I had good intentions to take photos on Saturday night. I even packed my camera into my evening bag, battery charged and ready to go. But the night didn’t play out the way that I had expected. I took my camera out only once. Two photos were snapped. Good intentions and expectations swayed to the ebb and flow of the night.
I guess that is what #voicesof2014 has been all year – a journey of expectation. Expectations that have ebbed and flowed, that have liquefied and froze. Expectations that for most of the year felt like my hands were bound and tied.
In the week leading up to the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Gala the culmination of the year, the anticipation of the awards, the night itself, even the hashtag – was the crazy in mind. Oh how I wish I could sit here and say that I did not feel nervous or apprehensive about the night, that I was carefree about the awards and who would win them. I wasn’t.
Instead I was a spectator to a battle between my ego and my humility. My humility chastised my ego in its hunger for winning, my ego defiant in defending its worth. The slander and accusations going to and fro in my heart and my mind weighed me down. I don’t know why I expected it to be different. Why I thought it was more righteous to expect not to win, or why it was more humble to not even want to win.
As time drew closer to the Gala I resigned from the battle, from being an active participant. I found my focus in the Universe, the possibility I had been counting on all year and that ever so small glimmer of believing in my worth – whatever the outcome would be. It was enough.
The Kidspot Voices of 2014 Gala at Sketch was truly a night of fairy tales. Beautiful dresses, meeting amazing people, sipping one champagne or two while sharing a laugh and a hug with bloggers I had grown to love through their words and our connection online.
But the night was teased with the taint of expectation. It lingered in the room like a thin, almost invisible thread. A silver thread that weaved through conversations, tugged at hearts and hands, was caught in the doubt and drowned in the champagne. As the awards began to unfold and one round of applause was followed by another the expectation lifted.
There is a difference between hoping and knowing. A concrete difference. Hope leaves us open and vulnerable, mocked by possibility. Knowing is absolute and definitive. Hearing your name being called out – or not hearing your name being called – extinguishes hope. You are either left holding the award or you are left with nothing. Or at least in that moment it feels like nothing.
My inner voice would not leave me alone all night at the Gala. Screaming and pestering me from the inside. I caught glimpses of things that made me start to believe that the category and overall winners already knew they had won. Glimpses that started to make me feel defeated and insignificant. Glimpses that felt like they were confirmed as the final four awards were announced.
But in the end none of that matters. The knowing, or not knowing, the element of surprise or the cramp of disappointment all fall aside. The winners in all of the awards and all of the categories are truly deserving of their achievements. An honour they worked hard for and an honour they deserve to be congratulated for. Their success defines a future we should all be proud of, as we contribute towards it in our own way, with our own words.
As my tired feet begged me to go home, I took a moment to reflect on my expectations walking in to what I was left holding in my hands as I walked out. I had an incredible night out with my sister. Her support is unwavering, a blessing I am truly lucky to have. I met incredible writers, bloggers and people who reached out and gave me tiny little moments of support and hope. I met people who read my blog. Who told me their mothers, grandmothers and husbands read my blog. I still catch my breath over how epic and significant that is to me. How hearing that shook my little world of expectation and doubt to its core.
I want to thank Kidspot. Wholeheartedly in all my gratitude thank you for taking a chance on me. Thank you to the judge or judges who believed, even if only for a moment, in my words and their possibility. I would like to thank all the sponsors; especially Olympus for connecting with my posts in a way that they felt was worth being awarded 4th place. Our family memories will be captured with my new camera and I thank you for that.
I know that even if I had the chance I would not write one word any different or capture one image any differently in my Kidspot journey. I know that in all my posts as part of #voicesof2014 I didn’t just give my all – I gave a little part of my soul and that is something I will always be incredibly proud of. That is enough for me. It was enough the moment I wrote the words.
My Kidspot journey started in Vietnam overlooking the South China Sea with a Vietnamese coffee in my hand. It ends here sitting at my desk at home, short black in hand and a half eaten vegemite toast. Somehow I can’t help but feel this journey never really had a beginning or an end and it is just part of a much bigger picture. A picture that I can’t quite see the edges of yet.
Oh as for those photos I didn’t take – please check out the incredible post from Fabulous Femme. Her images are simply stunning, I could just scroll through them over and over again.
A special mention to Clare – if you have not checked out Checks and Spots please do – her space is amazing, inspiring and at the edge of innovation. You will simply fall in love, congratulations Clare xx