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  • Lindsey Rossi

My run at Mrs. California America 2019

Hi everyone! I just finished up with the Mrs. California America pageant. It has been almost 3 weeks ago already! Wow how the time goes fast! I thought I would do this blog post for a couple of reasons… well mainly three. First I want to talk about the reasons I competed for Mrs. California America and why I choose to do pageants. Secondly, I want to talk about my experience and give you a little insight on the pageant weekend. And finally, I’ll talk about how I’m feeling after it’s all done.

I think many of us have dreams and goals we want to go after and a lot of people ask us why… “why do you do this and what is your reasoning behind it?” I know for me, I’ve been asked that question several times. People are curious and wondering why I compete in pageants and what it does for me. I think our dreams and goals can be something we can explain but yet something we also can’t always explain. There’s something about doing the things you truly believe in, you’re truly passionate about, but sometimes just don’t always know why you’re drawn to it. I feel that competing in pageants is a little bit like that for me. I do love the competition, I love the personal growth, I love being able to meet new people and also helping others by empowering them to chase their dreams.

I also know I could probably do these things by doing something other than competing in pageants. So what is it that draws me to actually having this dream of becoming a national titleholder? That… I’m not really sure what it is besides feeling there’s a huge part in pageantry that is self development., all while putting yourself out there. You give yourself a chance to chase a dream, profess it to others and risk failing in front of many people. We all know, when we tell lots of people what we’re going after, and our end goal, we have the risk of letting people down and experiencing failure in front of big group of people. I think failure can breed success as much as winning. It’s more about the preparation what you put into it, what you do to work to position yourself to be the best you can be at that moment. I feel the weekend of the pageant, that’s the fun, that’s the highlight, and that’s the product of all your hard work. But really where the most growth is experienced, is in the whole journey leading up to that particular week or weekend.

The growth and experience even continue beyond the actual crowning moment. So let’s talk about Mrs. California America. I chose to do this pageant because it’s my dream to be a national titleholder I saw this pageant as the place where the modern married woman, her family and her successes are celebrated. While preparing for this pageant, I channelled a lot of inner strength by really push my limits on my diet and exercise to make sure my fitness was in tiptop shape. I also put myself out there professing my goal to many through organizations I’m involved with such is Girls Inc., The Country Friends, and several others. I think it’s important when you have a dream or goal to verbalize it because then it really becomes real in your mind. Then, you have more people to hold you accountable. Not only that, but you garner so much support along your journey and it just makes you feel really good about what you’re doing. Also, you spent so much time in the preparation mode that it gives you people to talk to about it. A support system. People will ask you how you’re doing and you get to share your experience and journey.

Going back to the pageant weekend. The pageant was held the first weekend of April in Upland, California. It was in a quaint little theater in a town outside of LA. We had 14 amazing, successful, beautiful women that competed for the title of Mrs. California America.. All of the women were wives, some were mothers, some were career women, one had written a book, which is my next goal, one owned a winery, one was a college professor. Not all of them originally from California, much like myself, and some were born and raised here in the state. This is the first reason that this weekend was so much fun . The diversity among the women and what they have to offer, their life stories, we’re super awesome to listen to and to get to know. It’s not every day you get to be with a group of such highly driven, like-minded women for a whole weekend! Talk about a true girls weekend! Not to mention, we had our hair perfect, our make up done just right and our wardrobe totally killing! So for the Mrs. America system, there are three areas the competition interview which is 50%, physical fitness 25% and evening gown 25%.

With that said, interview is the very first part of competition and can totally sway how a panel of judges feel about the contestants based on their first impression. You all know how first impression works. Do you really get that tickle deep down in your stomach about someone and they sit up at the top of the pack for the remainder of the time. So being contestant number 1, yes #1, I thought “well this could create a challenge or not….” I chose to look on the bright side and say “hey being first, I may be really memorable.” I just had to make sure it was a good memory! So, my first step into the, interview I could tell right away… I was first. There is no real groove established. The judges were a little unsure and they actually looked at me for about 45 seconds before asking if they were supposed to start asking questions. I knew that it was going to be my job to bring it all together. I had every answer in my head prepared. I actually live these answers every day, so I was prepared for any question they might ask me…especially it the questions came from my bio. I will have to say I was thrown for a little bit of a loop when I was given a question that wasn’t particular to my platform. However, I handled it with grace and answered it appropriately. My second question again… not from my platform. Why I find it was frustrating, is not because I couldn’t answer the questions, but I was there to talk about me and the work I had done for my platform and what I could offer this job as Mrs. California. I am so passionate about what I could bring to the table and I was so excited to share the things I had worked so hard on. So to get questions that weren’t appropriate to those things, was a little disappointing. I walked out of there thinking they got to know nothing about the things I have done to work for this title and the title of Mrs. San Diego County. All I can hope is they liked the answers to the questions they had asked. So the only lesson I want you to take away from this is… no matter how much you prepare day in and day out you still can be thrown for a loop. I’m not saying this is unfair, I’m not saying I was slighted, because I don’t feel that in the least. What I am saying is, just don’t forget it’s human nature and sometimes the things we work the most on and are the most prepared for, aren’t going to be asked in our interview. However, I do believe if you strongly prepared for an interview, you can still handle any question you get with ease. I know the excitement that hangs over your head, you want to tell them all about the things you’re there for and you don’t get to. So, it’s real! It can happen!

