As a little girl, I grew up thinking that I was a Princess. Not because I had everything, but because my parents always taught me to believe that I could be anything. And because I was a typical little girl, what I wanted to be was a Disney Princess. Eventually, I wanted to be a Gryffindor. Then a Rivendell Elf. Then a Rebel Pilot. And with every book I picked up and every movie I watched, I wanted to be something different. And through those stories, I did exactly what my parents said I could do. I went on grand adventures, and I became everything that I wanted to be.
“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney
But somewhere along the way, around those pesky teenage years, I lost that sense of adventure. I tucked it away in a deep dark corner because my age and my peers dictated that it was time to “grow up”. and be “sensible”. As a high school/college student, I never particularly enjoyed the things most of the people my age did, and I never forced myself to like them. But I also saw how very few people there were who shared what I liked – a handful of people, friends and family who loved that very big, but very hidden part of me. So before I knew it, to the rest of the world I took my place in the “sensible” community and talked about “sensible” things, and became a “sensible” person. But at home and in my heart, I was still very much a dreamer.
Then something miraculous happened. Through quite a number of bumps in the road – and a few big crashes, my handful of people steadily grew, and I found myself surrounded by people who like me, slapped on their adult hats over their dreamer heads, and who like me, were waiting for someone or something to slap those hats right back off. Suddenly, dreaming became my job, and dreamers were the majority.
Today, as I turn the big 3-0, I celebrate being able to go back to who I am, because of the spirit and heart my childhood has afforded me. I celebrate my best friends, my fellow Disney Princesses and Princes, Wizards, Witches, Elves, and Jedi, who reopened my world to magic and whimsy, and joy. I celebrate the people I have met through our company, that continuously opens doors and windows and arms for people like us. I celebrate my parents who encourage me to be anything and do anything my heart tells me to no matter how old I get. I celebrate my brothers who were my earliest allies in the Wizarding World, the Battle of the One Ring, and the war against the Empire. I celebrate my entire family who has kept my dreaming alive because of the worth and love they put in it and in me. I celebrate the fact that the stories that have lived in me for so long have shaped who I am as a human being, and have provided the simplest but most meaningful lessons of my life.
After 30 crazy, beautiful, wonderful years, I am very much the same Disney Princess, Gryffindor, Elf and Jedi. And I have the pictures and the heart to prove it.
“First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.”
– Walt Disney
Though there are still so many heroines I admire and love, and so many costumes I’m itching to make and wear, this pretty much covers the top tier. More photos of each costume, details on where I got it/how I made it/why I chose it to follow in the next posts! Stay tuned!
*All photos by the amazingly talented Christine Day Lorico