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My First Vacation

Friday, July 22, 2016              Puerto Vallarta

 

It’s my first real vacation in my entire life. Well, technically the first vacation I ever took off from work for was to compete at Miss World America and THAT was not vacation. It was a BLAST!  But getting into hair and makeup at 530AM every morning isn’t vacation.

 

I’m sick at the moment…which I was kind of expecting to happen on my first trip to Mexico. I mean, it happened in Sex and the City, so I was prepared. Luckily, I’m not nearly as bad as Charlotte. But you know what? These last four days have been an oasis of relaxation, hardly any makeup, my most carefree outfits, and just pure enjoyment. It’s exactly what I’ve been needing—and I didn’t even know it.

            The day before I flew out here, I received my crown and sash which was Top 5 most exciting and fulfilling experiences of my entire life. Seeing the crown and touching it for the first time took my breath away. It’s heavy. It’s massive. It feels like I just walked into Tiffany’s and then walked out with a bag of goodies. Like, is this real? This is mine? I’m allowed to touch it? Are you sure? Let me wash my hands first. Okay…I’m walking out the door now…And I still have it in my possession…Are you sure that’s okay? Okay…I’m getting in the car now. Okay, bye!!!

And then it was mine forever.

I met my cousin at this fancy restaurant overlooking the water near Santa Monica Pier and it was just so much fun; unwrapping my new prized possession at the table and showing her the surprise inside. The last time I felt that level of joy was the last time I was in love…But this crown and sash, even though it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever owned, was more than just a well-designed piece of jewelry. It was symbolic. This is something I’ve wanted ever since I was a little girl. And ironically, I got involved in the Miss America Organization back in 2010 thinking it was the Miss World America competition (very different systems). Little did I know that I would one day actually find myself in the pageant that I grew up dreaming about, and not only that, but also being a State Titleholder for the program as well.

            Anyway, that’s all a huge sidebar of how my vacation has been going. But guess what…it’s what I’ve been daydreaming about when I’m on the beach. I’ve been thinking about a good place to host the West Coast viewing party of Miss World in December, or what kind of flow the State Pageant would have in about a year, and the next step I need to take for Dream It Do It (which is my platform AKA my Beauty with a Purpose). I am just so excited about this year, and I don’t want it to go to waste.

And yes, I’m still on tour. And yes, I’m flying to Denver on Monday to join my coworkers in the show. And it’s time. I actually miss those guys. But these last four days…man. It’s exactly the change of pace I needed. I NEEDED it. The morning workouts. The massage on Day one. Having an entire resort be inclusive for the first time in my life…It’s unreal. Going on an excursion in Mexico and literally not knowing what’s around the corner. Reading my new book. Hanging out with my best friend. I just feel happy.

 

Speaking of my best friend, she’s waiting for me to load the Bachelorette. Because we have some catching up to do!

 

California, I’m coming for you tomorrow baby! Hasta Luego!

 

Salisha

Dreams Came True Today

Today, I got a phone call saying that I was the new Miss California World 2016.

Well, actually before that, I was tagged in a Facebook post letting me know the big news. It said "Miss California World" and next to it was my name... I messaged Jena, the go-to pageant everything at the Miss World America competition. I said, "Jena............." And she called me right away to confirm everything I was thinking.

Never in a million years did I think I would actually become a State Title Holder. I have always felt inside that I have the qualities and the drive to make me qualified for the job, but it actually happening? Yeah...maybe in a storybook. But it happened. TODAY. And it was in an unconventional way, and I don't care!

I am so excited and stoked and flabbergasted and on cloud nine and just over the moon! This is something that I have dreamt of for so so long. A dream that I have secretly wished and hoped for for many years. I have always loved pageants: watching them and participating in them. And every time I "lose" I never feel broken. It is something that I find to be so thrilling and fun and challenging, and sometimes the thought of "winning" is the most terrifying of all. I left Miss World America last week so happy and stoked about my experience and the friendships I made in such a short amount of time.

But you know, God is so funny. He knows exactly what He's doing, and I never understand until it's all said and done! Had I won Miss World America last week, it would have been such an amazing experience....but I probably would have had to say goodbye to being on Tour with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Instead, I have been awarded a State Title based on my scores from the National Pageant and now I can volunteer each month at my leisure and continue to work. Not to mention that my current platform is actually so so real to me. It goes beyond running in a pageant. It's something that I want to happen whether I am a Title Holder or not. It's something I truly believe in. And now, being Miss California World means that I have that little extra push to really highlight my "Beauty with a Purpose:" Dream It, Do It!

So earlier today I got to thinking. I thought of what I want to get involved in with this new Title. I started thinking about parades and ribbon cutting ceremonies, and singing the national anthem at various places. I considered beautification projects and reading to children. I imagined myself doing photoshoots and other activities like that. All those things that I just named are really great and I hope I get to do all of them. But I began to change my thinking and then realized: Oh wait. Dream It, Do It is actually important to me in real life. It's something I've been trying to find a way to promote. This is my chance. NOW is my time. Being Miss California World will help me get the word out about my platform. I can and should do all those fun volunteer activities. But I need to find opportunities to SPEAK about my platform. I want to encourage and inspire people to not just merely breath, but to live life to the fullest. To take chances and "live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to." (Thanks Oprah.) I want children to learn how to dream as big as possible. But to not stop there. It isn't enough to just dream about a bunch of cool things. But we must take the next step and act on those dreams to make them a reality. 

I am so excited. Not just because my crown and sash will be coming in the mail soon. Not just because of my awesome sponsored photoshoot that I'm so looking forward to. But I'm excited to take my own advice. I'm pumped to start walking into my own destiny. Starting this organization really scares me. But I take that as a good sign, because when my dreams don't scare me, I know they aren't big enough. When I'm terrified...I know I'm on the right track. 

