For two years I don't remember anything.
It's like I went to bed one day in 2003 and woke up in 2005. For two years, I felt like I was in Dude, Where's My Car? except with a lot more headaches, a lot less Ashton Kutcher, and finding my car in the driveway. To make a long story short, I had this spinal-fixation-of-the-top-four-vertebra thingy going on that only allowed less than 40% of oxygen going to my brain. That induced intense headaches, vertigo and memory loss. Add a little salt for taste, some Topamax, and wallah, two-year rip in the space-time continuum.
Now, I didn't tell you this for your pity. (However, if you want to send pity Powerball tickets, I'll allow it.) I did it to explain why I haven't pursued my dream of working for the Disney (the corporation, not the man. He's dead, and probably doesn't pay very much). Every since I visited Disney World in 2001 I wanted a part of the action in any capacity. Just to have the opportunity to create an ounce of Disney magic and I would be happy as a dung beetle in a manure pile.
And when I moved to Florida in 2002, I thought I had my chance. Then something went wrong. Here's the timeline.
2003: Teaching in Florida. More entranced with Disney after speaking with several people who work with or have worked at the Parks. Decide to investigate during summer break. My head started hurting on a daily basis.
2004-2007: Holy crap! How did I get here? Arnold Schwarzenegger governor of California? Red Sox win the World Series? What the hell is Facebook? Saw miracle chiropractor and got neck fixed. Moved to Ohio to be close to family. Started Masters program in public and nonprofit programming so I could save the world.
2008-present: Recovery from headaches. Graduated. Saved the world for five years. Had a kid. Stopped saving the world because it pays diddly. Consult in social media development for small businesses and nonprofits. Write crappy blog in which nobody writes in the comments section.
Now I'm 37 with a family, a mortgage, a dog and two SUV's. I shelve Disney dream jobs in a basket behind the Wham! records and those tennis racquets that I swore I would use. I focus on other goals like paying a mortgage and helping the Princess grow up to realize her her own dreams (which evidently is to grow as tall as the fan so she can reach the M&M's).
And I absolutely love my life, but it's not like I don't fantasize every now and then, and if an opportunity ever revealed itself, I would totally jump without hesitation; however, having no relevant skills does hamper my prospects. I can just hear the call now:
Hello, Disney World, I would like a job in your theme parks.
Yes, I'll hold...
Yes, I'm still here.
Well, I can't really take an minimum wage entry-level job, but I have some ideas.
My best idea? Um, how about a villains theme restaurant in Disney Hollywood Studios. It could be called Hades and set up like a old 1950's supper club. See, all the villains have to work at the club in punishment for being evil, and they perform, but they're surly because they hate it, and other stuff may happen....
You like it!
No, I can't design the building, I have no architectural or engineering abilities.
Work on the animations? I'm not what you would call "handy."
Art direction? My artistic ability is more akin to a 2-year-old with hiccups. Oh, and I can't lift heavy objects either.
I was thinking at least $72,000 a year plus moving expenses.
Yes, I'll hold...
We all have these "what if's." You might have been a professional athlete if you didn't break your leg. You could have been an engineer if the pesky calculus didn't get in the way. Perhaps you would of had that family of 14 if you just had a bit more sex. I may have been an important cog in Disney's machine if I just didn't lose two years of my life.
And while some people see these dreams as hindrances to us living in the real world. I want to hold on to that dream. Perhaps this is what keeps me thinking like I'm 25, and not 37.
Jack Grubb writes an incredible blog, Losing the Internets, which is read by at least 37 people and over 2,100 Russian SPAM bots. In his spare time he helps small companies find their marketing voice. Jack currently lives deliberately in Appalachia, Kentucky with his wife, two daughters, Jack Russell and a Lego collection beyond compare.