My (Somewhat) Secret Obsession

There is something that I have been hiding from most people; most of my friends do not even know of it.

What is this (somewhat) secret obsession of mine? Should I be on one of those television shows about obsessions? What is wrong with me?

Well, everyone, my frequent preoccupation is with Disney, and with the Disney Parks, specifically.

I have been visiting Walt Disney World ever since I was seven-months old, and returning almost yearly with my family has fostered my deep love for the resort. I am a very sentimental person, and when coupled with the fact that Walt Disney World consists of amazing parks, hotels, and food, the resort truly holds a special place in my heart.

It is just that almost no one outside of my family knows of this passion of mine.

Upon consideration, it is fairly ludicrous that I have consciously withheld something that is a huge part of my life from my peers. There are some ways in which people could decipher that I love Disney; for example, my profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and here on WordPress are all Disney-related. One may also find me wearing a Disney shirt in public every once in a while, but that is pretty much the extent of my Disney obsession that is shown to others. Here are some examples of my insecurity and hesitation:

  • When asked where I am going on vacation, I just say “Florida”
  • I rarely wear items from my very extensive Disney clothing collection in public
  • I consciously try to hide my EPCOT Center phone case from the sight of classmates
  • When people around me talk about Disney, I rarely join in the conversation
  • I feel incredibly self-conscious when I wear my Walt Disney World purse in public
  • This is my first Disney-related post on my blog

Now that I am in college and do not feel as though my peers have expectations for me, I have felt comfortable enough to express myself more often and in different ways. If someone told me a year ago that in college I would read something I wrote right before class about the election to my professor and peers, make connections between psychology and one of my favorite television shows entitledĀ Big BrotherĀ when teaching the class for the day, and talked into a microphone about casinos to a class of a hundred students, I would have been astonished. With this progression in my self-expression, though, my Disney obsession has remained somewhat of a secret. There were a few times I wrote about Disney for my professors to read this semester, but when talking to my peers, I have consistently downplayed or been silent about my love of the company’s creations.

I have realized that most of the hiding of my Disney obsession specifically takes place in school, with peers, and in-person, as previously hinted at. I already am not a popular pupil, so openly being a Disney geek in front of my “cool” and “normal” peers intimidates me. Maybe it is weird that I am an eighteen-year-old who spends much time (and money) on Disney, but should I really fear the questioning that this love of mine may warrant?

It is interesting to me, though, that I am fairly comfortable with sharing my love of Disney in writing and with adults. When I write, I have the perception that I can frame myself and what I want to portray in the exact way I want to be seen. I also have the mindset that adults such as my professors could understand me in a more nuanced way, and could see the virtues of my love of the company. When I imagine telling fellow students of my Disney obsession, though, I have a more cynical view; I feel insecure about seeming childish to them, since I fear they will not truly understand what Disney means to me, and instead assume that I just listen to “It’s a Small World” on loop every day. For example, I had little-to-no problem with my professor reading about how my experiences at Walt Disney World have led me to majoring in hospitality management, but when we conducted peer reviews, the thought of having a fellow student reading this information made me feel thoroughly insecure and essentially embarrassed. Would they conclude that I was a childish freak? It turned out that they did not, and the student actually became a friend of mine in that class, which must be an omen to the virtues of putting oneself out there.

I am torn about how to express my love of Disney. Of course, I do not want to seem insane to my peers, and it does not seem necessary for me to always show the full extent of my geekiness when given the opportunity. On the other hand, though, I feel as though I am doing myself a disservice by not making others aware of something that is a large part of my happiness. Who knows, there could have been others who are Disney fans in my classes that I would have connected with if I expressed myself more.

To improve my ability to express myself and let others understand me better, I think that I should start by being open about the extent of my Disney obsession here on my blog. Here we go…

  • I have Walt Disney World guidebooks from almost every year between 1990 and 2017
  • I listen to many Disney podcasts; in fact, they are the reason why I now am a podcast enthusiast
  • I heavily plan my family’s Walt Disney World vacations with the help of various websites, crowd calendars, and my growing expertise
  • I watch a multitude of Disney vloggers on YouTube
  • I often listen to the background music loops that are played at the Disney Parks while doing schoolwork
  • I can quote the scripts and narration of many of Walt Disney World’s attractions
  • Pretty much the only movies I see in theaters are Disney ones
  • I basically have Disney shrines in my room, along with various attraction posters hung up on the walls
  • I have separate, Disney-dedicated social media accounts (self-promotion: my username–which shows geekiness in and of itself–on Twitter and Instagram are @seashoresweets)
  • I am going back to Walt Disney World over my winter break, and I am quite excited about it!

There it is: my secret Disney obsession, laid out for everyone to see. I hope I have not scared all viewers of this post away with my presentation of such a high concentration of embarrassing information about myself. After all, though, I presumably should not feel embarrassed about what makes me happy.

Do you have any “secret” obsessions? How do you think I should express my love for Disney to others in a way that is comfortable for me? Let me know.

-Stephanie

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