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A Thank you to National American Miss

Dear, National American Miss,

I have to be honest here for a minute. I have put off writing this post. And the reason for it is because I know that once I do, the clock is ticking, and the end is really coming, and this chapter of my life will really be over.

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My first pageant with N.A.M. Look how young I was!

Now, you must know that I am not a very emotional person. I get sad, or angry, but it passes quickly. I haven’t cried in two years. I just don’t get sad enough to cry. But, I really think I will cry on July 23rd. Why, you ask? Because July 23rd is the day my journey with National American Miss is really over. There will be no more state pageants, no more chances to win, no more fabulous girls to meet, no more amazing experiences on stage feeling empowered and fabulous. By the end of the day on July 23rd, it will be over. Forever. So, yeah, I’m probably going to cry.

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My 3rd year! I came in the top ten at this pageant!

My first pageant was 6 years ago. And from that first moment I was hooked. I mean, I just loved every minute of it. I loved the friendships and the support I felt from everyone connected with N.A.M. I didn’t win my first year, not my second year, or even my third year. But, it wasn’t the crown and banner that mattered to me anyways. I wanted to be poised and classy and confident and I wanted to be able to walk out on stage in front of a crowd of people who have no idea who I am and introduce myself. And thanks to National American Miss, I am able to do that now. And I love it.

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All the school supplies I connected for Schools on Wheels!

The crown and banner was always my goal, but each year I set new goals, like to win a optional contest, which I did, I won Spokes-model and Top Model. I wanted people to recognize me for my personality. I wanted to feel less nervous walking into the interview and I wanted to know that it wasn’t the crown and banner that mattered, I can make a difference without them, everyone can.

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Volunteering with Alex’s Lemonade Stand

But, that didn’t mean I was going to give up. National American Miss is the best pageant system, and I really wanted to represent them and all that they stand for, even if it was just for a year. So finally, on my 4th year, I won. I won National American Miss Massachusetts 2017, and it has been the best year of my life.

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I traveled to L.A. where I competed for the National Title. I saw Disneyland. I met girls from every state. At Nationals I won Miss Personality and Miss Spirit. I was honored! And when Jordan won the National Title, all of us were in the audience cheering her on, because there was no one more deserving than her. That is a feeling I never want to forget. We were all just so happy for her!

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NATIONALS!

I promoted my project, the Stay Unique, Stay Different Campaign. I volunteered at events like the Boston Children’s Hospital, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Christopher’s Haven. I had a school supply drive with Schools on Wheels. I even spent my entire spring break volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. I spent more hours with children than with people my own age, because I love to inspire them to never give up on what they wish for. I even was blessed enough to be in the Stoughton 4th of July parade, which was magical.

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I miss my sisters!!

I can’t believe that in 13 days my journey with N.A.M. will be over. I am so thankful for N.A.M. for teaching me that it’s not the crown and banner that matter, it’s who you are, and what you do with your life. I don’t need a crown and banner to help others, and neither do you. NAM taught me that the journey is greater than the reward, and God’s plan is never wrong, everyone has their time to shine, I know that now.

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Miss Spirit and Miss Personality at Nationals!
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My best friend Lexie!

 

I hope that everyone in the world never loses sight of what sets their soul on fire. I will be right there cheering you on.

Love, your 2017 National American Miss Massachusetts,

Elizabeth Hadley

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