Here is my Chicago Tour Video: https://youtu.be/qHs3__d4LK0
This was my last Choir Tour in high school and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. I was with some of my favorite people in the beautiful Windy City. Here are some of my highlights (for a quick look I bolded the main points):
We started our morning off by singing to the elderly at St. Villa Senior Living. They were an extremely appreciative audience that had so many kind things to say about our tour group. After that, we drove to Curie Metropolitan High School and met up with America’s Got Talent semifinalists, “Musicality” and their Concert Choir. It was an extremely exciting experience to sing for them, and hearing them sing to us. Afterward, we spontaneously broke out into a rap battle and became really good friends through the music we shared. (Shoutout to Reggie and Anna). Later, we found ourselves singing underneath The Bean as it started to lightly snow. As the chill started to nip at our noses we walked down the street to go to the Art Institute of Chicago. It was so overwhelming but absolutely mesmerizing. My favorite part was going to ‘Modern Art’ where there was sensory art (like a giant matress that you could jump on while there was 70’s music playing. Or digging your feet into warm sand even though it’s 30 degrees outside.) Something special that happened later that evening was having supper at an authentic Mexican restaurant, “Ceasars”. Wow, it was incredible. (and I’m typically not a huge fan of Mexican food but this was a whole new experience.) I also got to sit with some lovely ladies (Summer, AJ, and Grace) who I couldn’t have imagined a better time with. After stuffing ourselves we got to have front row seats to Blue Man Group. I wish I had pictures of this but you’re not allowed to take pictures or videos (Which was actually really nice to disconnect and be in the present). I have seen Blue Man Group when I was younger and this was a totally different experience. Both experiences were thrilling, and I plan to go again in the future.
Starting the day off, we traveled to Shed Aquarium. I was so lucky to have my mom on this trip so I spent most of my day with her! 🙂 She knows me so well and we took off to where the otters are because…otters. They are so adorable. After Shed, we drove to Navy Pier. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend a lot of time at this destination, but I am determined to go back sometime when it’s warm! In the afternoon we went to Michigan Avenue for lots of shopping and seeking out some Garret Chicago popcorn mix. Mom and I, being chocoholics, spent a significant amount of time in Ghirardelli’s Chocolate shop. As the sun was starting to set we made our way up the Hancock building to the 360 Chicago Observatory. We watched Chicago’s city lights rise as the sun descend behind towering buildings in Chicago. It was an incredible trip, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the life I’m living and the people I am so blessed to have in it.
A huge thank you to everyone who came to the show!
If you missed it here are some photos from the event:
Featured: Abby Kohut-Jackson, Megan Quist, Bit Klecker, Belle Qualey, and Kaitlyn Stanton
Runway Shots PC: Willipino Sabalburo Jr.
This last weekend I had the privilege to model in Instinct’s Fashion Show! Instead of modeling for the incredible Marina Qualey (find her on marinaqualey.com) I modeled for a very talented designer and UMN track runner, Sarah Klecker. Her sportswear line was named “Spark” which was inspired by the women and coaches that she has worked with over the years. Being an avid athlete, I have always wanted to model athletic wear. When I got a message from Sarah offering me to model for her first athletic line, I was thrilled. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience with any other group of girls. The talent behind the designers and the models are incredible. If you ever find yourself talking to one, you will learn so much about their experiences and hidden talents.
“Grow through what you go through”
As many of you know, I had a back surgery on my L-5 S1 after herniating a disk in my spine last year. This caused sciatica which is a fancy word for numbness and pain down the side of the leg. This is a typical thing that happens to 60-80 year olds as their bodies get older. (If this doesn’t make me any more of a teenage granny than knitting and baking then I don’t know what does) My doctor said it was most likely caused by repetition of playing hockey for so many years or increasing my weights for weight training too fast. Ultimately after getting the surgery, I was told that hockey was no longer an option for me. This put me in a downward spiral for a bit. On the outside, I tried to remain my usual happy-go-lucky self, but on the inside, it was difficult to let go of something I have loved and lived for so long. It hurt to say goodbye to something so quickly without being able to prepare myself for it. There were many questions of “Who am I?” Thankfully I had so many wonderful people who helped me remember who I was whenever I doubted myself. They encouraged me to follow my dreams and aspirations, and that is exactly what I did and am still doing today. I decided with the amount of time I would have been playing hockey, I should work towards trying new things, meeting new people, and bettering myself in new ways. I realized that there is so much this world has to offer, and if one door closes you can open up a new one. With a positive mindset and ambition to explore new things, nothing can get in my way. So to the people who ask how I am, I am doing better than ever. My pain is hardly noticeable as long as I’m active and make smart decisions when working out. I learned so many things about myself and just life in general last year. I learned that good or bad we can always take away a new lesson from our triumphs and failures. Last year was definitely a ride, but it has helped me become the person I am today. I am very thankful for the many people who helped me through such a difficult time, and I am more than excited for what the New Year brings.
My name is Belinda Qualey but I go by Belle.
My favorite thing to do is to talk. I love to have long conversations with the people that are important to me and even with people I just met. I love to hear their stories, triumphs, and current struggles. Making close connections with people is special to me. This is kind of why I’m making a blog. I spent so much time scrolling through feed on my phone that I was neglecting the people around me. So now I’m trying to start a new outlet and stop my mindless scrolling on other medias. I know, I know, I’m starting another online account to try and get off the internet? Well, on this blog I’m not scrolling through feed and living a fake life on the internet. I am no longer controlled by numbers. Honestly, I typically never wear makeup in my daily life, but on my Instagram, I don’t think that there’s one photo of me without makeup on. There are so many people trying to glorify their lives online because we all just want to be liked, but to me, pretending isn’t worth it anymore. I want to connect with others in person and not through friend requests. On this blog I’m going to be myself as if I am the only person who sees this. So, without further ado, this is my blog.