Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Give me one more dudes..."

I know that I'm kind of stealing Liz's thunder by posting right on top of her fine portrait below, but I'm being displaced and I thought it would be best to try and get in my last word here before my boxes start getting shipped out and I find myself eating not with seven housemates, but with myself.

I've been thinking a lot about my year of living here in the past couple of weeks. A year is a pretty long time and trying to think about all of the things that happen in a year is a really difficult task so let me some up by giving random points about things I learned and discovered living in The House Famous

1) My opinion matters: When I was in elementary school I was bullied pretty extensively towards the end of my time there. This had the pretty lasting impact of making me feel like things I had to say didn't really matter. Jason and I had a discussion about this a little while ago and he said that when I first moved in, I drove him crazy because I would bring things up and they would be good things but I wouldn't have any faith in them because I didn't think my opinion mattered. Living here has helped me to overcome that and feel like my voice matters in the grand scheme of things.

2) Living with lots of other people is better but not easier: I remember thinking that when I started living with people it would be better. I think some part of my brain also associated that with being easier. This is not the case. When you live with 7 other people in close proximity and intentionality, it's very difficult to maintain all of those relationships. Sometimes you miss talking to a person for a week and then you have to go back and catch up, and sometimes you offend each other just based on the way you live. These things can make life difficult. But in the end, it is better to live with others than to live alone. When you live in isolation, you find that you no longer enjoy your own company anymore and it's very easy to fall into depression.

3) Poverty exists in North America, it has a face, and it needs love: Having lived in the rich, vast sub-urban area of Kingston for 18 years, I've lived at a distance from those in poverty in my own community for quite sometime. I was over here and they were out there (wherever there is) and so it was easy for me to say that poverty wasn't a big issue in Kingston. Moving downtown (and more specifically to the north of princess area) was an eye opener. Not only was there poverty in Kingston, there was a lot of poverty in Kingston. And there wasn't just poverty, there were people living in conditions of poverty with names and faces and stories that would break your heart. Living in this neighborhood and having our house be as open as it has been has been uncomfortable for me at time but it has taught me things I never would have learned on my own.

So there you are friends, as I head out to a different level of interaction with The House Famous, I leave you with these thoughts. It's been swell.


Cait said...

sweet post Ben.

todd said...

I miss you already. I had to blame the clogging of the vacuum on demons or some sort of curse rather than rational science.

Liz said...

no thunder stolen whatsoever. thanks for sharing what you did here.

(ps-tourguide commencement soon.)