Almost seven years ago, I made my first solo trek to the land of pixie dust and Happily
Ever Afters. I am, of course, talking about Disneyland. I wasn’t even aware that one was allowed, as an adult, to go to Disneyland by oneself. But I hadn’t been in years and I couldn’t find someone to go with me. Thus began a beautiful experience in being okay with being myself and enjoying the things that I love because I love them.
Since that fateful trip seven years ago, I have made it a habit to go to Disneyland by myself at least once a year. It might seem strange to others who have never been, or to those who only go with family on vacations, but going to Disneyland by myself has been a necessary part of my adulting practices over the years. It’s a time when I can relax, go on the rides I want to go on without worrying about the needs of others, take my time to eat and people watch without making others feel anxious, and wait as long as I want for that character meet and greet without having others check their watch.
Please understand, my Disney family, I’m not saying that I do not enjoy going to DL with you! I just went over Labor Day weekend with some wonderful friends and had an amazing time. I will be going again over MLK Jr. weekend with some of the same wonderful friends and will have an amazing time again. I enjoy going with my friends and family. I am looking forward to taking my nephew soon. I love going on rides with my friends. I love having goofy and inane and super deep conversations with them while we wait in line for Space Mountain. I cherish the memories I have of screaming at the top of our lungs together as we rescue the Guardians from the Collector.
It is a different experience when I Disney by myself. In some ways it is more stressful because there is no one else there to help me figure out what I want to do next. In many ways it is reveling to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it without comprise. “Hey, self, want to watch the Christmas parade? Yes, yes I do. There is a spot over there, let’s go stand there.”
I know many people don’t understand my obsession with Disney – cause let’s call a spade a spade! It’s definitely an obsession! I’m sure they would understand my need to Disney by myself even less. But I love the fact that I can stroll down Main Street without a care in the world and no one to answer to and do whatever I want when I want (within reason, of course! It is still Disneyland!). I love that I can ride Star Tours three times in a row and not worry that people are waiting for me. I love that I can have my picture taken with any of the characters I want and not worry that my friends aren’t having fun. Mostly, I love that I can just be me and enjoy my own company and not be afraid of what that means.