upward swing

Jan 2016 has seen almost everything that was undone, become done again only this time with purpose, direction, and focus:

I started my own business with market america last year and I’ve already seen results. I attended World Convention in Miami in February over my birthday week and really bonded with my MA team. Not only that but I had a great birthday for the first time in a very long time. It was spent not alone but in the comfort of friends, with champagne no less and pool side. Convention was overall a fantastic, motivating, inspiring, and encouraging experience and I returned to Albany ready to hit the ground running.

Still, even with that energy I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. God had not illuminated that part of the path yet. Miss New York 2016 competition was held in January 2016 and I lost the race for the crown but what I earned was an experience so valuable that my life was completely changed within 3 days. I left pageant weekend bolder and more confident. Upon reflection I realized that the women who beat the elimination process were each more trained, more experienced, and more prepared than I was. At first this fact made me sad until I realized that all those things were fluid: with proper training and preparation I too could be a Queen. Ultimately it was my BEILF and my willingness to face my fears that held me back and that’s OK because I still learned from the experience and I can’t think of better way to remember my mother, Robin.

Mommy ALWAYS believed in me and I’m very fortunate to know that she was proud of me because she told me all the time and anyone who would listen. At her funeral church members told me she talked about me constantly and described me as her strong beautiful loving courages daughter. Illness took away lot of opportunity from my mom and left her more and more crippled over time but her spirit was never crippled nor her sense of humor. My mom was the type of woman to give her last two dollars to help someone else or even just buy them a card on their birthday. She loved people and even more so she loved me and she wanted me to be successful and happy. Most importantly I know my mother wanted me to have a sweet tender spirit and warm disposition and her greatest inheritance to me was loyal giving heart of gold. I’m so proud to be her daughter. I think up in heaven she is honored high among all the saints, full bodied and abled in perfect happiness sending me love and guidance which I feel all the time.

Somewhere around the end of February my tension broke like a fever and I felt healed. I know this was a result of my many prayers from the numerous spiritual warriors that I have in my corner. The last couple of years have been challenging but the truth is I’ve been sad for a much, much longer time- maybe all ways in fact as depression can be trans-generational and my family has experienced much success as they have challenges.

February 14th I was invited to participate in the Miss Tourism NY USA pageant, and international pageant system that is dedicated to promoting tourism and cultural understanding. The director Jyoti had seen my performance and my stats and called me personally for an interview. Since then she has become a friend and a confidant, constantly encouraging me and reminding me that success is in my future and that there is a definite place for me. Miss Tourism is different than many other pageants as it is less superficial, judging on character and heart as well. However I do believe that the Miss NY judges did choose the best winner and I have every confidence that Serena will take home the crown at Miss USA. I was blessed to have shared a moment with her where she spent a little bit of extra time helping me master the dance routine. She then invited me to sit with her the rest of the evening. She was genuinely warm and inviting and her beautiful heart was transparent. She really is the whole package.

In March I found out that I qualify for a division of the Miss Earth pageant, Miss Earth is the number one pageant system in the world (there are the top 4 which include Miss Earth and Miss Universe). I applied for the North East preliminaries and was told that they were filled. However my information was forwarded to the South West region and I was accepted and interviewed by the pageant director Laura Clark. As of this moment I am awaiting to hear a decision but if I am chosen then I will surpass preliminaries and go straight to nationals as an official title holder with a crown and a sash. I eagerly await and pray to be chosen.

Determined to do it right this time I sought sponsorship again, this time guided by Jyoti. I went to dojo with my official forms and asked them to sponsor me. To my delight they said yes and I have begun extra training classes this week as a result. Aside from them helping me I’m giving back too. They have a brand new program out called FIT and I am to be a case study. These classes are going to make me stronger in all my MMA training. And since NY legalized MMA there will soon be opportunities to compete. In addition I am spending more time working with my team and I know that we’ll all become very close through the process and that is exciting. I haven’t been able to break down the walls I’ve put at the gym because training is already such an intimate thing and I’m used to keeping people at a distance but they already have an insight to me that is generally reserved for very few and after being hurt time and time again, reserved for no one. Instead I put my trust in God and I continue to do so. In preparation for Miss Tourism I have started stepping outside of my comfort zone, looking at other religions and trying culturally different things. My goal is prove that we don’t have to hid behind our labels or whatever- at the end of the day we are not so different and spending time with a different group in no way threatens my beliefs but every experience deeps and freshens my own spiritual journey.

April started out with a BANG BANG BANG as I returned to the sanctuary to continue my internship. April 2 was the first event of the season and the 10th year ann party. I was host to the band and was on the film crew, in addition to that I filled in wherever I was needed. One of my sparring partners came to watch the show and it was a good experience sharing another side of my life

Feeling ever more confident I decided it was time to return to school. This time I am leaving fear behind and pursuing my passion of photography and film, with a social media marketing component. Financial aid is complete, classes are chosen, I have a mentor whom I really connect with and things are going well. I have to take 16 credits though to remain in good standing, they call this academic probation, however it doesn’t phase me this time as careful thought, planning, and time are on my side.

The only thing missing now is a relationship with a strong, loving, God fearing man but as always God provides in his perfect time and his perfect way so I wait, humbly, faithfully, and happily

❤ It won't be so long until my next update.