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#UwanmaTheGreat.





On Sunday I attended Brunch With Brains at Ginger Tapas with a bunch of beautiful women who really inspired me. I got there quite early and we waited a while for the anchor Shullz (Cool fm) to get there. When she did, the ball got rolling and to kick things in action we each had to introduce ourselves, say what we do and something very unusual that nobody knows about us. As I listened to each of these women talk about themselves so effortlessly, talk about their families, their hobbies, their adventures; exotic travels, mountain climbing, skydiving..., talks of being in Finance for 15 years, Oil for ten years and all what not, my mind struggled to come up with something halfway interesting about me before it got to my turn. 

For some reason it sounded like a brilliant idea to say I talked to myself and bounced ideas off a voice in my head who gave me pretty sound advice (yes I did say that. I should be flogged, I know). Yet when I started talking I realized it was the farthest thing from a brilliant idea. I had at least ten pairs of eyes glued to me, listening intently, smiling expectantly, eyes gleaming with excitement. Yet with each word I spoke I could see the glimmer leave their eyes, one after the other, like light bulbs in a house, going out one after the other. Their smiles were replaced by vacant stares and I could hear them wonder who let this loony out of the loony bin? The less sense I made, the more I struggled to be understood, the more I fumbled. I knew I should stop talking already, shut the heck up and keep it moving but I needed to redeem myself, to say something halfway sensible. Yet, my usually collected brain was obviously very addled and these women just stared at me questioningly, oh, I forgot to add that the video camera was right in my face, recording every second of my horror. I thought I would vaporize and vanish but something kept me going. 

I'm not sure why, it's unlikely she was fascinated by anything I was saying, she was perhaps just being polite and if that's the case then she's a damn good actress. Uwanma's grin stayed wide and her eyes' lights though they wavered, still sparkled, and that's what kept me going. 

Now I know she had no idea of this but I was and am really grateful. It was an act of kindness, smiling to encourage the bumbling psycho who felt out of her depth. It was the one reason I was able to sit through brunch without burying my head under the table. 

Oh, BTW after I talked about voices in my head, guess what, two women who spoke after me actually alluded to talking to or bouncing ideas off voices in their heads too. Someone actually said "Err, it's just like what Thelma said" and I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief and exhilaration; I'm not the only loony in the house!!!

After the talk when everyone got to networking and chitchat, one of the women said to me "I really liked your introduction". I thanked her and told her I knew she was only trying to encourage me and stop me from feeling terrible but she said "No, I really did like it, I mean it". Wow, she spoke with so much conviction so I will hold on to that, whether she meant it or not. LOL. 

I later learnt that Uwanma is an OAP with Inspiration fm and an HR professional. A lot of networking went on after brunch but I didn't get to talk to her. Yet I've thought about her with warmth and gratitude every moment since then. It's just like Maya Angelou said people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel. When everyone looked at me like a nutter, Uwanma encouraged me to say my side, tell my piece, and more importantly made me feel like my story was just as valid as everyone else's. 

So, yes it was little, it cost her nothing, but it was thoughtful and I'm so grateful. 

So people, the biggest acts of kindness sometimes cost absolutely nothing! Show some kindness guys. It could be a smile, it could patting your downcast colleague on the back, it could be polite laughter after someone has told a horrible joke, it could be words of encouragement for someone who needs it... Nobody ever lost anything by being kind. 

***

Good morning great people! What do you have planned for today? Are you sitting home all day? Anything special happening at the office? Got a hot date after work? Is that mean boss finally warming up to you? Is your office crush reciprocating the love? Are you in class already? Got a presentation? Staying home with the kid(s)? Plotting world domination? Preparing a marketing pitch? Cooking up a storm? What's up guys, give me the skinny on today.

