WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Jenni Ho-Huan
7 min readJul 4, 2021
four horses walking on mountain range with sun shining brightly
by Witold Ziomek

Where Do You Live?

When I was younger and still learning the mechanics of the English Language, I did not know how to answer this question. We were taught instead to respond to “what is your address?”.

Actually, what I was taught seems accurate.

We do life in many spaces with many people. Even with most of us shuttered at home (where we are lucky to have one), we venture beyond the confines of our walls with the help of the the virtual world abetting our wanderlust, lostness and insatiable hunger for some perfect home-scape, or escape.

We all know someone who is posting old travel pics (this time last year…or soon I hope to be back here again!).

My address is a four bedroom flat in tropical Singapore, at the heart of the island. I have other addresses too: my email, website, social media handles, phone number. Different people reach me, hang out or lash out at me using these variant forms of my imprint and presence.

But where do I — really — live?

To live is to be alive the dictionary informs me — at a location, or with persons (Oxford).

So I live where I come alive!

In that case, I think it would be fun on a sultry afternoon like this to make a list of where I come alive.

As someone who teaches Solitude, I live by myself, and I enjoy it — provided I am safe.

Of course, I live with my spouse, two children and our cat, Chats. This is the elemental sort of living — mostly mundane, daily, repetitive — which gets easy to take for granted. But it’s also the living that grounds.

This living happened and still happens in tension with my first family where I grew up, more a tribe with eight siblings. I missed my siblings (some much more than others), my mother, and our rather wayang* ways. The Chinese have our own version of the Italian family that is full of words and food.

I wanted to create of course the perfect-er home, and all I had were materials from my first one and new, unfamiliar, often, ill-fitting bits contributed by the spouse. We did not even share the same blueprint at times, or we held it the wrong way around. The children, who inherited more of my genes where it came to ideation…

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