Yes, Dim Sum for One, Please

About Dim sum for one?

Years ago I wrote an article called Dim Sum for One.

Let me first say I had no idea how dim sum worked, had never had dim sum, and assumed it was solely a group activity. It was something I dearly wanted to experience.

However, the thought process and underlying meaning of the desired experience still stood. Back then, I was processing life as a single woman and all the things that meant for me, my bucket list, and what I thought I could and couldn’t do in life.

Hand-in-hand with fear

Many of my life choices are rooted in fear. To be concise, I’ll tell you what my therapist recently told me that I can’t get out of my head;

Fear has been walking alongside me for so long, I don’t even notice it anymore.

Fear entered my world when I was about 11 and it stayed. Catering to fear’s demands is second nature to me now and holy Moses I can see now just how many choices in direct response to the avoidance of pain, loneliness, hunger, failure, poverty, you name it. I did things because I was scared of what would happen if I didn’t. I’m basically a walking ad for FOMO.

So I started making decisions by asking myself if I actually wanted to do something – or if I was doing it because I was scared. My approach to work, friendships, investing, and other life choices changed. The biggest change was deciding to take a year off from work.

Two months ago now, I left my job. It was a good, stable job that I enjoyed for the greater part of a decade. It’s interesting though because this is my second time doing this – blowing up my life as I know it, I mean. Hitting the reset button, if you will. Hell, this website started because of said implosion. Indie was created in pursuit of not imploding, or not going down the wrong path again, of listening to myself and making decisions that would make me happy.

Alas, I’m human. I did it again. Ka-boom.

Fast forward

Back to the dim sum.

This past summer I had a beautiful full-circle moment – about 5 years after I wrote my original Dim Sum piece.

As I mentioned, Dim Sum for One was written at a particularly sad time in my life. Heartbroken, sensitive, and not sure how to find myself again, I wanted to do the thing that had always brought me joy – traveling. Trying new things and meeting new people sets my heart on fire.

At this time, my self-confidence was at an all-time low and I couldn’t see how I’d ever be able to do anything like go to dinner alone. People would see me alone, I thought, and they’d know I was a loser. They’d know that deep down there was something wrong with me. How could there not be? I was alone.

Ah-ha moment

On my first night in London, I was hungry and landed at a busy spot next to my hotel that served Chinese food.

There was a wait, but not for a table of one (my favorite travel hack), and the host sat me facing a crowded restaurant. Couples, groups, and friends sit in front of me, drinking, eating, having fun, and loving the food.

So this is dim sum. I think. Not making the connection.

It’s not a table for ten people, there’s not a huge rotating plate in the middle with a ton and food. Wait, also, I don’t see the carts that come around with even more food. This is dim sum, right?

Clearly, I was clueless. Honestly, I still don’t claim to really know much, I’ve only been to one dim sum spot (so good).

Chowing down on amazing food, I start thinking about how happy I am, how lucky I am to be here, to have found this place, and secured a table. Thank goodness it was just me and I wasn’t trying to seat a whole group of people. Also, why had it taken me so long to try dim sum, I’ve always wondered what it was like …

and then I made the connection:

This is Dim Sum for one.

I giggle. I’m laughing out loud, alone, in a dim sum restaurant. This is one of those life moments that comes when you least expect it – and I am enjoying it.

Without meaning to, I just quelled my own deep-seated fear: I am enough. I am whole. I’m eating freaking dim sum alone  – years after I first worried about being alone – and I’m freaking fine! Years after that breakup, I sit here being the person I was afraid I’d never be again.

Quick Note

Only now, upon reflection and editing this piece, did I research the history and meaning of dim sum. Of course, the gift keeps on giving, because I now know that Dim Sum means “touch the heart” and was originally intended as a snack to feed the heart, not necessarily to fill the belly. Well well, dim sum, well well.

About the Author


Brianna is a businessperson with a passion for social science and healthy living. They seem to always intersect and come together on Indie. If you’d like to read more articles like this one, check out Indie. Thanks, as always, for reading!


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