In October, I visited my family in Taiwan. Living with my aunts meant I was cared for in the most thoughtful way possible around the clock, which I hadn’t experienced in a long while.
Being Taiwanese, my youngest aunt made sure I had fresh cut-up fruit for breakfast every morning. It was different every day. As soon as they heard that I liked mantou, Taiwanese steam buns, they bought some home from the best mantou shops in the city. We had different fish every dinner after I commented on the broad selection of fish we didn’t have in the US.
I have been debating moving back to Taiwan. Having a huge family there is an important factor. Being such an American, I immediately thought of looking for a place of my own. My aunts and close Taiwanese friends asked, “why do you want to live by yourself? Why don’t you live at home (with my aunts)?”
How much personal space do I need? And why?
As a minimalist, I have been trying to cut out material things at home. I can apply that mindset to my living space as well. A home should be a place that is comfortable and safe, and I have that at my aunt’s place. I have a warm bed, a roof over my head, hot water for showers, and, more importantly, love and care. Personal space doesn’t have to be physical space. It’s a frame of mind.
Will I have more freedom and independence to have my own place?
At younger ages, I used to feel constrained when I visited my relatives in Taiwan. Every time I went out, there would be so many questions. When I wanted to do something, there would be suggestions and objections. But now, instead of feeling a lack of freedom, I understand the intent is love and care. I’m able to balance my wants with their inquiries.
I’ll have more family nearby.
My family is huge; most of my brothers and sisters (cousins) are in Taiwan. When I was in town, they all showed up. Calvin took me to beaches, night markets, spas, and massage places. Chao showed me bookstores, restaurants, and cities with lots of new construction. It was nice to hear them calling me “dear sister.”
When the time is right, I’ll move back with my aunt. Very un-American, I know. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have to prove I’m independent to be independent. Living with family doesn’t take away freedom. A single one-person household isn’t always smart or economically sound.
Being single doesn’t mean being alone. Romantic love is not the only kind of love that exists and fills the heart. Time to consolidate and combine our forces.
I think we make decisions sometimes based on what looks right as opposed to what feels and is right. Living with family is as good as life ever gets, in my view. And if you feel happiness and contentment, there is your answer.