The day after losing Miss California USA 2015, I woke, hit the gym, determined to return for Miss California USA 2016. When the opportunity to enter Miss San Diego Cities came along, I took it. Hearing my name announced, induced shock, thrill and gratitude. This time around I knew that my preparation for state needed change. I continued my gym routine, interview practice, and walking rehearsals, but felt frustrated. What more could I do? It was not until I discovered several inspiring books, You Can You Will, The Confidence Code, Never Eat Alone, Think and Grow Rich, that I realized the importance of mental preparation.
My mindset shifted when I realized that if I do not believe in my ability, if I cannot feel genuine confidence when I walk on stage, regardless of wardrobe, hair or makeup, then I am not ready for the job of Miss California. I believe Miss California is an inspirational figure, but I understand that a crown and sash are not magical, and receiving them will not turn me into the woman I want to be, that is up to me. So I resolved to live each day, pursing the desire to be Miss California USA, embracing everything that makes me stand out, while using the experience of Miss San Diego Cities as preparation for the job ahead of me. If my life is meant to change on December 6th, then I will be ready for it. Until then I am attending as many appearances as possible, using the title to share about my favorite charities, spending time with my teen queen Elan, as well as building relationships that I will cherish long after my year is over. I am simply enjoying each day of this journey, both its challenges and many, many wonderful memories.
– Dani Walker
Miss San Diego Cities USA 2015