You Get What You Give (Things I’m Learning by Being a Part of a Community)

1. I’m flouncing around the house in my towel, hair is still soaked from the shower, good music is thumping and all the windows are open. I hear a knock on the door and open it a crack to see my old landlord, you remember the one: “I’m selling the house, you need to move out of the attic but you can keep a key and keep stuff here”.

Anyhow, there he is and there I am in my towel, an all too often occurrence in my life (not with previous landlords, that’s actually never happened, but me being inappropriately dressed around random people and forgetting societal rules). “Give me a second!” I shut the door, tug on some random dress that happens to be hanging out in my bathroom.

“What’s up?” I open the door fully clothed, well, sort of, I forget to wear a bra sometimes too.

“I sold the house, do you want any of the old furniture from the attic?”

A few days later he helps me carry my favorite chair across two streets and through three back yards into my new tiny house.

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2. Pigeon’s had two seizures now and is on medicine for it. I’ve never had a dog get sick or age before, and he means everything to me. The last one was at 4 am, and woke me up in the middle of the night. I held his head while he jerked, saying over and over: “be ok be ok be ok”. Now I’m obsessed with being near him at all times, and wake up all night to make sure he’s sleeping peacefully.

The day it happened, my phone blew up with texts from my friends asking about him. Even my teacher was concerned.

Sitting in the vet’s office, my phone buzzing out of control, for the first time in a long time, I realized something: Whatever happens with him, its ok. Because I am not alone.

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3. Everything about my school adventure is a group effort. My classmates help me pick out a suit for a PTA school interview, a girl I work with lets me read my essay out loud to her and quizzes me for tests, and my boss lets me study when its slow at work. I accidentally volunteered to edit the girl who sits next to me’s papers the rest of the semester for her English class. Now every Sunday I find myself highlighting and correcting random assignments. Truly learning the meaning of: “You get what you give”.

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I loved the nomad life. It was everything I wanted it to be. But I am loving the community I have now, and the roots I am putting down.

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