Preparing for my audition for being a Disney character or performing tomorrow has been very stressful. Although excited, I am terrified. After all, the other girls will be thinner, prettier, more talented, and sweeter than me. That keeps repeating in my head.
Hearing the responses of my friends and family to this big event has been both helpful and disheartening. Most people have given me great encouragement. Others promise to pray or think about me. Even my coworkers warnings about safety or horror stories all come out of a place of being helpful.
Still, I do not want to get my hopes to high. After all, this program will be amazing even if I am not a character. Sure, that is part of my dream, but I will love working attractions too. There is not a loss just because I am not cast as a princess. That is what I keep trying to remember.
Thus, even the encouragement that I am sure to get a part is hard to hear. What if I do not? Being realistic, that might not happen. I am not going to set all my hopes on being a Disney princess.
These comments, although anxiety-producing, still touch my heart. What has been really difficult is when people belittle or squash my hopes. “Oh, it turns out to be a waste of time because not everyone gets a part. Then you are just stuck there cleaning.” Is that a waste of time? Not for me. Even if it would be, that response really trivializes my plans and dreams. Another difficult response was “Oh, you’re not going to have a lot of competition. There will be so many girls there.” This was followed by the person belittling Disney for its stereotypical beauty. Um, not only was this person degrading the company I am thrilled to be working for but also my appearance. I know that is not what she meant, but it still stung. Now, my body image and self-disgust is only heightened.
What do you do with responses like that? How do we react when people pooh-pooh our dreams or happiness? What about when people expect us to succeed at something which might not happen? Knowing how to deal with these comments is a skill that I wish I had. Unfortunately, I often just smile and nod or turn pink with confusion.
People often make comments that are hard to graciously accept or kindly refute. Having the social skills to respond in a loving but self-assured way is something that I lack. However, other people have opened up to me about their struggles in that area as well. Maybe I am not alone in this difficulty. All that I can do is continue trying to learn from my experiences and the advice of others. Perhaps I am still not very good at it currently, but I have made great progress over the years in my ability to communicate in such situations.