Hi, I’m Mabel.
I’m a writer, blogger and an introvert.
On this blog you’ll find my thoughts about cultural norms, what it means to be Asian in Australia and introversion. This blog is also a space where I share my passion for writing – and where I motivate others to be creative no matter their background.
I was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Chinese-Malaysian migrant parents. For about a decade, I lived in Malaysia and Singapore, finishing school in Asia and then moving back to Melbourne.
Living in and traveling around different countries, I’ve learnt to appreciate diversity. When you interact with people from different backgrounds, you see things from different perspectives.
I believe it takes an open mind to facilitate conversations with people of different cultures. We all have different opinions, different roles and are unique in our own ways. None of us have all the answers to every question. The world and cultures are constantly changing. The least we can do is listen and learn from each other.
Being Asian Australian and introverted
I often find myself transitioning between an identity favouring Chinese values and one taking on the Australian / Western mindset.
I’ve always felt too Asian or not-Asian enough in countless situations. It didn’t help that I was an introvert growing up and still am. My parents, teachers, colleagues and friends labelled me, ‘too quiet’ and ‘so shy’ while encouraging me to excel at science instead of writing which I loved. I was conditioned to be a model-minority Asian stereotype.
For a long time I felt unimportant, confused about my cross-cultural affiliations and reserved personality, having no direction as a writer. The more I tried being the life of the party and speaking up at every opportunity, the more drained and ‘not enough’ I felt – especially in a predominantly Anglo-Saxon Australia where many are extroverted. Or just loud.
One day I realised the fire within me to write and motivate others through words wasn’t going away. I realised writing to enhance others’ perceptions and personal power gives me a sense of purpose.
I then studied in Cultural Studies at university, focusing on ethnic identity construction and performance through media platforms. While studying, I spent solitary weeks on end honing persuasive writing techniques and applied research expertise – and never felt more comfortable being productive and present in silence and stillness.
Following that I keenly worked in journalism and radio in Melbourne. The likable-outgoing-personality driven industry made me realise that a media career wasn’t for me.
Thereafter I took on freelance writing work and started this blog. Again I thrived working on in solitude, trusting my inner voice and nurturing my subconscious to awaken clarity surrounding my craft. Using writing as a tool to help others reflect and reach their potential, I mentored clients on articulating their online brand, contributed self-help features for publications and built a highly engaged global audience on this blog.
Today I’m a proud introverted creative and embrace both Asian and Western identities. I’m an accomplished writer who still listens before speaking, takes off shoes at home and saves more than I spend. Still a stereotype but also not a stereotype.
Being an introvert caught in-between cultures is often seen as problematic and not normal. It shouldn’t be. Being part of different cultures is a privilege, and introverts are deep thinkers, thoughtful decision-makers and generous friends.
You don’t have to be outspoken all the time to make an impact in the creative sphere or anywhere else. You can be quiet and contemplative and find success and purpose in what you do.
My written work
Guided by introversion and intuition, my mission is to help you negotiate cultural identities while cultivating creative passions. Through narrative non-fiction writing, I help you to be confident within your unique identities – rising above limiting cultural beliefs by embracing the power of introversion.
My writing focuses on exploring conflicting cultural identities, the significance of everyday habits and transience within ethnic groups – and most certainly highlighting the importance of introversion in an extroverted world. Through my blog and broader work, I encourage you to:
- Identify and harness both stereotypical and non-stereotypical traits as strengths
- Gain insights into managing cultural identity crisis and prioritising self-acceptance
- Acquire ways to have honest, level-headed conversations on culturally sensitive topics
- Learn strategies to balance being realistic and quietly, confidently pursue creative passions
My interests and other topics I write about include Asian diasporas, media relations and the writing process.
Outside of this blog, I take on freelance writing work. I’m also writing a book about being Asian Australian, belonging and the challenges of being creative. In my spare time I am a landscape photographer, read, play video games and am into astrology.
Thanks for reading.