Sunday, December 12, 2010


I don't know how this happened, but somewhere between October and December my sleep schedule derailed. I vaguely remember having a goal for myself this semesterto train my body to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier in preparation for what I anticipate will be a very difficult spring semester of student teaching.

Obviously, I have not had enough discipline to force myself to bed because here I sit. It is 2:30am and I am wide awake and running out of things to do here in my room. I've watched a movie and several episodes of my favorite 9os sitcom, Perfect Strangers, I've made birthday cards, graduation cards, Christmas cards, I've finished one book and begun another, I've journaled, made myself popcorn and teaas you might guess, I'm quickly exhausting my options. If it were entirely up to me I would just stay up until the morning and go to bed somewhere around 6:00am, but I know that I would screw up my body clock even further if I tried to do that, so I have decided that as soon as I finish this blog I am going to get in bed and simply wait until I fall asleep.

Before I finish this post, though, I would like to discuss something that I am sure I have already touched on in the history of this blog, but never directly addressed. I would like to spend a few moments writing about how incredibly confusing, frustrating, and wonderful college is. Now, as I typed that sentence, I realized that the subject of college in its entirety cannot be addressed in a single late-night blog post, no matter how many hours I let myself spend on it. Perhaps I have just created what will be a small series of posts. Or perhaps I will write this one post and decide that I have indeed said all I can say about college. (I think that is highly unlikely.)

So tonight (or this morning, or whatever time it is), I believe I would like to begin with the subject of roommates. Luckily, I have been blessed beyond all measure with the girls that I have lived with over the past four years. I honestly don't think that I could have asked for better ladies to live with. However, one thing that I have learned from living away from home is that you cannot expect living with anyone to be any different than living at home with your family. Nerves are going to be got on, feelings are going to be hurt, and patience is definitely going to be tested.

My freshman and sophomore year I lived with one of the sweetest girls I know. We were church-friends who had not spent more than a week together at a time before August of 2007. I knew that she was a little messy (she would definitely not argue with that), but I was sure that this messiness was not going to be an issue for me. In retrospect, I have no idea why I thought this because I have always been an incredibly neat personI don't believe I am exaggerating when I say that sometimes it might be borderline neurotic. Anyway, a few weeks into the semester it was clear that I had not realized exactly how untidy my roommate was in relation to my extreme neat-freakness. There were times when I would get physically anxious in our room because I would want to clean up her things so bad but I knew that I shouldn't unless I got her permission. (Yes, there were several times over the 2 years that we lived together that I did ask her permission to clean up her thingsespecially her closet. I told youborderline neurotic.)

This anxiety over what I saw as her character flaw eventually became anger and before I knew it I was harboring contempt against this wonderful girl who just happened to not care if she left dishes in the sink or papers on the floor. I would watch her leave the room without making her bed or taking out the trash and literally be insulted by what I began to imagine was her unwillingness to change to accommodate my "need" for a tidy room. Looking back on it, it was insane. I would go for weeks having these instances of extreme bitterness toward my roommate without saying a word to her about it.

And somehow I expected her to know I was mad; and furthermore, why I was mad; and furthermore than that, what I wanted her to do to make me not mad.

If you're thinking, "Gosh, Taylor, you were an idiot," then congratulations, you have a brain. You're right, I was being a complete idiot.

I remember the first night that I actually spoke to her about how I was feeling. It was freshman year in our dorm room in Owen Hall. Both of our beds were lofted and she was sitting on our semi-comfortable black futon while I sat in my standard dormitory desk chair. I don't remember why it came up, but I am so thankful that it did. By me simply being honest and humble and sharing my incredibly prideful and selfish heart with my roommate, we became so much closer. I realized that she wasn't keeping her side of the room in constant disarray because she wanted to spite me for some unknown reason; that was just how she liked her things to be. I realized, in some ways for the first time, that not everyone thinks like me.

I am sure that sounds ridiculous, but what I mean is, I finally understood that not everyone defines their world in the exact way that I do. My idea of clean was not the same as hers just like my idea of discipline might not be the same as someone else's. I cannot expect everyone to operate on the exact same wavelength as me all the time. I have to learn to be flexible and to love others through my anxiety, impatience, and even anger. I must seek to understand others before assuming the intent of their actions or judging their choices.

My roommate and I had more talks like that first one through the next 2 years. Sometimes they were tearful and sometimes heated, but they always ended well because we knew that if we were just honest about our feelings, we would not only learn from one another, but be able to support each other in times of real need.

And in times where we just wanted to rip our hair out because we were fed up with writing papers and taking exams.