18 things I learned from 2018

2018 - what. a. year! 2018 will go down as one of my favorite years ever I think.

One part of this year was spent in a Kindergarten classroom in East Texas, and the other was spent all over the state of Texas. I have to say as I write this, I can’t believe some of the things that have happened this year. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude when I look back on the life changes, unexpected turns, and dreams come true.

Reflecting on this year, I know I am a much different Madison than the one who began 2018. This has been a year of so much growth and learning, from the classroom, being Miss Texas, and life in general. So here are 18 things I learned in 2018…


1. No matter how often you workout, eat healthy and compare the size of your legs to other girls on Instagram... sometimes your genetic makeup is what it is. Let. it. go. God created you this way, leg size and all.

2. Always seek new dreams.

3. If you need to be reminded of what authentic joy looks like... spend a day with 5 year olds. They think EVERYTHING is wonderful. I.e. fighting over who wipes down tables with Clorox wipes at the end of the day... because that’s THE BEST JOB EVER. Which reminds me... vitamins.

4. Take your vitamins. Kids are cute, but they also spread all the germs. If you’re not careful you’ll end up catching the flu, strep, multiple sinus infections, and the stomach bug all within a matter of months. I’m looking at you first year of Kindergarten. ;)


5. Bad days don’t equal a bad life. We all have them, even when you’re living your dream job.

6. Small towns are the best.

7. It’s okay to be an apple, even if someone else prefers an orange. Oranges are great. Apples are great. Both for different reasons. Your worth is not determined by someone’s preference of oranges over apples. Okay enough with the fruit analogies -  but this was the hardest learned lesson from Miss America.


8. People like to point out when you have gray hair at 24... own it. YAS queen.

9. I am really really bad at goodbyes. Like terrible. Que ugly crying saying goodbye to my childhood home. Que ugly crying saying goodbye to my Miss America sisters. Que ugly crying saying goodbye to my Kindergarteners on the last day of school. 

10. Sometimes it’s easier to just leave the suitcase packed, and change out the clothes accordingly.

11. You are stronger than you think. Adrenaline is a real thing. I.e. puking my way to Amarillo for an appearance and ended up giving one of my best keynote speeches yet.

12. Pageant boyfriends are real life angels. 


13. Most common deodorants have aluminum in them?! #nothankyou I now understand the reasoning behind “natural” deodorants.

14. God’s timing is always always the best timing. Looking back on so many failed plans I have made for my life, it all makes sense. I’m so thankful that I’m ultimately not in control, because He has proven time and time again His plans, and they are so much better than anything I could do on my own.

15. Fear of failure is the #1 way to miss out on all life has to offer... if it’s scary, you should do it.

16. You won’t be able to please everyone all the time. It’s OKAY. Do the best you can, be kind, and move on. This is one I constantly have to remind myself of. I’m a people pleaser by nature. It’s hard to accept the idea of not making everyone happy all the time.

17. Watching your team play 7 overtime’s of a college football game brings back the same gut wrenching feeling of runner ups being called in a pageant.

18. There is still SO much good in our world. Good, kind, honest, loving people. And I’ve been lucky enough to meet and know so many of them this year. 


Happy 2019 friends! May the new year bring joy, peace, and happiness to you and yours!

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