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Amanda Young - Service Delivery Relationship Lead and Hobby Enthusiast | S2E2

March 01, 2022

Amanda Young - Service Delivery Relationship Lead and Hobby Enthusiast | S2E2
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In this episode:  Not letting your job description define who you are as a person. Fitting in an impressive array of hobbies and interests. The joys of reading and irrational dislike of book editions with 'Now a Major Motion Picture' covers. Learning to have fun while making mistakes. Being a mixed-race Australian, multiculturalism and Amanda's first trip to Vietnam to see family. Empathy, boundaries and soft/enduring skills in the workplace.

About the Guest:  Amanda Young is a Service Delivery Relationship Lead in Melbourne, Australia working on risk mitigation and problem solving. Prior to this she was a linguist, focusing on how changes to the English language in Australia reflect the context of the wider society. She likes coffee, reading, running, and finding new things to delight in.

[Amanda's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandayoung7/]

Recorded 25 January 2022

Links:

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About the Host: Despite never letting school interfere with his education, Danu has nevertheless acquired two social science degrees and an executive MBA. He toils at the intersection of education, technology and society and has worked at various times in teaching, research, project management, business development and customer service. He has so many interests that he has started to outsource them, and his life plan is rapidly running out of alphabet.  [Danu's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danupoyner/]

Music: Kleptotonic Swing by Tri-Tachyon

Website: stillcuriouspodcast.com | Email: stillcuriouspodcast@gmail.com
Instagram: @stillcuriouspod |  Twitter: @stillcuriouspod

Transcript
Amanda Young:

I have always approached a job as something that I do so that I can enjoy my life outside of my job, even when I'm doing work that I find meaningful or that aligns with who I am or my personality in some way. Having to give an elevator pitch of my job to someone, is a poor way for me to explain who I am as a person.

Danu Poyner:

You're listening to the Still Curious Podcast with me, Danu Poyner. My guest today is Amanda Young, who is a Service Delivery Relationship Lead in Melbourne Australia, working on risk mitigation and problem solving. Prior to this, she was a linguist focusing on how changes to the English language in Australia reflect the context of the wider society or...

Amanda Young:

what my PhD supervisor always called the seedy underbelly of language

Danu Poyner:

Amanda likes coffee, reading, running, and finding new things to delight in. And in this episode, we focus on those diverse and delightful interests and what we can learn from them.

Amanda Young:

I used to think the confidence came from only being good at things. But making mistakes can be fun and funny. And part of the process, it doesn't have to be anxiety inducing.

Danu Poyner:

We talk about Amanda's experience as a mixed-race Australian, multiculturalism, and her first trip to Vietnam to visit family.

Amanda Young:

When we got to the house, everybody kind of stopped. And every single one of us just burst into tears. it was so great. It was so emotional.

Danu Poyner:

And because in the end, everything connects, we discuss how Amanda's hobbies and interests contribute to her success in the workplace.

Amanda Young:

A soft skill makes it sound as though it's almost useless. But in fact, I'm much more able to drive an outcome because people want to help me.

Danu Poyner:

Amanda and i were good friends when i used to live in melbourne and it was a great pleasure to reconnect with her for this wide ranging chat. I hope you enjoy it, it's Amanda Young coming up after the music break on today's episode of the Still Curious Podcast Hi Amanda, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Amanda Young:

I'm good. Thank you. And thank you so much for having me.

Danu Poyner:

Oh, It's a great pleasure. I'm going to start with asking you about your interests Cause there's so many of them. them and rather than ask you to list them, I think I'll just ask you what's in your calendar this week and we'll go from there.

Amanda Young:

Okay. I do have a lot of interests. I think this week, every morning I'll be doing either a workout or a run, and I'm currently doing a 30 days of yoga journey. I try to do this every January and full disclosure. this is the furthest I've ever got with it. Usually about day 13. That falls by the wayside. I had my vaccine booster recently and had some side effects, so I had to skip two days. So then I had to double up on two days as well, just to make sure that I caught up and I am planning to do some guitar every day and to improve my Excel skills. So I'm doing a course in that.

Danu Poyner:

The 30 days of yoga journey. what's involved in that?

Amanda Young:

There's this fantastic YouTube channel called Yoga with Adrian and she has hundreds of yoga videos and every January she does this journey. That's free. Anyone can just go on there and she puts out a new video every day for people who are new to yoga or have been doing it for a long time. Just something that there can be some kind of community around. And like a lot of people when it comes to January 1st, I need a resolution of some kind. And So for the past five or six years, this has been how I kick off the new year. And then I think like most people I fall off the bandwagon pretty early on. this year I've made it fairly far in the month. So a week to go.

Danu Poyner:

Nice. You keep coming back to it, yoga something. You do the rest of the time, as part of your fitness regime anyway.

Amanda Young:

it used to be, I didn't do it. For a long time. But I know it's something that I usually need. It's interesting. You ask that question because my dad asked me what happens after the 30 days ends. Do you just stop? And I said, I've probably should come up with a plan of what I'm going to do. I don't think I can continue to do yoga every day forever, but hopefully I can find a way to get it in two or three times a week.

Danu Poyner:

I'm wondering if you can paint a picture of the fitness schedule since that seems to be the bedrock of the calendar.

Amanda Young:

So four or five days a week in the morning, I go to the gym. The gym that I go to has a combination of boxing and running and treadmills. On the days that there is no running component, but I'm at the gym. I will usually go for a run in the evenings on the days where I'm not at the gym. I will go for a run in the morning and otherwise I walk.

Danu Poyner:

very Very active. it something that you do for, enjoyment or is it for health or both?

Amanda Young:

It's for both of those. It's just something that I have done as long as I can remember. I enjoy physical activity. I enjoy being fit. It's good to have a focus. And that's usually the easiest focus for me. If everything else is a disaster that week, I can always come back to the exercise and say, at least I did that.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, that's a really good point. there have been a lot of weeks over the last couple of years. I imagine when that's been an important thing to come back to.

Amanda Young:

I used to really enjoy running, but during lockdowns, when it became the only thing that I could do lost its sheen a little bit.

Danu Poyner:

let's talk a bit about when it had its sheen more perhaps. Cause I know you've participated in not a number a small number of Disney races and that's a really interesting kind of thing. such a huge community that probably a lot of people have never heard of.

