Life: 15 Years Ago

California, Disney, Disneyland, Dreams, Growing up, Life, Orange County, Southern California, Uncategorized

It all began shortly after high school like most great fairy tales begin. Right?! 15 years ago I walked into a bakery bright eyed, timid, and a total nervous wreck but little did I know that my life would change forever.Sweets and Life: Blue Ribbon Bakery Disneyland

I grew up in a very small town in the Central Valley where after high school you either enter the military, get married (more likely pregnant), or you leave town in hopes of a better future and I decided on the latter. In a manner of a few days I applied, had a phone interview and was on my way to my first real interview. With my parents blessing I took enough clothes for 3 days and headed out as the Dixie Chicks say to Wide Open Spaces. By the end of the week I was given a position as a “culinary hostess” at the Happiest Place on Earth.  Words cannot describe my delight as I began working on October 23, 1999. The friendships and memories that I made there by far exceeds what I ever expected out of my “first” job. (I worked as a welder for a summer when I was 16 so technically my second job.)

Sweets and Life: Cast Member name tag

I worked full time in several positions throughout the park for almost a decade while I attending school full time on and off. I wouldn’t change anything about my time there because I believe it has made me who I am today. The values the company instilled in me will be part of me for as long as I’m alive and I’ve very proud to take to any company I might work at in the future. At Disneyland I learned how important it is to initiate guest contact, that picking up trash is done by everyone throughout the park, maintaing the “show” aspect is what makes this place special, and genuinely caring for our guest is the number one priority. Keep in mind that when I refer to the guest I’m not just talking about the adults but to children as well. I learned how to communicate with children more easily and how to get down to their level. I learned about public speaking and now I’m able to communicate with anyone I come across.

Sweets and Life: My buddy Mickey

I was part of the magic that was created there on a daily basis.  Some of the moments guest felt were above and beyond were documented at guest relations and in 2008 I was lucky enough to be nominated for a Service Excellence award for it. Most of what I did will never be known and I’m okay with that because it will stay in my heart.   Here is just a small glimpse of what I helped create and to my defense I left the couple without refills to go get a piece of cake at another location. Guest go to the park for different reasons and one cannot assume that they are simply there on vacation.  Wether it be for an afternoon of fun with their families, trying to escape something difficult in their lives or to celebrate something people always turn to the Park. Some of the individuals that go saved up for months or years to be able to take their families there. (My family was one of those people.)  I was taught that you threat everyone the same whether they be an annual passholder, a celebrity, or a regular person.  I learned how to deal with different personalities from all over the world. Through my guests I learned about different cultures and customs. My co-workers became part of my family as I spent most of my holidays working long hours.  In fact I loved working holidays because everyone was so happy to be  there celebrating. What better place to ring in the New Year or 4th of July?

Sweets and Life: Carnation Cafe

The company also instilled in me a sense of citizenship. I participated in several VoluntEARS events throughout my time there. They encourage cast members to help out in their community. I relished in helping out in any way I could whether it be by raising money for a walk, painting a playground, spending time with the children at CHOC, or other events throughout the year.

Sweets and Life: Disney VoluntEARSOut of all my time working for the company the position I cherished working the most was being part of the Dream Squad. In order to attain that position you had to get nominated and approved by the operations manager, turn in a resume, and get interviewed.  I’m not going to say much about the Dream Squad except imagine being Santa Clause everyday. It was simply phenomenal.

Sweets and Life: Dream Squad

So, you might be asking yourself why on Earth did you quit this magical place? I quit simply because I was accepted into UCLA on a summer scholars program and I was unable to work full time, commute on the Metro, and attend all my classes without something suffering. I could only stretch myself so far.  But before I’m done reminiscing I would like to say that Disneyland gave me the greatest gift of all, my Husband.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen when the person that interviewed me on the first day told me that I was going to find love there I dismissed it.  Little did I know how truly magical my time being there and how it would change me forever.

Sweets and Life: Disneyland

Maybe one day I will return to the place I consider my second home but for now I’m setting my sights on other things.  I’m very happy about the work skills I acquired while I was with the company. My Husband often thinks I’m weird for asking people if I can take their photo for them when we are out and about but I can’t help myself. There are so many magical stories that I’ve yet to share with you and so many things I have learned that I would love to list but that will have to wait until next time. In the mean time here’s a little glimpse of me when it all began circa 1999.

Sweets and Life: Cast Member of the Month

 

 

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Life: On Growing Up (Pt. 1)

Growing up, Lawyer, Life, LSAT

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an attorney when I grew up.  I wanted this more than anything else and against all the odds I was almost close to realizing my childhood dream.  I was always proud to tell people that I knew exactly what I wanted to be unlike my peers who didn’t.  I mean seriously what 6 year old knows what they want to be when they are older.  I did such a great job convincing people that I was going to be an attorney that I lost track of the things that really made me happy and why I wanted to be one in the first place.    


Things began to change last year when I realized that life as I knew it is not as easy as I thought it was when I was a child.  Law school is not only expensive but it also requires a lot of commitment.  If I was going to attend law school I would have had to put the wedding aside and everything else for that matter to concentrate on the LSAT.  Before I made a decision I read this book, this book, this book, and many more which I suggest if anyone is considering being an attorney should. Since at this point in my life I’m not ready to make that financial commitment and I’m not willing to give up 3 years of my life I have decided to set aside this childhood dream in the attempt to pursue bigger and better endeavors.     



The problem I find myself in now is not knowing where to go from here.  I read the books, I did my homework, I worked my butt off, and now that it’s all said and done where do I go from here.  How do I begin the transition process?  I feel now how the other 6 year olds felt so long ago.  I did such a great job convincing everyone who I wanted to be that somewhere along the way I lost myself.  The hard part for me is not finding a job but trying to pin point exactly where my passion lies.  If you haven’t noticed I love to bake and take photos but who doesn’t, right?  Along the years I have become more realistic about my capabilities and I realize that there are countless of people out there that are better qualified bloggers, bakers, and photographers than me.  I know what you’re thinking right about now, this girl is depressing me with this post but stick with me I have a point to make. 

When I got married I never realized that I was going to have such a supportive and loving husband that would encourage all the crazy shenanigans I do.  I have an opportunity now that many would dream about including myself a few years back.  I am able to be anyone I choose to be.  Isn’t that crazy?  Throughout the years nobody except my hubby ever told me, “You don’t have to be a lawyer if you don’t want to, you can be a _______ instead.” When he uttered those words it was like a heavy load had lifted.  Many had said to me that I couldn’t do it but nobody every mentioned that there was nothing wrong with changing my mind. What a concept? 

Here’s an interesting article on the subject matter.   

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