Pageantry: Why I stay involved

Friday, January 9, 2015

In pageantry, I have been a teen competitor, titleholder, recruiter, judge, coach, state director, emcee, committee member, choreographer, auditions host, a shoulder to cry on, an errand runner, and just about everything else in between...and every year as I start to list the reasons of why I stay involved, I also come to defend pageantry from people who misinterpret what pageantry is about. So, as the pageant season begins and I start to remember why I stay involved, I wanted to share 3 life defining philosophies that I learned through pageantry that apply to my daily life.

In a world where there are riots after sporting events, pageantry has taught me about sportsmanship. Specifically how to lose with grace. If anyone really knows me and has seen my childhood room stacked with loot, it's an understatement to say that I was competitive, but I lost more than I won. My mentors always said, "Winning builds confidence, losing builds character"...Well I guess I pursued a lot of character building ;)

In fact, the last pageant I ever competed in, I was 1st runner up and I aged out that year. If you know anyone that has competed, they will agree that 2nd runner up is an easier feeling than 1st runner up. Because when you are 1st runner up, you'll always ask...What could I have done differently? So, as hard as it was to fight back tears that night, I chose to happily support the new winner. Because that night was not about me, in fact that whole pageant wasn't about me. Friendship over ego.

Secondly, you may notice, I am not the most fit woman in the world, but pageantry taught me to have a positive body image and self esteem. In some cases, yes pageantry reinforces stereotypes of what societal beauty is, but pageantry made me feel confident in who I am in my physical, mental, and emotional well being. Pageantry taught me that I was competing against myself. Learning that I am my own competition is a reminder to not play the comparison game in ANYTHING I do.

Finally, pageantry has taught me to encourage other strong leaders. Other contestants became some of my closest friends. They were women who were like minded - who wanted to make their worlds a better place.

When someone moves to a new city, they want to find a new church, a new bar, or a new hang out. However, I look for another pageant family. Because just like the other communities I listed, I know a pageant family will share my love for leadership, self improvement, and the value of education (not just school, but life experiences). Now obviously, amazing parents, friendships, employment, team sports, and my formal education have also shaped each of these 3 philosophies for me, but not in the capacity that pageantry has.

So to all those involved with pageantry at any level, thank you for what you do.

2015: ????

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 1, 2015: Arriving back to my current home.

It's a week into the New Year and I've been batting around ideas for 2015. I've mentioned that my goal setting starts each school year because of what I do, but I always attempt a new year with a fresh perspective. More of a check-in of where I was 6 mos ago.

2015, if I'm being honest with you, I'm not really sure what to expect, unlike 2014: The Year of "Can't Live Without".

I can't tell you specific things I want to do in 2015 or even things I hope come true, but I do know 2015 is prepping me for a major change. I know in my gut, which is rarely wrong, the next change I make in my life will affect the next 5 years after. So, I want to be strategic in 2015 with whatever I do. How I take risks, where I invest my time and money, who I influence and let influence's a year of planning for transition.

2015 is a mystery and I am sure it has a lot of surprises that will make me oo and ahh, Like any year, some things will fall short of my expectations and some will exceed them further than I had imagined for myself.

I am happy to be in 2015, stay tuned for what's to come and I look forward to what 2015 brings to my loved ones!

Best Friend Vacation

Thursday, January 1, 2015

December went by in a blink. I haven't had a chance to write about my Women's Leadership Institute Experience - which was AMAZING and my best friend vacation. In short, I took away professional ideas, but one session resonated with me when the speaker said "Don't treat your students and co workers like gold and then treat your family and friends like ****". 

My oh my how that one pinched right at my nerve. How I don't exist to my family and friends in August and May or how I expect them to understand the demands of my job, which sometimes means I can't answer my phone for long periods of time throughout the day...which then builds up to weeks without talking to my family.

I was happy to have some down time where my best friend from Alaska joined me in Southern California. It was nice to have some quality time catching up on life. Long distance friendships are hard, but I think we've always made it work. Mostly because although she is a total bad ass, she is also gracious and kind to me even when I am not being a very good friend. 

Between good drinks, great food, friendship piercings, and wading in the ocean together, it was just nice to be in company with someone that has known me since I was in Middle School where you don't need to explain anything, she just knows. 

That's what Best Friends are for. It's not just about the conversation, it's being comfortable in silence knowing what the other is already thinking-feeling.
Ritz-Carlton, our hotel at the Women's Leadership Institute
Santa Monica Pier
Dana point harbor light show
HS Cheer Captains, College Roomies, Road Trip Warriors, and Vacation Besties.

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