329 Days Later

I don't know who I think I am writing about this so soon, but here I am. Writing about this so soon.

Before we get rolling, I want to say something: this will likely be one of the last times I talk a lot about this Miss journey. With the exception of some annual-nostalgic-hanky-panky. This is Erin's year. This is Erin's time. And I won't be posting lots of throwbacks/old images/thoughts on this job. I am so thankful that this was my life, but it's not anymore. And that means that the light is on our new sister. 

Alright let's start at the top, right?

I didn't know what this was going to feel like. I mean, I had only ever given up the title of Miss Auburn, and that was...well, they didn't even ask me to perform my talent. Plus, this year has been so much more than that could have ever been.

This year, well, you know. It's been hard. It's been wonderful. It's been exhausting, magical, trying, exciting, and so much more. This year has been all that I ever dreamed it could be...and nothing like I dreamed it would be.

Does that make sense?

I think any state titleholder will tell you, this job is hard. I mean, it tests you, yes. But it tests your family, your friends, your budget, your will to eat well. It tests every notion of who you hoped you would be as Miss State. It forces you to be the most dedicated, most hardworking, most logical, most understanding, most adaptable, most resistant, most kind, and most relentless person you will ever be.

That makes this job hard. That makes this job something you throw your heart into. So, to part with it, well, I didn't know how that was going to happen.

How was I going to separate my heart from being Miss Vermont & Rylee, to just being Rylee?

And sure, we can argue that is where "forever" comes in. But you are lying if you say you walk off that stage ready to say you are a forever. 

Here's the reality: I could not be happier for Erin. I could not possibly be more excited to watch her live her dream. And frankly, I am done. I had my year. I did my duty. I served my damn heart out. I am ready for free time, carbs, and the ability to drink in public.

By no means did I want to lose those five weeks of my "year."
By no means did I leave this job feeling bitter or upset.
I love being Miss Vermont. I love being able to travel the state, to hear the stories Vermonters have to tell, to go to new places, to do new things.

But you don't have to be Miss Vermont to keep doing that.

And I am thrilled that it's Erin's turn.

However, it doesn't go hand in hand. I can be over the damn moon to watch Erin take this state by storm, and still feel like a piece of me is missing.

And that's how it feels, like a piece of me is missing.

It feels like grief. It feels like Miss Vermont is someone separate from who I am. I miss her. I want to call her, I want to say thank you and hi. 

It makes my heart ache. Like something amazing has ended, and the best you have left are pictures and memories. I think that's normal. And I think, even though now it comes in waves, it will pass.

So, how am I doing? Okay.

I am out here, living my dang life. I am eating bagels, and homemade grilled cheeses with The Mountain Man. I'm getting back to the gym. I'm actually doing my laundry. I'm entertaining the idea of going to the grocery store, believe it or not. I'm making weekend plans and looking at bikes.

I am just being Rylee again.

And I can promise you it is taking lots of love and support to hold my hand in this transition, just like it did in that last weekend in May.

Only this time? Oh the sisterhood is so much bigger, and so much stronger.

Y'all, if you are about to be going through this, let me promise you, your sisters will lift you up.

The texts, the messages, the Instagrams, the hugs...they have me living. Because - let's be so honest here - your job is about to be handed over to someone new. Your job that you worked tirelessly for years to obtain, is over. Your job that you gave your life to for a whole year, is going to be someone else's.

And that is scary.

We want those girls to succeed. We want them to find their own magic. We want them to get that crown, and that joy, and those memories too. But there's only ever one Miss State at a time.

So, truth time, that's gonna sting a little.

But let me tell you this...keep watching her, following her journey, enjoying the joy she is sharing with your state, the strength she shows just in week one, the passion she has from the moment that crown touches her head...because you'll know, she's the perfect one to fill your shoes.

Only one of us might be allowed to wear the crown at once, but it takes a sisterhood of love, support, laughter, and I got yous to keep the crown in place.

Here's to going after new dreams and knowing that, if nothing else, the crowns gave us each other.

And we all know, that's some of the best magic out there.

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