Comments

  1. I'm going to show kindness today .. Maybe I will buy some new clothes for my baby's nanny..No plans for today .. I'm staying home with the kids .. Been craving peppery jollof rice .. Who will bring some for me ? Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'll come to your house. Not bringing peppery jollof rice o! The best I can do is apples or cookies, or I can take you to lunch, or you can take me to lunch... See you soon mama!

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    2. Ok bring apples AND cookies .. Bless. Xoxoxo

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  2. I'm plotting world domination oh ... Time is just misbehaving

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  3. I am traveling back to owerri from nnewi feeling sorry for myself, the hot Dr I went to see wasn't all that after all. #sadface#. Anyways I am back to eating too much, getting fat and promising myself to loose the weight. Any owerri bv willing to teach me makeup, pls hit me up, God bless u in advance

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  5. Thelma please write a book, I will so buy it I promise. I was laughing all through lol sorry.

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  6. I'm just sitting here in this pharmacy I'm doing my IT trying very hard to eavesdrop on this ultralow tone discussion between the pharmacist in charge and a young lady that just finished a pregnancy test ... I smell tension

    afterwards, #worlddomination

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  7. Sitting at home all day
    Doing nothing
    Looking forward to my sister's potatoes and Turkey
    Charla

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  8. what happened to you is good for you!
    lol... but i mean it. the more experiences we have, the more mistakes we make, the more embarrassing moments we have... well, the more well-rounded we become. now imagine you were giving a TED talk and started talking about bouncing ideas. that may have been embarrassing. but now the bouncing ideas have had their moment, you can talk of other more stimulating things other times.
    so embrace the embarrassment, it's good for business :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ada_ugo. Although I'm not pursuing a career where I would do a lot of public speaking I think I'll be proactive and take a few free online courses on public speaking. I'm sure it would help in my social interactions. Since I might need to network at events from time to time, I need all the help I can get.

      Delete
    2. Tee pls wen ur taking the courses point me to them too so I can take them too. I'm bored of staying home taking care of bambino I have to do something.

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    3. Thelma i doubt you need courses. I think you just got caught up with what others were saying about themselves.

      I stopped listening too hard to people about 3 years ago and started thinking about myself as "the queen of every f*cking thing"! I stopped downplaying myself without being proud and realised that half the time people dont know more than you or haven't neccessarily done more than you.

      Its all in how they deliver it.
      A tenured professor specifically asked for me to be on her subcommittee on education last week. I dont know much about education, but i demonstrated i was able to think articulate and deliver my ideas. I was beyond flattered to say the least.

      www.pynk360.com

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  9. Thelma the voices in your head can be quite healthy.
    I am home in bed watching tv after working for 3 hours. I couldnt help blurting out to a client that the agreement they wanted to undertake wasnt financially beneficial for them.

    I need more work...more money. I dont know why i am always giving away something either on the site or to just anyone, but i have no money. ��

    My husband is truly a God send, because i dont know if i can be married to a wife like me some days. Lol.

    I need a vacation but aha I have no money, Not even for Ghana right now.

    Ok i am going back to watching African Magic.

    www.pynk360.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all need more money miss punk please if u have more money making ideas don't hesitate to share lol... Enjoy ur African magic movies ;)

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  10. I have a doctors appointment this afternoon so off work today then hubby wants us to go and test drive a new Mercedes-Benz car that he is obsessed with...by the way no intention of buying it or money to do so, he just wants to go and torture himself in my opinion. Anyways I'll go with him and 'sit in luxury ' like he says lol.
    Then I have cooking to do which is like a burden nowadays as I hate the smell of food and the best thing hubby can make is to boil egg lol
    Then off too rehearsals.. Lonnggg day!!!

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  11. Thinking of how to smash my phone without spoiling it... trying to comment for like forever...forces be strong..Have a fab day T

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  12. Good for u thelma...mine is thinking of changing this phone that drags a lot, and plotting world domination. Lol

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  13. In the office, slow day and I finally got the AC repairer I've been chasing for the better part of one week to come fix the AC in my Boss' office. And it's my MUM's BIRTHDAY TODAY, don't know what to gift her or do for her.

