Pageantry and Ranch Dressing

Hey guys! I apologize for my absence over the past couple of weeks. I’m back now, and ready to rock and roll!

One of the reasons why I haven’t had time to update is because—believe it or not—I was in a pageant! Yep; the Miss Southeast 2015 scholarship pageant! I shocked a lot of people by doing it, including (and perhaps especially) myself. My friend Anna (not to be confused with “Ana” mentioned in other posts) convinced me to do it. She even loaned me a beautiful dress to wear! First place wins a $1,000 scholarship, so I figured why not?

Pause: I have never been a “why not” person. When it comes to getting out and doing things, I have always played it safe. I’ve led a relatively boring life up until these past few months. The name of this blog is “Reconstructing Annie” for a reason—falling apart allowed me the opportunity to start from scratch and reinvent myself, becoming the person I really want to be.

I look back at the person I was less than a year ago, and I see a world of difference. I think the people around me see it, too. At least a few have mentioned that I seem happier and more alive these days. That’s because I’m learning to live and not just survive.

The morning of the pageant, I had a meltdown. I started freaking out. “I’m not a pageant girl! What am I doing? I don’t even wear makeup! How am I going to sing in front of all those people? What if I freeze on stage or trip over my dress or forget my name or a tsunami hits? I can’t do this!”


I let out a scream, hid in my closet, and almost called the whole thing off. Just before I did, I came to my senses and decided I wasn’t going to let fear win.

And ya know what? I’m so glad I did the pageant. I was pretty much winging it the whole time. Still, it was such an incredible experience! I met some beautiful and amazing people, and strangely enough, I feel like I met another side of myself. I never thought that I would ever have the guts to do something like this. Before, I wouldn’t even play my guitar outside the comfort of my own bedroom. I used to be so afraid of social interaction that my first reaction when I recognized someone in public was to avoid them. Now I find myself rocking out on stage and making the crowd laugh! In a red dress and heels, too.

I want to thank everyone that came out to support me and helped me in any way! My friend Anna really encouraged me to do this, and without her support, I may have never found the courage to venture out and try new unexpected things. My biology professor’s fiancee, Laura, did my makeup for me–such a kind gesture which I am extremely grateful for, as makeup is not my area of expertise!  And of course, I want to thank my friends and family who came to see me. You da best.

I didn’t win, but I feel like I did. The scholarship was my incentive, but my main goal was to have fun and be brave! Mission accomplished. I stepped way out of my comfort zone and did something. I will have these memories forever. And guess what else I discovered? FEAR IS A LIE. None of the things I feared would go wrong actually went wrong. Didn’t I also say something like that in my Thanksgiving post? Hmm…noticing a trend here… 😉

Oh, and the ranch dressing thing:
Just before my interview with the judges, mom and I went out to eat. I had a chicken sandwich with ciabatta and ranch dressing on it. Ranch was a fear food of mine. I kicked two fears in one day: stage fright and creamy salad dressing. WIN! 😀

My confidence has skyrocketed. I want to get out there and do more things! Because of the pageant, now people know my name, that I can play guitar and sing, and that I have an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek (yes, it was part of the answer to my onstage question).

But I think the most impressive thing about all of this is the simple fact that in less than a year, I went from anorexic and hating my own body to confident and brave enough to be a pageant contestant! That is my prize.

I like the person I am becoming. Thank you, recovery.

My friend Anna, former Miss Southeast 2014. You are amazing!
I felt more confident in this picture than in any formal pose.
Recovery is…a beautiful red gown and a matching smile!

To watch the video of me playing “Hallelujah” during the talent competition, click here!

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