Is the honeymoon over?

Kelli and Grace

Kelli and Grace

I’m back in forth contemplating the thought. Not that this is a bad thing, rather it’s completely natural. It does not mean that the genuine love or best intentions for my housemates have faltered.

However, my housemates and I are often working to balance our outside priorities with our relationships to one another, meaning shorter conversations when in passing or simply going a day or two without seeing each other. This was an inevitable. Our habits are becoming more transparant as well. It seems as though a couple of challenges are starting to surface. Once again, inevitable.

Although we all split house chores, dishes is something we all are responsible for. For the last couple of days, I forgot what the bottom of our sink and countertops looked like. Luckily, it doesn’t take too long before a couple of us realize that it’s out of hand and to take intiative to clean. It’s suprisingly relaxing and kind of fun to clean with a couple of my housemates while jamming out to some tunes. Another issue has been the budget. We were about $125 over budget in food this month. Something that our house coordinator says we’ve been improving in, but still have to work on.

Well it’s all part of the package. Especially when some of my housemates priorties collide. Sleeping vs. doing homework. Going out with friends or staying to help plan a housemate’s birthday. Community living is not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to bend and shape us in ways when we least expect. We can not always anticipate when issues erupt, or choose when we want to deal with them. This seems like such a natural part of being a human, you know, interacting and engaging in relationships with others. Yet, sometimes we will go to extreme costs to avoid the conflict, for the sake of not rocking the boat. Perhaps that’s why so many choose to live alone. We leave our families are a younger age, we move to a big city, live alone or with only a few and make individual decisions. Hey, it’s easier that way.

I look back on a year ago when I lived in alone in an apartment down the street. The quiet, cleanliness and ease of living alone are things I miss. But after a year, I felt the unnaturalness of the solitude. I was longing

Community dinner Wednesday night

Community dinner Wednesday night

for constant company, even if I was only reading or cooking. I’ll continue to reflect throughout this blog on personal reasons for choosing communal living. There are many reasons in my decision, like wanting to build meaningful relationships. On Sunday night, I was talking to Michael Meyer, a V&L member from last year about the different reaons people decide to come and live together. Financial reasons, environmentmal sustainability, and companionship are definetely the biggest ones. We may decide to join a community for one reason but discover other benefits with time. Michael said he joined because he just wanted to make friends, but in time, he realized how living in the house has helped him walk a lighter footprint on the earth. He still drops of his recycling here.

I’m hoping as I continue to visit other communities that those main reasons (finance, companionship, environment) become more defined and that I can better understand the call to community.

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