Today is Day 1 as Miss California World. I allowed myself to really just daydream of all the possibilities of this year. But I know that I can't daydream for too long but start taking action! (I made a few calls today and I bought a planner!) I know this year is going to fly by and I don't want to waste any time. I am so grateful for this opportunity. NOW IS THE TIME to step up and do work!

I'm ready to fly.

Salisha Thomas                                                                                                                                                                                                   Miss California World 2016

 

Dear NYC...

Monday, November 30, 2015

I’m sitting here reading the Women of the Year issue of Glamour Magazine. It’s so inspiring. There’s a quote in here from Michelle Obama:

 

“…If I had worried about who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn’t be married to the President of the United States.” (and then drops the mic.)

When I think about New York—my heart yearns. Not because there is someone there that I miss. But because I am truly in love with the City. No other place compares to New York. It’s such a direct replica of a real relationship that I think the City itself could actually be my significant other.

            In today’s society, it’s hard to miss someone because of all the social media that we are wired up to. But New York doesn’t text me or message me or leave voicemails or write on my wall. I see him on TV a lot and in pictures in my magazines. Everybody talks about him all the time. So I think of him often but don’t get to enjoy him for myself unless I’m in his presence.

            It really is a love/hate relationship except there isn’t any hate at all. It can be a hard city. Like when I’m walking home in the snow holding 50lbs worth of groceries; or if I’m doing laundry and realize I don’t have enough quarters to finish drying my clothes. Or when I realize that there’s something in my bed that’s been eating me every night, or when I just can’t catch a cab for the life of me when I actually need to get somewhere, or when I’m just exhausted but go home to my building without an elevator and have to brave the stairs or else I don’t get to sit down. There’s a million scenarios and valid reasons that exist to not like New York. I know and have experienced many hard days, but even then knowing that it isn’t easy, I love him anyway.  At the end of the day, I could always look out my window or go to the roof and admire the lights, the buildings, the view and still say, “I love you. Thank you for creating space for me here.”

            In New York, I get to live in the moment all of the time. I don’t need drugs or alcohol. The city IS my drug. There is so much passion, ambition, and excitement within his arms. If I don’t spend time outside, then my day has completely been thrown in the trash in my opinion. I don’t care if it’s snowing, raining, or so hot and muggy that the air is almost too thick to breath. Every single day I have to go outside and breath him in. I always find that on rainy days, I plan on staying in and being cozy all day…BUT THAT NEVER HAPPENS. Instead, I somehow end up in my Hunters with my puff jacket and clear, dome umbrella walking and splashing through the rain and avoiding the trains. And then I always wonder, how did I choose this?! I was determined to stay in today and instead I’m in Bryant Park with my 78 year old friend, Edward sitting on a park bench laughing and getting soaked, and neither of us care!

I miss New York so much. What if this whole time I’ve been waiting for my Superman to appear, that I’ve already met him? New York City. After all, it was love at first sight. And I’ve never been more myself than when I’m there.  The energy of the city is an embrace like no other.  Sometimes, I just have to get to the center of Manhattan and just roll around in the grass and lay there giggling like a fool by myself. I’ve never been able to explain it before but it’s actually beginning to make sense: I’ve been in love once in this lifetime and my feelings with the city seem to be very similar. Being so happy and absolutely everything is just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. Laughing and enjoying inside jokes and understandings.

Yes. I totally yell at him when I am expecting a hot shower and he surprises me only with cold water. But then he makes it up to me by having me run into people on the street who I’ve looked up to since I was a little girl, or always giving me a slam dunk on awesome roommates, or nudging me into the right place at the right time.

 

Dear New York, thank you for taking care of me when I’m with you. I hate being away for so long, but I’m doing what I have to do now so that I can do what I want to do later. I hope that when I return, I will have the means to stay much much longer. Please remember me and secure a place for me when I come back.

                                               

                                                                                    With Love,

 

                                                                                    Salisha

My First Official Blog Post

For the past couple of years, I have been diligent about writing blog posts about any and everything, but mostly about love, love lost, obstacles and joys in my life, selling everything and moving to New York, and daily life lessons. I have written elaborate and long essays and...no one has ever seen a single one. Up until this point, I have been so afraid of sharing my writing with the world, including my friends, family, and those closest to me. Today marks the day that I have actively put that fear aside and have taken the first step into blogging by writing my first public post. 

If you're my friend on Facebook, it may appear that I am an open book. But indeed, I am not. In fact, I have more secrets than you could ever dream. I take pleasure in sharing my flaws, because I have found that nobody including myself really likes someone who appears to have EVERYTHING together. There's that, and also, people can relate to other imperfect people. Because aren't we all trying to figure this "life" thing out? Today, I will begin sharing my inner thoughts in my blogs and begin to let my readers in to places that I've been so secretive about. 

Please be forewarned: Though I am a person who takes a lot of risks and lives life as close to the edge as I can without coming up missing, I have many fears and insecurities, and though I have so much love and compassion, I am dealing with my own set of wounds. Welcome to my world. It's a rollercoaster filled with excitement and I-Can't-Believe-That-Just-Happened moments. My Good Days are are so fantastic that words will hardly be able to explain the joy I feel, and my Bad Days are literally Dark as Hell. 

As for today, I am in Durham, North Carolina, on tour with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. I don't know anything about this place except that Hog's Heaven BBQ down the street is amazing and people move reeeallly slow here. We have a show tonight, and I've never seen the theater, let alone stepped foot in it. We have brand new dressers, musicians, crew members, and a new backstage area. So, tonight should be pretty interesting. Hectic probably. And you know what? I am so freaking excited. Let the good times roll.