LIFE | Dry Dock Diaries

When we were first told that we had a ‘dry dock’ in the middle of our contracts with Disney, at first, we were all a bit annoyed. It meant two weeks of not working and not being paid, but it did mean we could go home or go exploring, so we soon came around to the idea. And in fact, it turned into a blessing. We all needed a ‘dry dock’ by the time it arrived! #weneedadrydock

For anyone who doesn’t know what a ‘dry dock’ is… every couple of years a cruise ship has to be updated and have maintenance work, so this September the Disney Magic ship had two weeks of being updated. That means no guests are on board, hence, performers aren’t really needed to work.

I chose to go home to England for the duration of ‘dry dock’, and, boy, that couldn’t have been a better choice if I’d tried!

When you’re away for so long, doing a job that you love, the idea of returning at the end of your contract to being unemployed in a country you haven’t lived in for a year is pretty anxiety-inducing. In the back of my mind I have been constantly wondering what I will do when the year is over. I’ll have to start all over again. It was hard the last time I was unemployed, so will it be harder next time when I have something so hard to follow?

Spending a couple of weeks between London and Yorkshire I have gained a lot! Not physically (except, maybe, a few pounds), but mentally. I’m not as scared anymore.

Having recaptured how much I love London, I know that it is the place that I have to be. It is where my life will feel fulfilling. Even if I am spending most of my wage on rent, it is where all my friends now are, it has such a wonderful atmosphere and so much going on constantly; I can never be bored there.

My diary has been jam-packed with catch ups with friends, all of whom it was easy with; it didn’t feel like I had spent a day away. I may have had a lot of changes in my life over the years, and struggled through a lot, but at the end of the day I have come out with some impeccable friends! It makes me so much less anxious to know that I will come home to such wonderful friends who will always support me and raise my spirits.

While the idea of being unemployed is a daunting prospect, and I wonder when will be the next time I’ll get employed again, it is exciting to think that whatever it is and whenever it is, it will be something new and exciting! I have a much more positive outlook now!

Plus, I have plans to fill up my unemployed time and be productive. I WILL learn to drive(!) and I’m going to go “find myself” in Thailand with my best friend. Then, when I come back, I’m going to work hard to gain the next job, whilst still enjoying my life in the meantime. I’m not going to do what I did last time and put my life on hold, feeling restricted and pining for a job. I’m going to find new hobbies, make new friends and spend time with the ones I already have, I’m going to get to know my family more now that they have all grown up, and I’m going to cruise around in a car I will have bought for myself. I’m going to progress my life, regardless of whether my career is going up or down.

I’ve come to the conclusion that uncertainty can be ok if you just embrace it and look at it positively. If I continue to look at it with the excitement of a graduate and the maturity of an old-pro, then I can live a life that is fulfilling regardless of when the next acting job comes along. I waited a long time and took a lot of knock-backs before I got this job with Disney, and it has been the best year of my life so far. So bring on the next thing, no matter how long I have to wait, because I’m sure it will be worth it!

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Elisha is a singer-actress and blogger from Yorkshire, England. She loves chocolate, wine, dogs, food, reading, travelling, and sunny afternoons in beer gardens! She is a self proclaimed 'terrible baker'. (Don't eat her stuff!)

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