So it came as a bit of a shock to me when I learned that living with my friends is actually quite difficult for me.
I've essentially lived alone for the past two years. In Vancouver I had three room mates in the fall, but we hardly ever saw each other, preferring to cook alone and spend time in our rooms. By January there were only two of us left in the apartment, each with our own bathrooms and operating on completely different schedules, so I, for all intents and purposes, lived on my own.
When I moved back home, I lived in my parents' basement apartment. I moved freely between the house and the apartment, but I chose to live independently, for the most part. I had my own bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living space. I cooked for myself, entertained guests, and often days went by without any lengthy conversations between myself and my parents. I was effectively living alone.
The first person I told about my acceptance to Carleton (after my mom, obviously) was my friend and current landlord Steve. I was so excited to not only live in Ottawa, but be room mates with a long-time friend. I learned that another friend, conveniently also named Steven, would be living here too, and I thought Amazing. I will have room mates from Newfoundland! My friends! This is the best!
And it is the best. It's awesome to have an Ottawa family. The Steves are fun and make me laugh and easy going and therefore easy to live with. We cook together and eat together and invite each other places and watch movies and have a family text thread. It's nice to always have someone to talk to or go somewhere with or invite you places or offer to pick you up from school. I feel safe and comfortable and happy.
But here's the truth: I am not good at living with other people. What I mean is: I am not good at not thinking of the group as opposed to myself. I never think of what we are going to have for supper, rather what I want. I am resentful that I can't listen to CBC Radio One to get my morning laughs and news at 5:45 am because it's not polite to wake people at such an ungodly hour. I feel guilty for wanting to read alone or watch something on my own instead of participating in family movie. I'm bad at not living alone.
Don Miller has a whole chapter dedicated to being alone (called "Alone" if I'm not mistaken) in Blue Like Jazz (and seriously, if you haven't read it yet what are you waiting for? Me to talk about it more? Because I will!). He says:
When you live on your own for a long time, however, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn't normal behavior. There is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget the way to the surface. Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.
And I think that's interesting and difficult and true. So I am slowly working my way out of myself and embracing this wonderful Ottawa family that I've been given. It's so nice to not be alone.
Number of books read in 2012: 16
Current TV series: The Office (UK) series 1
Current nail colour: Illamasqua's "Muse"