Yelly Writes

Listening to female voices

I’ve always had music in my ears ever since I could remember.  It started with my father having these huge headphones (which funnily enough would have probably been de riguer these days) and I started listening quietly these Hebrew children’s songs that my dad used to play on constant repeat so that we would speak Hebrew (apparently, I was fluent!  How I wish I still were!  I can sometimes understand the Hebrew and I remember being so happy that I didn’t necessarily have to read the subtitles when BBC showed The Honourable Woman on telly! Yep, high point in my life.  I love being such a geek!).

I had the 80’s requisite walkman and warbled to Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.  Of course, I had the double tape deck and of course I had the portable CD player that eventually you could plug into the double tape deck as a line-in (I think!  Am not entirely sure that’s what you called it!).

It was only when I moved to the UK that I started listening to audio books.  Stephen Fry’s readings of the Harry Potter books helped me through the long walks to work (I had the first generation iPod Touch by then).  After finishing the Harry Potter books, I started collecting music and creating playlists.

Then in 2014, Alan introduced me to Serial, THE PODCAST.  Along with the rest of the world, I was hooked!  I would listen to the episodes twice; once to listen to it as soon as it became available to download and listen to, and then again later in the week, before the next episode came.  It was great because Sarah Koenig spoke like me (I’m Filipino but I’ve always had a decidedly American accent – which made working in call centres decidedly easier since they required someone with an American twang!  My dearest dad flatly refused to allow us to speak in Filipino or watch Filipino shows.  Even my nanny spoke in English to me!  Oh and no, having a nanny in the Philippines did not mean we were rich.  It was just an acceptable thing to have in households with two working parents.  It was the only acceptable solution really.).  After Serial finished, I went back to listening to my music playlists.  I did miss someone talking in my ear.  So imagine my joy when Serial released their second season!  But of course, once the podcast is finished, it finished.

I started exploring the podcast world and found a lot of interesting listening available.  I listened to Richard Herring a lot for a while, except that it became a bit too sweary for me (I use the occasional expletive like “sh*t, sh*t,sh*t, oh sh*t”, or “f*ck!” or “bugger, bugger!” but even I surprise myself when I say them out loud.  Alan says I swear a lot, which probably means I feel so comfortable around him that I say what’s on my mind…even if it is a swear word!) so I stopped following his podcast.  I also listen to The Allusionist podcast because I love listening to people talk about etymology and language (and yes, because I’m a bit of a grammar monkey!).  Once in a while, I download No Such Thing As A Fish podcast episodes because I am a QI fan!

These days though, my train rides are entertained by 3 amazing women:

I love Emma Gannon’s podcasts because whilst I am not a millenial (I think in the timeline of generations, I am a Generation X-er, only just), her insights and the insights of her guests are inspiring.  Emma’s podcast Ctrl, Alt, Delete introduces her listeners to a diverse line up of creatives and successful people who have made social media their playground; people who have created niches in the social media world and aren’t stingy with sharing their experience and knowledge to people who want create their niche in this rapidly growing platform.  I realise that talking about Emma so much might made me sound like a sycophant (I don’t really care if I do!) but she is amazingly brilliant and the people she talks to are equally so.  It’s perfect listening when you want to stop hating your journey to work, perfect listening when you want to get inspiration to make a difference, perfect listening when you need to refocus and understand that your current job will probably be a means to an end – the end being doing something that you really, really want to do!

Ctrl, Alt, DeleteAnother lady I love listening to is Dawn O’Porter.  Dawn was also a guest on Emma Gannon’s podcast and I soooooo enjoyed listening to that episode.  It was very laugh-out-loud and I must admit, I did get strange/annoyed looks from people sitting near me on the train because I was constantly snorting, laughing into my sleeve or making funny faces.  Dawn has this very easy-on-the-ears voice that makes you just listen.  I was so happy she started her own podcast Get It On by Dawn O’Porter (I know you can get it on iTunes and acast..and I think, PodOmatic).  I loved the trilogy on men’s style that she had.  She talked to Jason Segal, Dermot O’Leary and her husband, Chris O’Dowd, about their sartorial choices.  I blame you entirely Dawn for the looks I got from that man who gets on at Colchester.  He was very annoyed with me because for several days, I interrupted his relatively quiet train journey!

Get It OnI’ve only just VERY recently discovered Sofie Hagen.  My introduction to her Made of Human podcast was her conversation with one of my favourite comedians, Sara Pascoe.  I first listened to her this morning and let me tell you, it was another LOL journey.  Sorry Mr Sourpuss Colchester.  It was just too funny.

Made Of HumanAlso, I’ve taken away a few, very cool, quotes that Sofie and Sarah shared during their conversation:

From Sara:  “Don’t find happiness where you lost it.”

From Sofie (sharing a Frida Kahlo quote):  “Leaving isn’t enough; you must stay gone.”

