My Dream Came True
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” –Thomas Edison
For the most part, I’m a pretty average girl. I have a closet full of shoes, enjoy the occasional shopping spree, and grew up watching the annual Miss America and Miss USA pageants. I was always in awe of their elegance. Poise, beauty, and self-confidence radiated from their presence, and deep down inside I hoped to capture those same attributes one day.
As I grew, so did my fondness of pageants, yet I doubted my ability to compete. So, year after year, I hid my dreams of wearing my own crown and sash. I buried my insecurities behind a tomboyish front. I wore baggy jeans and placed a baseball hat where I wished was a tiara. My longing for a title wasn’t for just selfish reasons. I wanted to represent more than myself, yet the fear of failure held me back from accomplishing my dream. Every once in a while I would acquire information about pageants. Quickly glancing at my chance of being a pageant girl, but like times before, I would tuck away the hope that I held so dear.
Until, one crisp spring day, I was flipping through the local observer browsing for an article, when my eyes landed on an ad for the Miss Westland 2010 pageant. Instantly, my mind was overwhelmed. Doubt attempted to cloud my thinking, but my heart was too excited with the possibility of me, Janell Evans, being in a pageant. It was as if God, simply, placed hope back into my life. I carried the ad around in my purse for at least a week, before I had the courage to submit the application. When I received the acceptance letter in the mail, it was like I had unwrapped a Willy Wonka bar and found the golden ticket.
For the next two months, I diligently prepared. I shopped for the perfect dress, rehearsed my speech, practiced walking in four inch heels, and daily reminded myself that I could do this. As the days grew closer to the pageant, the doubt which I had caged for so long broke loose. Before I could stop it, all my insecurities rushed back. I wondered how a simple girl like me could ever be a pageant queen. Once again, I was in back in the same place where I had lived most of my life. Even though my mind was overwhelmed with fear, something inside me whispered, “Don’t give up yet.” I lived off that voice for the next few days. Constantly reiterating to myself, “You don’t know until you try.” Somehow, I managed to maintain my composure…that is until the day of the pageant.
My palms sweated, my knees shook, and my nerves were through the roof as I anticipated walking out in front of the crowd. With a deep breath, I took my first step and gracefully glided across the stage. I waited my turn then gave my speech, and before I knew it, it was time for my onstage question. My mind went blank as she read my question, yet through divine intervention the perfect answer danced off my lips. Time flew by so fast, and with the blink of an eye the scores were tabulated and it was time for the results. The other contestants and I stood in a row, all hoping to hear our name. My heart pounded and my head rushed, as I heard the second and first runner up being announced. I knew there was no possible way I had won, so I bowed my head in defeat. They began to announce the winner, “Miss Westland 2010 is…contestant #2…” Time stopped. I forget my number. As looked at my hip and saw the number two, tears filled my eyes. The dream I had wished for all my life was accomplished. As they placed the tiara on my head and sash on my shoulder, I thought to myself, “This moment of success would have been lost, if I had not overcome my doubt.”