Dream. A word we commonly associate with sleep, décor, and occasionally life or career goals, but why is it just occasionally? Why do we not “dream” all of the time? Do we become so engrossed in the everyday hustle and bustle of life that we ourselves forget to dream and think outside the box? I would venture to say yes. We often become so entranced in our everyday routine that we often find ourselves on autopilot just trying to make it through another work day, week, or weekend. There never is a time for the dreamer to live a “dreamers dream…” but you know what the best part is? You can still catch your dreams and goals even in the midst of all the hustle and bustle!
Over the past few weeks I have traveled to Brunswick, GA. Dallas, Fort Worth, Bowie, and Decatur Texas as well as Sandersville, GA. all within a span of 3 weeks. Whew, talk about busy! You want to know what the best part about every hour, minute, and second spent on the road is? It’s one more hour, minute, and second invested in to someone else’s dream, goals, and spiritual walk with the Lord. It’s then and there that I realize, I’m living a dreamer’s dream.
Some of the places I have been blessed to visit almost seem like a dream of their own. My first stop landed me right in the heart of the “Golden Isles” of Brunswick, GA for Rodeo at the Beach! The stringent smell of the swamp marsh land mixed with the sweet aroma of the blooming magnolia trees made for one of the most beautiful and diverse places I’ve ever visited.
During the first half of my stay, I visited the many sponsors who have been long-time supporters of “Rodeo at the Beach” including the presenting sponsor, Stambaugh Aviation. I must say, this was by far one of the most interesting and amazing sponsor visits I’ve ever been a part of. What was even more exciting is I had received a phone call from the Cowboy Channel asking if I would be willing to help them in obtaining footage and interviews for a new segment that they are starting called “My Hometown Rodeo,” set to air in May. Well of course, I said yes and knew that one of my interviews had to be with JR and Scott, the owners of Stambaugh Aviation.
Later that week, we kicked off the rodeo weekend in true rodeo fashion with a mechanical bull riding competition between the teachers and principals from the surrounding schools. Needless to say, we were all in stiches! We wrapped the weekend up with a visit to Jekyll Island for a dolphin tour and then took a ride on the beach with four of our winners on Sea Island. It was a trip to remember.
Upon leaving the “Golden Isles,” I returned home on Sunday March 20th and immediately left out on a flight Monday morning headed to Dallas/ Fort Worth for Market. After a few tornados, a reroute through Houston, to finally landing at DFW around 10:30 p.m., I had arrived and was ready to meet some of our amazing Miss Rodeo USA sponsors. The following morning started bright and early as we met with Mr. Wayne from C. Warren and Associates for breakfast at the Market Café. During our visit, he presented me with my brand new Ropin West Luggage Set and the matching cosmetics case. Talk about excited!
We spent two days at the World Trade Center visiting with new and current sponsors with our third day being spent visiting American Hat Company, The Best Hat Store, and NRS! If you have never been to market in Dallas, it is an experience that you have to “be there” to understand the overwhelming excitement and magnitude of it all. Still think I’m living the dream? I do!
I returned to Alabama on Friday March 25th and was back on the road Sunday March 27th heading to the 61st Annual Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo with Co-Captain Star (A Star in the Rodeo) in tow for meet n greets. We had an absolute blast and couldn’t have asked for prettier weather. I even held a Diamond-Back Rattlesnake!
On Tuesday March 29th I found myself back in the driver’s seat headed to Sandersville, GA. for the 3rd Annual Washington County Farm Bureau Rodeo. If I’m being honest, I have had the best rodeo committees a girl could ask for. Upon my arrival, I was able to meet with Mr. Eddy Turner, the chair of the rodeo committee, and we discussed plans for the days ahead and what all we would be doing.
Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit and speak to five different school groups in three different schools and speak to the First Baptist Church Youth Group later that evening. By far one of the most amazing dreamcatcher experiences I’ve ever had.
Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to speak at our Gold Sponsor Dinner and all I can say is wow. The response I received from speaking that evening left me with the most amazing sense of gratitude and humbleness that again you can only experience in a “dreamers dream.” I was even asked to sing “Walking After Midnight” for everyone.
Friday, I visited the Old Jail and Genealogy Research Center in Sandersville and the best part, they opened early just so I could come in and visit. Ms. Kayla, Loretta, Mr. David, and Mr. Parrish were an absolute joy to visit with. They even requested a private concert featuring “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. Must have been a Classic Country kind of week! Want to talk about a plethora of history all in one location... this was it! Later that evening, we kicked off the first sold out performance of rodeo weekend. Little did we know Saturday was going to be even bigger! The question here is, are catching your dreams and seeing the amount of opportunities that are made available to us if we take the time to recognize them?
I’m often asked what it is like to be Miss Rodeo USA and how stressful is it to have everyone needing a piece of my time, calendar, or attention and how do I maintain it all. The funny thing is, my job and duties as Miss Rodeo USA maintain me, and it’s all thanks to two little words: investment and dream. Investment. Merriam Webster defines Investment as “an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” My investment in to my “job” provides me with opportunities that open doors for my dreams to become reality. Not to mention the numerous doors it opens for the individuals I come in to contact with.
There are a multitude of stories I could tell to convey this point but there’s one in particular that stands out to me and made me completely stop in my tracks and say, “that’s a God moment.” While Tish, Jody, and I were meandering through the Fort Worth stock yards we came across an extremely young but talented female singer who was accompanied by no more than her tracked music and a single microphone. Her name was Sophia and she later told the crowd that she was just 11 years old! I noticed she was performing strictly for tip money so I walked up, placed a $20 bill in her bucket, and spoke to her father who had just come off the stage from performing a duet with her. I asked about Sophia’s history and found out that her mother was addicted to methamphetamine when she was born and that she had been adopted by the gentleman and his wife not long after. We spoke for quite some time and he asked would I sing a song with her. Without hesitation I said yes and next thing I knew, Sophia and I were performing “Does He Love You” in front of a packed crowd in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The most amazing experience of my life reflected an image of myself at age 11. It was like looking in a mirror with a sign that said, “Invest Here.” The ironic portion of this story is, I cut my first demo at 11 and have had individuals invest in me since day one. Wow!
The “Dreamers Dream…” A rare and fine occasion where one lives out the dreams he or she once dreamed of. There are dreams and goals everywhere, it’s a matter of do you recognize them and the opportunities that tag along with them. Get out there and be an investor of dreams. They’re waiting!
Until we meet on the trail again,
Jessie Lynn Nichols
Miss Rodeo USA 2022