Sunday, February 23, 2014

Life can be tough...

                                                          If you have a bad day..

An extemely important lesson that I am remembering today is: nothing will last forever. Bad days come and go, but there will always be a good one headed your way. Just persever through it, and remember to stay strong, and not let it get you down. A good trick I have learned to get through my bad day is to distract myself from whatever it is that is bothering me. I take a few deep breaths just to keep myself from turning into an emotional ball of no-fun, then begin reading a book, jogging or even writing! Days like today are tough, and it takes a lot to not let the world weigh you down, but it wont last forever and hopefully we can learn and grow from these days. It may be hard to get out of bed, you may spill your drink on your shirt, and think that your whole day is going to go down hill, but try your hardest to change your mindset. Try turning it around, and helping someone else have a better day. I have found that if I try to help someone else, my day starts to seem a little bit brighter. 

Koala bears make me happy:) 

P.S. Take a walk, get some fresh air, let your body connect with the Earth, it is very healing.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wobbly Heals, A Beauty Pageant Girls Beginnings.

Standing on stage, giving my introduction, I am wondering if the audience or the judges can see my legs shaking from the fear. "Good evening ladies and gentleman, my name is Ashley McKenzie, I am 20 years old and I am your Miss contestant number 8," which was followed by some more interesting facts about myself... Honestly, I can't even remember what I said, but it must not have been too terrible, as I am now your Miss Melbourne USA 2015!  I used to sit around and wonder what it must feel like in a preliminary pageant for the winners. Are they really excited? Or did they already know they were going to win? My crowing moment is definitely one for the books, that is for sure. The reaction that you see on TV is not rehearsed. I just want to get that clear right now. Never being crowned, I wondered if it was played up to make sure we knew how happy she was. It's really not. You really don't know who is going to win. I already had it set in my brain who I thought was going to win, so when the announcer called my name I was in total shock. I cannot wait to get the footage back of my face. How did I get there though? What made them choose me over the other contestants? I cannot read their minds, but I know that I did everything I knew how to do.  Let's back date this now to when I woke up and entered this pageant. 

Growing up my parents put me in a few pageants here and there, but nothing in the USA system. When I turned 18 I thought I could enter into a pageant, and that my looks alone could carry me through. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. There are millions are beautiful people in this world, Miss USA is not based on looks alone. They are looking for the package. The package includes intellect, community involvement, inner beauty and outter beauty. 
My crowning moment! Photo by Grant Gravitt
The steps I took are as follows:
1) Bought killer shoes
2) Bought a swimsuit that would enhance the areas I lack (boobies)
3) Found an excellent dress shop that knew exactly what would work on me
4) Volunteered for any and everything
5) I was already in school, but I picked a definite major and figured out the steps I was going to take to get to there. 
6) Hairspray.. hairspray..........hairspray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7) THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE: PRACTICED. PRACTICED. PRACTICED. I may have looks slightly vein walking around my house in my swimsuit and evening gown and talking to myself in the mirror, but guess what.. because of that I WON. I learned how to angle my body when walking, I practiced eye contact in the mirror and I practiced not stepping on my gown so I would not fall on my face. You can buy a $12,000.00 gown, a professional make up team and a Victoria Secret models body, but if you get on stage and have no idea what you are doing, then you will not take home that crown. The one who practices when everyone else is finding other things to do, that will be your winner, no matter the cost of their wardrobe.

PS: Be yourself onstage. Just go up there, win or lose and have fun! They are looking for someone who feels comfortable on the stage and shines. Most importantly, make friends. If you win they will support you, if they lose maybe they can help you for next time. Be a friend back to them, also. 

Ashley McKenzie