Amanda Young:

Disney world in Florida and Disneyland Paris have race weekends, Disneyland, Anaheim use to, but they're not on at the moment. I've done rice weekends at both Florida and Paris. When you get there, the races start pretty early. We're talking get there at 4:00 AM early. the only time jet lag has worked out well for me. So if you're staying on Disney property, there are shuttle buses that take you to the race, and I would say at least 80% of the people at the races are dressed in running outfits that might tie into the theme of the race. For example, I did a 10 K with my dad. That was Little Mermaid themed, he was dressed as the chef in Little Mermaid. I was dressed as Sebastian, the crab. I saw someone dressed as a bathtub once, so People can get very creative and yeah, it's not easy to run in costume, so when you get to the start of the race, there is a DJ there, the race announcers, there are Disney characters there. You're waiting with a crowd of tens of thousands and the atmosphere is just absolutely buzzing. once you start the race there's entertainment, along the course, more photo opportunities with the Disney characters, you're running through the parks. So many people are lined up on the sidelines to cheer you on. it's extremely fun.

Danu Poyner:

It sounds really wholesome aside from anything else. so you've been to several of these at the different parks and you fly from Australia specifically for this and then go straight into it off the back of jetlag. lag. sounds really intense.

Amanda Young:

it is very intense. I don't think it would be easier if I weren't jetlagged though, because you're having to get up at two 30 in the morning. So the first time I did it, I did the 10 K with my dad, and then I did a half marathon the following day. So I had to do it at the start of my trip because if I did it at the end of the trip, I would have been exhausted and probably the experience would not have been as fun. As it was, we had a great time doing that with lots of really nice memories. and then we did another one, the following year with my sister's fiance. We were all going as characters from Peter Pan.

Danu Poyner:

and who were you?

Amanda Young:

I was Smee. it was the one costume I had wanted to do ever since I first found out about Disney races. I just thought that would be a great costume.

Danu Poyner:

That's Fantastic. How did you find out about this? in the first place? place This, this is a whole family affair. I imagine you're the one driving this,

Amanda Young:

I told my family one day, I'm going to do a half marathon in Disney world. And they said, we're going to come too. It was just such a nice time to spend together and such a great activity to do. I don't remember how I found out about it, to be honest, I've wanted to do it for so many years before I actually did maybe in a running magazine or something, but. When I found out about it, I knew one day I'm doing that.

Danu Poyner:

you strike me as someone. Who's always trying something new. what is an interest you've developed recently and how did that. come about? can say Excel if you want, or There might be something else.

Amanda Young:

There is definitely something else. I think that Excel is more out of necessity. probably learning to play guitar. So we touched on that before past couple of years, there has not been a lot of opportunity to go out and do things. I really needed a hobby that was not baking bread or running. I needed to do something else. And so I decided that I would learn an instrument. And guitar seemed like a relatively easy instrument, not in that is easy to play, but in that it's easy to get a guitar. So my dad plays guitar as well. He dropped me off his old one and I learnt from that. So that was about the middle of 2020 when I picked that up. And so it's not recent, but it's probably the most recent that has endured,

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. A lot of things are for a season or a reason. And that

Amanda Young:

the baking bread.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. Well, I wanted to come back to the bread because there was a period during a lockdown where everyone got into sourdough starters and everything, but you'd already been doing all of that, for many years previously. Hadn't you?

Amanda Young:

I was baking. Already previously, but actually I had never made bread before locked down.

Danu Poyner:

Oh, really?

Amanda Young:

Yeah. My sister really got into baking the bread and she's very good at it. So I didn't really see that much point in me picking it up because she was making extra loaves for me. I like bread, but there is only so much bread. One person can eat.

Danu Poyner:

So was that when you picked up the guitar instead?

Amanda Young:

It was during the first long lockdown that we had, or maybe the second long lockdown down. So I got the guitar from my dad and just decided, spend some time with this. And I didn't know how long that was going to go on for, and for some reason it's just stuck. It's so easy to go over and pick up the guitar. It's just sitting behind me. If I need a small break from work, I can just turn around, grab the guitar, play a song or two helps me have that mental reset, put down the guitar, get back to work.

Danu Poyner:

How do you go about learning something new?

Amanda Young:

I try a lot of different things to see what sticks rarely do I just go with the first thing that I try. It depends on what it is with guitar. I looked up a few YouTube instructors and I've just followed what they did. They had some kind of beginners program that you could follow along with. And I landed on two that I liked their approach. I like the things that they were teaching. So I just went back and forth with them. I don't mind mixing and matching the approaches of two different teachers if I like them both. I probably am someone who needs to watch someone doing something and then do it myself as well. I'm terrible at just listening. Don't absorb any information that way whatsoever reading something is almost as bad. That tends to be my approach for most things. And then if it's a particular skill that I might need for work or something I might pay for a course, just for that extra accountabilities there. If I think that I might have my interest flagging, I will put the money down so that I stick with it.

Danu Poyner:

So you take it more seriously if you've put some money down or is that because there's someone at the other end who might have opinions. or.

Amanda Young:

Yeah. You obviously know me very well. Theoretically, it's the money thing, but it's definitely not the money thing. It's the other thing,

Danu Poyner:

Well, I think that's very normal actually. Isn't it? I a lot of good research that shows that's true. true

Amanda Young:

I have not read anything about that, but I know for myself that is definitely true that I will follow through more with something. If I know that somebody is expecting something from me or if they might follow up,

Danu Poyner:

if it's some course, and there's an automatic thing that comes through, like with Duolingo, it bugs you every now and again to say, oh, you haven't done this and you haven't done that. It does that have the same effect It has to be a

Amanda Young:

at all.

Danu Poyner:

on the other end.

Amanda Young:

Absolutely has to be a real life person, not a frightening owl.

Danu Poyner:

not that frightening when it wears the bathrobe.

Amanda Young:

I think that he's pretty frightening. I think that he's got a lot of power that he's not telling us about.

Danu Poyner:

Well, he can speak a lot of languages. So

Amanda Young:

definitely a power.

Danu Poyner:

which is probably a nice segue into your linguistics. you did. quite a bit of study as a linguist.

Amanda Young:

I did. I did a degree that initially was supposed to be in communications and linguistics. I took up for credit points and then I ended up finishing. The course doing an honors year enrolling in a masters degree, not finishing the master's degree, jumping into a PhD program, not finishing the PhD program, but it was still a lot of years as a linguist. When I picked it up for credit points, I didn't realize that it was something that I was going to fall in love with, but also something that I had been interested in since I was a kid. When I heard about linguistics, the first time I thought that meant grammar and I think that a lot of people think that linguistics is grammar. And so when they find out that's what I studied, they get nervous that I'm judging their language, but that's not what.

Danu Poyner:

like seeing the personal trainer and immediately apologizing for what you've eaten? Is it like meeting a linguist and then apologizing for your grammar

Amanda Young:

I have never apologized to a personal trainer for what I've eaten.

