When I posted about my Couchsurfing experiences I had a couple of people talk to me about communal living. I don’t know what the actual definition for communal living is but I do not live the definition, I have altered it to my beliefs. Usually when people discuss communal living situations they think of the 70’s free spirited love child people. I am far from that. There are a few books I have read that have changed the course of the way I think. One was Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I read it way before I moved down to Florida, but I can tell you it was the deciding factor of why I did. I can barely remember the book now but I remember the thoughts provoked from its read. I first became intrigued by living with more people from this book and when I moved to Florida I was desperate for other people like me to share the life I lived. There were other deciding factors but for the most part I just didn’t want to live in a house, apartment, condo by myself.
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just splitting the rent with some random people, I wanted to know who they were. So I’ve done this for the past two years and love it. Yes there are moments where I want to be left alone and am annoyed with everyone but that’s where respect comes into play. Before I go deeper in let me tell you the terms of my community living. The people I lived with had to be Christians. Obviously if I want to walk with someone I am living with we have to have the most important thing in common. They had to be girls. This should be obvious if you’re going to correlate the first one to the second one. If you are not a Christian then this doesn’t apply to you. If I want to do life with someone and be able to relate, it would become very difficult to do that with a guy. Also if I am to be viewed from the outside by non Christians and they see I am sharing rooms with guys what kind of picture does that portray? This is just my opinion, if you don’t agree that is fine. They have to be laid back. Living with more then one person from a totally different upbringing, you can’t be uptight. If the dishes don’t get done right away you can’t be in a constant annoyance. They have to share. I am huge on sharing, especially with my food. I don’t want to love something and not be able to have someone else experience it as well (this is not referring to just food.) They have to know when to respect space. Even with desiring living with other people you still will need your own time. I have found that in the past if you are consumed with people around you all the time you will take pieces of their identity and lose yourself. My advice before starting this is, know confidently who you are and who you are in Christ. Know who Christ has called you to be, so you can share and not take. We already had to know each other. I wanted to know the people before I moved in with them. We were all friends before we moved in together. This way I know that their hopes were the same as mine. The biggest thing I tell people is…
I don’t want to be a body in a space with another body, I want to know their name and do life with them.
Ok, want to meet the girls I do life with?!
This is Lizzie! I have known Lizzie the longest, we went to school together. Our school was a little different. It was a very interactive school with an internship that expected a lot out of you. So we have been through a lot. We have actually shared living spaces more then once. If you know Lizzie you know that she just gets along with everyone. She has a heart for missions and has a lot of fun stories, especially ones that include me in them. She is more creative then I think people give her credit for. She freelances graphics, so if you are in need of a new logo contact her. Lizzie is like a little mama. She makes sure everyone else feels comfortable and welcome. Her words are wise and she has a life story that I believe anyone could probably relate to. She also has a blog! http://www.seeminglyseams.com This is Amanda! I was trying to think the other day how we first met. I mean I know it was at church but I can’t quite remember. I think a mutual friend said we were similar on how we both love Native Sun. I think I probably just messaged her asking if she wanted to meet up for coffee or something. Amanda is from Washington, so she knows where I come from when I miss snow. Amanda is a senior this year at UNF as a photography student. She takes very lovely photos. If you want to see her stuff you can view it at www.heyiloveyouphotography.com Amanda and I are probably the most similar when it comes to food choices and music. She also shares good life stories and experiences in her blog http://www.separatedbybeauty.wordpress.com This is Carla! Carla is from Puerto Rico so her accent is very beautiful. Carla and I share a room and there have been many nights falling asleep laughing. She is a workaholic and sometimes it’s concerning, ha. Carla is very funny and I don’t think enough people know that about her. It’s hard to remember where we met as well. At church, yes, I think Amanda and her were in a small group together and it just happened that we ended up hanging out with each other in the same groups of people. Carla has got a great sense of fashion and I wish it’d flood into my side of the closet. If you’re looking to time manage or budget, Carla is the person you should go to.
These are the people I do life with. It has been quite wonderful and you know what? I know when I get older I will look back and appreciate these moments more then I do now. I know that true relationship comes from laughter and tears; triumphs and fails. I don’t think I could ever get the full extent of true friendship if I was just meeting them for coffee every other week. All three of them are dependable and reliable. They aren’t hoarding the gifts God has given them, they are sharing and they’re sharing with me!
Do you have some wonderful roomfriends? Tell me about them!