Learning How to Read

I have spent a lot of time around various Miss Vermonts in the last few years.

First I met 2010, and lost my dang mind. Then I competed when 2011 gave up her title, and I subsequently met and competed with 2012. Inadvertently, that also meant I was meeting and competing with 2013 and 2015. Turns out '13 and '15 are also some of the best friends I could have ever asked for.

The point being, I thought I knew all about this being a titleholder thing. But y'all, they don't tell you to rely on the knowledge of your Miss Vermont sisters for nothing. I'm only almost two weeks in to this, and I have to say, it's absolutely more than anything I expected.

It's also like nothing I've ever done before.

See, being Miss Vermont is a little like giving a book report on Moby Dick. But Moby Dick is in some language you've never read, or spoken. You only know the alphabet. You know the pieces that make the words and the sentences, but well, you can't quite read it. And you're trying to read this story, and tell a whole slew of people what it's about, and what it means.

The good news is, there are handful of the most amazing women you've ever met, that already know how to read that language. They've been there, they've done that.

And thank goodness they have.

Because otherwise I'd be standing at the front of the room sounding out every letter for the next 50 weeks.

Look, I can sell raffle tickets, and meet legislators, and give interviews, and I am more than thrilled to do it. But there are still going to be little pieces of this job that are new to me, every single day.

And it absolutely is going to take that tiny village of Forevers to occasionally hold my hand to get me through those things.

Of course, it takes much more than just your sisters though, you know that, right?

It also takes your parents, who will drop off your dry cleaning and install a new air conditioner in the same afternoon. It also takes your friends who are willing to bring you snacks at work, and grab your veggies at the grocery store. It also takes your boss giving you the room you need to take a day from work to attend two awesome golf tournaments.

This job is all about villages and the people that have brought you to this moment. I said that, the first night after I was crowned, that I owe so much thanks to so many people. That is not only still true, but it is increasingly true every day.

I need the people that know how to read this nonexistent manual.

I need the people that know when I'm in desperate need of one more cup of coffee.

I need the people that have carried this dream with me since day one.

And every day I'm just so thrilled that I get to say, yes, they're part of my people.

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