Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Wow oh wow. Let's just start by saying I never thought that I would end up with the job I have now. It took crazy preparation. It took fighting mental battles and persevering even on the toughest of days, but boy oh boy was it so so worth it.
Saturday night, I was called into the top 10 at the Miss Washington Scholarship Competition. Then the top 5 (what?!). And slowly, every name was called until I was the last woman standing. I had won. At that moment I became Miss Washington 2021.
Photos were taken by Keith Krueger and Evelyn Hou.
I started competing in the Miss America Organization when I was 18 years old. At my first local competition, I don't think I wore one outfit that belonged to me--everything was borrowed second-hand. I didn't win, didn't even place. In fact, it took me six tries to win my first local title. That's when I learned you should never give up.
In my first year at state, I went for fun. I had no idea what to expect, I just wanted to make friends and go for the experience. The second time around, I started to want the job. That's when I learned to hope for something bigger.
On my last time up to bat, I won my first local. A month later... drum roll please... a global pandemic. I remember wanting to give up. I remember wanting to let go of hope. But I remembered the lessons from competing years prior.
In the year (plus some) that was a pandemic, the state and national competitions were postponed. I decided to stay and keep fighting for a dream. And during that year, I learned more about myself, who I wanted to be, and the direction I wanted my life to go. This is when I learned to simply be me.
I stand here now with a new job title: Miss Washington 2021 (wow it still doesn't feel real!) but also with a message: don't give up, hold onto hope, and simply be you. Whether it's a job or just life, this message stands true.
I cannot wait for what lessons are in store for this coming year. Stay tuned...