I cannot believe we are less than two weeks away from the National pageant! I am so excited, nervous, and every other emotion I can think of all wrapped up in one right now! This is typically the way I get right before a pageant but this is the first time I will be flying across the US to compete on a National stage!
In the last few days before the pageant, I'm trying to utilize my time to the best of my ability. Working on my interview questions, looking crazy at work while I walk down the hall and stop and pose, walk around in my shoes for practice while my kids stare at me, you know, the whole nine yards. But one thing I have learned over the past few years in pageantry is that no matter what you do, you have to get your mind right. People will so many time psych themselves out worrying about the other contestants. Does she look prettier in her headshot? Is she doing more community service than me? Is she skinnier? Is her platform better? This can KILL someone's confidence going into the competition and what worse way to go in to something you have worked so hard for feeling like you are less than someone else.
So, lesson number one, NEVER go in thinking you are not good enough. If you truly feel that way, then just don't go. People will see it all over your face, including the judges. The only person that can beat you, is you. It is so important when you are stepping onto the stage to know how wonderful YOU are! Everyone has amazing qualities and yes, probably all beautiful, but hey so are you! When I did my first Mrs. pageant I was so excited and felt so good about the hard work I had put in to lose my baby weight. Looking back, I had ZERO clue what I was getting myself into but I knew I was physically ready and I went in with an open mind and a willingness to learn. I was not a finalist that year but I knew I was taking home a great lesson and a will to come back better the next year. The next go around I started working harder on my interview and stage presence and took home 2nd runner up. Not to shabby but I wanted more!
Since I began pageantry I have grown through each competition. I have learned that what I am promoting is more important than the crown but that if the crown accompanies the message then God has picked that time for YOU to be in the spotlight. I have also gained some AH-MAZING new friends. You may not believe it, but it is true. These are the ladies I KNOW I can depend on. They have been my support system through the Queen of Bags and several of them have been helping me prep for Nationals! If you need a good set of friends who will keep you in check, hold you accountable, and lift you up just when you are getting discouraged, this group is it! This is one of the best parts of pageantry, the friendships. It may sound cliche, but it is so true!
I am so excited for next week and gosh I hope I do bring it back to Georgia, but I also know that God's timing is perfect and if He has it in my will or not, I will accept it. I have an AMAZING platform and I am so proud to speak on behalf of children, both here now and not born yet, for Adoption and Fostering awareness. I will continue to work with my legislators on ways we can make things financially easier to adopt without placing funds directly into the parents hands to avoid people adopting for the wrong reasons. I will continue to promote the Queen of Bags and hope to have it recognized as an official 501c organization by the close of this year (so I may be looking for board members very soon - don't say you're happy to help unless you mean it! :-P) and I plan on expanding the Queen of Bags across the United States over the next few months with recent contacts and volunteers all across our country. No matter the outcome, I am still me and I am still so blessed to be a blessing for others in our world. Prayers and good luck wishes are always accepted! #queenofbags
Total creds go to my sweet friend, Carin Young, for making my shirt to sport in Vegas in what color....of course, PEACH, for the Peach State!