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Friday, August 06, 2004

A little breathing room

When I was a senior in high school, I participated in a pageant with the surrounding high school senior girls to become "Junior Miss." I desperately looked forward to the pageant since I was a freshman but when the time came to participate, I suddenly felt myself become very shy and insecure. But, I went to the rehersals every week, my mom pushing me on. As the date grew closer to performance, I was almost a wreck. Alumni helping would often grab my shoulders and look me square in the eyes and tell me to "breathe." Something done so simply and naturally, I had to be told to do. A lot.

The day came, I was to meet at a hotel for the interview from the judges, I checked my scheduled time on the paper over and over and showed up right on time. Unfortunately, I missed the part when we were told to show up 15 minutes early to have a drink, relax and be prepped for the interview by the people coordinating the show. I walk in the hotel and everyone breathes a sigh of relief, they thought I forgot about the interview. I am wisked immediately into the judges interview room, not a moment to catch my breath, I'm a little disoriented with having no time to prepare, and all this comes off to the judges as confidence. Thank God. But, I can't breathe, I don't remember any of the questions except for who I would vote for to be president in the upcoming election. (This was in 2000 and I was only 17.) 15 minutes later, I leave thinking I blew it.

That afternoon we were preparing for the show and I'm backstage almost hyperventilating. I can't breathe. I recall taking a puff of my inhaler and going onstage. I was numb. I flawlessly announced the next girl performing her talent, my 2 minute speech, I totally lost my place while playing the piano and subconsciously recoved ( I praised my fingers for their memory), I almost fell over doing one of the tae-bo kicks for the physical fitness portion, and I thought I would trip when I modeled my evening gown. I honestly believe I held my breath with each time I was on stage.

I was shooting for the Spirit of Junior Miss, since I encouraged all the others so well, it was just myself I couldn't encourage. I did a heck of a lot better than that, I was second runner-up. Out of about 40 girls from the surrounding area, I came in third. I hardly remember letting go of the girls hands to accept my plaque. I could hear my family and friends that came to see me cheering so loudly for me. I was crying, and not breathing. The winner and first runner-up went on to the state levels. The second runner-up did not, and that was fine by me because I don't think I could have handled it. My mom and dad came on stage after the show and told me they loved me. This was the happiest day of my life. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this task. (And winning a college scholarship) :)

I'm now 21 years old, I have a college degree, I just bought my first house, I'm engaged, and getting my body healthier everyday. My fiance is an awesome person who I love so much. Earlier this week he got a promotion to Foreman. Along with the title came a pay raise. A nice one. I still hold my breath and wait for the other shoe to drop or at least I hope I still come off as confident to people, and for the first time in a long time since that day I stood up on stage in shock,...I can breathe. And let me tell you, it feels good.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Mine will be spent at my bridal shower on Saturday and a concert on Sunday. God help me, please don't let me do or say anything dumb in front of anybody at the shower....

2 Comments:

  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Audree said…

    i can't believe you're only 21!!!!!

     
  • At 1:23 PM, Blogger Dazed said…

    Exciting! Bridal showers are always a bore, unless its YOUR OWN bridal shower! Hope you had a great time!!!

     

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