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I apologize for being off of the radar as far as putting out new blog posts, but if you have been following me on social media, you know that I definitely haven’t been slacking off. I hope you like the new website layout! Personally though, I have been in a unique transitionary period. It hasn’t come easy… It definitely hasn’t turned out like I had expected… but it has been life-altering in some pretty amazing ways. No, I did not win at Nationals. Yes, I was disappointed and I am still learning to accept the outcome on a personal level, but I am starting to see the bigger picture. Is my journey over? Absolutely not. I thought it was, but I was immediately proven wrong…

You’ve heard the quote that says something along the lines of “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” I couldn’t make sense of what felt like “failure” in the moment… but then I realized that maybe this WASN’T a failure… Maybe the experience was just leading me down a different path. Maybe it was MEANT TO BE a stepping stone… Because I wasn’t chosen as the “winner”, it allowed me to be available to take on other new roles. Now, I am actually getting the opportunity to stay involved with the incredible Ms. Wheelchair America organization as well as getting the opportunity to serve on the board as the historian for the Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee organization. I am also now serving on the board of directors for “Fashion Is For Every Body” which is an inclusive fashion show that I am SUPER excited to be a part of… More details to come on that a later date… but to say that I am humbled to be chosen to help with even just 1 of these organizations (let alone 3) would be an understatement. Not only that, but I am finally getting to tap back into one of my other huge passions that I let go to the wayside for a bit… music. My YouTube channel is still growing and now I am getting to change the direction of the channel a little bit too, which I am super excited about. I’m even starting to truly envision my goal of someday writing a book in the hopefully not too distant future. Most importantly in all of this though is that I am continuing to grow every single day. I feel it and I see it. It’s amazing to see my passion getting used in real, tangible ways and things just keep getting better.

August was hard. It wasn’t until my birthday at the end of August that I really started to feel like myself again. The process of going through the Ms. Wheelchair America competition was exhausting, physically and emotionally, but I am extremely grateful to have gotten the chance to go through it because I met some AMAZING women that I now consider dear friends. I now finally don’t feel like I necessarily “failed”. At the end of September, I passed on the torch as Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee to an incredible woman that I am so proud to call a friend. I had said that I wanted this experience to be a chapter in my future book and it definitely will be. This entire experience so far will be a chapter that I will forever be grateful for and truly proud of. I challenged myself. Through that role, I changed and grew from the inside out. I truly found the MEANT TO BE in my journey as a wheelchair user and cancer survivor so far.

I may have struggled with “defeat” at Nationals, but I wasn’t defeated… I needed a moment to breathe and regroup, but I realize now that I was just getting started. I needed this chapter in my life. It gave me confidence I had always hoped to possess. It helped me connect with more people than I ever thought possible. It has given me more joy and a sense of purpose in helping others in more ways than I ever imagined were possible. It gave me something to point to and be proud of. It taught me (yet again) that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned, but if you have faith, passion and patience, everything will fall into place. Part of this chapter may be over… I may have hung up the sash and put away the crown… but I hope to continue to shine through the INCREDIBLE projects that have come my way and new MEANT TO BE chapters that are yet to come for my life. One thing I know for sure now is that when PASSION meets PURPOSE amazing things can happen.

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