I use the analogy of the ugly duckling and the beautiful swan as a metaphor for how I feel during prep, at the show, and then post-contest. I've written about the post-contest blues several times, and it seems that no matter how many times I compete, I experience them every year. This year is no exception, despite my best efforts.
It's been about 4 weeks since the Maryland show, and in that time, my tan has faded, my roots are clearly visible, my arm hair is growing back in, I've popped off all my acrylic nails, and I've put on a few pounds. While all of those things are perfectly normal and expected, it sort of feels like reverting from the beautiful swan back into the ugly duckling. I'm not calling myself "ugly," so don't get all worried - it's merely a metaphor. It's just that when I'm on stage, I feel like the most beautiful, proud woman in the world. Then after the show, when it's time to go back to real life, the glamour fades and reality sets in.
|How I feel when reality sets in.|
I've been feeling out of sorts the past few weeks, which is why I haven't been blogging much. I simply didn't feel like it. For the first 2-3 weeks after the show, my emotions were all over the board! I'd go from happy and smiling to sad and crying in the time span of a half hour. Poor J didn't know what the heck was going on with me! He reacted in typical guy fashion: he tried to hide. And when Ms Kari Grumpypants cornered him, he'd crack a lame joke to try to get me to laugh. Poor guy. I kept telling him to just give me hugs and don't even attempt to understand and analyze the female mind.
Now that more time has passed, I'm feeling balanced and sane, in control of my emotions and actions once again. (Phew!) I'm following a structured training and diet program and am slowly losing some of the water retention gained from the plethora of cookies and M&M's I'd been shoveling into my (very unhappy, very angry with my actions) body. I'm on my way to feeling like the beautiful swan again.