This week has been a blur. A stressful, surreal blur. (Mean Girls style.)
As I’m sure you will have spotted if you follow me on Twitter, a Tweet of mine went viral on Monday and I was thoroughly unprepared for it. The coronavirus pandemic is a developing story and a desperately sad and confusing time for us all, and in a way I feel odd talking about my own story when in a week alone, the situation has escalated here in the UK. But essentially, I shared a call for support as our Chinese takeaway businesses have been severely impacted. A 60% drop in revenue has been incredibly damaging and it has been ever since late January when this all kicked off. Right now, the country is preparing to self-isolate and I myself have been told to work from home from my part-time job. Of course everybody has now been impacted, some in more drastic ways than others.
For us, it has been a gloomy few weeks. House-moving stress coupled with loss of business (the livelihood of much of my extended family; my immediate family have a diverse income), and the insurmountable stress of encountering near-daily racial abuse has been pretty awful. I usually write positively on here and share the highlights, but having grown up in a takeaway and knowing those are the founding roots of who I am today, I couldn’t let it go unsaid. Racist thoughts and ignorant behaviour are severely impacting Chinese communities and business. I’ve lost count of the senseless remarks thrown my way (from people who clearly don’t believe I speak/understand English), the people who cover their face dramatically when they see me, the people that get up and out of their train seat when I got on the train for work.
On the flip side, I’ve been facing many fears head on. I’ve appeared on the RADIO for goodness’ sake! It was such a whirlwind experience (although I did manage to grab a few selfies!), and it genuinely felt SO random and surreal to be in a recording studio with my headphones and mic, playing a jingle and everything. WILD.
It’s been a strange couple of weeks, and this week’s post-Tweet life has been even stranger!
Post-viral Tweet Madness
First of all, thank you so much if you also ‘Liked’ or ‘Retweeted’ the message I shared. As I write this, it has reached over 23 million people (I could cry!!) and enjoyed over 395k RTs. I am astounded and truly overwhelmed. The kindness and community attitude it garnered has been so heart-warming, a real boost not just for my family and I, but throughout the Chinese community in the UK. Thanks also if you were a wonderful ally, replying to a few of the less-nice replies on the thread. You are so appreciated.
Second of all, I had no idea how much of an impact ‘going viral’ would have on me. Lots of us in this community joke that ‘if only I went viral…’, but it has been a really big, draining yet exciting week. I’ve been lucky enough to appear on radio shows and podcast episodes, and I’m so appreciative of being given a more mainstream platform to speak on. But being exposed to 23 million people on the Internet has made me feel really vulnerable. It’s nothing like pushing ‘Publish’ on a blog post and sending it into the abyss; it’s 23 million people instantly painting a picture of you based on one Tweet. I’m now extremely conscious of anything I share on Twitter (and Instagram; for it had a halo effect of sorts). I have myriad thoughts about ‘going viral’ that I’m sure I’ll share in a full post, but it’s definitely put lots of things into perspective for me.
Introducing the ‘Being British-born Chinese’ Facebook community
Off the back of the viral success I’ve had this week, I’ve also opened doors to the Being British-born Chinese Facebook community. I’ve had this idea for a while now, especially as my Being British-Chinese blog series gained popularity. After being open for a few weeks to my 12 wonderful founding members, I’m thrilled to share that it is now open to any British-born Chinese person that’d like to join! I know this is only a small number of those who read my blog, but I wanted to create a closed-door, safe space for fellow BBCs to hang out, share their experiences and untangle this web that’s been woven for us.
Considering joining? Here’s what you can expect!
- A safe, accessible place to open the conversation wider about what it means to be British-born Chinese.
- Weekly discussions (not just about race and identity! We also chat about books, food, TV shows, etc.).
- Opportunities to connect with like-minded people.
- Opportunities to promote things you’re working on.
- Local events and meet-ups.
- … and plenty more in the pipeline!
And just a note…
Amidst a time of uncertainty across the globe, I didn’t want this Sundaze to become a ‘me me me’ post. Whilst I’ve delighted to be flying the flag for the BBC community, I also care deeply about other small businesses, people at risk and those vulnerable due to the pandemic and lack of Government action. I’m incredibly privileged that I work partly for myself and that my part-time job have instated measures to protect us. I don’t have stockpiles of loo roll (worse comes to worse, I’ll hop in the shower?!). And I’m thinking of anybody drastically affected by the pandemic.
This Sunday and this week, take care of yourself, call your loved ones and check up on them, be sensible, and treat others how you’d like to be treated. If you feel lonely or isolated, come and chat to me! Swing into my emails and I’ll keep you company <3
Links I’ve Loved
- Katie’s business goals are practical, doable and oh so inspiring.
- I think it’s safe to say we’re all feeling a little scared and deflated at the moment: here are four small things to do to be happier.
- I really enjoyed this post on The Everygirl about products they’ve found via Instagram that are actually great. I’ve been an advocate of Girlfriend Collective since they launched, and I still adore them now!
- Treading the line between British and Chinese life every day, I loved Ellie’s post about the habits she’s picked up in China. Tip: always drink warm water, not iced!
- Jaye’s blog is one of my all-time favourites: in this post she discusses the benefits of rhythm and those of routine.
- 13 Book Bags To Carry All Your Favourite Reads via The Glitter Guide
- Much of the UK may be working from home imminently, and Chloe’s beautiful prose elegantly captures the woes of self-employment life, a.k.a. being on your own all the time.
- One to put a smile on your face; Zoella shared 14 weird and wonderful traditions, and the stories behind them.
Posts This Week
How was your week? And also, please let me know what you’re enjoying seeing from my platforms and what you’d love more of!