Even the slightest change in frame of mind can have a massive impact on what you get out of your day. Call it psychology, the Secret, the laws of attraction, sociology, human nature, a placebo effect, or Karma. It’s an idea: That having a positive attitude can positively affect your life, change your luck, and bring more happiness.
Committing to an idea is the first step. And when it shows results, it is incredibly uplifting.
Carrying out your idea, however, is unbelievable.
After a networking training session on Friday, I was inspired – and committed – to work on making stronger and more positive connections, either with those around me, or people I would like to have around me. I was also determined to leave my reservations at the door, to let go of any misguided fears about letting someone in, and the “riskiness” of reaching out.
And what I learned a couple of days ago has finally clicked: Networking isn’t about a accrueing contacts. Rather, it’s about making real connections, and about communicating person-to-person, putting status, position, situation, and differences, aside. It isn’t so much about exchanging digits as it is about exchanging experiences, sharing memories, and relating on a very basic human level.
While on the topic of trying new things and overcoming fears: Today, I climbed the giant white rock on White Rock’s West Beach: A terrifying experience that had me paralyzed for fear of falling off an aptly balanced log, halfway up the side of the rock, for what felt like a good five minutes.
I was barely three feet off of the ground.
But I eventually made it to the top, and, after more acrobatics and downward-facing-dog-like moves, I made it back onto the shore. I’m still rocking my adrenaline rush, hence the two blog posts today.
And I feel great.
Last night I had the opportunity to co-host the White Rock Youth Ambassador Pageant with Bob Davidson, a distinguished toastmaster and husband to White Rock mayor Catherine Ferguson.
The theme of the evening was “news,” which, as a journalist, I had a lot of fun playing with. The 10 candidates performed a dance number to a song from the film Newsies, and I sported (at one point) an outfit that I thought was the epitome of journalism cool: A tan trench coat, a fedora and an eight dollar cigar, (which was only three-quarters of a cigar by the end of the show due to my over-zealous cigar-chomping skills, or lack thereof).
It was my first time emceeing the gala, but what made the night special was that my sister, @ChloeWoodin, was the outgoing Miss White Rock. Our family has been a pageant family for quite some time now, but my sister and I have seldom shared a stage at the same.
Three years ago, I was crowned Miss White Rock 2008, and spent the most wonderful year with my White Rock Youth Ambassador team. In 2009, I crowned a fellow high school band student and friend as the new queen of White Rock. A year later, she crowned my sister.
Last night, Chloe crowned her successor, officially ending the Woodin sisters’ days as royal ambassadors… At least for the time being. From August 2008 to July 29, 2011, one of us has worn a tiara to city functions, fundraisers and other community pageants, (apart from a couple of weeks in August 2009). There was a short period when we were both ambassadors: She was Miss White Rock, and I was a British Columbia Ambassador.
Besides that, our reigns have been separate. And in a sense, I’m glad they were. We have each had our moments in the spotlight, and had we ever reigned together, neither of us would have grown as much.
Last night was a night to remember, and I am so very proud of her and what she and her team have accomplished this year.
I should also thank my co-host Bob, who let me announce the new Miss White Rock (which was the best part).
Congratulations to Alexandra Barberis, the new queen, and her team. And to the retired sparkleheads…
“Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hang, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas,” Henry Ford.
My very last pageant, my own retirement pageant, took place this past weekend in Merritt.
I drove up early on Wednesday, my first time driving on the Coquihalla highway.
The 2010 B.C. Ambassador candidates had already been up in Merritt all week rehearsing and preparing for their events on Friday and Saturday.
Wednesday evening, I met the cameraman from Shaw Cable who would be interviewing us the next day.
It’s a small world: turns out he lived in White Rock, graduated from my high school several years before me and graduated from BCIT’s broadcast journalism program, the school I am planning on transferring to.
Thursday morning was our designated “press day.”
We were interviewed on the Kamloops Midday Show, and did a segment with Shaw Cable. The three of us did two newspaper interviews with local Merritt papers: the Merritt Herald and the Merritt News. Our final interview was with the Merritt radio station.
Friday, I co-emceed the candidates’ personal speeches in the afternoon, and their community speeches and talents that evening.
Saturday morning and afternoon were dedicated to hair appointments, rehearsals and a visiting royalty luncheon.
Finally, the pageant night had arrived.
The slideshow I’d spent hours working on displayed hundreds of photos of the 2009 Team’s past year and went off without a hitch. I received many bouquets of flowers, and walked through the audience in a brand new gown. I gave my retirement speech without blubbering, and I proudly crowned one of the three 2010 British Columbia Ambassadors.
It was a great night.
And even though the week leading up to it had been dramatic and stressful, the evening was nothing but positive.
I will miss being an ambassador, but I am looking forward to what lies ahead.
Equipped with many memories, friends all over the province and the skills I’ve learnt over the past year, I am ready for the next big thing.
I am, and forever will be, @HayleyWoodin, Miss White Rock 2008 and British Columbia Ambassador for 2009/2010.
This weekend was my last pageant as a B.C. Ambassador: in seven days I will be passing on my crown and banner to another deserving individual.
On Friday, I travelled to Penticton with the newly crowned White Rock youth ambassadors and Miss White Rock 2010/2011, my sister, @ChloeWoodin.
My mom chaperoned us, and we met up with my other two ambassadors in the city of peaches and beaches.
The gala was lovely, and the 14 Miss Penticton candidates all did a great job. As usual, the visiting royalty had the opportunity to bring their greetings on stage.
Saturday morning we rode in the Peachfest parade, and spent the afternoon mini-golfing and go-karting before attending the royalty ball that evening.
This weekend was special not only because my sister and I both got to go to a pageant together as sparkleheads, but also because the Penticton pageant was my first out-of-town experience as Miss White Rock 2008, and my last as a B.C. Ambassador.
It has been a full two years, coming full circle. And although I will miss being an ambassador, I am looking forward to temporarily retiring from the public eye.
Final stop, Merritt on Wednesday, the beginning of the end.
After spending countless weekends away visiting other communities in B.C., I got to welcome visiting royalty from all across the province to my home town.
The Miss White Rock pageant and White Rock Youth Ambassador gala was held on Friday, kicking off White Rock’s Spirit of the Sea festivities held annually on the August long weekend.
It was an emotional night, partially because I know the retiring ambassador team very well as I’ve travelled and attended local events with them for the past year.
But the excitement, anxiety and joy I felt was mostly due to the fact that my sister @ChloeWoodin was competing.
And boy did she compete.
She cleaned up all of the program’s awards except for the talent award, winning the public speaking, essay, community quiz and fashion show components as well as the Committee Award.
Even though we (my family and I) knew all along she would win, it was nice to know it officially.
The rest of the weekend happened quickly. All of the sparkleheads attended the dance after the pageant, went down to the beach Saturday morning to check out the vendors and free concerts, and rode in the Torchlight Parade that evening.
I rode in a 1964 Ford convertible Mustang, red of course, with my fellow B.C. Ambassadors.
Like I said, this weekend has been a bit of a blur, but an unforgettable experience nonetheless.
And for the first time in history, two sisters have both won the title of Miss White Rock.
This is only the beginning.
So watch out world, here come the Woodins…