First of all, I just want to take another chance to thank Heather for the brilliant job she did over here while I was enjoying my little hiatus. Everything she wrote was excellent, so if you didn’t check out her posts, stop what you’re doing and do it now!
As many of you know, I recently returned from a blissful Walt Disney World vacation. Last year, I wrote about how a trip to WDW always brings out my best self. It’s my “happy place,” the place where I find myself acting closest to the person I always want to be.
This years theme around the Disney Parks is “Show Your Disney Side.” For some people (including many who rocked their Disney sides with my sister and I at the 24-Hour Disney Day last Friday), their Disney side is represented by a specific Disney character: Mickey’s joy, the Evil Queen’s poise, Elsa’s strength, Rapunzel’s enthusiasm.
What’s my Disney side? That’s a question I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I think my Disney side is the side of me that is at its strongest when I’m within the confines of Disney World. It’s my happy side, my positive side, and my enthusiastic side. In short, it’s the side that I also try to bring to everything I do here at Nerdy Girl Notes.
Disney World is the perfect place for nerds (and I’m not just talking about all of my fellow Star Wars nerds that I saw during Star Wars Weekends on my trip—more on that later). It’s a place that encourages enthusiasm like no other place on Earth. It’s a place where genuinely, passionately enjoying things is the norm instead of the exception.
Cynicism has no place in Disney World, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I love it so much. Smiles are more prevalent than eye rolls, and even the most jaded can find themselves getting choked up while watching Wishes or Illuminations. Being in Disney World allows you to feel like a kid again, and, for me, that means feeling like I’m not going to be judged for allowing myself to be completely enthusiastic about the things I’m experiencing.
My Disney side is a part of me that I hope comes through in everything I do, and it’s a side I want to show the world even when I’m not in the Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios anymore. My Disney side is the part of me that is unashamedly positive, isn’t afraid to care about things in a way that others might not understand, and encourages others to also be passionate about the things they enjoy.
After coming home and trying to catch up on news from various fandoms, I was reminded that fandom—and the Internet in general—can be a decidedly unhappy place. However, all that has done is make me feel more committed than ever to NGN’s mission to be a respectful place—a safe space—for people to talk about the things they love. Being a part of a fandom should be a source of happiness—not anxiety, depression, or belittlement. Fandoms should be like little versions of Disney World, where people might not always have the same favorite things, but they still let each other enjoy the magic.
I hope to always channel my Disney side—my positive, enthusiastic side—into everything I do here (and everything I do in general). I hope all of you have a magical day, and here’s to a great summer at NGN!