Hello everyone! My name is Aaliya and I am so happy to announce that I am your new Miss Teenage Quebec 2021! I am so excited to start blogging all my upcomming experiences and events with you guys!

Photo credits: © 2021 Montreal Gazette

Photo credits: © 2021 Montreal Gazette

To begin, let me share a little bit of information about myself!

Born in Quebec, Canada, I am a 16 year old mixed race student who is from Trinidadian, Grenadian, French Canadian and German descent! Playing sports is one of my major hobbies in which I enjoy playing soccer, track and feild, and futsal! This may sound bizzare to some but, school is something else that I really enjoy! I’ve always loved learning new things, and developing connections with others! When I am not studying or playing sports, I do enjoy spending time with  family, spending time in nature, and learning new languages! Fluently, I speak English and French, and am currently learning German and Spanish!

 

 

I have never gone into much detail about this topic, but this pageant has allowed me to share my story with everyone. At just age seven, I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental illness that is believed by many to be  an illness that involves just order and cleanliness. Although there are many “types” of OCD,  they all consist of obsessive compulsions of an act without necessarily realizing that it’s obsessive. For example, if someone without OCD notices a bag of red M&M’s with one green one in it, they may be a little frustrated or bothered that one is not the same, but in the case of someone with obsessive compulsive disorder, it will trigger something in the brain to cause overthinking of the event and negative consequences if the one green M&M is not removed. Of course this is different for everyone, but some may even get a panic attack. I am so grateful that I have found the tools to help me cope with my OCD at a young age, to prevent me from getting to that extent!

This is where my platform of mental health awareness came in! During the quarantine period, so many people, teens especially were struggling with their mental health due to the lack of being able to socialize and yo activities that they love! Since I am someone who is constantly doing activities, for me it was a very difficult period just sitting at home not being able to do the things I love. It affected my mental health drastically, and am so grateful that I came across the pageant to help share my story and my platform!

I want everyone to know that their mental health is not something that they need to hide! In fact, 1 in 5 people have a mental illness, but are trying to hide and suppress it in reasons of the high pressure put in by society. I am so grateful that our talented Simone Biles spoke publicly about her struggles with mental health because that inspired and showed many that even the “picture perfect athletes or celebs” have their own struggles and need to take a break too!

But how you ask? How is someone able to come out of their shell about their mental illness or except themselves for who they are?  The trick is to love every part of your mental illness! To except that you have it and love it with all your might. Suppressing the negative parts of your illness will just cause you to blow up, or feel horrible! For me, I did many different activities and used many tools that reminded me that it’s okay that I have OCD, and it’s not something that I should hate or be ashamed of.  Without it, I wouldn’t have been the person I am today. Playing a sport, doing something I love, meditating, journaling and even doing positive daily affirmations really helped me realize that I love my OCD! The first step to all of this though, is to be aware of how you are feeling and acting, this will allow you to create a connection and a deeper bond with yourself!

 

This all leads to my hopes for the future! I hope to be able to help everyone understand the importance of mental health and that loving every part of your illness will truly make you feel amazing! While I am doing this, I would love to attend a school in Europe to study medicine.  I hope to impact the world in a positive way, all while becoming Vegan to really show my love for animals and reduce the demands of breeding to lower the production and cruelty rate.

To end off, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me so far during this amazing experience, and I am  so grateful that I stumbled upon this amazing Miss Teenage Canada pageant to be able to experience something out of my comfort zone, and be able to share my story and platform! Stay tuned for more upcoming blogs!

Thanks for reading!

Written by: Aaliya