Sunday, March 3, 2013

Living Alone

This post would probably make a lot more sense had it been written several months back, but I never really thought about it until now, after stumbling upon a video about "living alone."'s a big step in my life, a GIANT step, yet I never really gave it much thoughts. Until now.

So it has been about 7 months since I moved out half way across the world to live on my own. In all honesty, it hasn't been too bad, well, most of the time. There are definitely many perks of living alone, especially when I'm venturing out to a new country. First of all, no curfew! Yea, that's a biggie, since I had been living under strict curfew pretty much my whole life before coming to Taiwan (I know, hard to believe for someone my age, but it's true. My parents love me a little too much.) So that was probably one of the most exciting things I look forward to about moving out. I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want, as long as I want. Freedom is sweet! Well, there is that one little thing called public transportation that I had to consider to catch the last train back to town before everything stops running and we had to count our luck to meet some nice strangers who happen to be on the way and offer to give us a ride (but that may be a story for another time).

Anyway, freedom. Lots of it. It's my own place, I can decorate it however I want, no longer the need to make my bed every morning, doing the dishes after every meal, waiting for the bathroom...But I'm a pretty clean person, so I do try to keep my room pretty clean and tidy. It's definitely nice with no one else around, because I can play whatever music I want, drink out of the bottle, and heck, even walk around the room naked if I really want to. Yea, freedom!

Nevertheless, as with everything else in life, freedom comes with its own price. As much as I have enjoyed being on my own, there are many things I miss from living with my parents, many things I have taken for granted before. I miss the warmth of a family. I miss coming home after work to the sound of my parents' chatters and laughter, my dad's random singing to his made-up tunes, my dog, everyone talking and sharing about our day at the dinner table, enjoying hot tea and fresh-cut fruits after dinner in front of the TV with my parents. I especially miss being under my parents' tender care when I'm sick (I've noticed my homesickness hitting the hardest here during those times.) Overall, I miss the feeling of being the baby of the family.

Probably what I miss most of all, though, is my dad's cooking. I have always loved my dad's cooking, but what I miss the most is not just the food itself, but more of the gestures involved. Nothing feels warmer than waking up in the morning and coming downstairs to a warm breakfast waiting at the table, prepared by my caring father just to make sure I have a good meal to start the day. Then there's coming home after school and work each day to the aroma from the kitchen as my dad busied himself preparing for dinner. Often times at night, while I buried myself in front of the computer working on homework, studying, my dad would quietly come into my room with a little bit of warm snacks, hot tea, milk, whatever he conjured up that night. Those I call my "comfort food," to carry me late into the night until I finish my work. These are his way to show how much he really cares for me.

I guess all these things make me seem pretty spoiled before. I do feel spoiled, but it is little things like these that I have come to cherish so much now that my parents are no longer by my side. My mother showed her love through the daily conversation that we shared, fussing at me to get things done as I should, and my father showed his love through all the food he prepared for me. From this experience, I find myself to value family so much more than I did before, I find comfort in seeing my parents smile, knowing they had a good day, and I treasure each day I get to spend with them.

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