Be proud of who you are

Right before evening gown at my last pageant :)
Right before evening gown at my last pageant :)

This weekend is a big one for me. It is the last weekend for local pageants in Indiana within the Miss America system. So, this weekend, there will be four crowned who will go on to the Miss Indiana pageant in June. The winner of Miss Indiana goes on to Miss America. This weekend is a big one because I will compete for all four titles!

Even though it will be a busy and probably tiring weekend, I am getting very excited! I have been practicing for weeks, really all year, in order to win a title, so hopefully this weekend is the weekend!

But honestly, either way, I can just do the best that I can do and hope for the best. Overall, it’s the experiences that I have gained and the people I have met who will and have forever changed my life. That is why I continue to compete.

For the talent portion, I changed mine back to singing. I am excited because I was going to dance and tumble, but then I decided to switch it up a little bit. It may seem a bit bold, but I would argue that I am a bit bold.

I am a college athlete participating in pageants, something that is sadly not very common. In high school, I played on the boys’ varsity baseball team as a starter because I did not have a high school softball team.

These things may make me bold, and I am proud of that. I am proud to be bold because in turn I am confident in the person I am today. More importantly, I will continue to work to be the best person that I can be everyday and be confident knowing I am achieving that goal.

“Live your life as though the person you love the most is always watching you.” That was a quote from former Miss Indiana and Miss America Katie Stam. It has always had a profound impact on my life, along with the quote, “There’s no crying in baseball,” said by Tom Hanks in the movie “A League of Their Own.”

Both quotes encourage me to be strong, but maybe in a little bit different ways. I plan to continue to embrace the bold person that I am. I am this person because I am a student at Hanover College; I am a sister, cousin, niece, athlete and a Miss America contestant.

The list could go on. But my point in this post is to remind you to be proud of who you are. If you don’t like what you see, take Michael Jackson’s advice and start “with the man in the mirror.” It is never too late to make a change. That is just one of the many things that the Miss America Organization has taught me.

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