Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo: A Reflection

Last week I had an experience I'll remember for a lifetime interning with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR), the world's largest livestock show and rodeo.  

For eight days, I served as a communications intern for the livestock show and rodeo. Twelve hour + exhilarating work days left me exhausted, and by the end of the week, caffeine and adrenaline kept me going. However, once again, I was able to live out one of my favorite quotes:

“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” - SHANTI

I interviewed Super Series winning cowboys and cowgirls behind the scenes at the rodeo, photographed champion selections on the iconic green shavings, wrote stories about record-breaking prices reaching $300,000 at junior livestock auctions, and witnessed the pure joy of 50 some children experiencing their own Lil' Rustlers Rodeo put on by the Special Children's Committee. I still grin with excitement knowing my photographs appeared on the @RODEOHOUSTON Instagram and my stories made the main page of www.rodeohouston.com.

In my last hours at HLSR, I had the pleasure of picturing the Overall Supreme Champion Heifer selection and interviewing the two young men who claimed the champion and reserve titles. I felt so blessed. It was truly one of those full circle moments when I clearly saw how every ounce of hard work, every achievement, and even the disappointments in my life led me to that very experience. 

It was one of the rare times I actually really felt proud of myself, too. I tend to feel that my accomplishments and experiences are not enough, especially when I get caught up in the comparison game. However, last week I minded my own, focused on my work, and found myself completely happy. There I was, a girl from small-town Pennsylvania, living out a dream at HLSR as a student at Texas A&M University. 

My list of takeaways from my internship with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are a mile long. However, one thing sticks out above the rest and it's something we could all be reminded of a little more often: Be proud of the stage of life that you are in, recognize what it took for you to get there, and give yourself some grace as you work your tail off to achieve your next big goals. Amidst the chaos, you just might find yourself completely content. 

Below are some of my favorite photos from the week. You can click on the photos to enlarge them and scroll through.