I had a fellow blogger ask me what I am doing differently this year as I run from Miss Utah, and also why I am competing for a second year.
Well, to answer that question, we're going to have to delve into my past a bit that I was wanting to keep off of this blog, but it's who I am & what drives me now. Therefore, I'm gonna go there.
A month after I won Miss Spanish Fork in March 2010, things started to get a little crazy. My boyfriend at the time was having some real life changing experiences, which changed my life as well. We were pretty serious, and he took priority over everything in my life. He was more important than my family, work, school, & my pageants because I loved him so much!
To me, it wasn't a big deal back then, I was happy with him & everything was going alright. I did realize there was a problem, and that I was wasting away my opportunities, but I'm a loyal person, so what he was going through was most important. These experiences he and I went through together were more than life changing, it was more like earth shattering & heartbreaking.
In May of 2011, we broke up. Just one month before the Miss Utah Pageant.
So, I kept busy. I got to work. I spent that month with people who inspired & motivated me, and was selfish. I focused solely on myself & ended up placing in the top 10 & winning the instrumentalist award at Miss Utah with that month of preparation. I was proud, but knew I didn't put in all the work I could have. I had let people down during my year of service: My director, my city, and my attendants, and for that reason I'm back.
I'm ready to work my bum off and do my best in competition. I would regret it if I didn't compete again, and I want everyone to know that I truly appreciate what you have done for me. I have so much support all the way around from family & friends.
So, what am I doing differently this year? I'm working hard. I'm focusing on my anti-bullying campaign and becoming the best person I can be. I am a better person today because of the experiences I have had through the pageants, and it has instilled confidence in me that I didn't have before. Competing within the Miss America Organization has taught me how to be a strong, independent woman, and how to contribute to society.
I think about the pageant every day, it is something I will do my best at, and as long as I walk away feeling that I did the very best I could have done, I will be okay with that. I may not even be what they're looking for this year, but I'm going to be true to myself and be happy with whatever the outcome. 'Cause I feel good!
Photo Credit: Chad Braithwaite, Faces Photography