A good friend of mine, Isaac, came into town this past weekend for work, so we planned to meet up. After my class, we met at Times Square and asked two policemen where we should go. Isaac said asking policemen is always a safe route because they have to know the city. They told us we should find Restaurant Row, so we did and ended up at a French restaurant called L'Ybane. I ordered the seafood spaghetti and a glass (ok, maybe two) of sparkling Moscato. Mon dieu, c'est trés bon! Had the leftovers the next day for lunch and it was even better the second time. The spaghetti, not the wine. But this is not a review of this restaurant (although I will most certainly go back), so moving on...
As Isaac and I we were talking about how I was adjusting to life in the city, my love life (and lack thereof, in case you're wondering), and being a graduate student, he said something to me that began a conversation and series of thoughts that I will never forget. It began when he told me how proud he was that I decided to venture out of Virginia, that he wished he had the balls to do that when he was 22. He said, "If there's an opportunity to study abroad, GO!" and reminded me that there is a world of opportunities here that are at my fingertips, from networking events to modeling opportunities to community involvement. He then asked me what really made me feel compelled to move to New York City, in the end. Without even thinking, I replied, "Why not?"
|Isaac and me at my college graduation|
And again I say, "Why not?" It makes me think of the Hilary Duff song lyrics:
Why not take a crazy chance?
Why not do a crazy dance?
If you lose a moment, you might lose a lot.
So, why not?
Why not? There was absolutely nothing holding me back. I didn't win Miss Virginia so promoting my personal platform, as well as the Miss America Organization and its platform, the Children's Miracle Network, as a full-time job for the next year was no longer an option. I didn't have a job or internship or even living arrangements in Northern Virginia, where I went to undergrad and where many of my friends still are. And although I love my little town of Louisa and my parents and brother very much, what on earth would I be doing there right now? Looking terrible, I bet (my signature phrase). The reason I moved here and the reason why I do so many of the things I do (which is the same reason my parents worry so much about me), is because I was born without fear. For as long as I can remember, I have had a healthy disregard for the impossible. I awaken from my big dreams in the morning and begin to prepare for my future full of them. No one can make them a reality but me and God.
So that's what I'm doing here. I have set out, not to change the world, but to make a difference in it. And I believe I have chosen the best profession in the world for that. When done properly, public relations seeks to educate people, to motivate them and change public perception without misleading people. Public relations is centered on ethics, and since ethics play such an immeasurable role in my personal life, it's only right that the consistency spreads across my professional life, as well.
I know so many people take pride in my accomplishments because they feel they have helped me succeed in some way. They are correct. No man (or woman) succeeds on his own. I learned that from Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers. I know that some people are counting on me to fail and run home crying to my parents. Tell them not to bet their bottom dollar. I know that there are still others who would like to do and be more than they currently are. They can. They just need to ask themselves, "Why not?" If that question goes unanswered, they'll know it's time. I hope I can inspire them in some way, even if I never know. That's what dreams are made of.