A month away from pageant week… can you guys believe that? When I got my website up and running I thought I’d have 10 blog posts up by now, but here I am with my fifth. Why haven’t I been posting? I wish it were because I’m planning a huge surprise, or maybe I adopted 50 puppies and the hustle and bustle of being such a popular dog mom took me away. It’s neither, in fact nothing that even resembles those ideas.

Being given the opportunity to share my thoughts and events on a blog network is amazing, it has created a whole new world for me. I’m always stumped as to what to tell you guys about next. There are certainly fun things that happen, I definitely have a couple of things written, but something about creating a post based on some cool things I’ve done doesn’t sit right with me. Don’t get me wrong: I’m enjoying every minute of my life and want to share positivity with you all, but I feel like a blog post is wasted when I don’t give some sort of advice or add some “moral to the story” if you will. I take so much pride in these posts. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I aim to only put out posts that have some sort of meaning to them. I want to do this the right way, what feels right for me anyways. I wouldn’t feel right to make a quick post that didn’t hold something special from my heart. I hope you guys know that every word in every post is carefully examined by me one hundred times over… Quality over quantity maybe? (That’s what I keep telling myself at least) I’m going to swallow my pride and go out on a limb to talk to you all about a few events, but expect some type of life lesson at some point. I feel like I’m going to be one of those moms that nag a whole lot.

With all of that being said and out of the way, I’d like to catch you guys up on a few things that have happened.

The 2017 You Go Girls!

Canada 150 was my first appearance as Miss Teen Western Newfoundland, the first time I ever wore my crown and sash at an event! I’m all for being truthful with you guys, so, it was nerve-wrecking for me. I was nervous to have more attention on me. This is why I’m so thankful for my community, Stephenville Crossing. Everyone at the celebrations made me feel so supported and comfortable! I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful town and I am so happy to have gotten to celebrate in it. I got a quick pic with the You Go Girls, a program I volunteered with and participated in for 6 years!

Here I am with Mayor Brian Joy!

I am also extremely happy to say that the Town of Stephenville Crossing has sponsored me on my journey to Miss Teenage Canada. It was an honor to receive the check at the Canada 150 celebrations from the mayor Brian Joy, a man I grew up around, I was very close friends with his two beautiful daughters!

A few guests at the bingo fundraiser…

On July 4th I hosted a Bingo in St. Georges. This would have not been possible without the immense help and support I received from family and supporters. My family members, and a few friends, whether I saw them last week or last year, made sure to make a donation to the bingo whether it be cash, a prize, or attendance. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have such supportive people in life. The bingo would not have been possible without them, and it wouldn’t have been such a great success either. It feels amazing to get involved in community and raise money for such a worthy cause. My fundraising for Free the Children will continue.

This past week has really allowed me to take a step back and realize how much support I have. My anxiety has always visited me before uploading a post and before an event. I was always scared, thinking about what would happen, what backlash I would receive. This may sound silly because yes, I really have respect for others opinions, but there’s still a part of my brain that gets a little more than discomfort thinking about these sorts of things, whether I try to talk myself out of it or not.

The point of this is truly to have you all realize that you have support too. Whatever you choose to do, yes there will always be people who oppose, but there are going to be people who support you completely. To focus only on those who are supporting you is the best accomplishment. Work hard for whatever it is that creates a burning passion inside of you!

XOXO, Madi

 

 

Written by: Madison
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know I’m not the only one who doesn’t even dream of wanting to be thirteen again. Oh, the glory days of puberty and experimentation.

Puberty for me meant what it usually does for girls physically but emotionally it took a whole different toll on me besides the regular “hormones.” Whether or not you relate to my story, I’m sure most girls would appreciate this advice. Thirteen is the hardest age.