Danu Poyner:

You said something really interesting just now about, falling in love with. Linguistics, you weren't expecting that, but then you had already been interested in it, but there must have been a moment when that crystallized for you. that that was happening.

Amanda Young:

the linguistics that I was interested. When I was younger was along the lines, more of what people traditionally think linguistics is learning about the structures of language, which is definitely a part of linguistics. And that is something that at the university that I went to is taught to first years. So it always had this nostalgia for me. When I was in my second year, maybe I was at my parents' house and I found one of my favorite books as a kid. And it turns out that it was actually just an exercise book full of language and linguistics exercises. I didn't remember that about the book. I thought it was just a story that I liked, but then when I looked through it again, I realized that about a third of, it was just pages with these exercises that I had filled in.

Danu Poyner:

Wow. You generally have to love something to be doing that kind of thing. Don't you?

Amanda Young:

I think so. I just, I didn't remember that part of it. I just saw the book and said, that is one of my favorite books as a kid. Picked it up, saw that and thought, okay,

Danu Poyner:

the book.

Amanda Young:

it's called Little Singing River, some random book that probably was passed down through my family. That ended up with me. Nobody else had filled in those pages. I can tell you that.

Danu Poyner:

Did you read a lot when you're a little?

Amanda Young:

I did read a lot when I was little, I read a lot now, but when I was little, that was maybe my only hobby. No, my only hobby, but it was the biggest one. I always had a book. I was always reading. I don't know if you did this, but the MS readathon

Danu Poyner:

sounds vaguely familiar.

Amanda Young:

you would raise money for Ms. Awareness, by reading books and people could sponsor you. My primary school did it. And you get a page to fill in each book that you read and people can sponsor. A total amount. they can sponsor you per book. but I was one of those kids who filled in the page and then ask for an extra page to add the books too. And so after that they just gave a bulk donation.

Danu Poyner:

Very wise and probably quite beneficial for MS. Did you have a favorite book when you were little or was it Little Singing River?

Amanda Young:

that was my favorite book, but not necessarily my favorite story. I really loved Rowan Of Rin. The Emily Rodda book as a kid. It's actually a really sad book. And I'm surprised that I liked it so much. It's about this boy named Rowan, who lives in a village called Rin. and the water comes from a mountain, but the river has dried up for some reason, definitely telling the story wrong. So he goes with a group of travelers to find out what has happened. None of them want to go with him because he's a kid and he's weak and he's frail and they're all strong, tough adventurers. But along the way, something happens to each one of those adventurers, they get injured or they turn away for some reason. they have some traumatic memory that pops up that makes them unable to continue with the journey. So by the end of it, it's just Rowan who saves the day.

Danu Poyner:

Wow, that sounds, sad.

Amanda Young:

it is extremely sad. yeah, I never liked getting to the end of it. I never really relishing the fact that Rohan became the hero because I was so sad for him that by the end of it, there wasn't anyone with him, but the cattle got to have their water.

Danu Poyner:

You're always good for a book recommendation and I think one of the best books you've ever recommended to me was A Thousand Splendid Suns. is that a book that, that means something to you?

Amanda Young:

That is my most recommended book. I don't just recommend books that I love. I usually will ask people what their three to five favorite books are. So I get a feel of who they are, as a reader. And then I will recommend something based on that, but A Thousand Splendid Suns is one that I will just recommend off the bat to most people, that is a really impactful book, really emotional book, just beautifully written. And the story is so sad, but it's also so warm. I can very easily get lost in a book. I think that for some people you're getting this from TV shows and movies also works or podcasts or music. for me, it's the imagination of reading and imagining what's happening, but also the opportunity to close a page when it's a little bit too overwhelming, sit back, take it in and then dive back into it. You don't necessarily get that with TV shows and movies. You can press pause, but the effect isn't quite the same, or it's not for me. If I'm pressing pause on a TV show or a movie it's because I've been distracted by something else.

Danu Poyner:

Has there been a time that leaps out to you where you've been reading a book and you've gone? Oh, I'm going to close the book now because I just, need a minute.

Amanda Young:

most of the way through Lord of the flies,

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. That's not a nice book.

Amanda Young:

I would say that is another one that has really sat with me and changed my worldview. Maybe even more than A Thousand Splendid Suns, but in the opposite way, I never recommend that book. And I never want to read it. Not because it's not a great book because it is. But as you say, it's not a nice book. Think that reading it once was definitely enough for me. It's had the longest lasting impact. I think of any book that I've ever read, because occasionally I will still think about it and get chills.

Danu Poyner:

Wow. What do you think about?

Amanda Young:

Just the terribleness of humans when they're left ungoverned. Just horrifying. They're 14 years old and I'm not sure how long they're on this island, but just how absolutely feral they turn and how violent they become so quick. I've never seen a stuck on an island story where everyone decided that they were just going to be kind and nice and build shelters for each other. It might be very boring.

Danu Poyner:

one of the things, I have to mention it on here because I never thought I would meet someone else who shared this kind of quirk, which is, having, irrational loathing of, books that have a cover on them that are, so let's say now a major motion picture tell me about that, Amanda.

Amanda Young:

I don't even know what to say about that. You are right to say that its an irrational quirk and it is true that I share that with you. What I'm about to say really proves how irrational this is, I want to know what a cover illustrator thinks about the book and how that ties in with what the story is about. But the now major motion picture cover still does that because that is still someone else's interpretation of what that story is about. But for some reason it drives me absolutely bananas. It's probably just a form of snobbery. You can go back and save. I liked this book before it was cool. i.e., before it was made into a movie,

Danu Poyner:

But also something about the way they look on the shelf. This

Amanda Young:

it's that giant star that says now a major motion picture, which is really the worst of it.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. I don't know, maybe there are other people who feel this way and they'll come out of the woodwork and, and say something about it. so coming back to the linguistics, because that was, really interesting. We've talked a bit about what linguistics is not about, what is linguistics about from your.

Amanda Young:

I suppose when I said linguistics is not about grammar, It is partly about that. The linguistics that I was looking at is just how language is actually used in the context of the society that it's in it's not about correctness, it's just, what's actually happening in a conversation in a community, in a society.

Danu Poyner:

do you have any examples about what that looks like?

Amanda Young:

What I looked at was language, taboo in Australian English across time, and they're things that make people uncomfortable, things like gender identity, things like race, mental health, the words that we use to talk about those things change across time, because the way that you're referred to something can become offensive or rude or derogatory, even when it used to just be the standard. And that has to do with a lot of things. But primarily what it has to do with is that when things are still considered to be taboo any language that you use to talk about them, even if it's co-opted by the people that it is referring to can eventually continue to become derogatory. And so that new words need to be found each time until those things stopped being a taboo.

