So, with a brief diversion from Shrek to The Princess and the Frog, I bring you a brief daily muse on hard work, romance and reaching for your dreams. It is a seriously underrated Disney movie, and I’m really enjoying the rewatch we’re doing. The music is excellent, the animation is delightful, and the character design is so evocative. It’s got some excellent old-school Disney magic to it.
“Ain’t got time for messing around, and it’s not my style”
“I know exactly where I’m going, and I’m getting closer and closer everyday”
“Almost there, I’m almost there”
Tiana is a delightful princess, because she has an epic, self-sacrificing work ethic as she tries to build her dream restaurant. Her early story is focused on her hard work, multiple shifts to get herself towards it, sacrificing her social life and sleep. Now, if that doesn’t sound familiar, I don’t know what will. I love her friendship with Charlotte, which certainly is unexpected given their different social situations.
So, thinking about the challenges of “almost there”, how can I compare it to where I am now? Am I almost there? Not quite, and I feel like I have a way to go. I also find it difficult, because the song and the initial phase of the movie focuses on a very American-dream ethos of ‘if you work hard enough, you can get anywhere’, and sort of disregards the roll of the dice that is privilege on a variety of axes.
The movie does balance this Protestant Work Ethic ™ drive with another song, called “Dig a little deeper”, which is all about figuring out what you really want in life. All of the wishes, ultimately, from this jazzy opportunity to reflect, are based on emotional and relational outcomes, rather than financial ones. It helps to figure out what your big goals are, I suppose, and be sure that your hard work, your “almost there” is aligned with those goals.
So, figuring out what you want to be when you’re big, and doing the hard work to get there. Always balancing the graft with a reflection on the big, important things.