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

MISSING THE STAGE & MISSING A DREAM

There’s no denying it, I miss the stage every single day. It’s been almost two years since the last production I was in and I’m beginning to realize how much I truly miss it. The stage is where I feel happiness and this energy that I haven’t gotten anywhere else. I miss acting, dancing, and singing in order to entertain an audience and provide a moment of joy in their lives. The joy that comes from making the audience laugh and smile is something that I used to, and am realizing I still do, thrive on.

So, why did I stop? That question seems to be replaying in my head a lot. The easy answer is life just got too busy. I started college and started new jobs that just got in the way. I don’t have enough time for all of the rehearsals and script memorizing time needed. Yeah, those would be the easy answers but something far more looming is the real root. I’m scared. My entire acting and dancing careers were done under the same sets of directors who knew me well, and the thought of having to prove myself and my talents to someone else is pretty terrifying to me. Since I stopped performing for so long I’ve lost some of my confidence. I’ve always been doubtful of my singing abilities, and stopping practicing has definitely not helped. I’ve never experienced stage fright but the fear of auditioning is something that runs deep. I don’t like failing because disappointing people is one of my biggest fears, and opening yourself up to an audition allows a big possibility of failing.

But, I’ve got to stop letting my fears crush my dreams. There’s a large part of me that longs to perform again and the more I let fear push it down the more that spirit breaks. I deserve to let myself find the joy I once had in the stage and regain my confidence. This may, however, be a process. I might need to take voice lessons to get my singing voice back to where it was and gain confidence there. There will likely be times where I audition and don’t get a role, and that has to be okay.

I also will need a support system boosting me up. People are always telling me “you need to be in more performances” and “I can’t wait to see you on stage again” and I need to start listening to them and stop letting the worrying voice in my head be louder than the encouragement. I need people to keep me accountable, in the beginning, for going to auditions and putting myself out there. So many times I’ve gotten so close to doing something only to duck out last minute and let anxiety win. Not anymore. My anxieties and fears will not overcome my dreams and one of those dreams is to be on stage again.

If anyone knows of any tips or has words of encouragement, I’d gladly appreciate those in the comments. Also, if any Johnson City locals know of any production opportunities or people I could get connected with to help me in this process, let me know!

And remember, don’t ever let your fears crush your dreams. God’s given you a light so let it shine.

xx,

Bailey

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