In conjunction with International Women's Day, I was invited to speak at Canon's Be Empowered photography seminar for women on the 7th of March at Raffles Hotel.
It was a beautiful venue filled with wonderful people, the experience itself was something so exquisite, I feel I'm not entirely capable of putting it down in words.
Maye-e from The Associated Press did an amazing session with her super storytelling skills and epic photographs. We later found out that we were both Singapore Sports Award winners -- she was Sports Girl of the Year in 1995, and I '06. We also found out that her father knew my mother when I was in RGS, who he knew about me too and my air rifle shooting as well. And then we found out that my new assistant Valerie used to be under her care in the buddy-system they had in primary school, and they were thus suddenly reunited two decades later. Fate can be such a curious thing sometimes.
There was a break after Maye-e's talk. I was nervous when my turn came around, it was the first time I was speaking to almost 400 people.
Shaky voice and all, it still felt like I did alright thou. But when I was done and ready for my Q&A, when the emcee asked if anyone had any questions, there hung a deathly silence in the hall -- deathly.
I thought, well, I didn't think it was that bad, but maybe I really made a mistake with my contents for the wrong audience. At least I tried my best.
When the event was over, I got down the stage. Started having pictures taken with attendees and was eventually stuck there and never made it to the reception area outside for mingling around.
During the picture-taking I was told that my talk was good and touching, although still doubtful, I started to feel somewhat a little better.
Two girls then came up to me, one shook my hand as her friend was readying the camera for a picture. She told me she was actually just accompanying her sister to the seminar, but she found my talk touching, and inspirational.
Barely finishing that, she all but broke into tears whilst attempting to continue her sentences.
My mind pretty much went blank at that point.
I hugged her. Stunned that what I said could cause somebody to react so vehemently. It was something I'd never expected. It was a beautiful moment, one that I'll never forget.
That night I received emails from other women each with their own stories. Words can't convey how much they mean to me.
I really hope everyone who attended the seminar managed to gain a little something to bring home with them.
Thank you Canon for making such an event possible, and also your sincerity and efforts in supporting the arts for our society.