Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life in the Commune

Since I dedicated myself to this blog, I’ve been fairly consistent in my entries, with minimal lag time in between new postings. After I was published in the WSJ, my daily activity grew exponentially derailing me significantly from my usual blogging routine. While I assumed that traveling four out of five weekends in August, a week vacation, executing two special events for work, hosting house guests and moving would be a manageable, I nearly choked on all the items filling up my calendar and to-do list. But, somehow I tend to function best when overwhelmed with stress, and now am fully settled in my new place and finally refreshed to have some free time to reflect on the whirlwind the past few weeks.

Last week I scheduled movers for Monday evening to transport all of my big furniture items to my new place. Because I’d taken a week off at the beginning of the month for vacation and had only two remaining unscheduled vacation days, I was ambitious and naïve enough to plan on completing all of my moving and organizing during the evenings- and within two days. On top of the chaos of long work hours and my old landlady heckling me with every load of personal items I dragged down the stairs, I have a personality complex that prohibits me from relaxing amidst disorganization. Once things were in my room, the clutter and disarray of my clothes forced me to spring out of bed at odd hours throughout the night and push around the hangers until I felt at ease with the order of my closet. (I was the kid that had to have 100% of her school supplies as soon as the lists were distributed- and my particularity in specific folders and notebooks could never be compromised.)

My new place is a stark difference from my old one: I went from two walk-in closets and one girl roommate (that treated the apartment more like a vacation home from her primary residency at her boyfriend’s place) to occupying one bedroom in a 6-bedroom place with co-ed roommates.

Though the official name for my new abode on Foursquare is The Chateau, I’ve affectionately nicknamed the place The Commune for one simple reason: it is one! The building is split into three apartments: two-two bedroom apartments occupying the second story level, and my 6-bedroom apartment on the first and basement level. All the inhabitants are 20-somethings to early 30s and use the back stair case doorways as communal entry ways to pop into each other’s kitchens.

On top of the cooperative-style format for the building, I now split one bathroom with three other people- two of which are boys. Growing up I shared a bathroom with my older brother, but there is an unspoken understanding among siblings about the secrecy of bathroom conduct behind the closed door. Any sounds or excessive occupation of the bathroom with siblings doesn’t create the awkward glances in the hall or embarrassing collisions in transit like sharing a bathroom with new, male roommates does. Yet, despite the bathroom deviants, living with boys has its extreme benefits: there is always beer stocked in the fridge, I’m never expected to take out the trash, and I can fall back on them to kill spiders or lift heavy items.

The major plus with my new home is the backyard: 25x130 feet of grass- in San Francisco! I even was commissioned by my landlord to compost and maintain a garden out back in exchange for reduced monthly rent. While I’m thrilled to start composting and harvesting fresh herbs and vegetables from my own yard, I might have been a little presumptuous that my remedial childhood yard work in Amish Country has prepared me to take on the sandy soil of the bay. But I’ve always romanticized about plucking tomatoes and basil from my own garden to make a homemade bruschetta, and challenges have always been my raison d’être.

No comments: