A few years ago I encountered what I call the Disney Crossroads. Everyone (or almost everyone) goes through this, and I believe it is a strong part of what defines a true Disney fan. My whole process started in sixth grade.
I was not a popular kid then. I had just switched schools and I didn’t know a single person (except for a neurotic Disney neighbor that taught there). I had officially reached my awkward age. I was too old to be a little kid, yet I wasn’t a teenager. I felt stuck in the middle. I started questioning things. Who I was, what I did, and the things I liked were all items I wondered about. Of course Disney came up. I don’t know what it was like for you, but it was definitely not cool to love Disney at my school. I got laughed at and picked on a little for various reasons. Sometimes I just didn’t say anything because I was afraid.
During the process I pondered whether or not I was too old for Disney. I thought if I abandoned my Disneymania, it would have made me that much closer to “ruling” my middle school, or at least closer to having more friends. However, I had always loved Disney and everything about it. It had always been there for me. It was a part of me. Could I really leave it behind?
In the end, I chose to stay true to my heart (you have my gratitude Fa Mulan) and overcome the age of not believing. I refused to pick popularity over Disney. I would not choose mean kids I wouldn’t remember five years from then over myself. I’ve been a Disney fan forever, but that was a really defining moment for me. It still took me awhile to figure out who I was as an individual, but I took a giant leap forward once I realized I couldn’t abandon Disney. Looking back now I laugh at myself for questioning my Disney neurosis, but back then the peer pressure was intense.
Now that I’m in high school, Disney is “cool” again. I wore my lucky princess bracelet during finals week and no one teased me about it. I actually got a ton of compliments, and one of my friends wanted to wear it!
If you’re a Neurotic Disney Kid, or even a Neurotic Disney Teen, and you’re starting to think you’re too old for Disney, think again. You’ve reached the Disney Crossroads. You can either walk down the regular route, or you can dance down the path covered in Mickey confetti.
Contributed by: Hannah N. (NDT#23) Hannah is the DDL Teens’ Viewpoint Blogger.