Danu Poyner:

I'd love to go a bit deeper on that. If you've got a specific example that you've particularly find interesting.

Amanda Young:

I think that when you talk about major depressive episodes, for example, they used to be called nervous breakdowns. That was really common way of referring to. A lot of people don't realize that a nervous breakdown is a major depressive episode. They haven't connected in their head that those are the same thing, but they are. When people are thinking about nervous breakdowns, they're thinking about that happened 50 years in the past to people. It's not something that happens anymore. It definitely happened. It's just that there wasn't anything in place for people to get that help that they needed. And so they thought when those things were happening, that was just, this person has had the nervous breakdown. They are unable to cope. And you've got the change along the way, where there is support for people and people are able to come out and say that they have depression. When people who are in the public sphere, come out and say that this is something that they're struggling with, that breaks down that taboo. And so it, isn't something that you need to be as wary of discussing, And even though the language of saying nervous breakdown is not something that is particularly offensive. It definitely is a language change where people aren't really using that language anymore.

Danu Poyner:

So you can see the societal change through the language that's used and how that shifts over time. Am I understanding that right?

Amanda Young:

Yeah. That's right. And not just in terms of a concept, but just a way of referring to something. the actual title of it, for example, but I can't think of any examples off the top of my that aren't more offensive than I'm comfortable saying.

Danu Poyner:

that in itself is interesting to me because you're very polite, and studying taboo would put you in, contact with a lot of things that are less polite, I imagine. can you tell me something about that?

Amanda Young:

I do try to be polite, I'm looking at these things and they're a good marker of what not to do, but between extremely polite and what my PhD supervisor always called the seedy underbelly of language there's a lot of gray area. The stuff that I was looking at was on the very, very far end of the spectrum of things that nobody would be saying to people's faces. A lot of the modern stuff I was looking at was just stuff that people were saying online. The historical stuff was stuff that only in the context of the society we live in now seems terrible, but probably was not terrible at that time.

Danu Poyner:

that's I guess part of what's interesting about it. Isn't it?

Amanda Young:

Yeah. the changes of what seemed appropriate you can go back a certain way and then you stop knowing if actually it was okay to talk about. Like that in that time, you can't know for sure that people weren't saying these things, knowing that they were terrible things to be saying,

Danu Poyner:

If someone wanted to, explore this further, where would you point them as a good place to explore?

Amanda Young:

Anybody who's interested in taboo language or euphemisms or metaphors, I personally would recommend the work of my PhD supervisor, Kate Burridge. She has got some fantastic books that are easily consumable by non linguists. And that's a good start, but also there's probably a lot of stuff online where you could just learn something on YouTube or a course run by a university that is focused on that one thing.

Danu Poyner:

Do you still have a love of linguistics?

Amanda Young:

I don't have the same passion for it that I used to have. It's something that I'll always be interested in, but I can't see myself ever going down the path of jumping back in for that to be my career.

Danu Poyner:

Something that comes up on the podcast a fair bit is that learning is never wasted. so with so many interests, are there things you've learned from say linguistics or other parts of your life that turn out to be surprisingly relevant or useful in other areas?

Amanda Young:

Something that I learnt a lot later than I wish I had learned it. I wish I learned this a lot earlier is that making mistakes is okay when you're learning something new. I learned French on the weekends for a few years. And there is simply no way to avoid making mistakes. When you're learning to speak a language. Absolutely impossible. But what I learnt is that making mistakes can be fun and funny. And part of the process, it doesn't have to be anxiety inducing. That has helped me with everything I have learned since then. It's okay to be a beginner. It's okay. To never be an expert at something you can still love and enjoy something, even if you're not particularly good at it, You don't have to max out a skill for it to be considered enjoyable.

Danu Poyner:

So did you enjoy French? Is so complicated,

Amanda Young:

It is. I think that all languages when you're learning them, are, because you're always going to think of them in the context of the language that you already know. I loved learning French. That used to be the focal point of my weekends because it was four hours every Saturday for a few years. It was a big commitment, but I made friends in that group and they were terrific and the teachers were fantastic. And even when you couldn't think of the right word and you knew that you knew it, but when you're trying to speak in real time, You just have to go with the flow and say what comes out and it can lead to some pretty funny results.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, I have, had a similar experience learning German, which you also make a lot of mistakes, but It's less funny usually, but it's quite a big, insight to have about the making mistakes and not needing it to be an anxiety inducing. That sounds really empowering. Was there more. When you consciously realized that, or is it something that just gradually crept up on you over time?

Amanda Young:

It's something that gradually crept up on me over time. It's probably not even something that I've realized was happening until after I stopped doing French. and when I noticed it was when I went to learn guitar which previously I probably would have avoided because I just knew that I would never be good enough at it. Whereas this time I went in with a lot more time for myself and with the understanding that I was never going to be that good at it, but that was okay. That didn't mean that I couldn't enjoy it.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, as you're talking, I'm realizing that many of the things I enjoy most are things that are never going to be very good at. And don't put that pressure on me. That's so interesting.

Amanda Young:

It's a really nice thing to learn because I definitely was somebody who would pick up a hobby and then I would hold onto it and I would run with it. And I would create a goal for myself out of that hobby. A lot of the time that was so farfetched that when I wasn't making linear progress towards that goal, in relation to that hobby, I would at best feel really anxious about it. And at worst feel like an absolute failure. Learning French stopped that for me and now I'm much more open to trying new things.

Danu Poyner:

I'm curious how that connects with what we said right at the start about, accountability and having someone on the other end, who's might have opinions about how you're going. Is there a connection there?

Amanda Young:

Yes, there is a connection there, and it is still something that I find a little bit nerve wracking to know that somebody might be judging. But the difference is that I've come to learn that getting feedback is not a bad thing. The feedback that I'm getting can only help me, whether it's something that I want to take on or not. That still helpful. judgment came from feeling like a failure Like in myself, it wasn't that I felt the person giving feedback was actually judging me. So when I am paying money for something and having somebody look at something, it used to be that I would avoid that in all possible senses. But now I'm just seeing it as a step or something that can help me. And so more willing to do that.

Danu Poyner:

that's a big thing. I think. you said something really interesting there about feedback, as a kind of gift, but also you can decide what to take on and what, what not to, it took me a long time to realize that about feedback that. you can decide what to do with it.

Amanda Young:

Yeah. I think that if you go in with your defenses up, which is how I approached it and seeing feedback as some kind of attack, it's horrible, but it doesn't have to be like that. Particularly if you're the one who was seeking out the feedback, you can seek it out from people who you trust to give you the best feedback that they can and who are doing it in your best interests.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. And that way lies growth, I think.

