This started as a text message.
The paragraph got too long so I broke it down into bullet points.
Then I copy and pasted my words into the notes app.
It got longer and I thought “maybe it can be a voice memo.”
Then I realized…you don’t need this opinion piece.
If I know anything about kindness, it’s only what I’ve learned from my many failures to show kindness to others. I’m pretty sure we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. So today I want to share a few things I’ve been thinking about lately.
Empathy is fundamentally about emotions. It’s the ability to understand and respond to another person’s emotions, and even to feel their emotions for yourself. Like most things, it’s a skill that requires constant refinement.
Let’s start with what NOT to do:
Something special happened yesterday. It was a brief moment but it keeps replaying in my head.
Sung has gotten really (and I mean really) into fishing. I am not too into it myself, but I like to join him because it’s a great excuse to spend a few hours in nature. Yesterday we woke up at dawn, packed some bagel sandwiches, and drove out to the river near our house.
If I hadn’t quit my job, I wouldn’t have met the love of my life.
Two years ago, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant called Hinoki and the Bird. I was tired of handing out menus and walking around in high heels. My dream was to become a bartender, and I thought I stood a chance because I’d previously been a busser and a barback at two other restaurants.
When I asked Hinoki’s management if I could train behind the bar, they brushed me off with “maybe next year.” I was too impatient. I took their response as a sign that my future wasn’t in the restaurant industry.
Today did not live up to my hopes and dreams.
Sung and I went on a date to the county seat. This was a new area for him, and I hadn’t been there in years. So we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous spring weather and do some exploring with Lotus.
I couldn’t wait to show Sung my favorite hike in the county. Waterfalls and panoramic views, plus the promise (this week only) of a stunning wildflower display. But the first item on our agenda: visiting the Hall of Records. We walked into the impressive new building hand-in-hand and waited in line, six feet apart from everyone else.
If you saw me with my dog Lotus today, you would never guess that I used to be terrified of dogs.
Actually, terrified is an understatement. Ever since I can remember, I had a deep phobia of pretty much all animals. Cats freaked me out and rodents made me squirm. Birds and reptiles … forget it. Fish were the least offensive, but I still shied away at the thought of touching one.
Last night me and Sung had a little quarrel. The topic was the most stereotypical, timeworn area of domestic contention: dirty dishes in the sink.
How are there so many?
Why have they been sitting there for so long?
Why is there a funnel at the bottom of the pile?