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what co-living feels like

May 01, 20202 min read

Years ago, I visited my friend Peter at a co-op. I asked him and his roommates what it was like to live in a community. But their way of life felt normal to them, so they had trouble translating their experience to me.

After 2 months of co-living, here’s what it feels like:

As you might imagine, living with people can be hard. You have to contend with more people’s needs and quirks and emotions. When a couple I’m living with bickers, I feel their tension in my body. When another housemate is depressed, the whole house slumps. The vibe is off.

And, simultaneously, living with people is serendipitous and full of joy. When I’m practicing on my new quarantine guitar in the living room, my housemate gives me an impromptu lesson. I hear some yelling from the kitchen; two housemates have made a gourmet meal for everyone, and would I like to eat with them. We set up a projector in the dining room and stream a Finnish comedian confused by how Americans use ‘ass’ (‘grown-ass man’, ‘half-ass’, ‘bad-ass’). One evening we end up in the backyard, dancing to Brazilian music.

A camping trip is being organized this weekend. All I have to do is say “yes”.