My Open Relationships
It's a crazy thing this roommate relationships. You practically live with a stranger, mark your boundaries yet remain friendly and share your things. It's scary at first but you'll soon get used to either being taken for granted or being given your space.
I must say, roommates are the best and the worst part of living in a hostel/PG (Paying Guest Accommodation). They make or break your living-on-your-own years but you can be sure you'll have stories to recount when you move out, to really live on your own.
They come with their baggage (pretty literally), their pet peeves, their way of living and all that makes them opposite to you. Because, that's just how karma works. You like the doors closed all the time, they like it open. You like the TV on volume level 50, they love it till the neighbours complain. You want to crash by 11pm and their life starts right then. You hate leaving dirty plates in the room, they'll leave them on the bed (also add some dirty clothes for days). So basically, you are put to the test when you live with a roomie. A test of faith, patience and practicality.
I've had my fair share of roommates over 4 years of my hostel/PG life. The odd thing about my PG was that in addition to the single room that they call double occupancy, me and my roomie had to share one king-size bed. So, we draw an invisible line (in our minds, of course) in the middle to mark our respective side of the bed. Accidental crossing-over happens but we soon demarcate our territories with a pillow or a book or our laptops or even dirty clothes. It's funny how we thought that any dirt left on our side (read dirty clothes, plates, food packets, socks, etc.) will remain on the same side and even the germs will be polite enough to not cross the border. Well, one of us soon realized that it's a stupid theory, a logic of the lazies and got down to getting it cleaned up (read confrontations, arguments, mutual cleaning marathons). And, that's how some of the significant lessons of life were learnt.
My roomie relationships were more like blind dates, only difference is that i had to live with them and not just share a cup of coffee. I've had the most messy ones to the most OCD ones, to the hardly-there ones to always-around ones, to the most friendly ones to the over-friendly ones, to the most annoying ones to the most amusing ones. But they all have left with me a little piece of life, that i'll always treasure as wisdom.
All said, in these roomies i've found some amazing friends who have made my growing-up adult years more enjoyable, birthdays more crazy and midnight gossip sessions more frequent, unplanned outings more adventurous and for all this and more, i will cherish their friendship for life.
Since the end of my PG days, i keep an open mind. I embrace change more freely than before. I respect boundaries and responsibilities. I play by the unspoken rules and speak my mind when rules aren't played by. I have learnt the art of polite confrontation. I've learnt to live with opposites. I've put my patience to the test and the results will be out soon. I am game for anything life throws at me.
I am married for one year now.
The demarcation continues, the invisible rules prevail, the cleaning marathon never ends, the patience test calls for a re-evaluation, and i feel like i have just began a new roommate relationship. Only difference, this time i chose this life-long roomie for love! (the sparkle on my finger will remind me of it every day).