Category Archives: Life of Xanth

The women that inspire me

I don’t usually like to make a thing of allocating one specific day of the year to a good cause or campaign, but I feel today is a good excuse to shout out the women that inspire me. It goes without saying that my mum, grandma and best friends are positive influences and inspirations in my life, so here are the females who inspire me and probably don’t know it/ never will.

Pauline Narvas: Me and Paw worked together a few years back. She was always a smiley, positive character who never let the perils of retail (and there can be a few at times) get her down. But I remember her coming into work one day crying, Pauline, crying? She was going through a difficult time to say the least and I couldn’t have imagined how she would bounce back. She took to the gym and is now actual body goals, she is CONSTANTLY working with other women all over the country with Code First: Girls. She’s just so sweet and positive I love her. It’s women like her that run the world.

View this post on Instagram

People would bully me for talking about a website I built when I was 8. Today I'm empowering ladies to be unapologetically "nerdy". After all, the Future Is Female. ✨#PressForProgress _ I turned all the "you're such a wannabe, a tomboy, a nerd" comments from years ago into something positive: an empowering community of girl powa developing things together (because they are inventors, creatives and belong in STEM), multiple freelance gigs, a part-time job, a flourishing hobby and a thing to speak about at keynotes! 🤷🏻‍♀️😉 Guess all I can say now is thank you for the setbacks; I'm BETTER because of them. – So hey, I'm Pauline, and I'm a developer, a techie, a lifter, an athlete, a STEM student, an ambassador, a teacher, a communicator and whatever-the-hell-I-want-to-be. 💪🏻 _ Today I'm celebrating #InternationalWomensDay with the thought in mind: if you want to be x, y, z, you be x, y, z. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't be anything because of your gender, your ethnicity or your background. – ✏️ "Turns out I can be both." [LINK IN THE BIO] – #IWD2018 #internationalwomensday #girlpower #thefutureisfemale #tech #digital #womeninstem #codefirstgirls #shefcodefirst #sheffielduni #shefunilife #pawlean #shecandoboth

A post shared by PAULINE P. NARVAS (@paw.lean) on

Maya Jama: Need I say more? She’s beautiful inside and out, she’s absolutely smashing her career and is so humble (my favourite trait in any celeb). I don’t know what else to say really she’s Maya Jama.

View this post on Instagram

WOMEN WORLDWIDE YOU POWERFUL BEINGS!! I hope today and everyday you walk with your head held high and embrace every beautiful thing about the way God made you, it's definitely not easy.. I could list a hundred struggles we have to go through and that's before we reach 20 but we go through it all because we are strong enough to👑 on days like today I'm grateful to all the women that stood before us and fought for our rights and the women stood today still fighting for them, we have deeper powers and I truly believe we are magical, I'm so blessed to be constantly inspired and motivated by so many amazing women daily ❤️ love you ALL & keep pushing the boundaries and chasing your dreams, when they tell you can't, keep going my loves ✨✨ p.s this is my women's health cover, being in the background of a picture in a magazine 3 years ago would have prob made me cry with excitement and now fucking looook 😂🙏🏾 #internationalwomensday

A post shared by Maya Jama (@mayajama) on

Frankie Clarke: Me and Frankie briefly know each other, but through social media she shares truly moving concepts and ideas, making me feel like I know her more than I do. She’s an articulate writer and thinker. She conceptualises those thoughts we sometimes can’t even understand ourselves into words- that’s talent. Her posts are so provoking and have encouraged me to focus much more on self-love, which I now believe is vital super- power we all should practice, male or female.

Laceinne/the.pinkcoconut: I don’t actually know her real name but they’re her IG handles. She’s an holistic lifestyle coach and a plant based vegan who’s not afraid to show it. She’s so caring for others, her community and the world. The things her and her partner do are just amazing. She has made me think so much more about what I put in my body and what I do for it. Health really is wealth and boy she is a walking epitome of health.

View this post on Instagram

I made my family a big vegan brunch yesterday! Hopefully you saw it in my stories because I didn’t get any pictures of the spread!🙈 I made sweet potato hash, tofu scramble (for dad), sautéed peppers and onions, fresh pico de gallo, lots of avocados, @samisbakery vegan and gluten free bagels (we even splurged for @earthbalance vegan and soy free butter!) and we also ate blueberry buckwheat pancakes! Everyone loved waking up to a completely organic vegan meal and I loved preparing it for them! Of course, I’m always a mom first and when my baby was ready to eat, I got her latched and continued cooking! She’s heavy😂 but we got it done! Just make sure to use the back burner so baby’s foot doesn’t get too close to the heat. We mamas multi-task!🤗 We can do it all!😎 #ThePinkCoconut 🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻 👻Laceinne

A post shared by Whole Foods Plant Based🥥 (@the.pinkcoconut) on

Peace and love ❤

Don’t tell me to smile, thanks :)

Like many women out there, I’m victim of an unfortunate and uncontrollable condition, commonly referred to as Resting Bitch Face (RBF). The most obvious symptom of this is displaying facial expressions of misery, anger or disappointment, despite the fact I might actually feel happy/content.

