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Summer, part 6: The happiest place on earth.

It's not unusual to hear people say they've given up on fairy tales. In fact, count me in on that statistic. I'm nineteen - hell, I've been rejected, I've cried myself to sleep, I've clung on to Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye, I've been through what I'd like to call "life's ceremonial jade-ing." I've long believed that fairy tales do not happen, and for the most part, do not exist, really.

Most people must be guilty of using the word "Disney" as an insult. In our course, anyone who chooses the "Disney" version of Little Mermaid would probably be considered a disgrace. If you still see Prince Charming as your proverbial life hero, your bookshelf (and life) must lack variety. Clearly, you haven't gone out to read tragedies, let alone experience them. Which is a shame. Because there is more to life than the Disney perspective.

But see, it's through the rose-colored glasses of Disney that I first saw life outside the four walls of my home. It was Mickey and the gang that showed me that things will always be okay when you have a great (and diverse!) set of friends. It was Snow White's seven dwarfs that introduced me to the different types of people you can meet, it was Ariel's friends under the sea that opened my eyes to new worlds that I could never have imagined on my own. It was Mary Poppins inside my head when I refused to tae an awfully disgusting antibiotic, and it was Belle's love for books that sealed my fate as a reader. For all their flight and fancy, the Disney movies that I saw growing up were all instrumental in making me realize that your world doesn't have to be confined within what you know - some stories may not be real, they may be imaginary and all in your head, but there's nothing wrong with that. And sometimes, it's even the most unreal that speak volumes about what really is.

I no longer wish for fairy tales. But I forever owe Walt Disney my love for stories and the art of telling them. Just having to step into a place where magic happens was enough to make me feel grateful for all the tales he's woven into our lives.

P.S. I look so dark in this picture, I cannot even- (finish this sentence properly.) My friends, proof that this year, summer happened.