Amanda Young:

I think so too. It's been massive shift for me.

Danu Poyner:

Hey, we're at risk at getting, insightful or serious here. I think, let's head that off at the pass. One of the things I find really fascinating about all the interests you have, is they're quite private and compartmentalized? Do people who think they know you often turn out to be surprised at what else you have going on?

Amanda Young:

yeah, there's usually at least one thing when somebody is getting to know me, that they find out that they find surprising. A lot of people, for example, were surprised to find out that I wanted to learn to code. Because I've been mostly working from home for the past couple of years, people have been surprised by my guitar. as well So anybody who has any interest in playing a musical instrument has maybe not been surprised by that, but just found that as another way to connect. I think a lot of people tend to stick to one or two hobbies or interests. So people who have known me as Amanda, the reader or Amanda, the runner aren't necessarily expecting that there might be Amanda, the very bad guitar player as well, and have to fit that into their concept of me.

Danu Poyner:

They might be surprised to find out that you worked in a, an auto parts shop for a while.

Amanda Young:

Which was the thing that you definitely found the most surprising about me, anybody who knows me in the context of any of the jobs that I've had is always hands down the most surprised to find that out. That is usually the most amusing thing to most people. I know nothing about cars, absolutely nothing. I had no business working in that place whatsoever.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. there's so many questions and So many stories. I love that you have so many different interests. are there interests that you're focusing on at the moment in your life.

Amanda Young:

Yeah. So I suppose yoga. You asked if that was something that I had been doing throughout my life. I definitely had a lot of years where I wasn't doing it at all, but I always go back to it. And this one seems to have stuck around for a bit longer. So that's my current interest that has a real steep learning curve, because as much as I go to the gym and I try to remain physically fit, whenever you take up a new form of exercise or one that you haven't done for a few years, it makes it really tough you are humbled by what your body is no longer able to do. So starting that again was almost a bit disheartening, but this goes back to thinking it's okay to make mistakes. And then just doing it every day made it a little bit easier and easier. And now I'm at the point where when the thirty days is, is up, I don't want to just stop. And I want to find ways to improve that. I'm trying to get into watching more TV, which

Danu Poyner:

Okay.

Amanda Young:

sounds like maybe something that a lot of people are not wanting to do, but I've never been that good at watching TV. I get distracted. I don't follow through. I rarely finish a series. Sometimes I don't finish episodes. I'm trying to be somebody who is watching things that people are talking about so that I can be part of that conversation.

Danu Poyner:

Is this something you're watching at the moment that you're enjoying

Amanda Young:

I just finished Succession. because everybody was talking about succession.

Danu Poyner:

ah, best show on television in my view. Did you like it?

Amanda Young:

oh, it's terrific. I really loved it. Wow. Those people are awful.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. It's like Lord of the flies.

Amanda Young:

they are unbelievably horrible to each other. The conversation that I've had with most people when I've been talking about Succession is how come I want to watch these people who are so awful. And because I'm not somebody who generally wants to watch something where there is no likable character whatsoever. But I heard someone say, that Succession teaches you how to watch it, because I think that a lesser show would have just been unbearable. the balance of making it enjoyable to watch these people be awful to each other because they're awful to themselves. And a lot of them don't get anything out of being horrible. I think that they do, there's a lot of comeuppance.

Danu Poyner:

there's a lot of comeuppance. and it's sort of played as comedy. So it's funny, but it's high drama as well. They're all so injured and they're just acting out their injury at each other the whole time. So there's something kind of empathetic there that you can connect to.

Amanda Young:

They are extremely wounded and they wear their wounds on the outside.

Danu Poyner:

I don't know about you. I'm not someone who tends to wear my wounds on the outside.

Amanda Young:

No. I try to pack them as far down as possible. That's another thing that I'm trying to get better at. Not that I want to emulate the characters on Succession, but I don't know that burying your wounds deep on the inside is necessarily any more admirable than wearing them on the outside.

Danu Poyner:

no, perhaps just less detrimental to others. There's a connection here to energy and empathy. Cause we've been talking a bit about that with Succession. I've noticed many people who are naturally empathetic, and I think that's probably describes both of us, can start to take on responsibility for other people's feelings and experiences, which can then spill over and start to affect their own sense of self. I know this is something that happened to me many times. It's something that I only really started to notice when you gently suggested to me once that, other people might be responsible for their own experiences.

Amanda Young:

yeah, it's definitely something that's not necessarily easy to manage, but it's something that I have tried to be aware of and try to help other people be aware of. If I can see that they might be getting a little trapped or affected by something that is happening to them. That doesn't actually have anything to do with them. I have a lot of time and patience for people and I try to give people a lot of grace. Because of that, people come to me often to unload or to just listen to them, I'm never actually going to know what's better for a person than they're going to know. So when I have my views on it, or they might come to me with a problem and I might think I know how to fix this problem, the thing is any repercussions of any action that they take and any feelings that come out of it are ultimately going to be felt by that person. They're not going to be felt by me. If someone's come to me and if I'm taking on what they're putting down, basically it doesn't help either of us. It doesn't help me help them in any way, but it doesn't help that person. Because whatever is happening, is going to be felt by them. And when someone has come to you to listen to them, they might not actually want your help. So I think that that is an important. Distinction to find out what people actually want. And if you can't help them, you don't have to take on the responsibility of helping them. you can't fix everything for everybody.

Danu Poyner:

no, you can't, you seem to have a lot of clarity about what you're picking up and what you're putting down. if I can put it that way, is that a fair assessment?

Amanda Young:

sometimes it's clear sometimes it's not, sometimes it's only clear in hindsight. And so then if that situation comes up again, then I know not to do it or vice versa. sometimes people will compare themselves to me and say that they wish that they had done X, Y, Z when dealing with this situation. But they don't know that that's true because if they had done something that they think that I might have done, a) it might not have been something that I've done, but b) it may have impacted them in a totally different way than it would have impacted me. It's almost setting a boundary of what you're going to pick up and what you're going to put down when it comes to taking on what they're saying, I don't necessarily think that I'm better equipped to deal with any situation than they are and letting it affect my sense of self isn't going to be something that's useful for either of us.

