My name is Sarah Winchester. I am one of the new ladies this season on The Real Housewives of Orange County, a show which in many ways has changed how we view American drama today. I must say I feel deeply honored, not only to be given such an amazing opportunity, but also to be able to spend some quality girl time with Gretchen, Alexis, and Peggy, whom I consider to be the most amazing friends that anyone could ever ask for.
When I decided to participate in the show, it seemed very exciting to be able to share such a fun experience with some of my best friends. At the same time the "reality" of it all was extremely nerve-racking to say the least.
This was a very big decision for me to make. I just so happened to be going through a lot in my personal life at the time, and I knew that this season would definitely be a rollercoaster of emotions in every way possible. I knew that I would be faced with many obstacles. I was looking forward to new friendships, as well as experiencing something I have never done before.
Then the whole reality of the "not knowing what to expect" factor started to settle in, and I knew I was going to have to come to face all of the other ‘Wives at some point. I figured they most likely wouldn't relate to me, because we come from such completely different places. I was raised in a small farm town and rode horses growing up. Shopping wasn't glamorized there nearly as much as it is in the O.C. I wasn't sure how or if I would even fit in with some of these women. Growing up I never knew or cared what name brand things were. My love was for animals, horses, pigs, and cows, and animals really didn't really care too much about that kind of stuff. LOL. It took me awhile to understand the importance of achieving self-worth in this area. In the town I came from, a person was judged solely by who you were -- not what material things you had, drove, or lived in. Once I moved to Orange County, I was like a fish out of water. It was a complete culture shock for me. To put it nicely, it's truly a whole other world out here. I had no idea what to expect, so I always went with my rational side of thinking. To me, the key to opening up the world of acquaintances is not only to expand on similarities (even if there are few), but to keep an open mind and accept each others' faults and differences as they are. From what I’ve experienced, I really think you would have better luck walking on a dozen hot, flaming coals and not getting your feet burned than to be able to keep any type of peace among these women for an evening. Sure, everyone has their little angry moments and spats from time to time, which is normal, but life is seriously too short to judge. I have learned to let it go. Just forgive and forget. If there is an issue, what's done is done, just forgive and move on. Why let something that happened in the past ruin what happiness you could have in the future? It's just not worth it. I've really tried to keep a positive attitude this past year, because that's about the only thing I can control myself. I can’t control what others say and do, so there is no point in attempting to evade it. I have really tried to make an effort to steer clear of the crazy cattiness, unexpected drama, or the always classic unidentified flying object thrown by someone trying to make a point to someone else across the room. LOL. Who knows? Hey, it's all entertaining to me. Just grab a seat and open up a bag of popcorn and watch. LOL. I always say "if you can't beat 'em. . .join 'em." More than ever, I'm a very firm believer that patience is a virtue, especially when you are placed right in the middle of a group of women that are dealing with their own life issues. It’s like having too much testosterone in one room all at the same time. Good luck! I have definitely had a lot of ups and downs this season. I have learned a lot, cried a lot, and grown a lot.
But overall, I've found that in life, when confronted by low points, we are always able to find a wide open door for growth. You just have to take the time to realize it's there waiting to be opened and go for it. I have found my own personal self-worth through all of this and am very grateful to say the least. I know with God, a positive attitude, great family, and friends by my side, anything is possible.
The best way to summarize this season is to relate my life to songs. I absolutely love music! This season the songs of my life would include “Tainted Love,” “Bad Girls,” and “Ceremony.” It's crazy how fast life changes when you are thrown into the spotlight overnight. No one can really prepare you for how reality television changes your life and rocks you to your core. I found myself thinking a lot about both the joy and heartache that comes in life with the cost of trying to enjoy success in one area of your life and simultaneously, the cold, cutting affliction of losing out in another area.
I thank God for the support of my friends and family to help me get through it. I’m hoping that all of my fans will be there as I dare to dream with reservation and steadfast excitement for what still may come.
I know many of you have been through heartache too and know how hard it can be. If I can do anything to help one person who also felt like their heart was ripped open, it will have been worth airing the personal pain I go through this season. You will see how I secretly wish to scratch out the eyes of one woman on the show, and yet hope in doing so I do not break a nail. LOL.
I hope through what you see on the show you are able to find a sense of connection to a time when you felt how I did, and I hope I have your support as I take this journey and that by doing this show it brings me to a place where I am able to make a difference in any way I can.
This season to me is about every good and hard feeling one can experience. I have embraced them all. I share all of my heartfelt experiences with you in hopes that I can share your stories and try to support all of those that can relate. I encourage you to share your successes and hardships after my blogs and know that I am there with you and want you there with me.
Aside from some of the crazy cattiness, friendships are something I deeply value. Having a true friend share your life is like listening to songs that always make you smile. Music gets me through my hardest life moments and propels me to celebrate the happy ones from all life has to give. Songs are what help us heal, especially when it seems like time is all we have. For every family member, friend, or songwriter who ever helped me heal after a hardship and brought me to happy joyful tears, I sincerely thank you. I feel so blessed to have the real friends in my life. Nowadays, people tend to lose sight of what's important, especially in this world of new technology (cell phones, texting, tweeting, etc.) and having to keep up with the fast paced day-to-day challenges. I can honestly say that no matter what these girls had going on in their lives, they never left my side and helped me get through. I'm very thankful to all of my friends for the compassion, love, and support they showed me this year.
My ultimate goal is to do charity events to help raise money for animals shelters, children’s hospitals, cancer societies, MS research, and to raise money for families in need of financial support and food. Good deeds come in all shapes and sizes. Even if it's just a word of advice that I can give to someone out there that may need help, that would make everything that I went through, as hard as it was at times, without a doubt 110 percent worth it. I sincerely believe, no matter who you are or where you are from, we all really have the same day-to-day issues to overcome (some differently than others), but there always comes that point in everyone’s life when they need the support of good friends (which I refer to as "Little Angels") to be there and help get them through what seems impossible. I was there at one point too and was lucky enough to be blessed with three "Little Angels" this year -- Gretchen, Alexis and Peggy. You guys are the best!!! Love ya!