Miss Ventura County- Here’s to the Journey

journey imageThe days seem to be flying by faster than I can ever remember. It seems like March was just yesterday, but it is already May and Miss California is only a month away. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed- that is, until we adjust our vision and look at this competition as an opportunity to present our best selves and grow as advocates, communicators, and leaders.

Much like life, competing in the Miss America Organization is a journey, not a destination. We are never done growing, learning, and achieving. We must focus on ourselves and on the small victories that we achieve every day- from nailing our talent piece, to running the extra mile, to choosing to watch the news instead of the Bachelor. We make sacrifices and we challenge ourselves. We are not chasing a crown- we are chasing a future of opportunities made possible by the doors opened and connections made. Through this, it becomes blatantly obvious that the true treasure of the Miss America Organization lies in the efforts put forth during the months and weeks leading up to the competition. By emphasizing the process, the hard work, and the struggle for improvement, we ultimately make the ending, no matter the outcome, more meaningful. Let’s embrace this path together- here’s to the journey.

Here’s to the alarm that goes off, searing through the early morning darkness and pulling you from bed at 5:30 am. Here’s to the inner strength that it takes to push back the covers and tie on your running shoes.

Here’s to the sweat that falls away, carrying with it any doubts that you have about yourself because for goodness sake you are running five miles at the crack of dawn, and you deserve every ounce of positivity on the earth.

Here’s to the victory of a shower- transforming you from an intense athlete into an elegant young woman ready to take on the day.

Here’s to the classes, the meetings, the shifts, and the tests.

Here’s to the professor who understands when you have conflicts, and the boss who offers to sit down and ask you interview questions.

Here’s to the friends: the ones who encourage you, laugh with you, work out with you, and then convince you that just one chocolate covered pretzel isn’t going to bring you down.

Here’s to the piano, the studio, the tap shoes. Here’s to the hours upon hours that pass unannounced as you focus intently on perfecting ninety seconds of magic.

Here’s to the warm hug you are wrapped in by a child after reading them Oh the Places You’ll Go.

Here’s to all of the times you tried on gowns and replaced them on the hanger in dismay. Here’s to the websites searched, designer boards pinned, and ideas sketched on the back of napkins. Here’s to that moment you say yes to the dress- priceless, elegant, unique, and perfect.

Here’s to the pages of current event notes stacking up in your binder. Here’s to the headed debates that push you to know yourself and your opinions better than anyone else. Here’s to the moment you answer that one question with direction and strength, and feel on top of the world.

Here’s to the people that surround you- the directors, chaperones, hostesses, friends, mentors, and guides. Here’s to the love and time they dedicate to ensure that you will shine brighter than you ever knew possible.

Here’s to determination, confidence, and hard work. Here’s to growing, pushing, and striving to be the best version of yourself possible. Here’s to knowing that nobody’s perfect, but if you do your best, you will shine like gold.

Here’s to the journey.

 

Thanks for reading!

Jane Kennedy

Miss Ventura County 2015