Taken to a popular cafe with freshly baked goods and a great atmosphere this morning… As we sat down in the glorious February sun, we found a bucket of water with four squirting water guns by the table. I saw my friend’s hubby’s face light up as he picked it up for a play – “what a great idea!” the new dad said, squirting water into the plants on the side. My eyes wondered and found a tub of chalk casually placed on the side. It moved me deeply – such lovely, thoughtful attention to detail in creating a relaxing space… I’m sure it is greatly appreciated by the people with young children, but it also inspires the playfulness in the rest of us! Time for some sidewalk graffiti? : )
Auckland. I spent a mere 6 years here in my youth – that’s only one fifth of my life as of this moment. A lot of old family friends, “aunties and uncles”, as well as childhood friends’ parents, are here. These are the “grown ups” who have known me as a child, a teen. Every time I visit Auckland they welcome me so warmly with so much love it makes me realise why I still feel insecure and alone in the place that I call “home”.
Sydney. The place where I have spent most of my life living in. The place where I have learnt the most about myself, have grown, gotten educated, and learnt to take care of myself. I have met so many wonderful people here who are so dear to me. It’s hard to imagine living away from Sydney because of the life I have built for myself here. I love what this city has to offer – the beauty, the opportunities, the things to learn/see/experience, the people to meet, the food to eat…
But what it lacks for me, is family. Christmas, Chinese New Years, even birthdays… Always make me feel extra alone, small, and vulnerable. The more I “grow up” the more I see how important family is and how much I crave the warmth of one. I’ve always always appreciated the parents of my ex-boyfriends who welcomed me into their family… It meant so much to me, and I don’t think I ever expressed my gratitude… (If you’re reading, please thank your mums and dads for me). I also am really grateful for the friends who have taken me in during those lonely festivities (you know you are family to me).
You may ask – why don’t you go back to your family then Emi? Oh I do want to… But Taiwan is just not a place I want to live/work in. As much as I love Taiwan and its people… I need the variety that Sydney offers. Culture, language, values… I can’t go back.
A sense of belonging. If I have a family of my own here in Sydney, will I feel like I belong? Or will I feel more alone? As much as people complain about in-laws, I think I look forward to having someone else to call mum and dad. I know it will never be the same as your own parents, but if I should be so lucky to live close to them, I will put in the effort… to make them feel like family.
Seeing your childhood friends with their new babies and their new homes really does make you think a lot. I know people worry… But no, no regrets. I am where I am in life because of what I needed to learn. I can only trust that the angels will look after me, as I walk on, brave as can be, all by myself…