Happy New Year Everyone! I am Vera Morris, and welcome to the “Treasure Your Chest” blog! “Treasure Your Chest” was inspired by numerous brave and amazing women, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The “Treasure Your Chest” blog will help to bring awareness about breast cancer, and feature both men and women who have been impacted by this life changing disease. “Treasure Your Chest” is also an opportunity for me to share my life experiences, and how I was able to overcome any obstacles.
Today is a brand-New Year, with a brand-new chapter! I always like to reflect on the lessons I learned from the previous year, so that I know how I can continue to build onto the growth and prosperity that I found. I’ve been journaling since I was in high school. Journaling has always been a place of solidarity where I could express myself freely, no matter how I may feel. I have already written down my goals and resolutions for 2021. They are all realistic, and achievable. If I don’t achieve a specific goal by the end of the year, I simply add it as a goal for the next year. I ask myself what fears do I need to overcome to achieve this goal? As difficult as it may be, facing fears head on is the only way that will get you closer to achieving a goal or even a resolution you have for yourself. I even have a vision board on my bathroom mirror. It is made up of sticky notes containing quotes, positive words that you feel best describe you, and I have photos of different goals I want to achieve. If I ever have a bad moment, I can go into that positive space and re-focus my mind and thoughts.
In 2017, getting back into professional modeling was at the top of my New Year’s Goal list, and again in 2018. The problem was that until I actually stepped out on faith, and ACTED on this goal, they would always just be words on a piece of paper. Before my dear friend Carol loss her battle with breast cancer, she always told me to start LIVING life, and stop just GOING through it. It wasn’t until after she passed, that I finally understood what she meant. In 2018, I finally took that leap of faith and submitted a photo for a modeling job. I hadn’t modeled in over 15 years, but in my mind, I was thinking I had nothing to lose. Regardless of whether or not I was hired, I finally ACTED upon a goal that I had set for myself without all the fears and doubts standing in my way. I didn’t get that particular modeling job, but it opened up another door, and eventually it led me to getting signed with Marilyn’s Agency on April 1, 2019. Prior to getting signed, I had submitted photos to over 10 agencies between NC, FL, Atlanta, and Nashville, TN. Marilyn’s was the only one that called me for an interview, and all I needed was just one door to open for me.
The road back to pageantry took a little longer. That goal had been in my heart and mind several years before it was ever on my New Year’s Goal list. I added it on my New Year’s Goal list for 2017, then 2018, and in November 2019, I finally took that leap of faith, and applied to enter a pageant after being retired for over 20 years. I’d wanted to compete in pageants again for so long, but I let my fears and insecurities keep me from doing it sooner. Despite not walking away with the crown the night of the pageant earlier this past summer, it opened up another window of opportunity. I knew in my heart that I wanted to compete one more time. On September 1, 2020 I was appointed United States of America’s Ms. North Carolina 2021, and what an amazing journey it has been. As far as writing a blog, I have wanted to do this for such a long time. For me blogging is a way to pay it forward. I’ve read other blogs and self-help books to get through my toughest times in life. Therefore, I wanted to try to help others, even if it’s just one person in the same manner that I was helped. Here I am with my very first blog on my website in 2021. In all three of these goals, I finally was able to turn my “what ifs” into “why not.”
I want to encourage you to learn how to face your fears, and don’t let anything keep you from achieving goals or your resolutions. When you face your fears, your vision and purpose become clear, and you can achieve anything you put your heart and mind to. I’ve been knocked down so many times in my life, but I always found a way to keep going, and to never give up on being happy. These tips below have helped keep me motivated through even my most difficult times.
Here is how you start your first chapter of 2021:
1. Write down your goals and resolutions.
2. Keep a journal or notebook of your thoughts, goals, and ideas.
3. Hold yourself accountable!
4. Turn your bathroom mirror into your vision board.
5. Always keep the Faith!
6. Keep supportive friends and family in your corner.
Next month’s blog I will talk about my pageant journey, and why it is so important to me. What my journey leading to San Antonio, TX to compete for the prestigious United States of America’s Ms. 2021 has been like for me. Please remember to schedule your mammogram as part of a goal you have for yourself and take a few minutes to do a self-breast check. I can’t say it enough, early detection can save your life. I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!