UPDATE! THIS ANNOUNCEMENT RAN ON MARCH 24, 2011 FOR THE FIRST TIME. SINCE THAT DAY, AND AS OF TODAY, I HAVE ADVANCED IN THE COMPETITION AND I AM NOW THE 23RD HIGHEST VOTES HOLDER OUT OF 880 WOMEN COMPETING. THANK YOU TO MY FRIENDS, FAMILY AND THE BELLMORE PATCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
My name is Carine. I am a Bellmore resident. I have had a lifetime of struggles, as we all have, as well as a lifetime of battling bad choices and lack of self esteem. At almost 52 years old I am finally emerging stronger, wiser and more accepting of the woman that I am.
In February I decided to enter a competition that is sponsored every year by More Magazine. I have wanted to enter every year since the competition began, but I never had the guts. It is a "Beauty Search" but it isn't about beauty and being beautiful. It is about aging and aging gracefully. It is about overcoming obstacles and pain emerging stronger and more capable, able to engage in the act and art of life and living fully. It is about finally reaching a point in your life where you are accepting of all that you have and all that you are. At almost 52 years of age I am finally realizing all of the beauty that I have both inside and out.
As of today there are 723 women entered in the competition and I am number 27 from the top! I would love to put Bellmore New York on the map. To remain where I am I need to receive as many votes each day as possbile from now until April 25th. Please take a moment and go to the following link: http://www.more.com/events/contests/beauty-search-2011/carine-firestone. At the top right hand corner you will see small letters that say "Join us it's free". Click that link so that you can register to vote. It takes about one minute to register. Please remember the password you select as you will need it each time you visit the site to vote. More Magazine encourages everyone to vote every day to keep their favorite candidate on top. Once you have registered you can read my story which briefly explains why I feel more beautiful today than ever before and then you can click on the Pink Ribbon/Banner that says "She's got my Vote". Vote as often as you can. The competition is stiff and it is heating up MORE and MORE every day!
As I mentioned above, this competition is not a "Beauty Contest". It is about being old enough and wise enough to finally accept and realize all of the beauty that you have both inside and out.
Through all of my lifes struggles, trials and tribulations, losses and abandonments, bad choices and decisions, turmoil and upheavals I have remained always optimistic, always smiling. I have emerged stronger and wiser and so much more accepting of all that I am and all that I have. With all of the pain and suffering I have endured in my life I have never lost sight of the fact that there are so many who endure pain and suffering far greater than mine.
I am fortunate to have family and friends around me who have been there for me always and who have given me the strength and the love to help me to get up time and time again when life has knocked me down. They have made my life more beautiful than I ever imagined.
If I am lucky enough to be a winner in this competition I hope that I will have the opportunity to help and inpsire others who are struggling. At this time in my life I am a single mother of a teenage daughter. I am a writer who writes children's books and singer/songwriter who writes music and lyrics that are inspirational and uplifting. I am not yet a published writer, but I never lose hope that someday I might be. I have returned to school full time in the evening to get my Bachelor's Degree which I should have this December. I would like to then go on to get a Master's Degree in Social Work so that I can spend the rest of my life helping and inspiring others.
Thank you for taking the time to listen, to care and to vote. Together we can put Bellmore New York on the map. Together we can inspire!
Sincerely and with gratitude - Carine