Day 8

The days are flying by. As I reflect upon one short week behind me I see monumental growth in exponential measures. Growth in all of the right ways. I have learned so much about myself and I am so blessed to have had such a unique opportunity to do so. If anything, this experience has given me skills & knowledge that will outlast any crown. Fact.

Today felt like the busiest day yet. Because of day's pace & the activities we did, it just might be the best day I have had here yet.

Even though I was a bit sleepy this morning after staying up way too late to download all of our production songs along with some "feel good" jams (like "Good Life" by OneRepublic) I was still incredibly excited about our morning event with Best Buddies. What is Best Buddies you wonder?

"Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."
How great is that? I was so eager to meet my Buddy, who of course was amazing. We spent the hours with the organic company of each other. It was amazing. There was no need to worry about filming or judgement, the only care in the world was to have fun and make my buddy, Scott, know how incredibly important and brilliant he is.

We started off with a puzzle of the USA. Lemme tell you this boy knows his geography. He whizzed through the puzzle like a champ as I played 20 questions with him to get to know him better.

look how he managed to tackle the east coast!

Next we had breakfast, hula hopped (I can't get enough!), danced, played with beach balls, danced some more, watched some outstanding performances, danced again. We concluded the day by signing a pledge to "SPREAD THE WORD TO STOP THE WORD" to eliminate to use of the R word from our own vocabulary..

The hardest part was saying goodbye to Scott. Even more difficult was trying to say goodbye after he hugged me so tight and rested his head on my shoulder. I loved this event and how joyful it made me. From there on, my day was amazing. Sigh, if I could just start every day like that.  I am so grateful to the Miss Universe Organization for this event and was once again reminded of why I am so deeply invested in my role as Miss NM USA.

Next up, 5 hours of rehearsal for the production. I remember really struggling with all of this stuff when I competed at miss Teen USA in 2005. Dancing and runway walking are not my forte. Thankfully, this time around we have the help of an incredible runway coach named Lu, who has given me all of the tools & knowledge I need to "werq" (as Alina Ogle, Miss NM USA 2004 would say) the runway. I literally absorbed everything she said and practiced all day long until my feet were swollen... but it paid off because I can feel the surge of confidence as I "strut" across the "stage" and imagine cameras, lights, judges and the audience (**shout out to the 78 incredible creatures coming in from all over the US for lil ole' New Mex**).

During rehearsals I got into an interesting discussion with one of my favorite girls here, Oklahoma. She mentioned stumbling on my blog once and that she had seen a post about body image. She said that she loved my perspective because it very much aligned with hers. I was so excited to hear that. I hadn't really talked to anyone here yet about "body image," so it was great to share thoughts with someone who shared my understanding of it. The way we see it is that Miss USA is not a body building competition. Additionally it's not a "skinny" competition. It's an interview for a role, a role that allows a woman to embody all women, by balancing personal life with a job, service endeavors, relationships and physical and emotional health. The body of a Miss USA should be attainable through healthy eating choices, exercise that makes her feel good, and a glow the exudes inner confidence and happiness. I love how Oklahoma gets it, and actually, a lot of the girls here do. The Miss USA class of 2011 knows what's up.

After rehearsals we were off to see the production of Australia's Human Nature. I never knew how much I enjoyed Motown music and how many of the songs I knew! At the end of the show we got to take pictures with the performers, too cool.

On the way back to the hotel I received one of the best compliments ever from Nevada when she determined that I have what she calls a "Tinkerbell" nose. Don't you love when you get compliments like that? So specific, genuine and humbling. I'm going to make sure I give those same compliments to other people more frequently.

And lastly I leave you with this. Aren't these girls fabulous? Stop it at 2:45 to see moi & a little glimpse of my infamous "cat dance."

late nights & bright lights,

1 comment:

  1. Hey Brittany, loved this blog. Just wanted to let you know that Katie, my friend's daughter (who met you at the French toast breakfast) is a member of Best Buddies at Miyamura High School (as is her brother Daniel). They love it - I'm glad you do too!
    Looking forward to next week,
    Deb J.