From the view of a 20-something dream chaser.

Miss Virginia USA 2016: The Warm Up

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

They say being 1st runner up is so tough. Having been in this spot twice--once six years ago at the National American Miss national pageant and now at Miss Virginia USA--I must say if this is what "tough" feels like, life should be more of it. Honestly, I feel like I won! (Minus the crown and Mercedes and all.) A week and a half has come and gone and I'm still in awe. From my hair to my wardrobe, I took big risks and made bold moves this year. I can't say I did it without fears or reservations, but the outpouring of love and support from friends and pageant fans alike has been incredible. One mother reached out to say her daughter had found beauty in her own complexion and hair texture because of me. You know I lost it right then and there. Looking back, I'm certain that this year wasn't even about me, but about bringing diverse beauty to a culture that has defined beauty so narrowly for years and years.

I was the last contestant called into the Top 5--I guess you could say I was pretty excited.

So let me take a moment to note that the reason I am so humbled by this experience is...

Becoming a Better Me: The Ultimate Challenge

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Moving Day! (Luckily, not mine.) 

My father was mad at me one morning--actually, the day after my graduation!--for not waking up as early as he thought I should. I actually had laid out plans for myself that did not include waking up early at all. Somehow, he believed his plans should trump mine. I later heard my mother come to my defense. My father replied: "I want her to be perfect." No pressure, right? Well, that's not going to happen. I've accepted that I'll never be perfect and I won't always get things right on the first try. However, this is no excuse to not still strive for excellence in all that I do.

So I'm working on some things. My parents have inspired me to work harder and smarter. Maybe some of the areas needing improvement in my life might inspire some of you. Here goes:

To Dear Old NYU

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One week ago, New York University held its 183rd commencement ceremony to honor the graduating Class of 2015. Yours truly is humbled to be a member of that class. I now have a master's degree in public relations and corporate communication (PRCC)! A week after commencement, I'm still feeling inspired, excited and relieved...all at once. 

You Is Important

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hi, world! I've been slacking a bit, so please forgive me. This is a super short post, but it was on my heart to share.

My pastor hosts Mid-Week Motivation on Wednesdays--they're super early so sometimes I miss them--but one of his recent ones was centered on self-care. I think it's something we can all do a better job of. He began by telling the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 and then posed the question: Who am I in the story? He said that he and we are all three people in the story: the wounded man, the passersby and the Good Samaritan. What he said was that we all pass ourselves by instead of stopping to take care of our own needs.

To sum it up, his message was: Engage in radical self-care of yourself today and every day, for only then can you be an agent of healing and transformation for others. So do something for yourself today! Take a break and go for a walk. Go to the spa or get a pedicure. Or stop by your favorite smoothie place. Anything that is just for YOU. You're important, so take care of yourself.

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Stay tuned for a full blog makeover + posts more frequently in the coming weeks.

Are You Willing to Bench on Varsity?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I have been wrestling with two very different philosophies on life and growth recently. One was presented to me while reading The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography. According to this piece, whenever she is asked why she joined Google after getting her master's in symbolic systems at Stanford, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tells her "Laura Beckman story" about the daughter of her middle school piano teacher. I'll let Marissa tell it in her own words:

10 Things To Do While SAVED & SINGLE

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm working on becoming a better me, as I'm sure we all are and should. A blog post on what the specifics of becoming a better me entail is coming soon, so be on the lookout. In the meantime, I came across another post call 10 Things to do While Saved & Single and I really enjoyed the read. Not only that, but I took a lot from it on how to improve my life as a single Christian. Some of these things I already do; others I am willing to adopt. I thought it might bless some of you so below is the text of the post that originally appeared on NORingNOSheets. Happy reading!

The Boyfriend/Husband List

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back in January, a girlfriend and I read former Miss USA Kristen Dalton Wolfe's The Husband List: 12 Non-Negotiables and were inspired to draft lists of our own. Looking back at it now, not much has changed. Before I share with you what made my list, I want to first talk about modern dating and share my own experience. A guy I had previously dated, fallen for and truly thought could have been The One despite "bad timing" told me he was in a relationship with another girl. This was after telling me for more than a year that he wasn't ready for a relationship with me due mostly to focusing on his career but also because I moved away and he wasn't into long-distance relationships. But still he called and texted me and we went on several dates over the course of almost two years. He also said he could see himself with me in the future. I believed it. So you can understand my confusion and anger upon hearing this news.

A Deleeshious Life . All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.