I have always admired models strutting runways. So much that when I was young, it’s all I wanted to do. Models carry themselves with a kind of grace that’s only second to royalty. I admired that, then went ahead to daydream full-time about it. I made it clear that it’s what I wanted to do and always wrote it down as a dream goal. My favourite moments were when someone pointed out that I was definitely cut to be a model, because of my body.
My first trial
So it was a no-brainer when an opportunity arose during my first year in high school. There was a talent search and creativity was the main component they were looking for. Little me was thrilled to take part. My cousin designed for me a simple dress, flower earrings and leaf sandals.
(I was in a girls-only boarding high school. We were not allowed any additional clothing apart from the formal school uniform. So we had to be creative in making a dress. My designer cousin
who was not a professional but my classmate had to make a dress from a lesso.)
During the competition, my flower earrings drew more attention than my dress. Basically, I was position three as two other girls turned out more creative. I was quite disappointed but more proud of myself for taking part. I would do it again if another opportunity arose.
A second opportunity came by in my second year. Having had a taste of what modelling felt like and quite sure of myself this time, I dived straight in. Some seniors and teachers had decided to hold a modelling competition that would also include a plus-size category. We were all excited and like the previous time, we had to find ways to create our dresses.
One of my friends was in the competition and she turned out to be a bit smarter. She employed several tricks
from the book of flirts and with male teachers as judges, there were rumors of favouritism. But I tried my best with the hopes of still snubbing the prize.
To my horror, I was proudly presented as the second in my category. I felt shortchanged, but that was that. My friend had won and nothing could be done about it. Have you ever had high hopes of something only for it to come crumbling down before you and you just stare helplessly? Yeah, that was my moment. I was really heartbroken and I entirely gave up modelling. It wasn’t worth it, I convinced myself. After all, if you keep failing at something it’s just not for you, right?
After giving up modelling, I concentrated on other things like poetry and reading. I was no longer ecstatic about modelling conversations. In my third year, my school planned on hosting a major talent competition and inviting several schools for the event. Everyone was elated, to say the least, including myself but I only anticipated being an active spectator. I couldn’t wait to watch the participants.
My `designer’ cousin begged me to take part but I was totally disinterested. She eventually decided to take up two other models who desperately sought her skills. My friends tried to convince me to take part, but I was adamant on my decision. My friend who had won the previous competition, let’s call her Arza, doubted the fact that I wasn’t participating. She made it a point to ask me every night about it, lest I changed my mind and she didn’t know. But I tirelessly told her that the runway was clear, she could own it.
Changed my mind
On the night before the competition, I was in class making stories with my friends. I’m not a fan of soaps (you know those cheesy Italian series? Exactly). Half of the school was watching a soap in the school’s hall, the other half was having a devotion session in a certain room, and the inbetweeners, including myself were having their kind of fun in classes.
While there, a friend of mine began pestering me about participating in the competition. She was so relentless and convincing. She made me agree to participate not because I’d win, but because it would be fun. I’m down for fun all time, all day, so her view of the competition spiked the fun-seeker in me. I decided to take part just for the fun of it. My! Was she happy!
Promptly, she grabbed my hand and led me to the hall. My cousin was there and my friend was eager to inform her that I’d changed my mind and that I’d participate. My cousin though, was not thrilled.
“I’d asked you about this before remember? It’s too late now and I already have two other girls that I’m preparing.” She’d said, half engrossed in the soap she was watching.
“But you can try to make something for her. These other girls are just juniors.” My friend persisted.
“I’ll tell you about that later,” she said before driving her full attention back to the screen.
I was less motivated now but my friend insisted that she would definitely consider me. And sure enough, before I slept that night, my cousin came to make sure that I was really serious about it. All the other designers were doing the last touches on their designs. Some slept late, including Arza who became highly uncomfortable when she heard that I’d changed my mind.
I woke up over excited on the day of the event. I didn’t know why, I just felt happy. After breakfast I remember going to this balcony with some friends and generally spreading love. We’d call out everyone that passed by (more juniors used that way) and wave down at them blissfully. They all happily smiled and waved back. (Imagine being greeted by seniors you’ve never talked to? They couldn’t not be happy)
My cousin is a genius. Seriously. She created something couple hours to the event. She even stitched most of it while I was fitting it on. Luckily for us, we had some time as other categories like singing, dancing, etc competed. Friends helped in doing my makeup and hair. The funniest part was the shoes. I had on some cute little shoes belonging to a junior. And, they were a size smaller. It was an effort keeping them on. As they say, pretty hurts. My cousin insisted I should keep them on no matter what.
When the runway was cleared, we made a line and walked in one by one. Each model took their time. There were two long runways and you’d walk down each. Before I entranced I remember a guy outside pointing me out and saying `She’ll probably win, no doubt’. I didn’t believe him. Then I walked in.
The hall was filled to the brim. A number of schools had attended and were participating in the competition. I courageously walked the runways and went to take my spot next to the other models. We were about fifteen. After we had all taken our spots, we were rigorously taken through stages. On each stage we’d perform and some of us would be eliminated. The elimination dwelled mostly on the reaction of the audience, not the judges. We danced, walked the runway once more, answered questions, etc. In the end, we were only three of us left. Azra, a girl from another school and myself.
After a series of questions from the judges, we waited for a couple of anxious minutes as the judges debated among themselves. I remember saying a nervous prayer as a dense nervy air settled upon the huge room. Everyone was quiet, but suddenly burst into loud merry shouts as I was at last announced as the winner. My dream had come true, at last. I couldn’t believe it. I was overwhelmed.
Now, here goes the moral of the story……
If it’s your dream, never give up on it. No matter what. I would have given up so early on. My loses discouraged me. I found it shameful trying and trying yet nothing came of it. But if I’d given up and not given it another try, I would still be here with an un-achieved dream. My goal was getting a beauty queen crown and I got exactly that. What’s your dream? Have you given up on it? Have you tried so many times before yet nothing still?
Well I think you should give it another try. You never know until you try. And most times, we give up right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up just yet. Do it one more time, you could be in for a surprise.
Ever given up on something only for you to give it another try and to succeed incredibly? Or maybe it’s a dream of yours and you tirelessly worked on it and succeeded in the end? Share it in the comments, I’d love to hear your story :-).