When I turned thirteen my hair had definitely been dyed at least 4 different colors. My teeth were all over the place and I have no idea why I did my makeup the way I did. In fact, I plucked all of my eyebrows out until I had patches, which leads me to my first point:

  1. Do not touch your eyebrows!   Leave them alone, they didn’t do anything to you! If you have a thirteen year old kid, save them from the horrifying result of bald spots on their eyebrows for practically the rest of their life.
  2. Kids can be mean. It isn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything. Keep doing your makeup how you like, wear what you like, and if they make fun of you, it’s their own insecurity! Don’t beat yourself up.
  3. Think before you talk. If someone gets you steamed up, it’s best to sit back and think about the whole situation. Acting irrationally makes things worse!
  4. Friends > Boyfriends! Never cut out your friends for a boy. Ever!
  5. Trust your parents. Although they may seem like they’re trying their best to make your life miserable, it’s the complete opposite. I know that irritable teenager hormones can sometimes twist things around to make them look bad, but they love you and are doing their best. They know what’s going to happen before it even happens: some kind of weird parent psychic thing with no explanation.
  6. Don’t step out of your comfort zone in order to fit in. This one is a little tricky because peer pressure kicks in for young teens to do dangerous things. Always listen to your gut.
  7. Control your social media! I know how exciting it is to post cute pics of random things and post a status update every 5 minutes, but trust me: your future self will be embarrassed. 
  8. If you’re feeling sick mentally, seek help: talk to someone. I lost a couple years of childhood to mental illness and it is scary. I cannot imagine people who have been suffering their whole lives. You’re in control of your life! You deserve the best.
  9. Don’t grow up too fast. I promise that when you get older you’ll be thinking about being a kid and having no worries.
  10. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. This is so cheesy, trust me I know. There is an adequate amount of truth to every cheesy line like this. Before you judge someone, act irrationally, or simply frown, remember that they might’ve just had the worst day of their life, maybe they had the best. Do you really want to make their bad day worse, or ruin their good day?
  11. Don’t bleach your hair too much. Okay, but how do you know if it’s too much? When your hair feels like pure straw. How do I know this? I’m sure you’d love to see the many hair colors I had, for which it had to be bleached almost every time. Healthy hair is happy hair 😉
  12. There are going to be people who don’t like you even if you hand them a million dollars. This one is so important. I’ve been a people-pleaser all of my life. I’ve always done whatever I can for others but to no avail, I am stuck at the very bottom with no progression in friendship. There are just people like that, who have their mind made up. Don’t focus your energy on these people!

    Laura was my best friend when I was 13! #LOL don’t know how she dealt with my outrageous looking 13 year old self :p I love her mucho!!!

  13. Girls: stick together. This is significant now more than ever. We are the generation to make a difference! There needs to be a difference made. Equality issues among many minorities is prominent today. I’ve seen it way too much, girls pitting against each other. This isn’t going to help – we really need to come together! In the meantime no, this is not what young girls worry about, and it’s not something they should worry about. We know they love their fidget spinners and musical.lys, but what’s going on in the world needs to be recognized. It needs to be noticed that there are bigger issues happening than whether Susie stole Sally’s boyfriend or if there’s a rumor about what Jane’s sexuality is. These things are so small, and they are what tear us apart. We need to uplift each other! I strongly believe that this small change will create a ripple impact into a worldly one. Girls are the future.

These are things I’ve learned and things I’ve spoken to about others. Yes, most are silly and not at all horribly life altering, but there are some things part of me wishes I did differently.

At the same time, I don’t regret it. Without learning all of these things, I would not be doing the Miss Teenage Canada pageant and I would not be able to share my knowledge with everyone else. Thank you guys so much for giving me the opportunity to do this!

XOXO, Madi

Written by: Madison
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Who is “they” that I speak of in such an attention-grabbing title? (Certainly not click-bait, we’ll get to it, I promise) “They” are the media, the articles placed on the same  website that features a video of a dancing cat and right next to that, the most recent Donald Trump scandal. Why are people so influenced by mass media forms like this? When I see websites like this posting things like “Why a Person with Anxiety is the Best Person to Love” I feel ashamed. A whole list of symptoms that will benefit the other person in the relationship while the other suffers: a true love story. I hope you all can catch a sense of my irritated sarcasm.

Disclaimer: not everyone suffering with anxiety/depression deals with everything I’ve mentioned in this post, nor am I saying there’s not more that happens. This is all what I’ve come to learn from personal experience and from talking to other victims.

