Am I a Bad Quarantine Roommate?

I try not to think about the end times, though they often come up these days. This is mostly because it all feels too entirely played out and frankly, I’m exhausted. 

From start to finish, it’s taken me about two weeks to write this simple article. What was once a simple idea to discuss living with family during quarantine has become a chore, partially because I am, once again, exhausted - and also because nothing seems to have any meaning anymore. I’d like to think it's a mixture of the well-expected depression, boredom, and anger. 

For many of us, we were making plans. Personally, this was my first year living on my own. I was living with a friend who has turned out to be one of the closest people to me and a fabulous roommate. I was going to go back to Pitman Hall, my former residence building, and live there for the summer and hopefully work as a research assistant if I were chosen for the job I wanted; if not, I would have maybe worked in fast food or a coffee shop if I was lucky. But about three weeks ago, my mom pulled me from school and sent me to go live with my Dad and sister for the rest of the semester. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to anyone before I left. A day later, Ryerson University transitioned to online learning. Then, about a week later, all on-campus students were told that they had to go home unless they had verifiable extenuating circumstances that prevented them from doing so. 

Everything moved so quickly and I don’t think any of us really got the room to grieve. Now everything feels frozen in time. It’s like we’ve all been stuffed into a time capsule and buried alive. Everyday is Tuesday and every so often I’m reminded of an impending final that’s due because, of course, school assignments aren’t canceled. 

Living with my family has been like a test trial run to see how we’d all fair in The Hunger Games. That is if The Hunger Games’ main forms of torture were lack of personal space, constant bickering, and random unjustified fits of anger and resentment. 

I haven’t been the best housemate, I can admit that. I’ve become used to the idea of easing into adulthood and suddenly it feels like we’ve all been yanked 10 spaces back. I’ve gone through about every emotion possible and I imagine so has my family. 

This was sudden for all of us. I think I forget that sometimes. I like to wallow in self-pity when I’m sad but often I forget to look outside myself and see how my presence affects those close to me.

What worlds have been upended because I’ve moved back in? 

I have an incredible family. They’re loving, kind, hilarious, compelling, and relentlessly tolerant of me and my moods. I love them and since being home, I have become more aware of the ways in which I complicate and disrupt set realities. I’m so lucky to be in a home space that is safe, warm, and comforting in every possible way. And still, of course, there are times I wish we could go back to December when things were still relatively normal. But the world is changing and our own little worlds must change with it. 

During this quarantine time, I’m working on being more self-aware and more accomodating the emotional needs of my family. While I still fully intend on wallowing in my sadness every now and then, I also plan on practicing gratitude in every way possible. 

Stay healthy and stay safe. Sometimes, that’s all we can do for now.