As I left my moche interviews just 4 short days before driving to the hotel to check in and register for the Mrs. Minnesota International Pageant, I burst into tears. “What am I doing? I don’t know if I can do this! Am I ready?” All those thoughts and more poured through my mind as I drove home that night.
One thing is for certain, If we wait in life for the things we think we are “ready” for or wait for the “perfect time” to stretch ourselves in new areas...we won’t do it at all.
I let myself cry, wiped my tears, took several deep breaths, texted my coach for some much needed reassurance and 72 hours later was arriving at the hotel for the weekends worth of events. As prepared as I ever would be.
The weekend was so much more than I could have ever expected, complete with new friendships, moments of learning, laughing and yes...lots of rehearsals in high heels! And, it was magical.
Completing interview the next morning left each of us with a large portion of our scoring completed, and feeling ready to walk to the stage before the judges once again and now also with an audience. As we walked through each portion of the evening’s you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief, followed but a rush to get ready for the next event.
Finally there we were. Evening gown was complete and we were back onstage for the announcing of the new queens and the crowning.
As the curtain opened I glanced around at some of the incredible women and young ladies standing around me. I was looking to see how they might be feeling in that moment. Were they nervous? Excited? Finally myself and my sister contestants walked to the front of the stage. It was our turn. We grabbed each other’s hands and squeezed. We glanced nervously at each other, then at the MC, then at the judges and audience. I was moments away from possibly hearing my name announced and my body was flooded with adrenaline. The third runner up was announced. The second runner up. There was a pause that seemed to last an eternity before the name of the first runner up was announced! As our hands broke, we hugged each other and the three remaining grabbed onto each other’s hands even tighter. There we were, the final three. In those moments of anticipation and excitement, I could see the audience faces in the front row and saw the expressions of hope and anticipation on the face of my friends.
Finally, there it was…”Your Mrs. Minnesota 2017….” I heard my name and my throat dropped, my stomach flipped and a tears welled up in my eyes as a flood of emotion washed over my body and soul. My hand went over my heart and I found the judges faces. I mouthed “thank you” to them and then my eyes went to search the audience to find my son Ben. He was why I was here. I wanted him to see that we did it. I wanted him to know that this honor was for him as much as for me. As I continued to look around at the faces of those who had loved me and supported me during the journey, my husband was helping to pin the crown to my head, the banner was being placed over my shoulder and I was handed the most exquisite bouquet of roses. Within moments I was flooded with hugs, handshakes and lots and LOTS of photos.
It’s difficult to find the words to describe that magical, divine moment. Every minute of work you put in has paid off in those moments. Every hour in the gym, every article read for research and interview, every moments spent planning, preparing and dreaming has finally become a reality and there you are. Royalty.
Those moments were filled with a magical sense of gratitude, joy and excitement. I let myself bask in that glow and glory the following day as I rested and recovered. Then, the work begins. As a queen, we are agreeing to a year of ambassadorship and public service. And THAT’S where the real fun and magic begin as you get to now take what’s close to your heart - your platform - into new stages and into new venues, meeting and working with amazing new people, and that’s really what it’s all about!