My roommate just left for the airport, and I’m back to my solitude. The apartment is a little more optimized for packing like a banshee. We figured out the weird smell on the balcony. (Gah). And there are no mice in our apartment. So, if a mouse friend was here, my spray air attack totally worked.
We had a decent weekend. We didn’t fight or even snarl. We’ve been getting along so well lately, and we seem to be on the same page about most things. Hopefully, it continues.
My roommate and I have had a difficult relationship for a long time. While we respect and care about one another, since he moved in, it hasn’t been easy. Lots of factors played into that. One being that we were in a short relationship prior to his moving in and broke up that week. We also were both going through some crap–which motivated the living together part. In many ways, we are maddeningly alike. We understand each other very well, but we are also both kind of explosive personalities in that we’re very passionate and very opinionated. About everything. He grew up in white America, on the East coast (Maine). He wasn’t affluent, but he has gone to Harvard and lived in Boulder for quite a while. I grew up in a heavily Asian and Hispanic, lower class neighborhood. I’ve mostly lived in Denver and went to a Jesuit college. I tend to get along with almost everyone.
I never really realized how much my childhood has influenced my personality and how I communicate. I have adopted a lot of the Vietnamese culture I was raised around–and nothing brings that out more than conflict. For whatever reason, my shorthand, my impreciseness, my passive way of fighting, really triggers a lot of crap for my roommate. Add in my ability to disassociate and my need to control, often, and we have some big issues.
We’ve worked a lot together on keeping a strong friendship. I’ve done therapy. He’s gotten help for his anger and ADD. But for a long time, it was like walking on eggshells. Not a lot of fun. We’re also both introverts and also living in a small space. And both of us haven’t had the best five years.
I think a lot of the recent changes in our friendship have been because we’re finally moving forward in our lives–both have jobs we like and are doing well in many ways. We’ve worked hard to make these changes. Just having more space and time apart helps tremendously too.
He’s been out in the Bay Area for about six months now and has started to build friendships/settle in to things out there. He also has found a love interest after years of not dating–who is apparently very similar to me in how she thinks and acts. We share a lot of common childhood crap–though hers was much more severe than mine and is ongoing. I think he’s less reactionary to me because he’s able to see my quirks through a different lens.
Some things recently happened for her–and my roomie asked me this weekend if it would be okay for her to live with us–or at least to stay there until I’m out there. I knew he wouldn’t ask unless a) it was necessary, and b) he thought it would be good for all of us. I told him I was fine with her staying till January. Just no shenanigans in my room and keep the kitchen clean. But after that, I told him I’d have to know more about her–to tell her to make sure this was the best fit for her and to have other options ready. I don’t want her feeling like she’s stuck, and I don’t want to feel like I have to say yes.
That said–I feel like we could get along and that it could be a good situation. I’ve been wanting to be social more, and it would be nice to have someone to talk to who uniquely understands some of the crap I go through. Maybe I could help her too. We certainly do seem to have a lot in common. She’s also going to be going to MSW school, so we might be able to study together too. And it would also help me afford a new car–since I’d like that freedom–and would give me money to hire a personal trainer and do more self-care stuff. The way our apartment is situated, it should be easy to manage as long as we have good boundaries in place and a contingency plan in case things go awry. Overall, I think it would be good for me. I’ve had roommates before and lived with an ex, but I’ve never had more than 1 person to deal with–except when my dad and mom were alive and still lived together.
There is some nervousness, too–not going to lie–but I know my roomie will respect my wishes–so I can feel okay saying no if things aren’t a good fit. I actually kind of wanted to get another roommate when we started looking, but thought it would be really awkward for them. As I told a friend yesterday, my roomie and I have a bratty brother and sister relationship. We know where all the bodies are buried and take no shit from each other. It’s led people to think we were together or that we were actually siblings.
I’m excited about the next chapter of my life. I know–whatever happens–I’m only going to be there a short while before braving the East coast. Unless, of course, I fall in love with some tech geek and settle down out there. (Yea, right…hahah).
It’s kind of nuts to think my roommate will only be out one more time before he comes out to get us out of here. We should be out there by New Year’s Eve. My goal is to pack at least 1 box a day and rid the apartment of at least one bag of crap. Either donation, trash, recycling or something. I think I can do it, but man, it’s gonna suck.
I think my favorite part of all of it is deciding what things need to stay and what I can release–with love. That includes people, memories, and stuff. I’m so glad I rolfed yesterday (though–OWW)…and plan to do it again right before we leave. My heart is lighter and less grief-stricken. It’s always such a nice thing to catch up with T and release all the crap I hold in my body.
Life is good. Hopefully, it’ll be even better in 2 months.