I’ll state this right off the bat: the Disney character I most identify with is Moana.
Yes, that adorable, epic heroine who found herself in the middle of way too much responsibility, and didn’t really understand why she had to be the world’s savior.
I’ll be straight with you; I don’t totally understand it myself, but I’m sure a psychoanalyst would have a field day with me on this one. I’m a pretty normal person. I work a day job, I have a family I care for. I try to be someone who leaves the world better than she got it… and I write.
None of that sounds epic, right? None of that is out of the ordinary, or special. Certainly nothing Disney movie-worthy. I certainly am not a teenage hero that restores the heart of a god.
But I’ll tell you this about Moana: she just goes for it. Don’t know how to sail? Wing it. Don’t know how to find a random ass magic hook or the shady guy who wields it? Follow some stars based upon legend. Don’t know how you’re going to fight a GOD from a wee canoe in the middle of the ocean? Um…just…try to be fast?
I feel that. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, making the best of what’s thrown at me. I’ve taken jobs out of left field because, hey, why not? I moved across the country without even a job to my name (but one very loud cat), and just figured I’d sleep on the floor until someone offered me a job. Both of my children were unexpected in different ways, but hey, here we are, so we’ll figure it out.
In fact, that’s what my husband and I say to each other when things look pretty grim. “We’ll figure it out.”
That moment in Moana when she most doubts herself, and she asks the Ocean to choose another heroine? She makes a connection with a spirit who reminds her who she is. And she sees the ghost ships and spirits of her ancestors sailing by, and I. Just. Bawl. Every single time, no matter who’s with me.
That scene touches me so deeply and feeds my soul in a way that no other movie ever has. It’s pushed me through writers block, it’s gotten me through self-doubt. It’s beautiful.
But I still don’t understand how a Disney-created epic Polynesian heroine is the one that calls me. Maybe it’s just enough that it does.