photo by Kara Lee
As I sit in my little office space in Fargo on this snowy Wednesday, I find myself reflecting to a year ago when I boarded a plane to make my way to the 100th anniversary competition of Miss America in Connecticut.
I was so nervous.
And READY. (Well... mostly anyway. Are you ever truly ready for a once in a lifetime experience?)
I was in a state of pure anticipation, mentally preparing for the 1/51 chance that I might become the next Miss America. (Man, what a thrilling and overwhelming idea that was, ha!)
Well, surprise surprise, that lucky girl did not end up being me and I couldn't have been more grateful. I was able to return to North Dakota and spend the last half of my year traveling around and serving my state.
And yes, the following few months brought their fair share of adventures.
One year later and I find myself sitting in my tiny cubicle sipping vanilla-cinnamon flavored Keurig coffee, reflecting on the events of this past year.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel real. Like, did any of this actually happen??? As I think of these events in my new “normal” reality of life, they feel like a distant dream… which memories and dreams do often seem to blur in my mind.
To be honest, I think I'm only now just beginning to process the events of the past twelve months, which I think is actually quite normal for many of us. At least in my experience, I often struggle to grasp the weight and significance of situations in real time while they're happening. These “big” life events are typically overwhelming, and I think many of us go into a state of survival mode as a coping mechanism whether we realize it or not. It's only after they're done, when we are able to look back, that we reflect and realize how we were impacted and changed.
As this year comes to a close, I continue to process the extent of these experiences on my life. And perhaps, just maybe, I was in fact changed for the better.
Photo credit to Lindsay Arbach, John Geyerman, Stella K. Photography, and Kara Lee Creative.
currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she works remotely as a Policy and Communication Manager for the First Lady of North Dakota. Photography and writing are a passion that help her better appreciate the details of the world.