When I started living on my own, friends and friends of friends started going back to their family homes. All of them had the same and only reason --- they're tired of living alone and miss the feeling of having family around when they get home. At that time, I thought they were nuts.
And then I experienced the same thing.
I think I'm getting to that point where I miss going home to what I perceive to be family and a warm home. Even if I am able in the kitchen, there's something rewarding about going home after a long day's work and seeing the dining table set for you with the delicious aroma of sauteed onions and/or garlic greeting you as you slowly put down your things. I miss hearing my sister or brother yakking it over the phone in the background as I watch television or read my book. I miss talking the ears off my family with my endless banter and opinions even if no one's really listening. In turn, I miss my siblings and my dad talking my own ears off to tell me about their day or their friends' day. Somehow, being at home, though not always happy, reassured me that someone cared for you (When I'm sick or during storms, this thought perenially comes to mind. If I suddenly die right there and then, how long will it take for my family and friends to discover my body since they are not in the habit of checking up on me now that I've grown up and live on my own?).
I won't deny that I've thought about packing up and just returning to where I grew up. Then, I remember all my reasons for being on my own and I know that I can no longer go back. I just have to move on, and, hopefully, rather than get used to being alone, I will have the opportunity to create my own home, whether I'm single or I'm married.
Until that time, my current coping mechanisms will have to do: constantly playing my cds, inviting friends over for weekend dinners, going out with my sibling at least every 2 weeks, reading books like there's no tomorrow, cooking and baking, surfing the net, sms.
I wonder how people on their own in other countries cope. Or do they need to cope?
Don't get me wrong. This isn't about not wanting to be alone anymore (I do like being alone most of the time.). I guess it's more about getting nostalgic about matters that I always took for granted. Or maybe it's missing the comfort of knowing that someone will always be on the lookout for you no matter what happens. Yeah yeah. I know that, in the end, you just have to look out for yourself, but am being realistic here. It IS nice to be taken cared of every now and then, right?
Here's a simple recipe I've concocted when you get to feel this way. No need for measurements. Your best gauge is your palate.
COMFORT ME ULAM
1. Saute lots of minced garlic (I used a head of garlic!) in a little Golden Fiesta Cooking Oil only until you begin to smell the appetizing aroma of the garlic. Add sliced radish.
2. Place 1 whole small fish (I used a member of the lapu-lapu family locally known as Ulpot.) and saute for a few seconds.
3. Add shrimp broth to your heart's delight (I had this because I cooked shrimp the week before and the recipe called for peeled and beheaded shrimp. I LOVE these parts so I couldn't just throw them away. Decided to boil, strain, and freeze the broth for later use.).
4. Simmer and season with salt to taste.
5. Eat and feel a little better.