    Happiest birthday mum. My love for you, nothing has been invented to measure or describe it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy birthday to your mum!! May God bless and keep her. :)

      Delete
    2. Happy birthday to your mum

      -F

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    3. Happy birthday to your mum. :)

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    4. A wonderful birthday to your mum! Abundance, peace, love and joy are my wishes for her.

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    5. HBD to your mum, God bless her

      Delete
  14. Aww Uwanma the great! Lovely thing she did!

    I can imagine how you would have felt but everyone's unique and gifted differently, and also have different rates - age wise, at which they succeed.
    Yes, finance 15years, who have you influenced positively. What's your success story apart from money?

    There are lots of intangible factors, value add, considered to confirm one as successful. Not just figures.

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  15. Nothing much travelling things...about traveling from port Harcourt to ibadan

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  16. Public speaking is one of my greatest challenges ever. Need ti fund a way to overcome it. Today and this week is all about working harder. Been a bit lazy, need to put more effort into making the paper

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  17. I just love the way thelma writes,good lawd!! See me laughing out so loud,welldone nnwandom

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  18. Very funny scenario T. I couldn't help but feel you, cos I have been in this mess once. I went for an interview in the form of a presentation.

    I was just saying a whole lot o gibberish, albeit with lots of confidence.
    As a matter of fact, I kept saying to myself, "sharrrap" but couldn't make myself stop.

    I did get the job however, cos in they liked my confidence and they felt I could do things differently.

    T, I'm sure you did okay, but since i can tell that you are your worst critic and you felt you could have done better.

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  19. had this training yesterday... the only lady(that's beginning to become normal) and of course i was still trying to figure out the complicated(for lack of experience) material and i was put on the spot twice!.... lol. i must have looked very confused and i felt so embarrassed! like he was asking questions i should know but because i didn't fully understand i just kept giving silly answers until i began to understand the questions. eventually i started answering him correctly but that didn't stop the embarrassment i felt(still feel) .... i'm just sooo sad right now.. i didn't even sleep well. smh for me. my sister feels i'm being a drama queen but i don't know. that's just how i feel. and i know i'm not overreacting. and i think i'm constantly trying to prove a point that i can do exceedingly well in a male dominated field and each time i fall below expectation, i kick my self very hard. i don't know.. i'm just blabbing... arrrgh!
    i have a presentation on Friday... Lord help me! *hugs self* (hope no one gets to read this... lol)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kabuoy being the only lady in that kind of setting says a lot about you. You're brilliant, you're strong and you're tenacious. Every woman in your shoes has felt the need to prove themselves in a male dominated world, so if it makes you feel any better, you're not alone in that struggle. I think it's great that you challenge yourself, you don't need to prove anything to anyone really, because the reality is that as a female, if you're not fantastic at what you do, you wouldn't be there in the first place. See, we'll have those moments, we'll learn from them, you were even able to redeem yourself eventually so what are you so sad about? Be happy sugar, your presentation on Friday is going to be amazeballs! I just know it. Hugs hugs hugs!

      Delete
    2. Thelma... this reply brought tears to my eyes.... thank you *hugs*

      Delete
  20. The experience I had that almost made me die of embarrasment was when there was this Pidgin Sports commentator audition goin on and I went for it. Thing is I felt since I report Sports at work daily (we run a sports service on mobile for telecoms companies) and I do the presenting in English though but I speak pidgin veeeery well, I decided to go for the audition and sitting in front of Nedu the Wazobia fm guy, I fumbled terribly! They were very kind and didnt make me feel so bad but in my mind, THE WHOLE Nigeria has seen me, all the people who know me have seen me...I nearly died before getting home but when I told my mentor he just encouraged me....Its ok thelma...we are all learning....#JoyDaNuGirl

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