Danu Poyner:

What I hear from that is that there is a really strong sense of self sitting behind that. that's maybe natural, maybe hard won through a lot of experience. I wonder what you can tell me about, that

Amanda Young:

I don't know if it's natural or if it's hard, won. It's probably more hard won than natural. Going back to the feedback thing and the not wanting to learn new fields or start new things, because if I wasn't good at them, then I was a failure. Over time, if you're lucky you learn that you don't have to feel that way. When you remove that, you can be a little bit more confident. I used to think the confidence came from only being good at things. And To discover that you could be confident and still be learning made that a really big change for me because it removed a lot of noise. And I could just focus on who I wanted to be without all of that. What are people going to say about me? Not to say that I don't still worry about what people are going to say about me because I do it just isn't as much of a factor and it isn't as limiting to me as it used to be.

Danu Poyner:

I think it's great. I think that sense of self and confidence that goes with that is something that really stands out and a lot of people would admire, about you. so let's change gears a little bit. and I know that migration and multiculturalism are important topics for you. Is that something you'd like to talk about?

Amanda Young:

Yeah, they are important to me. I'm a mixed race person. And my dad is Australian, going back a couple of generations, my mom and her family are from Vietnam. And it can be an interesting space to sit when you're mixed race, because you've got different worlds that you live in. I have a few people who are mixed white and Asian and they can relate to this. And then I have friends who are Asian and we talk about our Asian experiences. I don't necessarily talk as much to my friends who are white about the experience of being white though, which is interesting. It's a topic that's sort of fraught because when I'm in a group of people where there are white people and Asian people, the balancing act can be weird. There are experiences that you have that are not Universal and you know that you can understand deeply what somebody else is saying, but you might just be out for drinks or something. And so you're keeping it really surface level just to keep it. Chill and fine and to not bring the mood down, but somebody can make a passing comment that can really be like, you can really feel it.

Danu Poyner:

How do you process that kind of thing when that happens? Does that sit with you beyond the moment it happens in.

Amanda Young:

it doesn't as much anymore. It doesn't need to because people talk about this stuff so much more now, by people, I mean sort of amongst my friends and that, it's not something that I have to just hold with me and then not discuss it can be something that after the fact, I then pick up the phone and we say so about this thing we discussed, we can talk a little bit more about that. obviously I'm not going into specific examples because my experiences are not necessarily universal, but there are some things that are more relatable having an Asian background than maybe I feel being half white. It's honestly, something that I really struggle with, because want to be mindful of the fact that this is my background, but I was also raised as somebody very much was like, Australia is your home and you are an Australian person, but there is no hiding the fact that half of my family are Asian and that they weren't born here. And so while sometimes it is just daily life, sometimes I'll think about it further and I want to know more about what it means to be Vietnamese and what that can look like, but sometimes it can be challenging because my family would prefer to focus on the fact that they're living in Australia.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. They're having their own experience. that's different from yours, but similar in certain ways. Yeah.

Amanda Young:

right. Yeah.

Danu Poyner:

What was it like for you to visit Vietnam for the first time?

Amanda Young:

Oh, that was a very special experience. That was the only opportunity I had to meet my grandfather, my mom's dad, met a lot of her aunties. I met two of her brothers while I was over there. I got a lot of experience in seeing what my mom's life was like. Outside of the world that I have known her in. where she grew up, what her childhood was like, realized how incredibly lucky and privileged I've been to have lived the life that I've lived and how different that could have been. And on the flip side of that, seeing my grandma, just almost in her element, just so comfortable. And she knew exactly where she was going and she knew exactly what she was doing and just running around and speaking to so many people. I can't speak Vietnamese. So I don't know if these were people that she knew or if she was just extremely friendly. Going to my grandfather's house for the first time was amazing. My sister and I didn't really know where we were going. So we're just following the speed group of people. And when we got to the house, everybody stopped. And I didn't know if we were at the right place or not, but then I saw that one of the walls was absolutely covered in photos of me and my sister and my cousins from when we were kids and even as adults. And so seeing that I knew we were at the right place, every single one of us just burst into tears. it was so great. It was so emotional.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, you had no idea that this space was here and this has been going on? and

Amanda Young:

No. I had absolutely no idea whatsoever. I didn't know that my family had been sending the photos of us. It's extremely surprising to see photos of yourself in a context where you're not expecting to see them.

Danu Poyner:

yeah. Normally you would be freaked out by it by walking into a room where someone had photos of you everywhere.

Amanda Young:

Maybe that's why I cried.

Danu Poyner:

So how old were you when you made this trip?

Amanda Young:

I was in my late twenties, I think.

Danu Poyner:

I think it's interesting what you're saying about, family and how are they focused on being in Australia. did that trip changed the way that you saw your family or the way you connect with them back in Australia?

Amanda Young:

Yeah. It really gave me a perspective shift to see where my mom grew up, which was this tiny little village. And we got to see her old house that it had been turned into a pharmacy, but she pointed out where it was. And it seems so far removed from any kind of town. We were on a bus for hours to get there. And she didn't grow up with much money at all. And just seeing the way that my family who was still over there lived really shifted things for me. It gave me the view that yeah, like I said, I'm very lucky to have had the life that I lived in. People are not as fortunate as I've been.

Danu Poyner:

thanks for sharing that. this is something that, you're taking forward with you, this interest in multiculturalism. And, I gather you're thinking about starting a podcast with, Aussie rules, football players who come from non-traditional backgrounds. Is that right?

Amanda Young:

Oh, this is another one of the interests that I have, AFL. the idea for the podcast is actually for supporters of AFL, for supporters who aren't from Australia or who didn't grow up, supporting a team, or who have a background where, their is not necessarily interested in AFL, to find out how they became supporters of the sport, but also of their team. My friend and I, both have Asian backgrounds. we are extremely keen AFL, and AFLW supporters. And we both have family members who weren't born in Australia, but are big fans of the sport. I'm interested to know how people develop these interests and particularly how they became interested in the sport. I know that supporting a team as a kid means that I have a real nostalgic feel for it. So to find somebody who when they're a bit older or as an adult developed a love for a team. It's really interesting to me how they got as passionate as I am, even though they didn't grow up that way.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, it is really interesting. I think because Aussie rules football is something that people outside of Australia generally have never heard of.

Amanda Young:

That's right.

Danu Poyner:

and even in Australia, it's very focused on a center of gravity of Melbourne, which is the most multicultural city in Australia. So on the one hand, it is a really Australian thing. It's the most popular sport in Australia. The grand final it's like the most watched TV event every year, but it is also very multicultural in its nature.

Amanda Young:

Yeah, there are definitely a lot of people that I know or that I've heard of who did not grow up with the sport, but then came to Australia and chose the team and are among that teams most passionate supporters. My uncle being one of them, extremely passionate Collingwood supporter, but grew up in Vietnam. he came over here when he was a kid, but certainly wasn't born here.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, I would love to hear this podcast. I came to AFL later, than perhaps a lot of people did. I find it a really enjoyable and wholesome way to connect with people as well. One thing we haven't really talked about today is, work, Something I've noticed is many people wrap up large parts of their identity in work, and they perform the meaningfulness of work to their sense of who they are, especially on things like LinkedIn. Many of the conversations I have on the podcast are quite work driven, but this hasn't been about that at all. How do you think about your relationship with work?

