About

Hi, I’m Mabel.

I’m a writer, blogger, introvert and more.

On this blog you’ll find my thoughts about multiculturalism, cultural habits and what it means to be Asian in Australia. This blog is also a space where I share my passion for writing – and where I motivate others to be creative no matter their cultural background.

I was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Chinese-Malaysian migrant parents. For a decade, I lived in Malaysia and Singapore, finishing school in Asia and then moving back to Melbourne.

Living in different countries, I’ve learnt to appreciate diversity. Different cultures make the world interesting. 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 and ethnicities. We all have different opinions, different roles and are unique in our own ways. None of us have all the answers to every question. In fact, the world and cultures are constantly changing. The least we can do is listen and learn from others.

Being Asian Australian and introverted

Quite often, I find myself transitioning between a persona favouring Chinese values and a persona taking on the Australian / Western mindset.

I’ve always felt either too Asian or not-Asian enough in countless situations. It didn’t help that I was a quiet 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 like a letdown, confused about my reserved personality and cross-cultural affiliations, having no confidence 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 stories always makes me feel alive, just as intertwining both logic and creativity within words to enhance others’ perceptions speaks to me.

I then completed studies in cultural studies, focusing on ethnic identity construction and performance through media and digital communications 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 my own, trusting my inner voice and nurturing my subconscious mind to awaken clarity surrounding my craft. Using writing as a tool to help others reflect and reach their potential, I mentored private clients on articulating their online brand, contributed self-help features for publications and built a highly engaged global audience on this blog.

Yarra River. Yarra River. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Naarm, the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.Melbourne, Victoria. Australia.

Yarra River. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Naarm, the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.

Today I’m a proud quiet creative and embrace both Asian and Western personas. I’m an accomplished writer who still listens before speaking, takes off shoes at home and saves more than I spend. Still a stereotype.

Being an introvert caught in-between cultures is often seen as problematic and not normal. It shouldn’t be. Being a 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 to make an impact in the creative sphere or anywhere else. You can be quiet, average and hide from the world yet still find success and purpose in what you do.

My written work

Guided by introversion and intuition, I help you balance conflicting cultural identities while cultivating creative passions. Through my narrative non-fiction writing, I help you accept and most importantly own your unique identities – building confidence in what you do and rising above limiting cultural beliefs.

My writing primarily revolves around exploring the significance of everyday traits, traditions and lifestyle habits. I focus on crafting in-depth reads on negotiating cultural identities and analysing transience within ethnic social mobility in a globalised society. Through my blog and broader work, I encourage others 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, the writing process and self-improvement.

Outside of this blog, I take on freelance writing work. I’m also writing a book about being Asian Australian and the challenges of being creative. In my spare time I am a landscape photographer, read, play video games and practice inner work.

Thanks for reading.

346 thoughts on “About

  1. First, thanks for the follow. Second, I like you!!! We have several things in common so that explains my three “!” before this sentence 🙂 Plus, I’ve always liked the way you engage in discussions over at Lani’s blog. I know it’s safe to say you are much younger than me, judging by looks alone, but I feel quite a maturity in you. Good luck on your book 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your blog is quite refreshing!
    I love to read about your perspective as an Asian Australian, as I believe that not many people are aware about that.
    I have a question if I may ask. How come you spent overseas in Malaysia and Singapore for school?
    It honestly sounds amazing, and I do quite envy you!
    I wish I was raised for a significant time either in Burma or Thailand.
    Did you accent changed a lot when you came back to Oz?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Suaylia. You are very kind and thank you so much for reading 🙂

      My family was the “parachute” kind of family, with my dad traveling a lot of for work. So, my family got to live in Singapore and Malaysia when I was a kid, and even when we moved around within these countries quite a bit.

      As for my accent, it has always been evolving. These days, in some situations I sound more Australian than Malaysian and vice-versa in other situations. But when I think in my head, it’s mostly Malaysian.

      Your background sounds very interesting and unique, and you must have your own unique story to tell 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Mabel
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment, appreciated. I noticed the alignment of the stars when framing the shot, so tried to include as much of the sky without cropping too much of the road. Considered using a wider angle lens, but thought it would reduce the scale of the mountain, so stayed with the 24mm instead :-):-).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello,AmazingBlog You have,very happy to be here,hey please if you have some time take a look on my site and tell me what You think about my photos,i appreciate ,not much people visit me because my photos is weak ? i want to know Your opinion ,if You can tell somebody , tell friends about me about me i do not want to die in silence of art , Take care good soul

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Enjoying reading some of your posts, Mabel! As an Asian (Sri Lankan) living abroad as well, I share a lot of your experiences. Thanks for commenting on my blog, and I’m looking forward to following yours and reading more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Mabel, thought I would say hi and encourage you with a thank you. I’ve been reading a few of your posts and they have been a blessing to me. You speak well and I quoted you in one of my own blog posts! Your experiences helped clear up mine as a Chinese-American, and I didn’t realize that Asians in Australia face similar issues. Keep on writing!

    Moire

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Moire. I really loved the ‘…why are you white?’ post that you wrote. It has so many thoughts on being Chinese-American, and you also voiced some of my feelings which I haven’t been able to describe in words. Personality vs values is such an important concept to think about and you have made me look at it in a different way. Once again, thank you so much and it is so lovely to have connected 🙂

      Like

  8. Hello! I just discovered your blog – I am a Malaysian migrated to Sydney after studying and falling in love with this beautiful country. However, there are some darker sides to life in the lucky country and some of your posts really strike a chord on what being ‘Asian Australian’ is. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Sue-Wen. It is so true there is a darker side to life in Australia – it’s a fact and something all of us should talk more about. Stay safe and take care.

      Like

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  10. HI Mabel! It’s great to meet you & find your blog! As someone who is still struggling to find that perfect compromise between Chinese values and Western mindsets, I completely understand the transition you make in everyday situations. I look forward to reading posts on your blog and engaging in discussions on multiculturalism and diversity 🙂

    ~Jade

    P.S. I’m also Chinese-Malaysian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is so hard to find a compromise between Chinese and Western values… I guess people will talk and judge but at the end of the day, our lives is ours to live. Amazing you are Chinese-Malaysian too! So glad to have connected with you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Mabel! So lovely to meet you! Thanks again for visiting my blog earlier today. 🙂 What a fun photo you have of Link trying to pick up a fight with you. 😉 I look forward discovering and reading your blog! We seem to have a lot in common, apart from all things art – and here I include writing as well – I´m also very interested in multiculturalism. Have a happy weekend! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the charming drawing on your banner and pleased that you commented on my blog yesterday. Now, I’m commenting on yours.

    There is much to admire here, including the fact that you embrace diversity. Again, thank you, Mabel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Marian. The header was designed by a wonderful artist called Anna/Pinodesk 🙂 So lovely of you to stop by here, Marian. You are very kind and hope you have a wonderful day!

      Like

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