One of the adventures of life is living with a roommate. In the early years it can be siblings sharing a bedroom. When we go off to college it can be someone from a totally different background with different habits and schedules. Marriage brings its own dynamics dealing with a “roommate”. But have you ever thought about the phrase, “I am my own roommate.” Strange thought.
I only had one brother, but for a short space of time we shared a bedroom. He had collected some pollywogs and wanted them in “his room” and I was determined they were not going to be in “my room”. The compromise was I let him hit me three times on the arm and that satisfied, the pollywogs were gone. For three years in college I lived with roommates -- two of them were challenging, to say the least. The third one was great. I used to say that colleges put two people in a tiny little room with minimal closets and single beds, from two entirely different backgrounds and then expected us to get along. Although the roommate breakups in college dorms were legion.
Being a lifetime single, I have, since then, never had a roommate (except the summer my nephew, his dog, and my Dad and I shared quarters). But now that I am retired I am finding I have a roommate and she/it is there all the time. I am sure people who are divorced or widowed find this out as well.
It can be a constant struggle -- I say, “I am going to wash a load of clothes.” The roommate says, “I am going to read a book instead.” I say, “Guess I’ll go for a walk.” The roommate says, “I am too tired, not today.” And so it goes. Every decision I make has a counter-decision until you wonder if you are developing a split personality. Coming to terms with “the roommate” and learning how to blend the two personalities is a life-time process.
When you live alone you may go all day without talking to anyone regardless of the instruments of communication you have in your home. The “roommate” becomes a companion for multiple conversations. I don’t think we need to be afraid of that. What I do think we need is to accept ourselves for who we are. We do have different dimensions, different personalities. Some people call it their “inner voice”. They will say, “I need to listen to my inner voice.” Life would be pretty stale if there was just one flat, grey person inside us. Sometimes “the roommate” might be our passionate or creative side and it is important to listen. If we take time to develop our friendships, our passions the two voices will blend into one dynamic personality. Most of our lives we are split between jobs and responsibilities and families and friends and what the world says we should be doing. We don’t take the time to know our roommate, that person, living with us, who may show us a brand new world and walk with us through the adventure.