Seems simple enough but some of us go through life still looking for that thing we love, the reason we are here. I have gone through many phases, always trying new things to find the things I love. One thing I have realized, I love meeting people and hearing their story. It is a driving force for a lot of my varied interests.
Early on, my parents would have me try many different things, sports mainly, to find something I loved doing. One of my first memories is ballet. Oh gosh I did not like ballet. I would be one of those kids that always had a “stomach ache”. Apparently I had a stomach ache so much that when my sister, McKenzie, had a stomach ache my parents dropped her off at dance anyway, thinking she was pulling a trick out of her big sisters bag, except she wasn’t. Poor girl. Anyway, I did one recital that had a really itchy costume, I am sure I incorporated itching into the dance somehow. At one point the pointy hat I had on my head fell on my butt – I remember reading in my journal years later. I was 5 at the time, all I knew was ballet wasn’t my thing…
Despite ballet not becoming a love of mine, I ended up on the front page of the metro section of the Washington Post! Most think I am the one on the left… why would you think that?!?
Soon after the fun dance debacle, I was introduced to tennis. I had found something I loved! I would play for hours on end, I wanted to play at Wimbledon. I would lay awake at night, listening to the radio, thinking “man it would be so cool to play at Wimbledon, be like Steffi Graf.” I had a great tennis career, ending up top 30 in the Mid-Atlantic. Played all 4 years varsity at Langley High School, we went to states multiple years. I played with some of the top players around the DC area. I even had the opportunity to play at IMG Academy, a top tennis academy in Florida started by Nick Bollettieri. A little background on Nick, he coached many top tennis players, including Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. While I was there, I played on a court right next to Maria Sharapova. Talk about being star struck! As some of you know, tennis is a very “young” sport, so by time I hit college, I realized Wimbledon was a very long ways away, if not impossible. So I decided to hang up the competitive rackets and looked for a new love.
Throughout college and a few years after, it was trail and error finding the next thing I loved doing. More on those fun stories in another blog.
Fast forward to last year, I found pageantry. It is absolutely something I love, for many reasons. Going back to the beginning, what I really love doing: meeting new people and hearing their story. The amount of amazing people I have met my short time as a queen has been incredible. Of course it is so fun getting dressed up, feeling like a queen, the hair, the make-up, the crown but there is so much more to it. It has been a time where I can really grow, get out of my comfort zone, write my story so that I might inspire one of you to find what you love or to know it is okay not to feel like you belong. What attracted me to pageantry is the community service aspect. Despite some of the negative assumptions and that I am older, I decided to give it a shot. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
As I compete to be the first Miss DC for America in April, I am humbled by the talented people I have met, who see my vision, my “why”, and support it. From my coach, to my trainer, to hair, makeup, wardrobe, friends, family, I am so incredibly blessed to have found something I love and work with those who have found something they love too…
Check back Wednesday for “If you don’t like something, change it”.