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Monday , 24 June 2024

A positive mantra for 2020: 2020 is mine!

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Raine Cabral-Laysico
Raine Cabral-Laysico
Raine Cabral-Laysico is Senior Writer at The Philippine Times. For comments or feedback, email Raine at rainelaysico@gmail.com. Follow @rainewritesdaily on Instagram.

OK, I just did something completely crazy and out of the norm.

I joined a beauty pageant last September. 

Why? You may ask.

As if I wasn’t busy enough with working full time, studying my post-grad in law as well as being a mum, wife and ate (older sister).

Well, the answer to this is simple as well as complicated.

Simple because the opportunity presented itself and I made a promise to myself to never say no to new experiences. 

For it is only when you step out of your comfort zone that you can grow.

Complicated because it’s not really just about joining a beauty pageant.

After my miscarriage at the end of last year, the sun shone a little less bright. I felt myself being swallowed into this vortex of negativity. I was quick to anger and slow to forgive. I wasn’t feeling like myself. 

Prayer became my daily ritual. But I knew that I needed to step outside of my day-to-day routine and just really go all out before I faded away and became a shadow version of myself. 

Enter the pageant.

(I also started law school and became more determined to live my life with no regrets.)

Now, if you’ve read this far, I’ll make it easy for you.

I lost.

I lost spectacularly. And the reasons for losing I won’t go into. 

I may have lost the pageant but what I gained is more profound—an understanding of who I am as a woman, stripped of the roles I normally fill.

I have my share of insecurities.

I was the girl teased by her classmates that I was adopted (because mama was so beautiful and fair and I got called ugly more times than I can remember). I was four-eyed, all lips with braces, and had a tendency to finish my teachers’ sentences. I liked to read (I still do, I read an average of 2-3 books a week) and found it hard to relate to others. I did not fit into what society labelled as beautiful.

But I persevered, and just focused on what is within my circle of control.

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In hindsight, this is what the pageant became to me—an avenue to mend the fault lines in my psyche created by life’s not so pleasant experiences. 

The feeling of being empowered from the inside out, the confidence and self-esteem I once lost by tragedy (I blamed myself for losing our unborn baby), the knowledge that regardless of the outcome, I did my best.

I walked to the beat of my own drum. (This is what life is all about, acclaim or no acclaim – you do what you think is right for you). Regardless of what the judges thought, I know in my heart that I do not regret my performance. How could I when I felt the love for each and every one of my supporters.

In five days that I went from having 222 votes to 11.5k, that showed me how much you all believed in me. That you listened to the plea of my Mama Marian Francia Imperial Cabral who has always been from the very beginning my number one fan. She goes all out for all her children; she’s the reason we are the way we are because she really is an awesome mother.

So let me close this by saying thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to find pieces of myself I thought I lost.

Let’s face 2020 with a fearless heart.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

The two saddest phrases in the dictionary are if only and what if.

Don’t wait for the moment to pass you by and you end up with nothing but regret.

2020 is your year, dear readers.

Say it with me, 2020 is mine. I will live my life without any regrets and I will pursue whatever it is that sets my heart on fire!

Good luck and God bless, dear readers! 

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