on being 28 & coexisting

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I've been thinking about the concept of age + roommates for a good long while. It used to be strange for a person to graduate college and move back in with their parents, rather than establish themselves in the world and make a living immediately (and get married). Oh, how times have changed. We are at the mercy of a bad economy and high living expenses. I moved back home after school and continued to live there for about six months while I was feverishly job hunting. Once I got my job, I moved into my first (rented) townhouse with my best friend a month or so later. It was absolutely the right decision for an independent personality like me, but I hadn't saved much money.

After two years, I moved in with my current roommate, Laura, because her previous roommate got married. My best friend and her boyfriend had gotten engaged, so rather than wait until the wedding and possibly be out of luck finding a new place to live, I jumped at the chance to live with Laura. We had a house owned by someone we knew and it was the best bedroom I've ever had. Spacious, huge closet, and its own bathroom. That was the only eight months of my entire life that I've had my own bathroom! It was over too soon when the owner decided to sell. So Laura bought a house and we moved the first week of March, 2013. We painted every wall except Laura's bedroom. She, being a new homeowner, fixed up things around the house. We've had various third roommates living in the basement. And we've been thriving on DVR and scented candles ever since. :)

I am not one to live alone. I enjoy isolation once in a while, but I can't imagine life in a house with just me. Having roommates is fun. It's nice to have someone around all the time to talk and laugh with. But I think the reason why it works so well is because we are very independent of each other. We have different friends and activities throughout the week. We're both very busy. We don't do every single thing together. We have our own lives and we aren't joined at the hip. I think that's the key to many successful relationships.

All this is to say that sometimes I do find myself wondering what it would be like to have my own place. I can see myself arranging all my products and makeup in my own bathroom instead of trying to keep them organized on my dresser top. I can envision a bigger, less cluttered bedroom because I could spread out my belongings and not confine them to one room. I imagine taking my things out of storage boxes that I've faithfully hauled from new house to new house, things that I can't use or display because I don't own the space. I dream of cleaning whenever I feel like it and decorating in my own style. And at the same time, I feel that I would get very lonely and discouraged. Things can only do so much for a person. I could do everything I just listed, but I have a hunch that if it actually happened, I would want to share it with someone. 

A lot of people assume they'll be married by 28. I used to. I also used to think it would be weird for two women in their late twenties to live together (again, isn't every girl married by 28?! Spinsters!). Some people might even think that if you're almost 30, you should be a big girl and buy your own home. But having lived with friends, and continuing to, I know it's absolutely the right place for me to be. For one thing, I can't afford to buy my own place anyway. :) For another, I'll never get back these cherished moments: A million hours of girl talk. Watching countless episodes of LOST 'til midnight. Buffalo wings on Sunday nights. Texting funny cat memes to each other from our beds when we're supposed to be sleeping, and laughing hysterically through the walls. Obsessing over The Bachelor every waking moment when a new season comes on (and yelling "journey!" out loud every time we hear that word). Cookie baking in PJ's with our work computers on the couches during a snow day. Climbing on each other's beds to share widsom, gossip, and boy talk. Caring for each other when we're hurting. I love these moments and I will be so very sad when we have to move on to a different stage of life.

So... 28, single, and coexisting. I'll take it.

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