You deserve peace…

xoxo Madison, Miss Teenage Western Newfoundland

Written by: Madison
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Thinking back to where I was four years ago, I would have never dreamed of being where I am right now. Fortunately, I am extremely lucky to have the support I had and continue to have. This brings me to an important message I’d like to start with on the subject of mental illness: not everyone has support. I want all of my supporters, and even people who aren’t supporters, to know that I am support for you, and if you look in the right places, you will find the support you’re looking for. Mental illness is scary and completely life-altering. I sympathize with everyone who is afraid to speak out about what they feel, what they’ve seen, and what they’ve heard in pure fear of being labeled as an “attention seeker.” This is so common, but why? The media. Mental illness is so glamourized that people underestimate the severity of it.

I’ve made countless drafts of this blog post, trying to make the perfect one. I’ve got such a long story I really can’t put it all in one post. This is going to be an extremely brief summary. Let’s take a blast to the past, and reminisce on what made me who I am at this very second.

Growing up I had plenty of friends. In a small community, all of the kids are close, and it’s nice – like family. Looking back at the fun times I had as a child makes my heart warm – all that I can remember that is. For those of you who don’t know, I have horrible memory. A huge part of it is my anxiety. When your brain is so preoccupied with the future, it really focuses on that rather than remembering things. All I can remember is looking at pictures and having someone tell me what happened – but I never remember being there or living through it.

My grade seven year was my year of experimenting. I dyed my hair, wore makeup, and dressed a lot differently than most of the kids. I’m sure you all would love to see a picture of that, but there is no way I’m showing you. Never. What happened in 2012, stays in 2012. Being so different appearance-wise than the rest of my peers, I was isolated. This is what truly triggered my anxiety, and during this year, I went through a rough depression.

In grade eight I switched schools. Some of you might be thinking her mental illness must be gone now. She ran away from the reason for it. No. You are very wrong. Let’s get one thing straight: never blame mental illness on anyone. Sure, the way the kids were treating me made me feel hurt, but they were kids. There is not one person in this world who can force mental illness on you. It was something that was coming, and ultimately, I couldn’t stop it. Mental illness is hereditary, it was going to happen sometime in my life, and unfortunately, the events I dealt with in my grade seven year are what triggered it. Secondly, mental illness doesn’t just disappear. Whether is is psychological or biological, people need treatment. Treatment varies on the individual. Maybe you need a few sessions with a psychologist, maybe you need to go see a psychiatrist for medication. Either way, the person is getting treated. It can be something simple as a heart-to-heart with your favourite person. It depends on the degree it has impacted your brain, and whether or not medication or therapy will best serve you.

Okay, we can finally talk about my grade eight year. Grade eight was an amazing year. I of course dealt with the usual anxiety attacks, but I made amazing friends and met awesome teachers who helped me through everything.

Grade nine and ten were the peak years of my anxiety. I was at a very low point in my life and attending school was difficult. I’d have anxiety attacks at least once a day and I barely slept.

The summer before grade eleven is when I finally sought out help. I was supposed to be going to my first track practice, but the anxiety hit me like a bullet wound to the chest. I was very choked up, rocking back and forth, sobbing, and hyperventilating. To sum up this afternoon, I never ended up going later that evening. This is the first time my parents saw my anxiety attack, and that’s when they realized that there’s something wrong.

I saw a few counsellors who gave me breathing techniques and pressure points (I suggest that you guys try these – I heard they work for some people especially if you are having trouble sleeping! ). Unfortunately, they didn’t work for me, in fact I tried them countless times before even being told about them by a professional (thanks, Google). I finally got an appointment with a child psychiatrist after coming to terms with the fact that therapy was not working. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety that summer. I started my medication which took a couple of weeks to kick in – just in time for my first track adventure: NL Summer Games. I couldn’t find a picture of me in my track uniform for the life of me… I hope you guys enjoy this one of me and one of my good friends Holly taken in Conception-Bay South before we left for our return to the west coast!

