Tadlock: Don’t abandon dream

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Miss Mississippi Anna Tadlock said her story is one ofperseverance and working to make dreams a reality.

The former Brookhaven resident, the daughter of Tommy andFelicia Tadlock and granddaughter of Travis Tadlock, spoke to theBrookhaven Lions and Kiwanis clubs Tuesday at Rusty’s FamilyRestaurant, telling them of her journey to the crown and all thehurdles along the way.

“I had competed for three years, and after the third year Idecided to do what we in the pageant arena call ‘retire,'” shesaid, adding that she and her mother turned on the Miss AmericaPageant one night and she realized how much she missedpageants.

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So between the urge to go back and compete and the fact that sheneeded scholarship money for graduate school, Tadlock decided togive the pageant circuit one more try, she said.

“Since this was my fourth try, I decided to treat this yeardifferent,” she said. “I decided to prepare as if I was going toMiss America instead of Miss Mississippi. I just decided to work alittle harder and take it up a notch, if you will.”

Tadlock also said she didn’t do it alone. Besides support fromher family and friends, she said she had a little help from higherup.

“I just knew I had to do my best and leave the rest up to myLord, because He’s in control of my destiny,” she said. “The Lordreally does fulfill his promises to us if we will just workhard.”

Tadlock said she has had a great time in her first two months asMiss Mississippi, making public appearances and meeting newpeople.

“Probably the most fun thing I’ve done was last Friday, when Iwas invited to an 8-year-old’s spend-the-night birthday party,” shesaid. “It was so cute, because they didn’t know I was going to bethere. I think I was more nervous about that than anything elseI’ve done, because I wanted them to like me.”

And when she heads west in January for the Miss America Pageant,Tadlock said it will be her first trip to Las Vegas.

“We finally have an excuse,” she said. “If anyone wants to go,I’d like to bring traveling companions for my parents to make surethey behave.”

More than anything, though, Tadlock stressed that achievingdreams is not something that happens overnight, or withoutdedication and hard work.

“It’s not going to fall in your lap,” she said, later adding,”Remain single-minded. Don’t let anyone or anything distract youfrom your dream, but don’t forget to take in the journey along theway.”

She also told the crowd to remember that sometimes things won’tgo exactly as planned. She said even in the face of discouragement,it’s important to remember who’s in charge.

“Sometimes there’s something else God’s preparing you for that’sbetter than you could ever imagine,” she said. “Just simply believein yourself and your purpose and that those who love you will helpyou on your journey. But also believe in the one who knew youbefore He even created you.”

Tadlock also thanked the group for their support of her, notonly as Miss Mississippi, but as a person.

“Brookhaven holds a very special place in my heart, becausetoday I’m here as Miss Mississippi, but every time I come back, I’mtreated like I’m Anna,” she said. “Thank you all for treating melike just Anna.”