My first Miss Michigan Week came and went in the blink of an eye. By the time school ended and I had recovered from the most traumatizing semester of my life, I had one month to prepare. One month to get my chicken tender fed body into shape, one month to learn about every single current event in the past few months in my time isolated from the outside world, one month to develop my platform… (definitely bought my evening gown two weeks before competition) the list goes on.

In all honesty, I was not going in with the mindset to win. I felt foolish even entertaining the thought. When I walked into the hotel for check-in I cried because I had no idea what I was doing.

It obviously got easier, I put on my big girl pants and throughout the days, all of the Miss Michigan titleholders had the chance to volunteer and participate in countless events within Muskegon:

kids foods basket

Making Sack Suppers at Kids Foods Basket

Kid’s Foods Basket, interviews, flashmobs in the park, luncheons with Lions and Rotary Club members; it truly was a fairy tale land where people treated you like royalty and you got to frolic eating salads while smiling. I made incredible friendships with so many like-minded, ambitious young women that I am proud to call both my role models and my sisters, and learned so many things about myself that I can’t even articulate or tangibly equate to anything (much like that sentence).

All was going well until Interview Day came along. Long story short: I bombed. I feel bad for every individual in the room that had to witness the amount of stuttering and awkward silences that occurred during my interview. I’m sorry cameraman, I’m sorry judges.

I got to my room and called my dad to tell him not to bother coming to watch me and that I wanted to go home because continuing was futile (melodramatic much?).

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Squad Goals

The rest of competition was a blur. My goal was to redeem myself on the second night of prelims with my talent so that I could walk away feeling content with competition week. Unfortunately, after being first to perform, I walked off completely defeated because again, I BOMBED. Although my mindset wasn’t in it to win, my competitive nature completely destroyed me; being wrought with anxiety and a sense of inadequacy all week made me perform worse than I have ever performed in my life.

So obviously, I was more than shocked when I was named Preliminary Talent Winner that night. Even more shocked when called into the Top 11 on finals night and not even coherent when I squeaked into Top 5 (where I gave a shout out to Tiger Moms that was heard around the world).

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Definitely cried the entire night for final competition…

In conclusion? Let it go. And don’t worry about things out of control (easier said than done). If I had spent even half the amount of time during Miss Michigan week devoted to enjoying being in the moment as I did worrying about how I thought I failed everything, I think my blood pressure would be at much safer levels. I walked away from Muskegon a better version of myself and ironically with the realization that I have that many more things to do to improve myself. If it is meant for you, it will not miss you; and if it not, then something better is just along the horizon. Until next time Muskegon ❤

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CONGRATS to our new Miss Michigan, Emily Kieliszewski!!

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