When I heard this I was slightly blown away because for some reason, it fit the situation I was struggling with (it was mostly about relationships that didn’t really matter anymore and that I shouldn’t feel guilty about not liking people – I will probably write about that at some point!).

Also, the nerdy chick in me will read about something Sara Pascoe talked about: the zero-sum game.  Have you heard of it?  Want to discuss it?  Wait, no, not yet!  I’ve got read up first!


Yelly Writes

Writing it out

Emma Gannon is my favourite millenial (let me just say that I’m not entirely sure I am using this term correctly, I think I am but if you disagree leave a comment and let’s discuss!).  Mostly because she has done what I’ve always wanted to do.  She has taken a passion for writing and communicating on all possible media (print and social media and now she has this killer podcast and amazing book!) and has turned that passion into a career.

emmagannon-ctrlaltdeleteShe is one of a handful of superwomen that I follow on social media, mostly because they inspire me.  I mean hello, they’ve accomplished what I wanted to do ages ago (when I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and less disappointed with the world) and they are so much younger than me!  I know people always say 40 is the new 30, and I am right there, just over the threshold (I turned 40 this year) but there are days when I think about what I need to learn, what I have to do and I wonder if I’ll ever get this particular ship out of this harbour.  I know the inertia that I’m feeling is something that only I can overcome.  I’ve got to light that firecracker under my backside and I’ve got to start moving (literally and figuratively!) if I want to get to where I want to get to.  I have a plan in my head but a plan isn’t really worth anything if I don’t attach any things to do and action points to it.

First thing to do is to create an environment where I am doing things that will get me to where I want to be.  I have to create a positive go-getter frame of mind.  I know that the day job is important at the moment because the day job will help me fund the activities that I need to participate in to get to where I want to get to.  I am reminded of Emma Gannon’s podcast episode with Paulette Perhach who talked about the importance of the side-hustle and how important it is to keep hustling.  I have allowed myself to wallow in the wishing stage of this whole endeavor so really, I haven’t been hustling as yet.  But hustle I will and hustle I should!

I have been wondering about my blog, why it hasn’t really taken off in the way my previous blog did.  I had people reading my blog, commenting on my blog, actually following my blog.  I lost that when I moved into a different blog hosting platform (Blogdrive did have a community and people actually read other people in Blogdrive) – this is not to throw shade on all the people following my blog; to you lovely lot, I am forever grateful.  I’m not assigning blame.  I just think my blog was stuck in a particular kind of blog theme where people shared their feelings to try and find validation.  We all want that all important thing: validation.  But it’s also important to know that people also want to read inspirational stuff, aspirational stuff.  Because if you boohoo and rant all the time, you bring your readers down with you.  It’s okay to vent, but I think it’s also important not to overshare your emotional and psychological baggage.  I think the audience isn’t as receptive to that anymore.  There has to be a balance between saying it like it is and depressing the heck out of your readers!

The quote below is a screen grab from Emma’s blog entry about Sharing Less.  It resonated so much.  And yes, I am going to write because I have something to say and I have a great story to share, not because I need validation.

emma-gannon-quoteOh and I know that I’ve started to view my writing differently because every time Alan asks me “are you sure you want to blog about that?” these days, I no longer feel like I am being attacked.  I stop and think about what I really want to say.  I don’t say this enough but thanks Alan♥




Yelly Writes

So this is 40?

It’s my birthday!  Hurrah!

So this is how 40 feels?  I don’t really feel any different from yesterday.  Sure, there are aches and pains, creaking bones and clicking mandibles, but apart from the carpal tunnelly hands, I think I’m okay.  Oh and I’ve seen (and dealt with) a few more grey hairs!

I have been thoroughly spoilt with birthday presents, flowers and birthday greetings.  People have been so kind.  I’m glad that I’ve done enough good to deserve the well-wishes.  Thank you to my church baby Nikki who wrote me a lovely message.  I wonder sometimes if I’ve become too distant, too protective of myself to do any good, to do something for other people.  I’ve been struggling with myself lately, having internal arguments about how I’m behaving.  I’m glad I am still doing something to make some people happy.  Because that’s all I ever really want, I want to make people happy.

birthday40I want this year to be the year I make improvements to myself.  I want this year to be the year I tick off some of the items on my personal to-do list.  I want this year to be the year I officially establish my real “hustle” (it’s a little something I learned from Emma Gannon‘s podcast – listen to Episode 9 where Emma interviews Paulette Perhach.  These millenials are so driven, you get energised just listening to them!) so that my current “hustle” becomes my “side-hustle” so that I can do what I really want to do!

It’s not going to be easy, because I am plagued with procrastination and I have the tendency to allow myself to be swallowed up by inertia.  I am bolstered, though, by the desire to do something else, to do something creative, to work for myself.

I am determined to do something this year.

at40I don’t look too bad for 40, do I?