Yesterday we recognized Earth Hour in Homer Glen -- my hometown. It was my first event to attend in Homer Glen with my title of Miss Illinois USA. As the crowd gathered to hear words from the mayor of Homer Glen, a state representative from Springfield, and Miss Illinois USA .. I was growing more and more excited with each additional face I recognized in the crowd. When the mayor introduced me, everyone clapped and smiled, and seeing those familiar faces in the audience excited to hear me speak gave me the GOOD kind of chills. It was awesome, and probably one of the better talks I've given thus far ... not because it was long and well developed, but because it was just ME. I didn't look down at the note cards I had prepared earlier in the week, I just talked from my heart. It was a conversation pulled out of nowhere with the information I had learned from reading about Earth Hour before arriving. My favorite part about the talk was that I was able to make the audience laugh. It was a truly wonderful feeling, and if I could make every crowd I ever talk to from here on forward laugh, I will feel like a successful person.
I never realized how much more comfortable I am doing public speaking or performing when there are people around me that I know. Some friends have told me they feel even more nervous when their family and friends are there, but it seems that I feel just the opposite. And this makes me happy to know that there will be many of my friends and family coming to watch me in Vegas. I hope if I do get the opportunity to compete among the top 15 contestants, that my fans in the audience will cheer me on making me feel comfortable and at home on that stage. Wouldn't that be just awesome?! Being in the top 15 at the Miss USA Pageant on stage in my swimsuit, hearing the voices cheering of the people who are there supporting me!? AAAHHH!!!! I hope so much that I get that opportunity!! I'm working so hard, I just have to believe I can do it, right?! 5 weeks until I leave. I'm soooo excited. :)