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Reflections From My Heart

In 2020, I embarked on a journey that was very much unexpected. My life prior to pageantry was quiet and calm. My circle included my husband and my child. I didn’t have any friends because I was dedicated to my family, wholy and fully. All I did was work and take care of them, day in and day out. I was the ultimate Stepford wife. Still, I found myself unfulfilled and wanting more. I’ve always known that I’m an extremely talented person with so much to offer the world.

When I came across an opportunity to compete at my first local pageant, I jumped in feet first. I felt it was my opportunity to fill the void in my life. I could finally show the world who and what I am. From the get-go, I came across people who were snakes. One contestant simply couldn’t handle the fact that I beat her in the competition. She went as far as having her minions drag me on social media and accuse me of cheating. After that win, it became a whirlwind for me and I was featured in print and television media. I wasn’t exactly prepared for the backlash from my fellow San Antonians. I had complete strangers attacking me online and saying the most vicious things about me. I pressed on and when I was offered an opportunity to compete at a national level, once again, I dove in feet first.

I’m going to share the Cliffs Notes version out of respect. Shortly before the national competition, I was tagged in some social media posts about another person. They were not very nice posts. I saw them and was well aware that I was tagged in them. I did nothing about it. I chose to simply ignore it because I felt that it was the best thing to do. Boy, was I wrong! I ended up getting attacked via a three-way phone call with the powers that be. Although I was not the author of these posts, the fact that I was tagged in them made me guilty by association. I was read for filth and threatened. Looking back, I’m so upset with myself for tolerating what transpired. At the time, I was so desperate to belong that I chose to go with it even though it created such a disturbance in my spirit. Still, I was elated to go the national competition and a few weeks later I boarded a flight to give it my all. You ever walk into a room with all eyes on you and you instantly feel that everybody in that room doesn’t want you there? That was how the first day went for me. Thankfully, several of my peers took the time to get to know me and realized I wasn’t as bad as other people made me out to be. On the return flight home I reflected and did a lot of soul-searching. I left feeling like I still had something to prove. So I decided to give it another go. Why? Perhaps it was because I still felt the need to belong and be accepted. Perhaps, I wanted to prove to these people that I was not the monster they made me out to be.

This year, I wasn’t able to make it to the national competition because of an extremely personal matter. I will just say that my husband and children will always come first. Making sure they are straight is and always will be priority number one for me. Rumors are so incredibly evil. The things I’ve heard about myself in the recent weeks have completely shocked and stunned me. Immediately, I felt the need to clear my name, to defend myself. So I attempted to clear up the rumors and that didn’t go well. Once again, I found myself at the center of an attack but this time it was via a group chat. I shut it down immediately and excused myself from the nonsense. I think that was what I needed to snap myself out of the funk I had been in for the last two years. When and how did I become this weak individual? When did I become the type of woman who allows another woman to crap all over me? Why did I care so much to prove anything to anybody? Seriously, how did I lose myself this bad? I think back to the younger version of myself. I was straight up crazy. You can ask people who knew me back then and they will all tell you exactly who Melissa was. I tolerated nothing and I had no reservations when it came to fighting when I felt disrespected. I believe the term is “down” for whatever. The life I lived back then was very destructive and I was fortunate enough to have realized it. I made horrible decisions and spent years paying for some of those decisions. The older I became, I made a lot of changes. I quit partying and disassociated myself from that lifestyle. Becoming a mother definitely softened me and I focused more on trying to improve the world that my son lives in rather than trying to fight everybody in it. Somewhere along the way, folks have taken my kindness for weakness. The last two years that I have spent trying to be this down to earth, good person has shown me that nice girls truly finish last and if you give people an inch, they will take a mile. I’m done with that. I learned the hard way that people will believe whatever they choose to believe. I no longer care to clear up the rumors. In fact, I’ll gladly add to it.

I’ll be transparent and say that I’ve spent the last couple of weeks hurting because of the way things played out. A very small part of me still wishes I would’ve had the opportunity to explain myself but I had to learn that if they don’t want to hear you out, you can’t force them to. Everything done in the dark will come to the light and I believe that time will eventually tell the truth for me. Pain can transform and that’s where I’m at currently. Growing pains definitely hurt but I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Now, I refuse to carry the weight of other people’s expectations. It almost makes me laugh how I spent the last two years trying to fit into this mold of who and what they thought I should be. Not anymore! I am me, with all my flaws & imperfections and I am going to keep being me. I still plan on being Melissa with the good heart. I still plan on being Melissa, the loyal friend. I still plan on being Melissa, the philanthropist and servant to the community. I refuse to be concerned with the opinions of silly, irrelevant people. I refuse to be burdened by their expectations. If anything or anybody causes any sort of disturbance in my spirit, I will immediately disassociate. I no longer feel the need to belong or be accepted by others. I sure as hell REFUSE to fight for a seat at a table where I just don’t belong. I am a movement, all by myself. I will continue to love those who love me and pray for those who don’t.

Con mucho cariño,

Melissa

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