This passed year, I was blessed and honoured to hold the title of Miss Teen Ontario East. Throughout my reigning year, I was able to learn a lot about our community; what goes on in the span of a year, as well as learn a lot about myself; both my strengths and weaknesses.
I found that the year flew by and, as it began to slowly conclude coming time to pass on the crown, it never really settled in until the night of the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant just before the final crowning took place.
I was never the type to be extremely outgoing, but this year has definitely opened up my personality to new horizons. After attending multiple events which consisted of TV or Radio interview, I gradually became more confident in public speaking. I’ve realized how much I have developed my communication skills and I feel overwhelmingly proud of my improvement. As I took the year one day at a time, my fears and anxiety about attending different events in which were “out of my comfort zone” at the time, helped me to grow as a person and I am forever grateful for that opportunity. These events that made me scared or unsure about myself, only helped me to overcome uncertainties that I had about my personality, and also, helped me to realize that I thoroughly enjoy doing them.
When I said a final speech at the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant this passed April, I felt as though it was important to highlight the things that I learned throughout the year, which did include my weaknesses. The diversity of the audience (which included children of all ages, as well as adults) really motivated me to mention that there were things that I personally struggled with (as I had previously mentioned in the paragraph before this one). My point being, though, was that, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, there is always room for improvement. Life is about realizing our strengths; the things that we achieve highly in, but also, acknowledging our weaknesses; the things that we could improve on. At the beginning of the year I realized that there would be instances where I was going to be nervous, and likely, insecure, such as my social skills. I allowed those insecurities to become my motivation to improve and strive.
I believe that life is like running, all about growth, progress and improvement, and the only person who should set your pace is yourself.
This experience truly changed my life. It was not at a single moment that my life was changed, it was the overall collection of events that I attended and grew from. I was able to attend the Nation’s Capital Santa Claus Parade as well as my hometown’s, the annual CHEO Telethon, the Candlelighter’s Gala Dinner and their Art Show/Auction in the Nation’s Capital, and our local Parkinson’s Run, and Terry Fox Run.
No matter if I was attending events as Miss Teen Ontario East, or not, it was in my best interest to carry myself with dignity and integrity in hopes that I could inspire people to treat others kindly and equally and be the kind of person that they would aspire to be like. I cannot say that I achieved this goal perfectly, because there really is no such thing as perfection, but I definitely feel extremely happy with the effort that I put into every event and outing.
Whenever I hear, “You did a great job this year”, I can conclude that others were just as pleased with how my reigning year went. But to be completely honest, I could not have done it without many of those who supported me along the way, encouraged me, and inspired me to be the person that I am today.