For years now, I have had a recurring nightmare. And sometimes, in the words of Ronnie Milsap: I have daydreams about night things in the middle of the afternoon.
When it happens, I wake in the proverbial cold sweat, gasping for breath, maybe there are tears involved. I have learned to flash a huge NO sign in red neon over and over in my mind to stop the cycle. It’s bad enough that with Fibromyalgia, I don’t sleep well anyway….don’t I deserve nice dreams?
I have to consciously put new thoughts in my head. Kinda like when you see those TV commercials about abused animals – and you have to purposefully think about something else to get the images out of your mental eye.
My personal nightmare relates to the only pageant I have ever done. I had the wrong dress, at the wrong length, which mortified me and then I forgot the words to my talent…and said so on stage in front of the audience. My family must have been just as mortified watching me. I was just way out of my league and my comfort zone. I could not seriously compete with those girls. Yes, girls. It was our senior year of high school, so I was either 16 or 17.
I never had the confidence of my youngest daughter, Charis. She has taken on the goal of competing in the Miss America scholarship program (the Arizona level) and is undauntable and unstoppable. She has competed now in multiple local competitions and does a phenomenal job, but the judges have not yet selected her. It’s her first year and she has done an amazing job and is still going. My respect for her is tremendous as is my faith in her.
She has inspired me. And one of my best friends has “challenged” – she claims she has not used the word challenge, but I swear there was some “double dog dare you” in there somewhere. Maybe I dared myself. One point she made was excellent and resonated with me completely – replace that nightmare with a new memory.
Also, with the volunteerism I do and my values about serving others, she pointed out that if I could inspire people with what I have already done and continue to do now, imagine what I could do with a bigger audience and a forum.
So I did it. I submitted an application to the Mrs. Arizona America pageant. There is no talent portion, but there is a swimsuit portion. Good googli moo. I don’t even wear a swimsuit in front of others on my cruises.
I will replace that nightmare with a new memory. And to keep me honest, I will share this experience with the world – whether the world wants to know it or not!