Not all tales are as old as time

I think Disney is often more profound than we give it credit for.

Because many childhood movies are chalked full of wisdom and life truths.

As I was watching Beauty and the Beast the other day, I realized something: sometimes we are all like a girl who wants “adventure in the great wide somewhere” and finds herself in a strange castle full of talking objects and a beast—and uncertain of anything that lies ahead.

Somewhere in the midst of my singing along to all of the songs, I couldn’t help but realize how much anxiety Belle was likely feeling once she realized the impact of her decision to step into eternal imprisonment in place of her father. And it struck me that these are the same feelings we have when we face situations that are completely unknown to us—because it’s kind of scary to throw yourself out there and simply hope for the best.

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Venturing into the unknown

Belle took a huge risk in giving the Beast her word that she would live in his palace forever. She had no idea what it was like in there or what her fate would hold. But she did it. She boldly stepped forward, knowing that she was giving up a life of security and predictability. I mean, you are probably familiar with the opening number in the movie—nothing truly unexpected happens very often for Belle.

Until she makes a choice.

There are moments in life when you have to be like Belle and decide that you are going to enter something with no idea what the results will be or how drastically it could change your life. One minute you’re reading next to a fountain, and the next you’re having a conversation with an armoire. While this might not be the exact scenario for all of us, it’s quite comparable on some levels.

I remember the summer after my high school year when I decided to go to LA for a day. I really had no logical reasoning. I was watching Live with Regis and Kelly one morning, and the show always promoted CheapTickets.com. I had saved up some money from working and found myself on the website ready to buy a ticket. I figured it would be neat to go to New York or LA, but it was supposed to rain in New York the next few days, and I didn’t want my hair to have to endure that. I purchased a ticket for LA for the following day, had my brother drive me to the airport and flew to an unknown area with no plan.

When I arrived, I seriously had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just knew I needed something different in my life—some type of new adventure. I ended up getting bored of the Hollywood area pretty quickly and walked to a place called Runyon Canyon Park. I went on a hike by myself and actually had a much more enjoyable time than I had expected once I landed from the plane. At first, everything was kind of intimidating—I mean, I had no transportation of my own, not a lot of money, no companions with me and a heart full of hope that didn’t want to be disappointed. But my time in the hills cleared my mind and gave me perspective as I sat at the top, looking down at a beautiful view and spending some time writing in my journal. It was just something I needed at the time.

The rest of the trip was pretty memorable: I had to short-change a cab driver, drank Gatorade from a can (which is still weird to me), slept in an airport and then had to see the face of my disappointed mom when I walked through the front door (oh, yeah, I hadn’t told my parents about my little day trip). It might have cost me a lot of money and only lasted for a short time, but I’m really glad I went on that escapade. I think it was a stepping stone in my life in learning to be more courageous and not always following such a predictable pattern.

I’m at a point in my life right now where I am really uncertain about a few things approaching in the days ahead. It’s kind of scary, but it’s also kind of exciting. I feel like I’m about to step from a place of comfort and familiarity into a land of the unknown. I feel kind of like Belle, minus the whole imprisonment and falling in love with a beast thing.

Life is full of chances to take, opportunities to seize, adventures to go on and people to love. But we have to be willing to take those leaps of faith every once in a while.

And you just might find something there that wasn’t there before.

 

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