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:
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.
“Secrets” might be a bit of a stretch since I’m sure you can find these tips in any cooking tutorial on YouTube. However, I was no stranger to the kitchen when I was growing up, and I didn’t know all these until I started cooking with Sung.
Sung cooked for five years in Los Angeles. He started as a line cook at a fast food place where he fell in love with the profession. After working his way up at several restaurants, he was promoted to head chef of a trendy fine dining restaurant. That’s where he got to manage the kitchen, create menu items, all that cool stuff. And it’s also where he met me.
I’m lucky to live with a chef, not only because he makes delicious food at home, but because he’s teaching me the art of cooking. Today I want to share the most important things I’ve learned from sharing a kitchen with him.
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?