Oh where to even begin! My trip to Chicago was a whirlwind of sightseeing, rehearsing, meeting the girls, rehearsing, changing outfits, and…you guessed it, rehearsing. And although rehearsals did seem to take up the majority of the week, the opening number routine to ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’ is forever engrained in my brain. Aside from that, I had the opportunity to form so many great friendships with some truly amazing people. I would have to say the relationships I formed are what seem to stand out most when looking back on the entire experience. I may not have left Chicago as Miss Teen International, however I still came home a North Dakota state titleholder, and that in itself is something I am proud of.
The first night I arrived in Chicago I attended my sister queen, Ashley’s, finals night. It was so exciting watching all the Mrs.’s contestants on stage, and it got me super pumped for my competition. The night ended with Sarah Bazey receiving the 2012 Mrs. International title, followed by the coronation ball shortly afterwards. Watching all the contestants interact after their week it was obvious to see some true connections had been made.
The second day in Chicago was my free day! I spent it shopping and dining with my mom and my aunt Debbie. We had a fun time exploring the outdoor mall across from the hotel. The next day was the day of orientation. It was finally time for all the contestants to meet! I was filled with anticipation as I walked into the room; however that feeling quickly dissipated as I started talking with some of the girls. They were all so nice! We received our schedule for the week and headed back to our rooms. 7:00 a.m. came bright and early as we boarded the bus for downtown Chicago. We visited the John Hancock Observatory followed by the Boys and Girls Club. Let me just say, the view from the 94th floor is like no other, you could see EVERYTHING. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Sightseeing was definitely fun; however I can’t even describe in words how rewarding our trip to the Boys and Girls Club was. We all wore our sashes and brought our autograph cards to hand out to the little girls. We helped them make crowns of their own and took lots of pictures. Needless to say there was a plethora of princesses occupying downtown Chicago that dayJ
The remainder of the week flew by! The countless hours of rehearsal paid off and everyone performed the opening number flawlessly. Caroline Crowley went home the 2012 Miss Teen International titleholder and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her! She will do amazing things this year. I recently shared on my Facebook that there are many things I took away from my time in Chicago, however a certain song really got to me. The theme for the week was ‘Legacy’ and about asking yourself what kind of mark you are making on the world. I encourage you to look up this song because it pretty much sums that all up. The song is called ‘I Was Here’ by Lady Antebellum. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XZ12nrz47U My favorite lines from the song are, “I want to do something that matters, say something different, something that sets the whole world on its ear. I want to do something better, with the time I’ve been given. And I want to try, to touch a few hearts in this life. Leave nothing less, than something that says, I was here!” And like I said earlier, although I didn’t bring home the big crown, I come home to a crown just as powerful. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in the world, an opportunity to leave my mark behind, and that will be my legacy.
Until next time,Olivia