Why My Ex-Roommate is My Ex-Roommate

A college freshman friendship is much like imprinting. Right out of the Twilight Saga, you become Jacob Black, looking for that one person to offer you infinite memories and instant acceptance. Everyone walks around like a confused deer, eyes as wide as the fluorescent dorm room lights, until said dorm room light moves just right and centers on that one person. And from there, it’s history.

Sometimes. On occasion, an individual might get lucky. They find their person, they make those memories, graduate together, and meet up every biennium in extraordinary cities to catch up and see their glimpses of success. I, most likely, will not be having this type of experience. Because I made the mistake of living with this person. And this person ended up changing so dramatically on me.

In the beginning, the light of our friendship was almost everlasting. We did everything together. We created adventures out of needing soup cans and yogurt, braved school events we weren’t sure would actually be worth their while, and existed in this plane where every hobby could be done together. No secrets were left out. We had our annoyances and frustrations, and had traits that counterbalanced our weaknesses. I had a temper she could calm. She had a shake that I could coax. Which is why living together seemed almost a no brainer.

When this decision was made, I was thoroughly convinced it was a good idea. Separating over the summer scared me out it, due to change, but there was no turning back. Boxes were being huffed and puffed into rooms, parents has said their good byes again, and we were alone, in the same space.

     

In the beginning, only insignificant roommate things were a concern. I wanted more cleanliness, she wanted less rules. Things that could have been managed if discussions about it were an option. However, as time grew on, the shake became harder to coax, and a conversation about a dish always had to end in a rally for self-esteem and defenses, so it was just easier to suck it up and wash the dish myself. The dishes, as well as crumbs on the floor, as well as the stains on the oven, as well as my patience and unique temper began to stack.

In the beginning, only the dirtiness was the issue. Then never being able to talk about anything was an issue. Then always having to take the blame for things became an issue. Because in order to protect her shake, to protect her self-esteem, I was always the criminal. And honestly, being the criminal wasn’t that great for my self-esteem either. After a while, she was being elevated by the malevolent lobbyists in my mind, and I was straining the last village, struggling to make it to the primaries. It took a toll on me, on us, on the people around us. Friends were noticing a divide, selecting and changing parties with every story told. Most of the stories were not told by me, but almost all of them had my name in it.

Guess who’s part of the Green Party. Me. And, unsurprisingly, I don’t have many voters.  

Toward the end, her lifestyle change was what really shattered the light. Her passion was gone. Her work ethic barely visible. Everything became the next escape from reality, skipping class, not doing work, excuse after excuse. Something that I couldn’t really be, or wanted to be, a part of. I am the type of person that needs to see growth in myself every day. Accomplishments are my escape, and there’s no excuse not to have them when you work hard, be honest with yourself, and pull yourself through the daunting tasks. And at this time in my life, I was pulling myself through a daunting task every day; and seeing results because of it. I was not ready to give that up to escape with her. I was working towards my future, something I thought about almost all the time. And with all the deliberating and accomplishments, I was far more focused on another light. Mine. But this is not the main reason we grew apart, or why she left.

In the end, it was the lack of care for the light that was supposed to surround our friendship. She saw it fading. She knew it needed to be fixed. But she figured that I would do it, since that’s what I’ve been doing the whole time. But people tire out. I became tired, exhausted, because every time I fixed a blown-out bulb, another took its place. And eventually, I ran out of lightbulbs, and the time or passion to keep fixing them.

So, in the final moment, our freshman college friendship turned into two completely different paths. I was done fighting through the passive aggressive forest. She turned in her key and never looked back. And while the memories are tender and precious, my accomplishments are what help me sleep at night. 

 

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