What It Was Like Competing in Miss New York USA 2018
I was 6 years old when I first stepped on a stage and experienced what it was like to be in front of an audience. What at first seemed to be a scary thought, actually turned out to be one of the best feelings of my life and that I was able to hold on to for 12 years as a ballet dancer. Even then, I already knew that the things that scared us the most are the things to go after because they are the reason why we are alive.
I decided to start this journey after having what I call a "beginning-life crisis" and wasn't sure what I was going to do after leaving my job. I was scared, confused, and certainly insecure about the fact that I had no idea what the next step was going to be. After lots of Google searching "what do I do with my life", I stumbled upon the Miss New York USA pageant. I think I had been looking up Olivia Culpo, who is one of my idols and a person I aspire to be like and remembered that at one point she was Miss Universe. I decided to look it up and see what the requirements were and after that, it was history. I was going to compete in the Miss New York USA 2018 pageant.
Fast-forward to today and the post-pageant experience, I can honestly say it was truly one of the best moments of my life. I didn't walk away with any awards, but what I walked away with was so much more than winning, I walked away with a confidence that I hope to never lose. Being busy every weekend with finding sponsors, dress fittings, learning how to do my own hair and makeup, practicing, staying in shape and working out, eating extremely healthy and promoting myself and this journey, I didn't even realize how much better I felt about myself and this decision. It was like I was too busy to focus on the negatives because of how hard I was working and ultimately growing this confidence inside of me.
Even though there were those that doubted my decision or thought it was stupid, I didn't care. For the first time, I put aside what people thought about me and lived every second for myself. New York State is the most competitive in the Miss USA pageant system, with over 130 girls that competed for the title this year. To even be qualified to do this was an achievement in itself and every person I met had something about them that would have made them a great candidate for Miss New York. The weekend of the pageant was exhausting, exhilarating, and so. much. fun. I already want to do it all over again.
What I hope you take away from my experience is that you go for that thing you told yourself you could never do, you could never be or you could never succeed at. Because you can and you will. I was a person not too long ago that was insecure, super body conscious and nonstop focused on my weight. I am happy to say that I haven't had those feelings or urge to weigh myself since September because of this and for that, I am forever grateful. Lastly, never forget the people that motivated you on your journey, they are the people that you need in this life and definitely need to lean on when stressful moments happen.