Closing the last chapter

Today, my roommate is moving out, and I am considering a new chapter in my life. 2014 was a hard year for me because I had two roommates in a row that almost never paid rent. One saved his money and skipped town to Denver, the other wasn’t malicious but struggled to find work for 8 months. I had developed close friendships with both of these people, and in both instances, I ended up feeling conflicted about kicking them out, and endured a financial burden that made living month-to-month somewhat difficult.

Living with someone 24/7 can be challenging at times. It can be even more difficult when you harbor negative feelings towards them about a number of things, and it can be most difficult when your anger is punctuated with sadness, despair, and false hope. The worst part was the constant drama and tension at home. Sometimes every word and action can come under scrutiny, and you can feel yourself being measured by them as they’re coming out of your mouth.

This begs a difficult question about how honest you’re supposed to be about things, and how forward. If you’re too blunt all the time, you come across as having performed outright character assassination. If you’re not confrontational at all, you both experience the social cold of withdrawing into your rooms so heavily that your paths never cross. He’ll start coming and going through his bedroom window, and you’ll be in your room wondering why things seem to be getting worse rather than better. This feeling has underscored both friendships, and it makes me question whether there was something wrong with me, or at least something wrong with them.

I have drowned in an ocean of gossip, and I have been dragged into petty wars of propaganda and ego. Everybody talks about everybody else, and as such everybody just has to get their two cents in about what to do. Give him longer. Kick him out. Be more assertive. Stop being a dick and give him a chance. Quit being a pushover. At the end of the day, it all ends up becoming recommendations coming from uninvolved third parties with their own biases.

I feel numb today. If I could, I would cry over the fact that someone close to me is at this point in our friendship. I had met this person under a mutual appreciation of music, social commentary, and the exchange of personal philosophies. We had shared our happiness and our sadness, and we had jammed together in a first real attempt to start a band.

I just hope that wherever this person goes, that they have the success that they’ve always wanted. I could not provide that here.

Sean is a guy from the middle of nowhere in Illinois who passionately supports Free Software, Free Culture, and decentralized communication systems. He serves as the editor of We Distribute, a publication dedicated to the development of the fediverse. In his spare time, Sean is a budding indie game dev, writer, web developer, and a musician.