The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘airport’

Michelle Ayuma ~ Creative Communications Specialist

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Michelle Ayuma - Creative Communications Specialist

“Slowly, I’ll rise and get up there. Slowly, I’ll reach the top. Slowly I’ll learn my lessons in life. Slowly I will try my best.” ~Anon

I think that what makes me unique is the fact that I can only function in creative environments. Literally! This is how I get inspired to do something, write a new story, design a new concept or even sing a new song. Also, as a humanitarian, I draw my passion from children. There is always something about children that gives me the courage to keep going, to keep hoping, to keep sharing love in different ways and hopefully leave the world a better place than I found it.

If there is something the world does not know about me, it would be that I started writing stories as a pre-teen. I was always a geek and I never got the chance to hang out with the cool girls or the cute boys in school. Writing helped me paint a world of my own with unique characters that often featured intercultural and interracial relations. At a young age, I picked this up real quick and so later on in life, I had more confidence to meet with people from different backgrounds and totally enjoy their company.

The lowest point in my life so far was about five yeas ago when adversity hit me hard to a point I launched into depression for about three years. After recovery, I came to have a deeper appreciation for life and seasons of loss as well. This helped me appreciate the scars of my past which made me reflect on my strengths which pulled me out of depression.

If I were to meet with the girl I was five years ago, I would tell myself that I am my only limitation because the future is as bright as I imagine it to be. Not knowing my worth is what led me to depression. I can only imagine what difference it would have made in those three years of my life if I was reminded that if I keep working towards my personal vision, I would stumble but I’ll have something to keep fighting for.

My greatest achievement so far is receiving an Enterprise Champion Award this year from OpenText for showing exemplary effort in the promotion of Knowledge Management best practices as a Communication assistant at CARE International’s East and Central Africa’s Regional Management Unit. What makes this a special achievement is that it was my first time interacting with the term ‘Knowledge Management’ but I did not shy away from learning about it. I requested for mentorship by some awesome colleagues in CARE Kenya and CARE Canada and they sure taught me so much and I had fun in the process. This also helped me teach regional staff members and regional communication focal points about fun and interactive ways to share knowledge with an extra African touch – storytelling. I am truly excited to see how some of the initiatives that I started carry-on even after my leaving the amazing CARE global family.

TOP 3:

Best: …travel destination of my dreams is a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara. I love Africa and Kenya to be specific. My country has got the best mix of bush to beach and a snow-capped mountain. How awesome is that!

Craziest: …dream is dancing in the streets of India like in Bollywood movies with a large crowd of people tossing colourful dye and flowers everywhere. Loved it!

Worst: …food is boiled cabbage. I cannot stand the smell of boiler cabbage. The sulphur… oh man!

BEST TIPS ON CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS:

1. Never compare your dream with that of other people. As a creative, you need to stand out as uniquely as possible.
2. Have a great appetite for learning. Look for opportunities to be mentored by people with knowledge and experience in your fields of interest.
3. Avoid negativity. This is poison to any living creative on the globe. Positivity creates a healthy environment for a creative mind.
4. Keep a journal and write down all of our ideas and thoughts. Reflect upon these from time to time and see how they actively influence your direction in life.
5. Keep-up with the latest news within your field of interest.
6. Invest in technology. Know the latest trends that would compliment your interests and your personality.
7. As a Christian, I love to pray and meditate. This always keeps me on check as I balance what I want out of life and what my purpose is while I am still on earth.

WHAT AM I UP TO LATELY?

After my time at CARE International came to an end, I went back to doing volunteer work as a mentor for young girls at Vision Africa’s Seed of Hope Center. Also, I am currently being mentored by the best of humanitarian communication officers who represent various INGOs at the regional communications network. As I look for my next opportunity to learn more about humanitarian communications and Knowledge Management, I am learning more about creative methods of communication. I am so happy and my heart is full!

I am 25years old.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email: ayumamichelle@ymail.com
Skype: Michelle.Senda
Twitter: @ayumyum

PS: Please share your thoughts with me. Thank you!

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HOW I SURVIVED DEPRESSION

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Much as I was excited to start my second year at the university, I sure did not feel like I was the same lady. All I felt was disappointment and his cousin called fear. For some reason, word had already spread round the school that I were a girl who “had it all”. As I interacted with schoolmates, there was always such a high  expectation of what I say, what I wear, the guy I am seen with, what I ate for lunch and how much I ate. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced in school life.