 

Trying not to make this too long, so I’ll cut it short and tell you how I’m doing now. I’m feeling great. I don’t remember the last time I had a full-blown panic attack. I’d be lying to you if I said that my anxiety is nonexistent, because it totally is there, and I do have my off-days. The most important thing is that they’re not most days. I didn’t realize how much my mental illness took over my life until I got help. I was constantly searching for the light, but then I realized that I am the light. So are you. I am so much better, and that’s why I am so sensitive and passionate about helping out others too.

You are the light.

Madison, Miss Teenage Western Newfoundland xoxo

Written by: Madison
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My first blog post – eeeek! I am beyond excited for you guys to walk along with me on my path towards Miss Teenage Canada, or since you’re coming with me, maybe somersault the whole way? Either way (probably somersaulting), we’re going to get there and it’s going to be a blast.

Onto the first order of business: who is Miss Teenage Western Newfoundland? My name is Madison, my friends call me Madi, so to the lovely people on internet world curiously reading my blog, call me Madi. Not Maddy, Maddie, or any other deranged version of my nickname, just simply Madi. To answer the question of who I am has always been so strange to me – I’m constantly changing. I grow as a person everyday and to put out a set definition of who I am just doesn’t fit how I feel about my very existence. The best way to define myself is as a soaring soul, changing always from learning and experiencing. There are no limits – I respectfully refuse to tie myself down to one sole purpose or way of living. Mi’kmaq culture is very prominent in my family, and I strongly believe that this is where my feelings toward life come from. This stems to my open-minded nature, one that allows me to not only sympathize with others, but also understand. If you were to ask me to tell you about myself a couple of years ago, I’d best describe myself as an anxious wreck of a tween who stayed at home all day, and nothing else. Mental illness truly took over my life, I went from an involved student to one who barely went to school. Three years ago I would have never thought this is something I’d be doing. Today however, I’m ready to help others like me who lost their true self to a fight with mental illness. I’m outgoing, witty, confident. Much more positive attributes than previous years – and guess what? It’s only going to get better from here.

Okay, I need to talk about my puppy for a second. Her name is Nugget. Guys… Girls…This is the cutest animal you will ever see and thinking about leaving her for a week to go to Toronto makes me so sad. Are any of the MTC ladies allergic? Do you think Ms. Weswaldi would let me bring her? Okay, maybe not…

Cutest puppy ever… right?

Anyways, back to me. The most important thing you need to know about me is that I make the best chili in the world. I need this to be my talent for the pageant. Other than that I run, workout, and dance. I love to study science, as it says in my “About Me” section, I want to study dermatology. This fluctuates a little though – one day it’s dermatology and the next I want to be a Disney Princess in Disney World. If it’s possible for me to be both a doctor and a princess, you bet I’ll be both. Dr. Madi? Princess Madi? That’s Dr. Princess Madi to you! However with my height of only 5’2″, I’m lucky to be Pocahontas, in fact I have a better chance of being Tinkerbell (I did my research!) Wandering minds like mine that bounce from idea to idea (proof in my previous medical-royal career thought train) direly need a supportive, non-judgmental family to deal with the constant changes. Mine is exactly that. I am forever grateful more and more everyday for the immense support my entire family has given me and continue to give me for my own title of Miss Teenage Western Newfoundland, but also my journey to Miss Teenage Canada. 

It is such a blessing to represent the west coast (west coast, best coast) of Newfoundland in Toronto this Summer. The strong sense of culture runs through all of the communities and ties them together as one. My favorite time of the year is Powwow season, which I cannot wait for this Summer. The atmosphere of the Powwow field in Flat Bay is amazing because it is the one time of the year that all of us with culture and those who want to experience our culture come together. I cannot stress enough how beautiful the event is – I recommend everyone attend, whether or not you have Mi’kmaq blood in your veins!

I am still grinning trying to contain my excitement! I’m here right now…finishing my first blog…for the Miss Teenage Canada pageant?! I cannot wait to give you all, the best supporters ever, more updates on my journey as Miss Teenage Western Newfoundland. Thank you a million times over!

 

Madison, Miss Teenage Western Newfoundland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by: Madison
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