It's raining in Seattle, and autumn has always been a time of reflection for me. Maybe it's the change in leaves and the transition in seasons that has me looking back at the changes over the last year, but nonetheless, the rain makes the perfect background noise for thought.
If you didn't notice from my bazillion posts on social media... closer and closer we creep to the Miss America competition. Did I mention this year holds the 100th anniversary of the competition?! Kind of a big deal. Fifty-one women have the honor of making history--I am lucky to be one of them. Miss America is an icon. Miss Washington, too, is an icon.
I have received this question many many times: what does it take to be Miss Washington? What can I do better? Is it the dress? Is it my talent? What is it??
So many girls dream of being a state or even national titleholder. It's an honor to serve your state and be a role model to many young individuals. But the "it" you speak of is not describable. Why? Because "it" is already within you. So the question we should be asking is this: what does it mean to be her?
And then I thought of my journey through the Miss America Organization. I started as an insecure girl, unsure of where she was going and what she wanted, but with a passion to help others. And now, here I am, proud of the woman I have become. Become. My journey has been one of becoming.
Because what if all along the power to become her resides within you and me? What if all along becoming her has everything to do with becoming the most authentic, most genuine, most real you that you can be?
What a beautiful thing--the becoming. And we don't even realize it's happening. It just does. We have life experiences, time passes, relationships develop and fade away. People come and people go. Challenges. Hardships. We wake. We sleep. Life forces us to mature in ways we wouldn't on our own. And then we simply become.
But here's the thing about becoming: it never stops. We never become something fully, but we are ever-evolving, ever-changing. Change is inevitable (so are taxes...
). The leaves change and we can count on autumn changing into winter and winter changing into the new hope spring holds. But what a beautiful thing change can be.
Bodies change. I'm glad. Could you imagine if our bodies stayed the same as they were when we were twelve? My body, like yours, in a sense, is also becoming. At one point, it was becoming a hollow shell-the fortress of a girl who didn't understand becoming. Or maybe that girl was also becoming--full of fear and uncertainty of who she was and where she may be going. Now my body is becoming a home where joy and belly laughs reside. Where pleasure and grief can equally hold space. Where hugs happen and lips embrace. Where food is enjoyed over crisp conversations. Where thoughts, introspection, and reflection bring my humanity. Where clothes can rest, or impress, or simply embrace the skin underneath. My body is becoming. Becoming accepted by the soul which resides in it.
But again, bodies change. With age, with stress, with the environment, with time, with life. So who knows what my body may be becoming, but I chose not to fear it. I know my body is worthy--yours is too.
My body has not failed me, no matter the size, shape, or illness. So I'll let it become. I'll honor it. I'll be grateful for it. And I'll let it become.
Thanks for following my thoughts on becoming... :)