158. That is the number of days as of tomorrow until I pass my crown on. I know time flies when your having fun, but time goes Mach 5 when you're a titleholder. Since my year is more than halfway over, I've had time to think about what I've learned so far. I thought it would be appropriate to share these lessons as I begin to push my reign into high gear! I'm jumping back on my Miss America workout and eating plan, recruiting local contestants, and making some big plans for the end of the year! So, here are a few things being Miss Idaho has taught me.
1. Nothing is ever accomplished by just one person. Having my friends and family surrounding me has been invaluable, and the generosity of our sponsors has been amazing. Whenever anyone congratulates me on my accomplishments, I thank them right back for being part of the team that helped me get there.
2. You can never please everyone. There will always be that one person who just doesn't like you. The best thing you can do is love yourself and love that person anyway.
3. Always try to get to know someone. As a titleholder, you meet every kind of person. Children, homeless people, wealthy business people, Asians, nursing home residents, Africans, veterans, Americans, Jews, parents, Muslims, Christians, people with mental disabilities, people struggling with eating disorders, models, musicians, artists...I think you get the picture. EVERYONE. Listening to someone's story will always teach you something new, and it helps to give a new outlook on the world. It seems to hold true that the people who think that they don't make an impact actually make the biggest one in my heart.
4. "Titleholder" is synonymous with "Role Model". I used to say that the job of a titleholder is to be a spokesperson, which is true. But the most important job, above being a talented performer or being an advocate for your platform, is being a role model. Working to be your best, accepting others, and always staying positive in your endeavors creates a far-reaching impact that many titleholders never know about. Never forget that.
5. There is no definition of what "Miss America" should be. Every young woman in America should know that she can grow up to be Miss America. I am so proud of my Miss America class for breaking false stereotypes. Miss America can have tattoos, dark skin, blonde short hair, Asian heritage, one arm, Autism, or any mix of those traits and many other traits. Each contestant is very different, but that is the beauty of the organization.
6. Always make yourself available to help. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is easy to get wrapped up on your own life instead of seeing how you can help others. I am grateful for those people who have given me their help expecting nothing in return. I hope to be that kind of person.
7. Say what's on your mind. If you really like someone, you should tell them; you never know if you will see them again. Send a thank you to someone who went out of their way to do something nice for you; it might just make their day. When your exhausted and your feet hurt, say so; people like to see a real, down to earth person underneath all the makeup and bling.