Now the next part, the stage presentation I was fully prepared to show them what I had done to prepare myself in order to get on that stage. And hopefully I would be asked another question in order to show my public speaking skills and how I think on my feet. I would have to say for both fitness and evening gown, I nailed it! Well, In my opinion, I nailed it. That’s what matters to me. I look back on those moments and know I executed what I was there to do, and I did it flawlessly. That is all I can give myself and beyond that, it is not my decision. I walked off of that stage with such a contentment inside my heart. I knew I did everything to prepare and to execute during that weekend and on that stage. I was happy!

After the preliminary competition it was narrowed down to the top nine and then to the top six. The top six then answered an onstage question. I was lucky enough to be called as the top nine and then the top six. My onstage question… Nailed it! I said everything I truly felt about why I was on that stage and what I wanted to do as Mrs. California all by being asked the question “if your best friend were to describe you, what would they say?” Again I walked off of that stage 100% content with my presentation and answer. I know all the people I voiced my goal to, that I professed what my true dreams were, and told them how I was going to go after it, I am sure they were proud.

There is nothing I did on that stage or behind any closed doors that I should be embarrassed, or feel that I’m not enough, or that I made even the slightest mistake. Keep in mind, these are my judgments against myself. This is my expectation for what I wanted to deliver. At the end of the day there were 4 judges that see a snapshot of what we, contestants, are delivering. They see the results of today’s presentation. It’s only a snippet. So as I was left standing at the top two, the next one would be announced as the 2019 Mrs. California America. Of course my heart was racing and and every centimeter in my body ached to have my name called. My name was called, as the first runner-up. When you hear that initial response it’s stings as your heart sinks. It actually kind of burns and hurts. But that’s life. We smile and walk to the side to let the winner have her moment. We don’t always get what we want and we handle ourselves with grace and humility from that point forward.

I am a true believer God has a plan for us and we are following the path that he has laid out. Having my name called as the first runner-up on that day, was my path. Although the reasons aren’t always clear to us, there’s definitely a reason. I think it is human nature to look into this and question reasons why one person stood out over the other but I am a believer, if you put everything into your preparation and your execution is spotless at the time of the pageant, it doesn’t mean you failed. It also doesn’t mean you lost because of anything you did wrong. Entering a Pageant, you put yourself in a position to have subjective opinions made against you. It’s a small amount of time where a very small representation of the population (judges) get a little snippet of you, your work, your personality, and what you’ve achieved in your life. Different judges, even on the same day could pick a different winner. I’m not saying that everybody that walks on that stage could win a pageant at a given time. What I am saying is, if you put in the preparation, the work, and you executed what you came to do that weekend, you too could be a winner. At that moment you could’ve been enough but just not the judges choice. That choice may have been made because of reasons unbeknownst to us and reasons that are out of our control and at a higher level.

This leads me into my next and final topic, life after the pageant. For the next week or maybe even two after a pageant there’s a lot of questioning that goes through your mind about why things turned out the way they did. I ask myself how could I have done things better or how could I have done things different. I also have that thought at the back of my mind, “I wish they could’ve gotten to know more about me.” It’s so difficult to show who you are as a person in four minutes when you have a lot going on in your life.

After the second week, your emotions start to die down and it’s back to life as usual. For me things don’t change much my diet remains relatively the same, my work out remains relatively the same, and my work in the community remains the same. I am a person that’s always thinking about either the preparation of what I’m doing for my next goal and once that passes, I’m thinking about what my next goal is going to be. Mentally, I feel like I’m always challenging myself to be preparing for one goal while, on the other side of that, trying to figure out what’s next. As you know I have this wild dream to win a national title. I’m not saying I have a perfect plan in place just yet because I just finished with Mrs. California America but trust me I’m thinking about it. Trying to decide what my next step is. However, besides the pageant world, I have some other ideas in my head of things I’d like to do (maybe writing a book?). Some of these things are things I never had cross my mind or even thought possible. I think competing in pageants not only gives you a goal to work toward but it also helps you realize what other dreams and aspirations might be on the horizon for you. It gives you the ability to think in different ways in order to find things you want to go after.

As you can see there are many reasons why I choose to do a pageant and then there’s that one little reason that maybe I just can’t explain. It’s just something that’s inside me that compels me to do it. But just like anything I do, I think about it, I find purpose and analyze what I can get out of it. I push myself to do things that are not easily attained, the things that will push me to be a better person. I know failure brings us one step closer to succeeding the next time. It teaches us a lot about ourselves, and what we want but it also teaches me what I don’t want at times too. When you go after your dreams you can’t be afraid to push yourself and risk that things may not turn out the way you want him to. But even if they don’t, you get one step closer to being where you want to be. And sometimes where you want to be, you’ll find out that it’s just a path leading to somewhere else you didn’t even realize possible or an option for you. So hang in there, do what you love, go after your dreams. Tell people about what your plans are and don’t be afraid to fail. At the end of the day, give it all you’ve got, win or lose. Win with Grace and lose with Grace.

xoxo~

Lindsey

Mrs. San Diego Co. 2019

1st Runner-up Mrs. California America 2019


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