As a female suffering with RBF (all jokes aside now), I certainly don’t appreciate the arrogance of people who seem to be under the impression it’s there God given duty to let me know I’m not smiling, or better still, that I need to smile.

This genuinely is uncontrollable and by no means should indicate I am unhappy or need to be told to be happy…

I don’t go out to clubs and bars very often, but when I do I’m subject to petty, condescending comments, telling me to smile, or cheer up despite the fact I was actually having a good time BEFORE they had to come along and tell me that.

I know it’s not just me, I know this happens a lot and it’s not nice.

Almost every time I’ve been out, a man tells me to ‘cheer up’, ‘smile love’ or the worst, ‘smile bitch’. The latter comment has only been said once might I add.

This goes out to all the busy-bodies that think they have the right to tell me and any other woman what to do: kindly, f*** off.

*said with a smile*

FORM: please select race ME: erm…

So, this is a bit of a weird one.

Without delving too deeply into my unusual family situation, up until recently, I didn’t know what race I was. My dad never met his dad and so he grew up knowing only his mother, who is Irish.

I knew was that I was half English (from my mum’s side) and quarter Irish and quarter ‘something else’…

For years, I speculated as to what I might ‘be’, but I wouldn’t say I have features that indicate one specific race which made it hard for me to guess.

So I finally decided to order a DNA test from It arrived a week or so later.

There were two cotton bud swab sticks that I swiped in the side of my mouth for 30 seconds, then popped each of them in a small vile filled with liquid.

My samples ready to send

I sent them off to the lab and waited patiently.

Almost a month later, I received and email confirming my results were ready. I was both nervous and eager to find out.

So I clicked on the link to my account and these were the results:

As you can see, I’m quite a mix (if that’s PC to say)

I can’t say I was too surprised, being Asian has been ‘on the cards’ if you like, for years really. I remember talking to my friends about what I could be when I was in school and being Asian came up a few times.

The mixture of European ethnicities didn’t come to my surprise either, simply because of migration patterns of Europeans over the years makes it highly likely that if you’re white, you’ll be a mixture European races.

I was overwhelmed to finally know. It was weird actually knowing and no longer being a ‘mystery race’. I now don’t have awkwardly explain to people that I don’t know what race I am when my unusual features compel people to ask.
The combination of mildly foreign features like the brown curly hair and freckles juxtaposed with probably the broadest Yorkshire accent and dialect going, throws people, leading to the question, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but where are you from?”.

I’ve spent years trying to figure out what race I am and its associated culture that I should identify with. I’ve always felt a bit lost in a way, because I saw not knowing where I was from as a lack of identity. I felt like I can’t identify myself properly just because I didn’t know where the hair and darker skin came from.

Much to my own and other people’s surprise, I actually have very little desire to investigate my racial roots any further than I already have. Why? Because I know my culture, it’s what I was brought up with and I needn’t look any further than home to find it.

Fire in my belly

On my first day at university I was told that to be a journalist, I needed fire in my belly, I needed something that gets me going, an axe to grind (I could keep going with the metaphors).  I never really knew what this meant, or where this fire would come from. It had me question if I was going in to the right profession.

Until now.

On Sunday April 23rd, I was on a flight back from Adelaide to Brisbane after a phenomenal week words can’t really describe. I was sat in the window seat.  I looked out of the tiny plane window, 30,000 ft or so above the ground. The view was spectacular. Dusk was drawing in and the clouds were orange and pink.

I felt so humbled, as I realised how unbelievably fortunate I am to have the life I do. I have a home, a family, an education, a dog… and everything else. These are things I often take for granted, and forget how privileged I truly am- others are a lot less fortunate.  At this point, I decided I was no longer going to live my life solely in the pursuit of ‘me’ and that I want to do something positive, simply because I have the ability to do so and have absolutely no reason not to.

I finally have the fire in my belly- the feeling that I can help or do something good for this world.

For me, that’s what journalism is about.

View from the plane
I know this isn’t a great quality picture by any means, but it reminds me of the moment I realised who I want to be.  23/04/ 17