A while back I was talking to my mother who gave me a serious look and asked “in job interviews how do you answer the question; where do you plan on being in five years.”
I was not sure how to answer that question just like I am never sure how to answer the question of where I plan to be in five years. I have maybe the next ten minutes of my life planned out and then there is just darkness… and dragons (there are always dragons). The last time I was at a job interview and was asked that question I panicked, having a small existential crisis there in the executive director’s office. Finally I regained control of myself (as much control as I ever have) and told her, “oh, on an island that I own tanned, rested and alone,” literally breaking into song “SURROUNDED BY ENORMOUS PILES OF MONEY!”
Those of you who are awesome know that those are Flynn Ryder’s lyrics in the song “I’ve Got a Dream” in the film Tangled. If you didn’t know that… well now you do.
The woman I was interviewing with looked shocked for a moment then nodded. “When can you start?” I liked that job. Mostly it was copying and pasting things out of the database and tailoring them to suit my immediate needs but a small portion of it was quoting Disney (and other) movies when people asked me questions. Usually those were Flynn Ryder quotes.
“Hey Katie, how was your drive?” “Oh the things I’ve seen and it’s only 10 o’clock in the morning.” Things like that. Although once, when I was sick and had to leave early, I walked into my boss’s office and muttered “Janine, I’ve been turned into a cow. Can I go home?” Flynn, and other Disney characters have had a major impact on my life.
I won’t say that Flynn Ryder is my favorite Disney character (that would be Princess Jasmine) but I will say that I connect with Flynn Ryder/Eugene Fitzherbert on a deep and almost spiritual level. I honestly believe that I am him in a small way.
Obviously you can learn a great deal about people based on simple things like their favorite Disney character, NInja Turtle, and Muppet. They are things that do not really change as you grow older. You can grow to love a new character that you meet later in life (like I love Flynn Ryder) but that first character that you loved and wanted to be like does not change.
So here is the thing. Princess Jasmine is my favorite Disney character for a lot of the same reasons that I connect with Flynn Ryder. What does that say about me?
Mostly I think that says that I am a firecracker. Totally unpredictable and extremely sarcastic. Don’t believe me? Watch those movies again. That is something important about both of those characters. Now here is the other thing; both of those characters have other, possibly better, options than the people they end up with but they make the choice to be with those people. it is not the love at first sight Disney culture that we are taught to believe in but a culture of choosing the person that you love even if it is not easy. I think that is the most important thing to remember about those characters.