This post was originally written on 3/14/11 and I am sharing it because it shows where I was 18 months ago, in contrast to where I am today. I will be posting Sunday some observations on starting life long community with the beautiful Hannah.
Recently I moved into a community home with some friends. We meet regularly to talk about life, faith and fun. Not necessarily in that order. And while it hasn’t revolutionized my life, it has been changing parts of it. I am forced to share things— like the kitchen and bathroom. There are chores— well a chore— I am responsible for. And I am not good at that. It has been a few years since I shared well. A few years since people depended on me to clean up, or flush, or make sure the shower curtain is all the way in the tub.
I have a natural tendency to become a lone ranger. And not a Kemo Sabe that can be trusted but a dude that marches to the beat of his own drummer. And occasionally gets a new drummer because the old beat was tired. I like to be in control. To rule. I know I like my space a lot so force myself to live with others because I would just become a slug if no one was in my life to see me sleeping for a week straight. Or the house was still quiet when I didn’t go to work.
I think most of my old roommates would say I ran the house. Not because I was given the title, it was just something I took. I decided when the lone ranger’s house was too dirty, or too cluttered or too bland and needed art from the street. I mean I did have seniority, but I am not oldest, most of the time.
Here’s the thing… I like being the lone ranger so far as I am in control, but not in charge of others. And I am realizing I am not “good” at living with others. I like being able to hide in a corner when I come home from work, or volunteering, or hanging.
I am not good at helping. I don’t know what needs to be done, because “it looks ok to me” or “that is their dish, they might want to reuse it” or “that recycle bin can fit a little more…oh look someone else emptied it”
This occasionally leads me to feel like I am failing my friends and the community. When I don’t jump in or when someone else does what I was planning to do…later. But the wonderful thing about community and people that care about all parts of life is that they forgive. And while it might take a little bit of talking through they are willing to forget your shortcomings. And are more than willing to admit hypocrisy that they mess up too.
I think I like community living.