When we speak about Miss America, we often comment on how independent she is. We look at all of her succeses, the differences she has made, the lives she has touched...and we assume she did that on her own. There is this idea that a woman named Miss America, must be very independent, meaning, working alone. I beg to differ. I believe that behind every incredible Miss America, was quite a team supporting her.
We forget to mention her parents or guardians that spent hours watching her practice walking in heels.
We forget to mention her directors who studied current events just as much as she did so they could better prepare her for interview.
We forget to mention her siblings and friends that encouraged her when days got long, and she wondered if she could really make it to the next event without falling asleep.
We forget to mention, perhaps, a significant other. Kind enough to let her chase her dreams, and pursue something she has worked hard for, knowing that it means less time with her.
You could never spell independent without remembering who she depended on. See, the "in" in that word is not there to refute dependency. It is not there to say that she depended on nobody. The "in" represents a new strength she has, because of those she was able to depend on. The "in" is leaning on the word "dependent" knowing it would be nothing without it.
I would be nothing without my incredible support system that stands with me today. I am a better person, a stronger leader, and a candidate for Miss Kansas because I have people to depend on. I have a network that pushes me, encourages me, keeps me humble, and holds me when I need help. If I am fortunate enough to be crowned Miss Kansas, there will be many people to thank that night.
I am independent...because I recognize the importance of those I depend on.