Hey guys, I’m so beyond excited to say this is my first step to start off my journey of Miss Teenage Canada! I know for a fact it will be a roller coaster ride so strap in and get ready because I’m not quite sure what I’m doing yet but that is okay. Right?
The journey of Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador has been one I will never forget, it will always be an experience that changed the way I look at the world. From pageant weekend with the most incredible ten girls, to the Ronald McDonald Tree Lighting Ceremony, to being asked to take a picture with my crown from the sweetest looking little girls and boys. I’ve done more in this past year that would even fit in this blog post, but the fancy dresses and the gala’s are not why I treasure this experience. It is the people I get to meet, you will never meet more down to earth, kind souls than those in Newfoundland and Labrador, these people make me proud to put a sash on my right shoulder to represent them. Even though the dresses and the photo shoots are pretty amazing working with Sara Rostotski, who is an absolute doll, was an incredible experience. I’m still not over this picture!
No, I haven’t always been a pageant girl but I appreciate that this title has given me the opportunity to reach out and make a difference with as many people as possible, because you never know what someone else is going through. It was the hardships I’ve experienced in my life that pushed me to find the best opportunities to help people, which has inspired me to take the career path of pediatric medicine. I realize this will be a challenging career path with hard work and financial challenges, which is why I am so fortunate to have received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award this year.
Onto the mushy stuff, but if you want to know me you have to understand where I came from. I lost my dad in a tragic accident when I was four years old, at the time it was hard for me to understand but as I grew up there was always this little green monster of jealousy who watched my friends play basketball with their dads and I missed out on those experiences everyone else had. I never really missed those opportunities because my mom or poppy was always there to fill those gaps, they never let me fall.
Which is why when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer my world was flipped upside down, inside out, every way it could possibly turn. She is the light of my life and the strongest woman I know to this day, I aspire to be even half the woman she is. Being so young most kids wouldn’t understand, but after losing my father, the possibility of losing her too was only too real.
Next, we underwent another life altering event when my sister battled with an opioid addiction for the past four years. Actually, battles, because this is a life long struggle that comes with a new obstacle every day. Even though at some points I found it difficult to be around the sister I love because of her behavior while she was addicted, I will never be more proud of someone than her for choosing to fight her condition, obtain sobriety and speak out about her experience. It is not easy living in the same house as your sibling while they’re experiencing addiction as it will make them do things you never even knew was possible. It is real, it is harsh, and it is something people need to understand before they make assumptions.
Why am I giving you my life story? Because you need to understand what a person goes through before you understand their ambitions. I went through most of this before I started high school, as a kid you run away and try to hide but that just makes everything worse. It took me so long to realize that figure skating, the sport I love the most, was the best way to deal with stress and anger. I realized that volunteering in my local Can-skate program was a way to give these kids the skills necessary to be a figure skater, or hockey player, and they now had the ability to cope with stress in a healthy way. It was my way to give back, to stop another to feel what I had felt. I realized my friends do care about me and they don’t want me to put on a smile just so they wouldn’t have to deal with my problems. I have been more than fortunate to experience this support from the people that love me.
So I- I was going to say “stand before you” but I’m currently sitting behind my laptop, so I sit before you to tell you that you are never alone. I am the kind of person that will listen to you talk until my ear falls off, I will give you my heart until yours isn’t broken anymore, and I will always make sure you are okay. I strive for greatness, I will not take no as an answer, and you will never tell me I can’t do something. Why? Because that is how my experiences have shaped me. I could have took the pain and ran, but the thought doesn’t even make sense to me. To run? No, you fight for yourself, for your mother and father, sister and brother, your best friend, everyone you love.
With lots of love,
Miss Teenage East Coast xoxoxo