“Wait a second, I thought you aged out of the Miss America Organization?” Same people, same.
All of my thoughts of reflection and contentment along with various emotions that consumed me in June, 2017 were shaken back up late fall when the Miss America Organization announced they were moving the age limit from twenty-four to twenty-five; a minuscule move for some, but a pivotal one for me. With a strong desire to pursue this opportunity with every ounce of energy I had, I signed up for both the local pageants I was able to participate in, given the elongated time it took to get the new contracts in place (and the titles I’ve held). I was scared, eager, optimistic, and ready to see what greater plan God had in store. Yes, you did read that right – I was scared and anxious despite how many times I’ve gone through this process. I don’t care if it’s your first local Miss America Organization pageant or 15th for that matter, it’s natural to feel butterflies. My perspective is this: if you sincerely and deeply care about something and want to accomplish a goal so badly, it’s only natural to feel those emotions; it shows compassion and vulnerability.
I competed for Miss Wisconsin Central on March 10 and finished as First Runner-Up. I remember feeling oddly off that day and week leading up to competition. Perhaps it was the overall notion that I was indeed able to compete again? Maybe it was my mental grind of trying to get back into a focused state of mind in terms of the various elements of preparation? I took a deep breath and smiled as I heard my name called, with a calm demeanor rushing over me. In my heart, I’ve derived it was because I wanted to work with the Miss Wisconsin Sweeps team and I knew that Ken Morrall was watching over me from the best seat in the house with my fate comfortably in his hands. It’s true what they say, “Trust in God’s timing.” With any pursuit in life, there’s a risk; however, it’s with those risks and tribulations that lessons are learned. It’s not that I failed in that moment or that I ‘didn’t win’ because in fact, the experience made me stronger and provided me with unprecedented perspective. To me, that’s a win.
Just two short weeks later, I found myself in Burlington, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 24 laying down in the same hotel my mother and I had stayed in almost one year prior to that moment. It was the night before the 2018 Miss Wisconsin Sweeps Pageant at Burlington High School. I laid out my clothing, turned on the news, and curled up into bed trying my best to rest even though my brain was fixated on the next day. *Note, I happened to be battling a sinus cold/fever at this same time so I’ll credit the NyQuil for a good night’s rest before competition.*
I woke up on Sunday, turned on the one cup coffee maker and got in the shower prior to turning the news back on to ensure I wasn’t missing any key details regarding the latest news (who’s coming and going in the White House, the Mueller Investigation, North Korea, etc.). Then, in what seems like a blink of an eye pageant day had begun and trust me folks it flies by…especially once the actual show begins. The day consisted of two private 10 minute interviews with two separate judging panels (due to the fact they were giving away five titles), my fever coming back shortly before my first interview, and my realization that I forgot play powder I use to texturize and add volume to my very thin, fine hair (shout out to Katrina for allowing me to borrow hers and Ciara for lending me her steamer for my gown #TheSisterhoodIsReal). On a positive note, the day also consisted of a great deal of positive emotions. Including two strong interview panels that allowed me to talk about my platform “Let’s Talk: Skill Sets 4 Success” – what I’ve done with it to date and what I would hope to accomplish as Miss Wisconsin. In addition to a deeper hope and vision for my future plans and goals, if it was in fact in the plans for me to go back to Miss Wisconsin.
Thank you to both judging panels for providing me with this incredible opportunity to grace Alberta Kimball’s stage in Oshkosh one more time. To the Morrall family, the Coffey crew, and the Miss Wisconsin board – thank YOU for making the sweeps pageant possible and for granting five women the chance to move on to the state competition. As a senior in high school, I never could’ve anticipated how this journey would unfold but I’m extremely grateful for how it has progressed. I am thrilled to have the chance to dance in that venue again, to share my raw emotions with the judges and audience, and to truly embrace this shot at my dream job. It’s a pursuit that has grown immensely over the course of the past eight years, with each experience teaching me something new about myself, the program, and the communities I’ve been fortunate to serve. Here’s to this crazy, beautiful journey and the next couple months leading up to Miss Wisconsin 2018!“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.”XO,
Miss Wood Violet 2018