Jul 07, 2022
3 mins read
“And the winner is… Tosin Adeboye.”
The room erupted into applause.
I sat in my chair frozen as the camera zoomed in on my shocked expression.
Was this real? Had I just heard correctly? Was that really my name that had just left Jennifer Zane’s mouth? This could not be real. No, I couldn't accept it. I wouldn’t! I must have blacked out and this was one of those vivid dreams. The type that feels so real, that when you wake up you feel so heartbroken and betrayed by your own mind; angry that it could be so cruel to conjure up something that you wanted so badly, and for it to turn out to be a whole lie was truly devastating.
No this couldn’t be real. Could it?
The sounds of the rapturous applause that rang around me snapped me out of my denial. I felt myself being lifted up from my seat as people in the crowd began to stand up.
I felt my ears redden and tears began to prickle at the side of my eyes. Butterflies threatening to escape from their cocoons deep within my stomach.
I shakily tried to stand firm in my heels, once I was finally up from my seat. But I felt like I would collapse at any moment.
I felt Chris was beside me, enveloping me into a hug and steadying me.
"I told you," he whispered in my ear, reassuring me.
The smell of his familiar scent seemed to ease me a little and I took short quick breaths trying to calm myself down.
He squeezed my hand, and I made my journey towards the stage.
I don’t know how I made it there in one piece, as my mind was consumed with silent prayers that I didn't trip over the hem of my dress or that my heels wouldn't betray me. But suddenly there I was at the bottom of the stairs.
Swallowing hard, I made my way up the steps and headed towards Jennifer. I approached the podium and blinked back the tears. Jason would not be happy if I messed up at this moment. I could hear his voice in my head telling me snap the fuck out of it and I smiled.
Jennifer handed me the award. I felt time slow down as it left her hands and entered mine.
It felt cool and heavy in my hands. My knees began to buckle, but I firmed it. My body’s dramatics would not ruin this moment for me.
"Congratulations," Jennifer mouthed, giving a warm hug.
Thank you, I mouthed back.
I turned to the audience and proceeded to give my acceptance speech.
I spoke about my humble beginnings and my drive to never give up. Even though there were so many obstacles that wanted to tear me down. I expressed how lack of self belief almost stole this moment from me, but I had never allowed it to fully consume me. I thanked all those that had been there for me throughout this journey, uplifting and believing in me and helping me become the woman that I was today.
Once I was done, I headed backstage to the winners room and was greeted by a burst of flashes from photographers screaming my name.
For the first time in my life the imposter syndrome that I had found so hard to shake off was nowhere to be seen. I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
It was written down in stone and so it was meant to be.
I had truly arrived. And life was about to become a bit more exciting.