Living with 16 Roomates in Six Years

In the past six years, I have lived with at least 16 different roommates for at least a month or longer. I also lived alone in a tiny dorm room as a college residential assistant (RA) for a single semester back in 2006.

With the exception of two, I still have all of their phone numbers. But I probably won’t be calling many of them. Some of them became and still are my closest friends. A few of them I hatred living with and stopped communicating with them.

Looking back, I don’t regret a single living situation though. I mean there were definitely miserable times. But I learned something about myself by being in relation to each of them. And I got to connect with most of them in a deeper sense than you can with a lot of people. You know your family, close friends, and living companions better than anyone else.

These roommates include former or future jocks, nerds, chefs, musicians, scientists, nurses, lawyers, businessmen, and more. The sheer number is staggering to me. Most people in my age group never exceeded five roommates. Let’s look at the statistics:

  • 2 Roommates I Lived with for 2 Years
  • 6 Roommates I Lived with for 1 Year to 2 Years
  • 8 Roommates I Lived with for 1 Month to 6 Months
  • Only 2/16 were Female
  • 4/16 were from Summer Research Programs

At the end of the day, I feel good to be at home with my roommate sitting on the couch talking about the day. Human beings are social animals that are nourished off communication. That human desire to be recognized, to be connected, and thereby to be real and meaningful. The lack of real connection in modern civilization is a cause of mental dis-ease. As traditional communities continually break down, and people become atomized individuals, we’re left with our parents, our siblings, our children, our spouse (bf/gf), and one or two best friends if we’re lucky. Most people don’t have anywhere near that many connections. Among my friends, they have only their coworkers (or fellow grad students), maybe a boyfriend/girlfriend, and a handful of  old friends.

As I am leaving my current home in the next few months, I’m going to miss that feeling of connection, of companionship.

How many housemates or roommates have you lived with?

####

I’m using the word roommate which I take as the same as anyone living in the same home as you, i.e. apartment or house or same room.

My longer posts are on the back burner for now. This next year is a transitional one as I still am trying to figure out my new path while abandoning my old paths in computer science and higher education. So, my thoughts are still forming, my focus is on my career and life destiny. Like the title of this site, I’m still designing my future.

Treasured Posts to Come

My blog posts have primarily been documenting some of the fun activities I’ve been doing or new habits I’ve been trying to do such as trapeze flying and waking early respectively.

However, the purpose of this blog is more than just that. I want to begin writing about, advocating, and defending some of my practices, skills, and worldviews like Anthony at The Dream Lounge or Tynan at….Tynan.net

. Both of them are very young, live unconventional lives, and inspire readers like myself to do the same.

Many people will disagree with me. Actually, some people already do disagree with me. But I have been avoiding explaining the reasoning behind my decisions except to say that I did a lot of research and know what I’m doing.

My purpose is to write rational pieces on some of my activities and my world views.beyond just my experiences and emotions.

Some working ideas:

  • Yoga Practice – Getting In Touch with the Body
  • Vipassana Meditation & The Art of Living
  • Mysticism, Religions, and Science – Following the Middle Way
  • Start Frugal, End Wealthy – Financial Principles to Live By
  • From 110 lbs to 140 lbs – A Look Back
  • Paleo Blueprint Lifestyle – Why a 90% Meat Diet is Healthy for You
  • High Intensity Training (HIT) – Workout Less, Minimize Injury, and Get Strong
  • The Way of the Seducer – A 21st Century Response to Empower Young Men
  • Examining the Basis of All Moral Values: Emotion
  • Dependency, Independence, and Interdependence – Growth of the Spirit
  • The Perspectival, Layered Approach to Moral Values and Life Decisions
  • Individuality & Privilege – The Inner Downfall of the United States as the Superpower
  • Journey of an American Pilgrim – Exploring the Spiritual Landscape of America
  • The Internet Culture – Information is Free and Reputation is Supreme

Some of these posts won’t be coming for a long time. Some may never appear. Some may come in multiple parts or multiple updated editions. But I want to start writing longer, well researched pieces.

Volunteering for Service at Vipassana Meditation

My 10 day Vipassana Meditation Course was a life changing experience that fundamentally shaped my worldview and daily experience like nothing else in such a short amount of time.

As I said in my previous post, this past weekend, I served as a volunteer at a 10 day course in Maryland. I had never worked as a server before and got to see the amazing effort involved behind the scenes.

I kind of wish I came much earlier too since most of the servers had already bonded over the previous 7 days, and I felt very awkward coming in so late and not knowing how to do anything. But, everyone was extremely friendly. In fact, everyone’s first priority was to make sure I was well fed before I did any work despite my protests.

My work was mostly in the kitchen helping prep food, cleaning dishes, and cleaning the dining room. Although cleaning dishes isn’t glamorous work, there is a joy involved in physical labor especially when you see the benefit to people stemming directly from your actions. This direct connection is what’s missing in what could be called intellectual or mental work where the fruits of your labor aren’t as apparent or immediate.

I came back home refreshed with plans to fix my bad habits and stick to the path once again.

I actually failed at my 7 day meditation experiment last week. I barely meditated at all before serving. But, I have continued doing at least 1 hour/day since Sunday and plan on keeping it up.

I definitely plan on serving full time in the future.

7 Day Experiment – 30 Minute Meditation Daily

One of my life long goals is to establish a daily meditation practice. I strongly believe that meditation practice is a vital part of one’s mental health and have experienced its benefits firsthand.

However, I have always had difficulty meditating daily. So, like my early waking experiment, I’m going to try a public meditation experiment.

I am cheating however since I’ll be helping serve at a Vipassana Meditation retreat this weekend. So, four days at home meditating, and three days at the retreat meditating.

Moved Back Home August 2010

Early August, I moved back to Delaware, my home state. The transition from the DC metro area back to Delaware has been a little harsh. It feels like it’s a step backwards. I am a citizen of the world, a cosmopolitian. While I never planned on staying in DC forever, I enjoyed the city very much. I was at the peak of my social connections with new friendships and relationships.

Coming back to Delaware, the hardest thing is really meeting new people. Almost all my friends have left the state, and I work at home so I don’t meet anyone through work. This is also the first year I’m no longer taking academic classes. I’m an adult.

I’m at another cross roads in my life. Whatever action I may take now is small, but it will set the direction for my future years. I’m trying to still figure out what to prioritize, where to go now. For the first time, there’s no guides, no mentors, no teachers, no parents, friends, or institutions to help me decide.

The transition isn’t all bad though. I’m now living in an excellent home with two housemates I really like.

I’m getting my health back on track having gained 10 pounds (i’m super underweight).

I’m growing my spiritual practice once again with meditation and yoga.

I’m waking early again.

I’m dedicating time to my finances, career, and business.

If you can’t, you must

– Tony Robbins