This past week, after nearly a year since passing on the Miss North Dakota title, I returned to Williston to host the 75th Miss North Dakota Competition.
On a stage.
Under bright lights.
Standing in platform heels.
Wearing arguably too many sparkles.
With a microphone in my hand.
And hundreds of eyes locked on me.
Could I still do this??
Sure, just a year ago I had spent a good portion of 2021-22 traveling across the state speaking to thousands of students and individuals. But since then, a part of me had turned into a hermit following a year of needing to embrace my extroverted side. At that moment as I was about to walk onto the stage, my previous shy-thirteen-year-old-awkward self didn’t feel so distant in my past.
A moment of hesitation, I swallowed, and I walked forward into the beams of the blinding stage lights.
And it was okay.
Actually, it was MORE than okay.
Throughout the three nights of emceeing the competition, I had the time of my life and felt completely in my element. Everything that I hadn’t done in a year - but skills that I had cultivated during my year as Miss North Dakota - came back and I knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. It was as if I hadn’t taken a day off from publicly presenting.
And, I remembered a part of why I so dearly loved being Miss North Dakota in the first place: because of the opportunities to connect with broad audiences of people.
So… what’s the takeaway in sharing this?
Well, quite frankly it’s pretty straightforward:
I encourage you to keep stepping into the light, dear friends.
(Yes, even if you’re wearing platform heels that make your feet swollen and numb by the end of the night.)
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.