You may have noticed that I was sans Meal Prep Monday post this week…this is due to several reasons: A. my traditional meal prep time was sandwiched into half an hour yesterday morning and was about as messy as it comes and B. I wanted to take a second and have some real talk about my preparations as Miss Tennessee! So if you’re here to see pictures of really organized food, sorry to disappoint :)
Let’s talk about pageants!This is the first photo I posted when I won Miss Nashville. I’m not even really sure what’s going on here. The woman in this photo was incredibly surprised that she won…mainly because going off the pageant radar for seven years and then returning to compete in ~Miss America~ is nothing short of intimidating. But God opened doors for reasons that I am still discovering every day.
The past seven months have been a whirlwind. I want to be honest and say that this has been a HARD process. Despite easy-breezy posts that you may have seen on social media, finishing my senior year of college, working two jobs, serving in various student organizations, volunteering throughout the city, and preparing for Miss Tennessee is not as simple as it looks! While I may have posted a picture chatting with the governor, the reality of the situation is that probably an hour before, I was stuffing green beans and chicken into my face after a workout and trying to put makeup on (while still sweating). Yep. Totally glamorous.
I’ve also had some really hard days. I’ve been stung by bees in the neck while running and still had to run because I was a good 2 miles from any help. Yes. That happened. There have been days that I don’t think I’ve answered any questions coherently because of how tired I was. There have been MANY days when I have driven past Fox’s Donut Den with a look of longing in my heart—heck, there was actually a time where I ran past free doughnuts without stopping. I’ve been late to appearances and fallen short of fundraising goals. There have also been days when I have doubted myself, my abilities, my judgement (what are you doing after graduation again?) There have been days when I looked at my crown and felt like I wasn’t worthy to wear it.
But then I have days like this. Days where flocks of children run to me to hug me, hold my hand, touch my crown. They ask if they’re real diamonds. They ask if I have a boyfriend. They ask if I’ll listen to them sing. I always say yes. They tell me they want to be policemen or doctors. I say the world always needs more of those. They tell me they love me. I always say it back.
“The road won’t always be easy but it will always be worth it.”
I wrote this post partially because I know from the outside, it seems like people who accomplish their dreams or are labeled “successful” seem to step right into it. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is always a struggle when something of worth is involved. If you have days where you doubt yourself or your goal, then you’ve dreamed just big enough. The dreams worth pursuing will always push us just a little further than we think we can go. But it will always be worth it.
The second reason I wrote this post is because I think I’m close to reaching my goal. I haven’t arrived at Miss Tennessee just yet, but that was never the real goal in the first place. From the beginning, I told myself that success would be knowing that I’d done everything in my ability to be the best Miss Nashville I could and to give myself every shot at being successful at Miss Tennessee. I truly and honestly believe I have done that, and have such a sense of peace about it. I could not be more proud of myself or the other thirty-five women who have made the same sacrifices and put in the same work that I have as local titleholders. My current mantra right now has been “give everything to the process and let go of the outcome.” As I reflect on a seven-month process that has been nothing short of life-changing, I could not be more grateful for the God-given strength that has gotten me through, and the many people who have supported me along the way.
I can’t wait to arrive in Jackson with an unspeakable sense of peace in my heart and enjoy the rest of the road ahead! If you’re interested in supporting me, feel free to message me about tickets for Miss Tennessee or donate to my final #CMNChallenge before I leave for Jackson!