Amanda Young:

I think that we haven't focused on work for the reason that I usually in the same way that I keep my hobbies and interests compartmentalized. I keep my work somewhat compartmentalized from my life. Not as much as I used to. some of those lines are definitely being blurred, but I have always approached a job as something that I do so that I can enjoy my life outside of my job, even when I'm doing work that I find meaningful or that aligns with who I am or my personality in some way. And the work that I'm doing at the moment does that. it's not what I generally spend my time thinking or talking about. I find that few people can relate to a job or the job that you're doing. I personally prefer to find a common interest that we can talk about instead, something where we can connect in that way, having to give an elevator pitch of my job to someone, is a poor way for me to explain who I am as a person.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, I think that's very nicely put, we should probably just cover off what it is that you do for work. You're a Service Delivery Relationship Lead, working on risk mitigation and problem solving. What on earth does that mean? Can you explain, what a Service Delivery relationship Lead is to a ten-year-old?

Amanda Young:

Sure. I am the conduit between a customer and the company that I work for. I take the problems and the questions from one side, I put them through the Amanda filter and I send them out the other side. Uh, try to solve problems on both sides for the people and make sure that there is a general level of contentment. Even if not, everybody is happy with every decision that is made.

Danu Poyner:

Oh, gosh, you must be very good at that. That Amanda filter could probably be sold for some unrecognizable sum.

Amanda Young:

When I was saying that even if my work aligns to my personality in some way, and this does it still, doesn't quite encapsulate who I am as a person. But the Amanda filter is probably the bit that does most encapsulate who I am as a person. A lot of the time when I'm getting these questions from either side, they come through pretty raw. they can come through with some frustration, with some anger, with some confusion, the Amanda filter will hopefully take that stuff, process the emotion and then put a context around it. And so when I am taking it back into the other side, providing that whole context, when I'm asking that question again. So when I'm providing that context, I might say they want the answer to this question, the impact of this decision. Okay. So if we could think about an approach with that in mind, that would be great.

Danu Poyner:

So much of that would be very natural for you based on who you are. If you had to train someone to do that job, that's not easy, is it?

Amanda Young:

Yeah, I honestly don't know so much of the work that I do is really dependent on the personalities around me. I think that's true of many jobs. I can definitely train somebody to do the tasks that I do, but everybody will come to a job with their own approach. And I think that's good. I think that the job that I do does require a certain amount of patience. I've been told by many people. There is no way that I could do the job that you do in the same way that I might not necessarily be able to do the job that they do because something in my personality makes that more difficult for me. I don't love conflict, but the job that I do does put me in the path of conflict quite a bit. So I have become a lot better at conflict management than I used to be. But in terms of training somebody, how to not take that stuff personally, I have no idea how you would do that.

Danu Poyner:

Two things leap out to me here. One is, just because you're naturally good at something doesn't mean that it's meaningful to you or that you have to enjoy it, but it is a good way to, to secure your economic future and why not? but the other thing is, people talk about. This sort of stuff has soft skills. and I've never really liked that phrase because it puts it in opposition to big beating, hairy chested skills. It just seems a bit silly to me. but I think it, I have heard the language of enduring skills, which I think makes a lot more sense. The personality traits really that you build up over a period of time, that way you to interact with people, interpersonal skills in a particular way that are always going to be useful and never go out of style.

Amanda Young:

I'm not bothered by the term soft skills, although I can see why people would be. A soft skill makes it sound as though it's almost useless. But in fact, those skills have made me much more effective at my job. I'm much more able to drive an outcome because people want to help me.

Danu Poyner:

who knew you were being likable and, patient and empathic and getting on with people would help in situations where there's conflict and stuff to be done under pressure.

Amanda Young:

Some of it is a little bit quid pro quo. They know that if they help me that in the future, I will help them, which is something that you come up against when you are the conduit between the business and the customer. But definitely, I think that getting along with people is vastly underrated.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, I'm going to use that in the promo if that's okay with you. I agree. you're a very organized person, I think. And you would have to be to get both the work done, but also to manage the, incredible calendar, pressures that you've put yourself through. could you tell me a little bit about your approach to organisation.

Amanda Young:

It's changed a lot over the past few years, I was almost organized in a performative way by which I mean was color-coding planners and things like that to fit everything in. But I came to realize that was just using up more time. And was it not the most efficient way? I'm not somebody who needs to have everything laid out like that. I used to be, but now the way that I deal with it is I think of things I want to get done in a day and I try to get everything done in that day. And if things that I normally would do before work happen after work that's okay. Revolutionary. I know, but I used to have such a strict routine. If I'm going through a time where I'm having a lot of anxiety, I like having a routine because it just means that I'm not having to think too much about when I'm going to fit these things in, but I've learned to be a lot more flexible. Most of the stuff that I'm doing. I'm probably doing almost every day and the reason I'm doing it is because if I'm doing it every day, it's such a habit that I'm not have to consciously think. I must try and fit 20 minutes of guitar into my day, I must do yoga at lunchtime. If I'm doing yoga at lunchtime every day, I just know that, okay, before I eat, I'm going to have 30 minutes where I'm on the yoga mat. there's a book called atomic habits by James Clear, which is something that I read probably every year. The idea of making sure that when you're implementing a habit, you are putting it in the context of something that you're already doing in your life is the way that I have found it easiest to implement any of these new things that I want to bring up, which is why, for example, every day I will close my laptop and do yoga before lunch. And is how I approach organization.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. thanks for sharing that. That's really interesting. there is a lot of overhead that goes into thinking about what to do isn't there? I'm really interested in what you've said about taking that out of the equation.

Amanda Young:

Yeah. It's just a much more livable approach for me because spending an hour or two every Sunday to make sure that I am writing down, everything that I'm going to be doing in a week was in the end, a waste of one or two hours of my Sunday.

Danu Poyner:

It's still what I do, but I find that less satisfying than I used to. So I'm listening closely. to

Amanda Young:

Th I did use to find that very satisfying and having the finished result always looked really nice, but I got to a point where doing it was starting to annoy me. I just thought, why are you doing this? don't you stop? So I did.

Danu Poyner:

But sitting behind this. Of course, I think is a real burning need to fit things in. One of my other guests on the podcast said a phrase that has stuck with me since that she wants to go into the grave fully used up.

