Friday, June 26, 2015

Another Year in the Books (post pageant thoughts & new beginnings)

       Another year of competing for Miss New Jersey is in the books.  Of the three years I’ve been competing, each seems to go by faster than the others.  After being crowned Miss Gloucester County in August, I was able to reach out to my community in a way I had never done before.  The endless hours in the gym, numerous school visits with Kindness Kids, countless talent rehearsals, and many, many laughs with my pageant family are forever engrained in my memory.  Being Miss Gloucester County has enabled me to represent a county that shaped me to be who I am.  Spending my year with Tracy, Kelcie, and Sandi has shown me what it truly means to be part of a journey and to never take the experience for granted.  This year, I knew that while I couldn’t wait to leave for Ocean City to pursue the title once again, I was not ready for that week to be over.  I was ready to pour my heart out to the judges and to show New Jersey everything I have done to prepare myself to be their representative.  I was not, however, ready to find out if my hard work would pay off.  

       For almost a year, we local titleholders put everything we have into this organization.  We sacrifice down time with family and friends to try and be world-changers.  Instead of going out for ice cream with my friends, I opt for a gym session with my pageant sister or fulfill a commitment as Miss Gloucester County.  Each local titleholder chooses how she wants her year to pan out- how much effort she will exert in the hopes of becoming Miss New Jersey and how she wants to represent her title.  While the local titleholders get to choose how we will play the part of “Miss Local,” it is a panel of judges who chooses which girl will walk away as “Miss State.” So while I knew I had done everything I could to best represent Gloucester County and prepare myself for pageant week, I could not predict if I would walk away as Miss New Jersey.  It seemed to me that because I could not control if the judges would choose me, I could not control my own happiness.  This, my friends, is where I went wrong.  Your happiness does not rely on someone else’s ability to see your worth.  Repeat it with me.  YOUR HAPPINESS DOES NOT RELY ON SOMEONE ELSE’S ABILITY TO SEE YOUR WORTH.

            No one can expect to win Miss New Jersey.  There are simply too many amazing, deserving girls.  Did I expect to win Miss New Jersey?  Absolutely not.  Do I know I have the ability to be Miss New Jersey? Yes. If I never become a state titleholder, I will rest easy in knowing that through this crazy pageant experience, I made myself the best person I could be.  It is my hope that someday, I will meet a panel of judges that sees a potential in me and makes me their Miss New Jersey.  If that never happens, it is my hope that my peers, my little stars, my family, and everyone I come into contact with can see that passion without a crown on my head.  I will continue to uphold the ideals of this organization for the rest of my life.  Until I age out in two years (is it really that soon?) and am told it’s time to hand over the rhinestones, I will keep coming back for more. 
            With this being said, to continue on this #RoadToMissNJ, I must bid farewell to my current journey.  As a Miss New Jersey ruling, all local titleholders must resign their current title before attending orientation for another local pageant.  Being that I am attending orientation for Miss Seashore Line, Miss Coastal Shores, and Miss Cape Shores tomorrow, today is my last day as Miss Gloucester County 2015.  It has never been harder for me to say goodbye to a local title.  There are not enough words to say how grateful I am for Tracy and Sandi and for my best friend and pageant sister, Kelcie.  We’ve laughed we(you)’ve cried, but most importantly, we’ve shared this experience.  In each FaceTime meeting, mock interview, road trip, alterations appointment, and gym session, we have been in this together.  
 Sisters who workout on hotel room floors together stay together?
 Yes, we're being judged for our ridiculousness at visitation.  So worth the laughs.
One of my favorite moments of pageant week- Kelcie and I both had the privilege of being in the top five.  Nothing is as special as working toward a goal WITH a best friend.

       I cannot properly express what a joy it has been to be part of such an amazing organization and how much I’ve loved being Miss Gloucester County.  Every door must come to a close for another door to open.  Here’s to a new adventure.
            Thank you, all who are reading this, for sticking with me in all of my endeavors and caring enough to keep updated as I pursue my own dreams.  I’ll try to keep you on the edge of your seat…though not as suspenseful as being called last into the top ten (we can laugh about it now, right?) or the rumors that I’m competing for Miss North Carolina.  Did anyone really think this Jersey girl would give up that easily? ;) 
            All my love and gratitude,


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