I've had this niggling desire to discuss things on this blog that would otherwise be shunned upon, but because they're my ramblings, I figure I can get away with it. It's my blog and I'll ramble if I want to.
Many years ago, at university, I lived on campus and shared my life with a multitude of people from different backgrounds. I lived with 11 people at any one time, though we had our own rooms, we shared bathrooms, kitchen and a dining room. Every year, the people living on the floor would change, the aromas emitting from the kitchen would change, the dynamics of the 'team' would change, but one thing was constant. Our comradery. The older folks would look after the young ones, and the young ones would liven the mood at dinner time. We looked out for each other, supported each other during tough times (family turmoil, exam madness, relationship breakups, nervous breakdowns, suicides, drug overdoses....); and we propelled each other when we needed encouragement (finish a never ending thesis, get those assignments in on time and make soup when all someone needed was a little love). It was the best experience that helped shape me to be the easy going person I am today (well, I consider myself easy going and easy to live with even my husband will agree to this). But after living on campus for 5 years, I had to embark on the big scary world by myself. I started working and realised that I had to do things for myself. No one really cared to help. No one wanted to be involved in my life after work. No one wanted to share their daily experiences with me over a dinner. I felt... angry. Why didn't anyone want to talk? Share? Help? I could have become a sheep and follow the way people around me were living their lives, but I refused.
Now, many years later, I live in a nice suburb in Melbourne. People are mostly 'nice'. Of course there are fake people and I am not interested in wasting my time with them. But I realise there is a small subset of people who, just like me, are in love with the idea of communal living. I don't mean 20 families living in a big hippy house, and swapping partners, with kids running naked in the garden. I mean, people in a community coming together and helping each other in times of need. Being able to trust and rely on people who can look after your kids for an hour, getting a hug from a neighbour as you endure an emotional family issue; having someone cook a meal for your family because you've been so caught up in a personal health crisis. It's hard...really hard to find people who are honest and open to this concept. I understand it may come across weird. Some people are creeped out by genuine kindness and love. But I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, I love the idea of people coming together for a shared purpose. In fact, I love people. Everyone has an amazing story. It's just taking time to listen.
Gosh I miss that life I had at university. As sad as this may sound, I still go back and walk the grounds of my old uni, breathe the communal air, sit under that communal sun and let my kids run around. I take my girls to where I lived, where I would eat, crazily finish my maths assignments, walk through the engineering department and let them embrace the way I used to live. Those were the days, let's bring them back.
I'm a lover of fine food, amazing cheese and sharing with people I love.