Amanda Young:

Oh,

Danu Poyner:

and

Amanda Young:

fantastic

Danu Poyner:

left. isn't That great. So fitting things in it's like this manic, I've got to do so much stuff. it sounds like that resonates with you.

Amanda Young:

That is such a terrific thing to say. I want to go to the grave used up as well, going to take that into my life. Life is meant to be lived. I don't want to feel like I'm just living a monotonous day-to-day existence. There's a lot of joy to be had, and that's what I want to bring into my life as much as possible.

Danu Poyner:

Absolutely. And I do like that the desire to fit things in has prompted you to transcend organization as taking up too much time.

Amanda Young:

Isn't

Danu Poyner:

it's a deep personality thing that I like a lot, and it's also interesting to, juxtapose that with, It's not happening in a straight line. Like, you've talked about lots of your interests. You've picked things up, you put them down, you pick them up again. You've done this. You've dropped out of that. did you ever have a plan A for life? What does that mean to you?

Amanda Young:

If I ever had a plan A I have long since forgotten what it was. By the time I even graduated from uni, I must've already been on plan J by that point. Even when I started that degree, I started out wanting to do something different than I ended up finishing. I'm quite happy to be adaptable and flexible in terms of what my focus is. There's so much out there to learn. I don't think that we're in the world now where you have to jump on one path and that's it, you're at that path. And then you retire and then you have time to take up a hobby. No, to take up hobbies now. That works for some people and if that's the way that they want to live, then that's great. But being forced into that way of life, it's not for Amanda.

Danu Poyner:

I remember one time you told me you'd been to see Gloria Steinem do a talk. And you said to me, in a very matter of fact way afterwards, that it had set your soul on fire. And that's another phrase that I've kept. And I use it often, myself as a kind of a reminder, a compass it's this setting my soul on fire. Is this the standard? what can you share about that experience with seeing Gloria Steinem?

Amanda Young:

so glad you liked that phrase. I remember saying that so clearly, being really enthusiastic and passionate about something is not unusual for me. I like to incorporate that into my life as much as possible. that was six years ago. That was a conversation between Gloria Steinem and Virginia Trioli. Gloria Steinem was promoting her most recent book. She was talking about being a feminist in the sixties and seventies when it was considered pretty radical. And there were some stories that she was telling, and I just felt so inspired because I thought it was so brave to be one of the pioneers, and brave, because you're really putting yourself out there and setting yourself up to be the center of attention. But also for people to attack your character and to really be in conflict with quite a lot of people. And just to be brave enough to do that, I found really inspiring.

Danu Poyner:

You think Gloria Steinem would make a good, service delivery relationship lead?

Amanda Young:

I think that we might have different skillsets. Absolutely.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. Fair. we've talked a bit about identity in lots of different ways. We've talked around it probably more than anything else. How would you like people to see you?

Amanda Young:

As somebody who is fair and kind, and somebody who doesn't turn down any opportunity to learn either a new skill or something about herself or her worldview,

Danu Poyner:

That's a very, clear and concise answer. Have you thought about that before?

Amanda Young:

Not really. That is just the energy I take with me with my life. And so the decisions that I'm making, I'm hoping reflect that when I'm in a position where I'm not really feeling myself. I think about the sort of person that I want to come across as. And so try to make my decisions based around that. It would be also really great if I were able to manipulate time in some way so that I could in some more hobbies, that would be nice too.

Danu Poyner:

Most people would choose their, one superpower to be in visibility or flying, I think. But yours would be more time.

Amanda Young:

Yeah. It would be the ability to create more time. Can you explain the invisibility thing to me? Because I know that a lot of people say that, but to me, it seems like a really seedy power.

Danu Poyner:

I probably would pick in visibility myself actually. So damn, that means I have to answer this question, doesn't it? I'm very conscious that when you interact with people you're only ever seeing the bit that's that they're choosing to show to you. and I'm really interested in human behavior and how societies work. I'm fascinated by just going and being in a room where things are happening to people talking about stuff. And I'm not influencing that situation cause they can't see me. what are they saying? It's a little bit like what you said before about, some of the multicultural thing. And sometimes people say things in an offhanded way, but who are people when you're not there? That's why invisibility would be interesting to me.

Amanda Young:

Oh, that is interesting and such a great answer. And maybe we could work together so I could create more time. And then you would be able to learn about lots of people.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, it sounds unstoppable. And we just need to team up with a few other people and

Amanda Young:

someone who could fly also.

Danu Poyner:

Yeah, any flying at this point would be great.

Amanda Young:

Wouldn't

Danu Poyner:

be

Amanda Young:

it would be wonderful.

Danu Poyner:

In that context, one thing I always ask people on podcast is, if you could gift someone a life-changing learning experience, what would it be and why?

Amanda Young:

it would be for every person to be able to find a book or a TV show or a movie that cracks them open and makes them think about the world differently and sits with them long after they've finished it. Do you have any of those? I mean for yourself, have you found that thing cracks you open and makes you think about the world differently?

Danu Poyner:

Yeah. those are the moments that I always go in search of. And I like to try and, facilitate those moments for other people as well. For me personally, I will always go back to Pixar stuff as my touchstone. There's just some really nice things in there. Ratatouille is my favorite. it just gets me every time that thing about change. and what changes My favorite thing when you're reading is it's quite lonely actually. But when you pick up a book That's, been written by someone who died before you were born and the way that they write, it's like, they're just talking just to you. and. It's just, yeah, I've been fortunate enough to find a bunch of those things. And I carry them with me and like little talismans, which is one of the reasons why I can pull out quotes, that's something people comment on that I have quotes ready to hand for a lot of things. so I'm always looking to collect more of those.

Amanda Young:

Yeah. that's really nice. I like Pixar as well and yeah, to be able to gift that to other people, I think is something that is nice. I think that everybody deserves to find at least one of those things

Danu Poyner:

Exactly. I couldn't agree more. Maybe we, can do a Ratatouille Disney race together at some point.

Amanda Young:

we should, they just had

Danu Poyner:

Oh,

Amanda Young:

or the month

Danu Poyner:

wow. count me and I'm terrible at running, but I'll do it. we've been talking for a long time. I really appreciate you coming on the podcast, especially given that you don't like being the center of attention, but I think, for myself and, the people listening, we're very grateful to have a big dose of Amanda energy. And thank you for sharing all of your wonderful insights and, positivity and optimism, and resilience. Thank you so much, really appreciate it.

Amanda Young:

Thank you so much for having me. I have had a really great time. It's been a lovely conversation

Danu Poyner:

so yeah. thank you. It's been a great pleasure.