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21 July 2014 @ 07:32 pm
Communal living and me  
This post is inspired by an article I read entitled Two Couples, One Mortgage that I read earlier today, put up on Facebook, and got a bunch of comments on, so I figured I'd expand on what I thought about it.

I'm a pretty strong introvert, though a bit less now than when I had just moved back from Japan, and I also have a like of schedules and a desire to want to know how my days are going to go in advance. My typical response to someone wanting to do something the same day is to say no, even if it's just something simple like going out to dinner, and while I often override that impulse, head out, and have a good time anyway, any kind of changing plans that adds new things to my schedule closer than a few days in advance is pretty stressful[1]. So you'd think that I wouldn't be in the market for that kind of living plan at all, because a smaller household means it's easier to set all plans out in advance.

At the same time, though, one of my fondest memories of university was the ease with which I could see people if I wanted to. When I read the article, the main section that stood out to me was this one:
People talk a lot about how important it is to have privacy, but I’ve noticed that my own desire for privacy is sometimes more of an excuse not to take social risks. What I’ve learned from a decade of living with other people is that it is actually really good to have people in my life who see me in moments when I’m openly struggling—not just when I’m doing well. The times I would never post about on Facebook. But it’s usually those moments, when I probably most need to connect with friends, that I’m least likely to make plans to see them. Particularly for introverts like me, it’s easy if I’m feeling tired or discouraged to want to just escape by sitting at home and watching Netflix.
That's really applicable to me, though insert "video games" for Netflix. At university, I could sit in my room, but the cost of reaching out to other people was very low because almost all of us lived in the same building. And I did spend a lot of time in greyselke, t3chnomag3, and spacialk's room even when I was just reading my homework.

Based on traveling around Chicago and attending various events, I've come up with a kind of line. If something is further than 20 minutes away door-to-door, it triggers that "Nah I'm good I'll just stay here" reflex that I have to overcome. Anything closer than that is fine, and I think the distane might extend even further away than that as long as it's entirely walking distance. I'm not sure why--maybe waiting for public transit makes me annoyed because it feels like I'm wasting time, whereas walking means I'm getting exercise and always moving toward my destination? That's just off the top of my head, though[2]. Anyway, suites around a common area, or even just apartments all in the same building, would obviously fall well within that line and might actually serve to make me more social.

The main thing I'd be worried about is people having other standards that hit my trigger points. Like, I tend to like things to be cleaner than softlykarou does, but if I end up outvoted, would I end up having to clean everything myself to match my standard of cleanliness[3], or would I end up with a constant low-grade state of annoyance? What about food. I have enough trouble getting the calories to keep myself fed now, and I'd feel bad crowding the fridge with a bunch of extra meat or cheese or eggs or yoghurt to fill out the remainder of my diet, not to mention the way I'd constantly be asking everything that's in the food because I write it all down in LoseIt. How about my habit of constantly listening to podcasts? I obviously can't do that in common areas, but how is it any better if I'm just sitting there in headphones all the time? I may be too rigid and spikey for that kind of communal living.

I guess that's only a problem with a communal dining/family area, though. I'd love the "apartments in the same building" model that would put softlykarou and I much closer to people. Though then we'd have to deal with where the building would be located...but admittedly that's a problem for any sort of living arrangement where it's more than one person. The rest of it all sounds grand, if I have the temperament for it.

[1]: I even get a little stressed when I write down what I'm eating for the day in LoseIt and then it gets changed. (^_^;)
[2]: And I'm not sure how that meshes with me greatly preferring public transit to driving because I can read on transit. I guess it's a question of relative annoyance.
[3]: This is the accord that softlykarou and I reached. I'm the one whining about it, so I'm the one who should do something about it. Q.E.D.
 
 
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Cruxshadows - Leave Me Alone
 
 
 
ccamfieldccamfield on July 22nd, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
I sympathize! I don't listen to podcasts when I'm at home, but I have some of the same feelings about not wanting my expected schedule-for-the-day to be disrupted. And inertia about going to see people if I've already gotten home, kind of thing.

Apartments in the same building, particularly if it was just a house split into apartments, would be pretty awesome.