important to remember in the current season of life that I am in. I’ve had a lot going on with my dad having multiple foot surgeries and working way out of town so I hardly ever see him, starting Junior year and taking on fifteen credit hours of classes, and learning how to balance everything with working 29 hours a week (I’m used to only working around 20 hours during the school year), and trying to maintain whatever social life I can grab on to while making sure I stay in touch with my friends and family. It’s definitely a busy season, and I’m not at all complaining about it because I often thrive in busyness.

However, I do need to take a step back every now and then and evaluate my own well being. I tend to forget to eat or get enough sleep because I want to just keep on doing all the things I have to do, but that’s not healthy. Plus, while all these things are going on I need to make sure I’m aware of my mental health. I’ve been really anxious lately worrying about school and all of the issues people around me seem to be facing and I’ve kept that to myself. It’s starting to become apparent though by my constant lip biting or picking of every scrap of the blue polish that I had on my nails last week that I need to take a minute to relax. I actually became a bit of a moody monster last week due to it all, so sorry to anyone that I may have sassed or heard me belting songs from my “rainy day vibes” playlist. Special thank you to the person who called me out on it so I could learn to watch it and realize my sass wasn’t helping anyone (although sometimes my sass can be really funny).

All this to say, make sure you don’t forget to care for yourself while caring for others. It’s not selfish, even though that anxious voice in your head might try to tell you otherwise. You can’t fully be there for other people if you’re not at your best and you drive yourself to a breaking point. Have a “you day” where you do some of your favorite things to chill you out. Here are some of my favorites if you need some inspiration:

  1. Take a walk around Target. There are so many cute things to look at! Just make sure you have some money with you because you’ll more than likely end up spending more than you intended on home decor or clothes.
  2.  Drive around with no particular destination and sing some of your favorite songs.
  3. Have a long talk with a friend. I know many of us Millenials don’t remember that phones weren’t made just for texting, but sometimes it’s soothing to hear someone’s actual voice.
  4. If you don’t feel like talking to another person, talk to your pets! They’ll never interrupt or judge you and are great listeners.
  5. Plan something. I’ve been adding so much stuff to my Halloween & Christmas boards on Pinterest. I’ll probably only ever execute one or two of them, but it’s nice to think about. One day I’ll embody my true Pinterest self.
  6. Lay on the ground and stare at the sky. It’s really quite mesmerizing to just watch the world go by. Just don’t stare directly at the sun!
  7. Binge watch something on Netflix, Hulu, or whatever entertainment provider you prefer. It will provide some much needed chill time.
  8. Stretch your body through yoga or do some dancing. Whatever type of exercise you like to do, do it. If your body feels happy then you’ll feel happier.
  9. Eat your favorite food. Everything is fine in moderation, so have that one slice of pizza!
  10. Read a devotional or inspiring book. A little heart help goes a long way.

I could go on forever (thanks to my love of lists) but I’ll stop here for now. Hopefully, some of these can help those of you like me who often forget that it’s just as important to care for yourself as it is to care for those around you. It makes a world of difference!

Peace & blessings,

Bailey

 

THE BRIGHT SPOTS IN AUGUST

August marks the end of summer, the start of school, and overall a lot of changes. The leaves will soon begin to change, nights come earlier, and the temperature gets colder (well, that hasn’t really happened yet but me and my sweaters are eagerly awaiting the autumn weather). It was a busy month for sure, filled with highs and lows. My sister moved to Knoxville, I started my third year of college, I pet sat a lot, my car flooded, I had a sleepover with my best friend, worked a lot, and dealt with some family struggles. Through it all, there are always bright spots that be found shining through the darkness. Here are some things that provided light to me in August, and hopefully some of them can be a source of light for you!

Glossier Boy Brow – Where has this product been all of my life? I’m not gonna lie, I’m not the best at doing my brows. When the trend came the really shape your brows, I never learned how. My sister often poked fun at the way my eyebrows looked. Glossier’s Boy Brow has changed the game. It’s so easy to use, gives my brows volume, and keeps the hairs in place all day. I was a little skeptical to use it thinking it wouldn’t do much, but BOY was I wrong. I’m never going back to a brow pencil.

Back to School Shopping – Call me a nerd if you want, but I love back to school shopping. Getting new notebooks, pencils, pens, and all sort of supplies tend to really excite me! It’s one of the best parts of preparing to go back to school. Also, I’ve only had one week of classes but I’m really enjoying the classes I’m in. All of my professors seem really nice and I’ve made friends in all of them. I’m really excited to see where this semester takes me!

The Carrie Diaries on Netflix – After seeing clips of episodes from The Carrie Diaries pop up on my Instagram discover feed, I decided to give the show a watch. I’m really glad that I did! I’ve never seen Sex and the City, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like this show but I really did. However, it did make me wish I was in high school in the 80s. I’d love to just let my curly hair get as big as possible and whack a huge, neon bow in it every day. Plus, the blue eyeliner I rocked in middle school would have been perfect! I also now wish to be a writer in New York City who wears fabulous clothes every day.  I’m pretty sure it only took me a week to finish both seasons. I’ve been known to skip scenes in TV shows that I find “boring” because I have an attention span the size of a flea, but I never did that in any episodes of The Carrie Diaries. Follow up, why could there not have been more than two seasons?!

Fall Scented Everything – Yeah, that’s right! Fall scents have returned to candles, room diffusers, car air fresheners, soaps, and more. I couldn’t be happier about it! I did make myself wait until the end of August before buying any fall scented things to make sure I cherished the remainder of summer, but when Pumpkin Spice Lattes hit Starbuck’s all my inner fall excitement was released.

I’m excited to see what all September has to hold. There’s lots going on as summer turns to fall, the air turns crisp, leaves begin to fall, and football games are played. School will start to become regular and lots of fun is to be had. I’m hopeful that this next month will be filled with light!

What brought you some brightness in August?

xx,

Bailey