The Run Up To The Awards:
Let me add, even at this point I am still not feeling worthy of even the nomination let alone being in the final 3 and attending the awards. I know some amazing people including Rocky Road herself who has struggled through life just as much as me... read her blog it's new but it's amazing!... I know mums and women who have been through hell and come out the other side and are now doing more and more for everyone else and not getting the praise they deserve! There are so many amazing people that I have the privilege to know or know of, that deserve this award nomination so much more than me! I just don't feel worthy.
The Awards Ceremony:
We decided to treat this like a prom... as I'd never had one, so Red and Rocky came to mine early for a bit of a girly hair and make up session. After a fight with my hair and face all evening I some how managed to sort out my make up and hair in time to be picked up by my Dad, Step Mum & Sister.
We were greeted at the Hilton Hotel, I got a special Rose to demonstrate that I was a Nominee, I felt all special!! Then we met everyone else inside and we were greeted with a glass or two of wine. We had a few pics taken by Charlotte Snowden the professional photographer for the night. When everyone else was ushered in to the dining area the Nominees had to stay behind and be paraded in... I wasn't expecting that, so I started to panic a bit. I had a good chat with some of the amazing women that were nominees in different categories all looking absolutely fabulous. Feeling ever so humbled by their presence I spotted a familiar face in which I thought I knew also with a rose on... I am notoriously bad at names and faces so decided to wait for her to approach me... as this is my usual tell tale sign I do know them. After a few more pics, we were paraded in to some music, with clapping and cheering we all made our way to our tables, which were full of our excited proud loved ones... well mine was anyway. And do you know what?... It turns out I did know that girl! We had done a few fitness classes together with Mad Lizzie from GMTV and that was why she was there... She now worked for Lizzie helping teenagers on the brink of criminal lives! I knew a bit about her background from our chats before and from that minute I was hoping that she would win. 'If I win against her', I thought, 'I would feel like an even bigger fraud than I do already'. This girl has amazing passion and has been through the mill over and over and has come out the other side with a huge smile and a successful career! She is a true inspiration and I think knowing her made me feel even more humbled to be in the same category as someone who has come so far after so much.
The rest of a night was amazing with an amazing meal, a few games and some amazing stories about each of the nominee's and we learnt a lot more about the Sue Ryder organisation... My face was even flashed up on the screen over and over during the night... that was freaky! We were the second to last award to be announced... which didn't help my nerves. My table of fans were getting more and more excited... dancing away, RED & SISTER in particular. When they read out our nominee reasons I was yet again humbled to even be involved as the other Women were so worthy, and there were a lot of tears from all of us.
Sadly I didn't win... When I say sadly I wasn't sad, as Krystal (the girl I knew) had won. I really do feel the best person won on the night and I'm not just saying that. I really wasn't expecting to win and I was just lucky to be there with my family and friends and to have made them so proud to have just been there with me. Next year I will be nominating others rather than being the nominee... just so I can get dressed up again! :smileyface: ... And let's face it not everybody can say they are a Sue Ryder Young Women of Achievement Nominee... now can they!
Do you know what my favourite part of my night was though... Not the awards or the praise from others, but seeing my Dad so proud of me. I haven't really given him much to be proud of in my life and his face that night made me feel like I had suddenly taken all that and thrown it in the bin and lit a match. He told me he was proud of me! I wanted to cry... But I know that makes him feel awkward... and my make up would run so I stopped myself and held the tears in.... I'm lieing I went to the toilet and had a few tears but I was just happy to have made him happy... Finally. My Dad is a stubborn little... well he's a Baillie, I'll leave it at that... but he has his ways... and his way is to keep feelings stum and that leopards have to work hard to change their spots.... He's a hard nut to crack and to see him crack at the awards was breath taking. He just kept telling me how much I've changed and how amazed he was. Little did he know I changed a good 9 years ago... well 6 or 7... ok maybe just a few years ago but I always thought he'd never stop seeing me as the wayward 15 year old... This was the day that changed that I think... this was the day that I became the me in his eyes that everyone else has been seeing. EUREKA MOMENT!!
I think this whole experience has been a little bit grounding. Hearing about all the charity work that other women do made me more determined to up my game and do more. I am determined to help more charities get their word out there and I will need your help, not your money, but your time, effort and care... Watch this space Bloggers.
All Photo's used on this post were taken by Photographer Charlotte Snowden and are available to purchase along with others taken on the night from Charlotte's website Click Here to see the other images from this fantastic event. Charlotte is a Henley based Photographer and has a fantastic portfolio of photo's, go and take a look on her website or like her on her Facebook page.