Realising the meaning of empathy

English wasn’t my first language and I don’t think Mandarin was either. However, I feel that sometimes, I understand the Chinese language (dialects included) better even though I have been 100% English educated from 2005 until 2013. 

The word that I think people often misunderstand is “empathy”. It is easy to mistake it as a synonym of “sympathy”. To me, when I learned those words, it was difficult to understand. Language is a beautiful thing, it is easy to understand once you start looking at the broader perspective of the origin of the word. 

To me, the difference between empathy and sympathy just did not fully make sense. However, once I have had a little more life experience as well as time to really think about the meaning (with the help of the equivalent in Chinese), I realised the differences and I suppose, the true meaning of those words and how we can actually apply in our daily lives. 

I believe that empathy is equivalent to 包容 and sympathy is 同情 in Chinese. 

For my own circumstances, I felt that people didn’t “understand” me, I felt more “sorry” from the others rather than empathy. 

I used to be angry, frustrated and even blamed the people closest to me for not understanding my situation and where I was coming from. 

But now I don’t anymore. 

It was unreasonable for me to expect others who were from different walks of life to understand me the way I wanted them to. The fact that they cared enough to try, was good enough. 

I’m not saying that I’m always calm and collected these days, but I feel that I have grown up slightly and that I am able to also be more understanding of others today.

When in doubt, just take deep breaths, step back (literally & figuratively), and think. Smile, and be grateful for the positives out of the situation and try to understand. 


chamomile tea – calming

Have a great week ahead, everyone. Smile more 🙂 


When life gets in the way of plans…

I’m a visual planner, you see. I love making lists and plan my days out. This applies in my personal life as well as at work and for this website. It just makes it easier for me to visualise what things need to be done and I can also prioritise my tasks visually.

At the start of this year, I had so much planned for this website. I had recipes and techniques I wanted try and to then share the experiences here, as well as other general “life things” to write about. I had a list.

However, things started to get busy at work and I was also quite overwhelmed by other things in my life that it didn’t really go to plan. In the end, I just decided to let it go for a bit and not be so rigid. I had to stop being so harsh on myself for not posting regularly.

I have learned from my recent experiences and through my ex-colleagues that, sometimes, “plans will need to catch up with the changes in our lives”. I translated that from a Chinese phrase I saw at work. The phrase was “计划要赶得上变化”, it is what my ex-colleagues wrote on their white board and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

I could plan and make endless lists but at the end of the day, I need to learn to be flexible enough to not resist change. I’ve slowly managed to embrace changes in certain aspects of my life rather than being scared of them. Obviously, there are some areas of my life that I am holding on to the status quo a lot firmer but we have to take small steps.

While I did not update this space, I did actually bake some stuff here and there on my days off work. Here are some snippets:

Earl Grey Lemon Opera Petite Patissiere

Earl Grey Lavender Opera with a hint of Lemon

Chocolate Shells Petite Patissiere

Practising my chocolate tempering skills

Lavender Macarons Petite Patissiere

Lavender Dark Chocolate Macarons

Vanilla Bean Macaron Shells Petite Patissiere

Plain Macaron Shells with Vanilla Bean Specks

Roasted Milk Chocolate Macaron Petite Patissiere

Roasted Milk Chocolate Macaron

That’s it for now, my friends. Have a nice week ahead!