I can just imagine myself striding purposefully across the dark carpeted floor, yet feeling for each step tentatively as if learning to walk for the first time. When I climb to the top, the acute nervousness that wasn't there before takes hold over me and the bright studio lights suddenly feel much too close overhead. It's so hot up here. Why did I wear this jacket? Does my blog look good in this? I can't take it off, it's too late for that. Everyone is watching.
Perspiration is beading on my forehead and I brush it away, looking solemn, pretending to run my fingers through my hair. A woman whose face I know but whose name I can't seem to detach from the roof of my mouth at this very present moment, greets me on stage with congratulations and presents me with an award I've spent months coveting in secret. I clear my throat and lean in..
'I'd like to thank my friends and family foremost for their unwavering support. Without their creative criticism and encouragement I would not be where I am today. I'd also like to thank my agent for providing a platform from which I have been able to express myself in all creative aspects. And a big thank you to those who have followed me throughout the years and knew me from humble beginnings. Thank you and God bless you all!'
I manage to stutter through a speech I've said many times before in a semi-conscious state of daydreaming. And then relief washes over me. I step back from the microphone, astounded. I finally did it! I DID IT! With the trophy camera held tightly to my chest, I make a quick retreat down the stairs, nodding to the judges in earnest and grinning proudly. There's a congratulatory drink waiting at the table and as I nestle down amongst friends I raise my glass above our heads to a cry of 'Cheers!'. This year couldn't have started in a better way.