There I was… sprawled on the hotel room floor with my legs propped up against the air conditioning unit. I was waiting for my tan to dry.
Glamorous life I lead, I tell you.
I yawned and looked at the clock. I felt like I was missing something about this day but I couldn’t place it. I’d already spent the day on Capitol Hill with my fellow sister queens marching in a Fourth of July Parade. What else was I supposed to remember?
Heels sat neatly stacked in the corner, curling irons and powder brushes covered the desk. My sash hung from the closet door, waiting for me to grab it the next time I left the room.
This was an adventure of a different color for sure. Certainly a far cry from the dirty feet, unshaved legs, and sunburnt days in Fiji.
I drummed my neatly manicured nails against the carpet.
Had it really been a year since I’d left for the Southern Hemisphere? Was I a different person now than I was then? Had I grown for the better? Was I any less of an adventurer because I’d indulged in something super girly and entered a pageant?
I thought back to my day exploring The Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Normally when I travel places people push me out of the way to get a better vantage point for their photo. This time I was being asked to be in the photos. I didn’t mind it; it was fun. But it was definitely a different kind of rush than I was used to.
I’d wondered what Honest Abe thought of permanently being set on display for the world to photograph. Did he mind it?
Suddenly it dawned on me what I’d been missing… Why this day seemed more important than others. It was as plain as the tanner on my legs.
I had now been a blogger for two years.
Oh yes. That.
This didn’t bring excitement so much as fear. Panic, really.
I was already TWO YEARS into this? That’s a serious relationship. Like a we-better-start-considering-marriage-or-break-it-off kind of relationship.
I’d been a hardcore traveler when I started my blog. Now I was doing things like disco-ninjaing and getting small roles in Russian movies and competing in crazy contests. Was that acceptable?
The thing about blogging is that while it’s AWESOME that you get to do everything YOUR way, it’s also hard to tell if it’s the right way. Would it lead me down the road I wanted to go? Was I writing the right things? Was my content engaging? Were my readers excited or upset that I was changing along with the times?
Logically, it followed that the more time I spent in this alternative lifestyle, the more I would have it figured out. But clearly competing in a national beauty pageant hadn’t been a part of the plan.
In fact, it seemed as if more time went on, I had fewer answers and even less of a ‘life plan’.
How many more years were people going to let me gallavant around before they started asking questions? Like when discussing how long someone should live at home with their parents, how long could Hilary get away with not having a real job or a steady income? Where was that line between ‘cool’ and ‘crazy’? Did anyone really know?
Suddenly I was very nervous.
So like anyone looking for a distraction from their life problems, I got on Facebook.
I started working my way through my feed– hoping for some cat photo or meme to mock– when I noticed a bunch of ‘congratulations’ messages.
I didn’t understand. Until I found a post regarding The Las Vegas Weekly‘s 2013 Awards.
I scrolled through the post, looking for a reason why I’d been tagged. I found it. Then I gasped.
“No way,” I said to no-one.
I re-read the post. Then came a scream.
The scream turned into a laugh. There was a lot of jumping and squealing. I ran laps around the room, calling friends on my phone as fast as possible.
Naturally, no-one answered. So I sat on the edge of my bed, winded from my victory gallop, reeling.
A prestigious arts and entertainment magazine in Las Vegas had chosen ME as their number one blogger in Las Vegas? Meaning a collective group of writers and critics had gotten together and voted to recognize my work?
It was there in writing. Right below Penn Jillette’s Reader’s Choice Award. I was listed just inches below one of the top comedians in the city.
And suddenly it seemed silly for me to be so concerned over my future.
While I may not have it all figured out, this year alone I’d been an assistant to Miss Piggy, ridden clydesdales through the Mandalay Bay parking lot, and even been named a beauty queen.
And while it was crazy, my life– in whatever wacky state it’s in– may just be exactly what people love hearing about. And maybe, just maybe, I should take a giant chill pill and enjoy the ride.
After all, this Fourth of July I walked in a parade on Capitol Hill. This time last year I was getting treated for the burns I’d received from a malfunctioning firework. If you’d asked me then what I’d be doing this year, I would’ve bet I’d be hiding out in a country where fireworks didn’t exist.
I certainly wouldn’t have believed I’d be competing for a national title in Washington, D.C. in a swimsuit.
And suddenly, I couldn’t wait to find out where I’ll be next year.
Thank you, Las Vegas Weekly, for this prestigious honor. I am so humbled and grateful. And thank you to all of my readers for putting up with my spastic qualities and joining me on my incredibly exciting (but very bipolar) life journey. This wouldn’t be possible without you. =)
So, now that THAT’S happened… What should we do next week? =)