I WON! (The Luckiest Girl on Earth!)

Many years ago, I started to write. I fell in love and couldn’t stop. A while later, I discovered the beauty of writing contests; I could do what I love and make money off of it.

Everything clicked, except for the fact that I was too lazy to enter any contests. Occasionally I would make a feeble attempt, writing a paragraph here or there, but for the most part, the applications would gather dust on my shelves. As soon as the contest expiration date came along, I would throw the application out, relieved of that stress.

However, sometime this past year I decided to try again. My mother discovered the Kaplun Essay Contest, due for judging in March. I made a firm resolution; this contest would be one I would enter.

I contacted an amazing woman named Mindy, who agreed to help me write the essay. I started to write in January, but in my usual procrastinating fashion, I didn’t actually set my nose to the grindstone until March 13th, five days before the essay was due.

Mindy helped me immensely, and we scrambled to get my thoughts onto paper. We worked for six hours straight for two days in a row for a grand total of 12+ hours (not counting the time I spent on it alone). One of those days was grueling, because it was Taanis Esther, a fast day. But finally, after much hard work, we were done. We had a winner.  A hopeful winner, anyways!

I sent the essay in within moments of the deadline, forgot about it and started to live again. A couple of weeks later I remembered, and I started to pray to win every day.

Today was an unusual day. I wasn’t feeling well this whole past week, so I slept in late. I woke up by noon, davened, asked to win the contest amongst other things, ate, and went to babysit.

I had a relatively lousy day filled with potty accidents and other cute little things that will make me embarrass these poor kids when they grow older: “I used to change your diapers!” and so on. I got home, talked to my little brother outside and then started my way up the front walk.

My parents were both leaning out the door with smiles on their faces wide enough to split their lips.

“We have a surprise for you!” my mom called out. (Like in the Arthur book, my sister pointed out later. lol.)

“What?” I asked.

“Come here and see.” I imitated their wide grins and trudged up the driveway. I didn’t go fast because suddenly I knew what it was that made them so happy. Sure enough, my mom was hiding an envelope, which she handed to me.

I caught the words, “Essay Contest” and then I was engulfed in hugs and kisses. My parents were shrieking their congratulations and “we’re-so-proud-of-you’s” and all that.

“Thanks,” I muttered. I was aware that I had won but that was the extent of it.
A few minutes later, all mysteries were solved.

I am the proud winner of $750.00, plus a free trip to New York where a ceremonial luncheon will take place on June 5th. In case you’re going to wonder why I won’t be answering my home phone.

At the luncheon, I, along with five other finalists from  my age group and the six middle school finalists will wait with bated breath for the announcement of the grand prize winner. He or she (or maybe even ME) will receive $1,800.00 and will have to read their essay out loud. I better start practicing!

Anyways, a few thoughts. First of all, I feel like I’m engaged; I spoke to almost all of my many relatives today.

Secondly, AHHH! I can’t believe it. I haven’t done too much screaming today because I feel like I’m in a dream. NO WAY this is real. No way.

I keep thinking that maybe it IS fake, maybe they’ll call me any minute: “Sorry, wrong name on that list. You are not a finalist. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.” Any inconvenience? Hah. Try brutal dissappointment.

Third of all, I am realizing the true amazing-ness of G-d. In one moment, He can cause someone to earn seven hundred and fifty bucks. In one moment, He can do anything. It’s scary, it really is. Really, really petrifying. It gives me a good, tingle-y feeling though, knowing that. I can’t explain it.

Oh, another thing; yesterday, I randomly emailed Mindy, the lady who helped me with the essay. She told me she was looking forward to hearing from me about the contest…I said I was looking forward to giving her good news….today I won. And I davened for it today, and I won it today. I am not kidding. How cool?!?!?

Anyways, if you have five minutes, you can view the winning essay here!

This is not THE final version. I think there were a couple of corrections afterwards, but it’s close enough. (The final one is probably on my dad’s computer…)

Looking forward to hearing your comments and suggestions!

Keep UNraveling!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tehila
    May 12, 2011 @ 05:26:15

    woah! mazel tov im so happy for u! 🙂


  2. e
    May 12, 2011 @ 23:57:07

    Hey! You deserve to win that contest! I didn’t have a spare second to read your essay yet but I will read it as soon as I get the chance. I read the first paragraph though and it is really good! Congratulations!


  3. loser
    May 13, 2011 @ 06:02:22

    Oh, wow! I am so excited for you! Thanks for sharing; just reading that made me happy!


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