Fierce Friday | Hannah Chong

What makes you a L I O N?

@hannnahchong: “I’ve never particularly identified with lions. I’m a Leo, yes, and I have traits that are definitely typical of Leos, but I’m not a Gryffindor, and I’ve always seen myself as more of a house cat than a big predator. That being said, there are a couple of aspects of being a lion that I can very much relate to…

One of the things about lions that I identify with is that we’re fiercely loyal and protective of those we’re surrounded by. I have a small group of loved ones and I prefer it that way. It ensures that all of the love and attention I have to give isn’t stretched too thin. When I pick someone to be one of my humans, it’s all or nothing.

I also identify with the strong sense of sisterhood found in prides, as intersectional feminism is something I am incredibly passionate about. Prides are patriarchal but it’s the lionesses that get shit done, all while supporting the other lionesses and their cubs. While I am not in a situation where I’m a sister-wife with any of my best friends, I very much appreciate and try to embody the idea of lifting your sisters up without bringing anyone down.”

What makes you H U M B L E?

@hannnahchong: “Being humble is not something that I put a lot of conscious thought into. As an Australian-born child of immigrants, I’ve been brought up interestingly, and sometimes confusingly, in a mix of cultures. I grew up watching friends’ successes and wins being celebrated and talked about, while my own passed quietly by, humbly, and without a lot of recognition. Why would we need to recognise something that I worked hard for when it was always expected that I’d work hard regardless?

I attribute a lot of my being uncomfortable talking about myself to my upbringing, but also to the childhood and teen years that I spent reading, my imagination in other worlds, more than socialising. It’s hard to get used to talking too much about yourself if you don’t take a lot of chances to do it!

To me, being humble is more than being modest, and it has nothing to do with having low self-esteem. To be truly humble – and not just pretending to be – is to be so comfortable and confident with one’s self that there’s no need to posture. That’s not to say that celebrating someone is a bad thing!

Every day I am grateful to be surrounded by fantastic, loud, intelligent, and unapologetic friends whom I love more every passing minute. Some of them are humble, some of them aren’t, and that’s absolutely fine. Loving yourself, no matter how you do it, is so much more important. I rest easy with the knowledge that if (when) I ever achieve anything I’m proud of, I can quietly tell my friends without needing to make a big deal about it – just the way I prefer.”

This little babe is my one of my lovely work wives! She gets to listen to me utter more curse words under my breath each day than any person could imagine, and always peeps over our barrier to make sure I’m okay. She has been one of the warmest and most welcoming friends I’ve made on this giant island, and always has my back in and outside of the office. Her love of learning and passion for the arts (and all of humanity/living creatures) is nothing short of inspiring. Thank you for being such a precious friend to me, Han! You really don’t know what a gem you are in my daily life.

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