As I come to the final days of organizing what the beginning of next year will appear as… I am filled with unyielding emotion. They say it is hard to close a chapter at times because we are uncertain of what the future holds and because we may be fearing change of the unknown. We fall victim to what is common or to what is comfortable yet this so called comfort is what immobilizes us to close a chapter that we have outgrown. Fear of change is another way to put it, if you will. I do believe placing my education on hold was the best decision as I was surviving on my own and growing a grassroots non profit organization that not only was my life, it saved countless others’ lives. The decision to place my last semester of college on hold will forever be the best decision I made as thousands have seen the lives my organization has saved through the blood, sweat, and tears it has taken me to build it.
Although I was happy to focus on my non profit and growing it, I was also sad to not finish my college education. I did however, make all of my dreams come true in 2015 as an advocate for suicide prevention while running my own non profit locally and internationally traveling to six countries, speaking with governmental officials, while also making meaningful appearances as an international beauty queen and world supermodel. My favorite part was and still is to mentor the girls and women (and some awesome guys too) and the most meaningful part includes the actual suicide interventions. Yet at the end of 2015 I could not, for the very first time, envision what my future would appear as and my mind was blank. I have a colorful imagination. I can create something in my mind and make it a reality through hard work. Yet for some reason by the end of 2015 I could not. Perhaps it was due to my enemies making me down but they have no real power over me. I took it to believe that God was guiding me in a different direction.
This 2016 I planned to slow down, to readjust and reorganize but instead the expansion kept going from New York, to Ireland, to Jamaica, to Puerto Rico, and to our 7th Annual Celebration of Live Out Loud Charity in Chicago. I placed competing in pageants on hold this year. I also did not compete in an international competition because for the first time in my life (I know I keep saying that as this is a very unique time for me) I did not feel like being a beauty queen. I finally felt like it was time to be me and I felt I was reaching the hearts of people moreso as a Founder of a charity, as a real person, without having to first break the mental boundaries and stereotypes of what people think of what that crown symbolizes on top of my head. Don’t get me wrong, I will compete again one day… but for a girl that has competed for 10 years straight it is quite a big deal to take time off from competing. I’ve made pageantry my career from using my crown/title to further my charity (which helped grow my non profit tremendously) to running a pageantry magazine called Tiara Magazine. Not only that I have immensely enjoyed supporting my worldwide ambassadors for Live Out Loud Charity that wear a crown and sash.
So here I sit in November of 2016 typing my first blog in years and the year is almost over. This year moved faster than I could have ever imagined. The last couple years I lived for the moment and for what was immediately next, ceasing every opportunity, accomplishing the impossible as an underdog with a heart and purpose. Moving into next year (2017) it will be very different. My future was black, not due to depression, although I faced tremendous hardships on many fronts, this year and last, due to cyber bullying (which I may add I am now addressing legally this month and moving forward, as protecting my precious non profit and its people is of the utmost importance because we actually save lives and no one, not even a group of malicious people will stop us), but due to needing a desperate time away to reflect on what my heart truly wants now (next). I pulled over 30 allnighters last year alone and God knows how many this year… so I never had time to sit or to think. I reacted to every opportunity to reach people, to build a grassroots empire and an infallible movement, to use the knowledge of suicide prevention to speak on TV, to students, and to decision makers that have real power to incite change in their community. At the end of it all, having accomplished each item in mind, I felt like a blank slate by the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, unable to dream of the future and incapable of deciding what I want. I knew something was missing but I could not figure it out.
And there it happened unexpectedly, first time in my life, I am excited for my future because of one person. It is not that one person is the reason for my happiness or that I am reliant on one person to make me happy, because true happiness comes from God and doing God’s work, but I do believe we are born with one soulmate and I found mine. Not to make this into a love note, which it is not intended, but it would be silly if the reader did not know the underlying reasons for which I am truly happy.
However, during this time of change… there is a foundation of sadness as I let go of the old, finish the past projects and goals I placed on the back burner, and happily embrace the new. As with any new task though, I have to actually see this through which means hard work (if you know me, you know I love hard work) and lots of it in the spring-time. Returning to what will feel like something I started almost 10 years ago (well, 9 years ago!) is almost nostalgic. I am not determined with closing this chapter as I am content with the idea of finishing something that is so important to me so I may conquer new dreams with someone special. I have never felt this way before ever in my entire life. I dreamt so much in the past and I made all of my dreams come true. Something was missing and I found that something. Before I move forward I will finish my last dream which symbolizes a time of home, a time of love (family), a time when both of my grandparents were together and alive. It is no wonder why I feel so nostalgic. Funny that returning to something so mundane can symbolize a time of peace in the past. I am at peace now. I will stay focused and I will finish my education this spring, God willing, no excuses. I am very excited to close that chapter as I have already found the university of my dreams and the love of my life.
Blessings and Hugs,