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