I was talking to a friend of mine once (can’t remember who it was now) about whether all the trouble that comes with living alone, putting your own shelter over your head, and by-and-large having to figure out and fix things by yourself is worth that state called independence. At the end of the day, you get less time, less money (a lot of my friends and colleagues still live with their parents, thus missing out on that wonderful experience called paying the rent, which in HK is saying a LOT), and less energy and concentration after all the bills and contracts and broken lightbulbs you have to deal with. And sometimes I tend to think that I can do so much more writing and trying to get published otherwise.
Still – yes, though. I’ve been living by myself for the past five years and supporting myself for the past three. And let’s be honest, for a 24-year-old who grew up in an Asian country in an Asian family – basically a culture that’s grounded in keeping the brood in the nest for as long as it takes, unless the chick takes some initiative – that’s saying something, I think. Having learned a lot is parceled in automatically with that experience, for one thing. And that kitchen-sink-grit-and-realism has been fun in a character-building way and has also crept slowly into my writing too, which I’ve thought had been too baroque and ivory-towerish and rather airy-fairy too many times anyway. I’ve discovered I quite enjoy writing scenes that include the quotidian domesticities of life now. (I also enjoy inserting big words like ‘quotidian’. Even though it is completely unnecessary in the sentence.)
So in celebration of the kitchen sink, let me introduce my bosom buddies for the past few weeks:
And I have a few Century 21 real-estate agencies to visit today. Wish me luck. Here’s to independence.