I’m Lost. But Thank YOU

Exactly one year ago to this date, I started this blog and put up my first post.

Since then, I have somehow managed to put up posts about being Asian Australian, multiculturalism or cultural norms every Thursday. And people far and wide around the world are reading and commenting on what I post.

There's a path ahead of me. I wonder what lies ahead. Uncertainty. Photo: Mabel Kwong

There’s a path ahead of me. I wonder what lies ahead. Uncertainty. Photo: Mabel Kwong

I never expected this. This whole activity of blogging and the blog itself feels very surreal to me. It is also precisely this experience that has made me a stronger person on several fronts and is the reason why I feel so lost in terms of what I want to do in life.

I started this blog because I was a fresh, unemployed graduate itching to do something with my time. It had hit me how much I enjoyed stringing together theory and weaving together words when I was editing an academic article a few months back. So I decided to start the blog, writing about what I believed in – a world with people from different backgrounds where difference is the norm.

Putting out a post each week is not my favourite part of blogging. Apart from reading and commenting on other blogs, it is actually responding to YOU: your comments, be they agreeing or disagreeing with what I have to say, and seeing people commenting on others’ comments below my posts. This is what I love doing – sharing ideas and connecting people regardless of race through alphabetical scrawlings.

The fear of running out of ideas for the blog always haunts me. Somehow this has not been the case – so far – and I have steamrolled from one topic to another. Through fleshing out ideas on what it means to be different, I have come to acknowledge that I am Asian Australian. On another positive note, through interacting with many bloggers over the past year, I have been forced to come out of my shy person shell a little and try to come across as an interesting person in my comments.

But there are always two sides to every coin. Since landing a full time job (plus juggling another casual one working up to 12 hours some days) which is not my cup of tea but am grateful for some months back, I am pressed for time to do the things I want to do. I am rushing tasks. I am sleeping less. On a number of occasions, I have fallen asleep sitting upright in a chair listening to upbeat music. And it is because of this tiredness I am finding it hard to crank out analytical posts of the caliber that I want to. I have been slower in responding to comments than before. This makes me sad. Other bloggers blog daily, and I would like to try posting more but time is not on my side.

Then there is the question: Where do I want to go with writing? I don’t know. I had a copy-writing stint in a hectic Melbourne newsroom sometime ago but as I am slow at writing, I did not fit in that well. What lies ahead in the road for me as a multicultural blogger? I don’t know. But the more I write – finalising posts, taking photographs, designing the layout for the blog – the more I realise writing stories is not just a hobby, but a passion of mine.

In a sense, the blog has come to define who I am. When I do have time to catch up with friends, they always ask about it. Speaking at Kurunjang Secondary College a couple of months ago made me realise that some people take my blog seriously. On an interesting note, in the middle of this year, I had a dream: two people came up to me in the city and said “Hi”, recognising me as “that famous blogger”.

Come end of December, I will be unemployed once again. I have absolutely no plans after that. I might be able to devote more time to writing, but I have a feeling I will be running around like a headless chook trying to rake in a stable stream of income.

In the meantime, mediocre hard-hitting posts on diversity will be back next week and I want to say…

Thank YOU for your support 🙂

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14 thoughts on “I’m Lost. But Thank YOU

  1. Alas, time on this world is so short and if you get lost, you can see so many interesting alleyways to explore that is easy to get frustrated that you can’t explore them all.

    It would be nice not to have to earn an income and just write. Some writers manage that but that may also mean confining writing topics to the more beaten track as these tend to have broader appeal to others. Unfortunately, that can also lessen their appeal to ourselves. Sigh!

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    • A very deep thought you have there. Sometimes when we can’t explore something or someplace, we are forced to use our imagination to imagine how things/places will be like. There’s always peer pressure to write about popular and appealing topics, isn’t there? We would be kidding ourselves as writers if we did that all the time. But this may not be all that bad – having more readers would probably amount to more feedback, feedback that can inspire you to write about better topics.

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  2. Yeah! congrats 🙂 I’m waiting for my 1 year anniversary too as I also started the first post in this month.

    I’m glad to meet you here as I enjoy reading your posts which I sometimes agree/disagree with. I also want to thank you to introduce Natalie Tran to me. I’ve never known her before until I met your post about her. And when I went to see her videos on Youtube, I really liked them!

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    • Thank you Completely Disappear! Thanks for the nice words, I really appreciate it. I like your blog a lot. With every post you put up stunning photographs, both with and without filter, taken mainly with the camera on your iPhone. I’ve always wanted to take photos as good as yours. You have a good eye for photography and know how to place subjects so well to photograph them, and I feel I have a lot to learn from you!

      Oh, on a side note, no offense, but I still don’t know your name 🙂

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  3. I know exactly what you mean, Mabel! My blog has become a very big part of my life, too, which is something I never expected! I really didn’t imagine that anyone other than my parents would ever read my blog… I also understand not being able to blog every day (your readers wouldn’t have time to keep up with it, anyway!) and worrying about running out of things to say as well as the quality of your writing… All I can say is that a) I find your blog fascinating, and b) it is always very well written! I’m glad you started it and congrats on making it to a year, and I’m glad you’ve discovered you love writing and are planning to continue doing so! I would be very sad if you quit your blog!

    I can also totally relate to feeling uncertain about your future. One thing *I* worry about is repeating myself over and over again on my blog, because uncertainty has been the whole tone of my life for a long time now! Anyway, I guess at least we’re not alone…!!!

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    • Thanks for the nice words, Jess. I would love to blog everyday but I think it will be too stressful for me! Quitting my blog, well, I really want to entertain the idea (don’t want you to be sad too) but the idea of slowing down and writing less has crossed my mind. Repeating the same ideas again and again can get tiresome for readers, but on the upside it shows you’re committed to what you believe in. I enjoy your blog tremendously. Your poems are so well written and they make me visualise things, and I like them. I used to despise poetry – my teacher gave me mere passes for all the poems I wrote in a creative writing subject at university.

      Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but of late I’ve attempted to switch around my writing style. I’ve tried to put more “personal into them” (last week’s post about accepting who I am is one such post, and my favourite to date 🙂 ). I might continue writing more in this style, or I might not…I don’t know!!!

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  4. Hi Mabel, greetings from the desert of southern California!
    I found your blog by happy accident, and am new to blogging compared to your one year of experience so far, and I have to say, its been a wonderful experience. I am, in this point of my life, starting over. Few possessions, a smattering of college education but with years of experience, and the ability to travel anywhere I wanted if I only had the budget to do so. Since I left the Seattle area in January of 2013 to begin my trek south into California and Nevada, I have met incredible people, worked strange and interesting jobs, and become connected with causes that I never thought I would be aware of, let alone be a part of. When I read your blog, I am reminded that I really do need to work more at translating my experiences to a written form, and how you inspire me to set the example for new bloggers that way you did for me. Take care, stay inquisitive and I’ll see you around the blogosphere!
    Michael

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Michael. Thanks for your kind words. It seems like yesterday I started my blog, and I would say I still have a lot to learn in terms of making my blog (and writing) more engaging and interesting to read. Sounds like you had lots of fun traveling, meeting people and experiencing things out of the ordinary – lots of fodder for cranking out stories when you have some quiet time to yourself. Starting over is always exciting in many ways. I remember when I first moved back to Melbourne, I had an empty apartment, no furniture and ate instant noodles on the floor!

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