All I knew was how to remain socially invisible and just focus on my books. My expectations to remain socially invisible had gone down the drain once word spread across the campus that my two mates and I were the tallest girls on campus. I was horrified once I started experiencing what came with it all at once.

Suddenly, a classmate informed me that someone had placed a bet on me; to have sex with me and then he would win some money.
Suddenly, lady schoolmates felt the need to inform me as soon as I lost or gained weight.
Suddenly, everything I did went on the ‘campus grapevine’ and reached me at the end of the day.

In panic, I resorted to keeping my social circle on lockdown. My efforts were all in vain, for some ‘mates’ had been behind the betting, the rumours and the assumption that I were a politician’s daughter.

On the real side of my life, I was slowly sinking into depression. I was not okay and it took an emergency visit to the school clinic to know. As I walked to the hostel one hot afternoon, I felt faint in a way I had never felt before. A lady stopped me on my way to the clinic to ask if I was ok. But, she said this in reference to the weight I had rapidly lost. I told her that I was fine then staggered my way to the clinic.

After the nurse left me to rest and the fluid from the IV drip seeped into my body, I broke down and cried. For the very first time in my life, I felt so alone. The loneliness inside the hospital-scented room brought out the reality that had been existing inside me. I cried till my nose became hot. I sat in silence. Luckily, a good friend showed up and comforted me. Moments passed and others showed up as soon as they finished their classes. But, for some reason, I still felt alone.

When I went back to the hostel, I slept for a while and hoped to wake up feeling better. This was not the case. I soon received a call informing me that my only grandfather was no more. I had grown tired to a point my tears could not come out anymore. I felt so broken till my voice disappeared;I would open my mouth but no words could come out. Defeated, I lay my head on my pillow and woke up the next day confused but with enough strength to pack my bags and go to the village for the funeral.

All I can remember was that after the funeral, I felt more confident, stronger and complete. After a funeral? Yes.
Well, I’ve got God and my traditional culture to thank. Experiencing loss helped me discover my hidden pains, but also helped me appreciate what I’ve got left. I had my family with me and a great God who loves me. Love came rushing through my heart, kicked out depression and I had a wide smile on my face.

With this gift of a new appreciation of life, I had to carefully chose with whom to share it with. I am glad that we continue to share it even with the ups and downs that have challenged us in the years that followed and brought us to the beauty of today.

My hope is that this little story of mine will encourage you to let go of your past pains and have a deeper appreciation for what you’ve got left after a season of loss.

Love and Sunshine,
Ayuma

Old Love at the Airport

Today, I saw an old couple board a plane together and it almost brought me to tears in public. Why my emotions again? Let’s call them Bill and Kate.

Well, Kate had a shaky walk but Bill held her hand and walked with her patiently towards the plane till they reached the stairway. This is when it got too emotional for me.
Kate insisted to climb up the stairs on her own and so Bill did not stop her. Instead, he offered to carry all her bags so that she can focus on climbing up the staircase. Bill is old and the bags were obviously too heavy for him to carry but he still let his lady take up the challenge and walk up the stairs. Luckily, the gent who stood before me me was moved and he offered his strong shoulders to carry their bags.

It was clearly a time-sensitive moment since many other passengers were waiting to board the plane and it was drizzling, but Bill dared to watch his lady take up the challenge.

Kate struggled to raise her leg and I could even see the many spots on her legs due to old age. Step by step, she walked up the stairs with Bill by her side she made it to the top where they exchanged the most amazing and loving smiles.

I remembered that I had seen them at the waiting lounge at the airport where Bill sat on an opposite row of chairs as he watched over Kate. As she read her book, it seemed that she was totally oblivious that Bill was always watching her. Even as she walked towards a donation box for a children’s home, Bill turned to watch where she was going then continued to read his book when she got back.

As I walked towards my seat on the plane, I passed by their seat and witnessed the vibrant love in their eyes even in their old age. Bill really inspired me to know that a real man who loves a woman is like the hero who knows no season but a lifetime. Kate taught me that despite age and circumstances, there is always an opportunity to challenge one another so as to bring out the best in life partners.

I love old people and all the beautiful lessons I get to learn from them. Wherever Bill and Kate are, they might have literally been in their own world during the entire experience but their love taught me lots today. I may not know much about marriage or experiencing true love, but I am so glad to have met Bill and Kate today.

I hope this inspires you as well. Have a great day and weekend ahead good people!
 

With Love,

Ayuma.

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