It was June 8th, 2017. The Miss Alaska Pageant was about to begin and I had butterflies. This was it, this was my last chance at the title and I was going to give it my all. I had a new dress, a new talent, and the added experience of another year under my belt. This was it, I thought, this was my last chance and I was going to make it.
Spoiler alert: I did not become the next Miss Alaska.
There I am, in the green, the first runner up.
I was devastated. I was defeated. I had prepared for this possibility, but nobody is really ever that prepared for a failure like that. I won talent, I won fitness, but I stumbled on my on stage question. I had nothing against the lovely and compassionate woman who won, Angelina Klapperich, but she had another year. I was done, I had aged out at I felt like the world was crashing down on me. She went on to make it into the top 15 at Miss America and has made an amazing Miss Alaska 2017, spreading her message of compassion throughout the state and country.
Was I really ready to take on the title of Miss Alaska and Miss America? I thought so, but it has been evident this year that it was not the right path for me. We don’t always know the right path or the best way to navigate this crazy thing called life, but things tend to work out the way they were supposed to in the end. I focused on the other aspects of my life through the summer, I supported our Miss and Teen contestants through their national pageants. And I worked on healing from the disappointment and the loss that I had felt earlier in the summer.
I was working hard to get over my loss. I threw myself into fitness (a coping mechanism from my figure skating days), finding it helpful to work towards another goal. I focused on my work and my clients at Core Pilates. My friends made sure that I was busy, inviting me to events, letting me watch their dogs, or even just watching movies and chatting. I found comfort in the fact that school would be starting soon, I would be finishing my second degree debt free (thank you MAO!), and I would be starting my journey on the way to graduate school.
Then one day I received an email. My world was about to be rocked and I didn’t even know it. There was a rumor going around that the age limit for the Miss America Organization nation wide. This email confirmed the rumor with the announcement from the Miss America Organization publicly that followed shortly after I received the email. I had another year, I had another chance, redemption was possible.
Here we are, it is January 21st, 2018. Miss Alaska is on June 15th, 2018 and it will be my last chance at the title. I am going to give it all I have, because there will be no other opportunity. Most people don’t get a second shot at their dream like I have just received. I want to perform on that Miss America stage. I want to make a difference in my community as Miss Alaska. And I will.