Thursday, March 12, 2009
I saw this woman being wheeled around Disneyland this weekend and- I can not lie- it brought a small tear to my eye. In this pic, she's getting ready to ride the revamped SMALL WORLD. I never noticed before, but they have boats that support wheel chairs. Pretty cool.
But so why was I so moved? I'm not really sure. I think it was for a few reasons...
The fact that she can be wheeled down Disneyland Main Street and actually see a town that probably looked very much like the one she lived in as a child is pretty amazing. Main Street in Disneyland is based off small town America from 1890-1910. So if she's 107, she would have been a little kid of about 8 in 1910, running from the old candy shop to the nickelodeon to the train depot. Pretty amazing that to someone like me, Main Street is as much a fantasy as Tomorrowland. But to her, going down Main Street must be like stepping into her past.
I also was moved by the fact that, as I get older, I let my geek flag fly a lot more than I ever did in the past. I was never what you would call a conformist but I certainly struggled at times with society's definitions for what it means to be a man, a dad, a husband, and an adult in general. But there came a point not too long ago where I was like: fuck it, I'm almost 40 and I still love Disneyland. I'm almost 40 and I still read comics and play video games. I'm almost 40 and one of the big highlights of my year is going to Comic Con. And I KNOW that makes me a total geek. But you know what? Doing those things makes me happy!
And so here is this 107 year old woman who seems happy and vibrant and- hell- ALIVE at 107 years! And she chooses to spend her birthday at Disneyland. Not at the old folks home, not sitting around and dying...but at fucking DISNEYLAND! And part of me could not help but think that maybe the REASON she is still alive after 107 years and the reason she seems so HAPPY after 107 years is because she's chosen to follow her gut and her bliss and do things SHE loves versus caring about what society tells her is acceptable.
For me, it was impossible not to be moved by that. I was so grateful that I got to see her.