As we re-enter community from our holiday travels, I’ve been reflecting on my time in this program so far and the journey ahead. Somehow, we are already halfway through this adventure. This realization arrived along with hope, anxiety, gratitude, uncertainty, and excitement. My housemates would tell you that I’ve been coping with this by lobbying for everyone to stay in Chicago once our house dissolves in June. In reality, I want each of us to pick the best path that will bring more growth and love. This will look different for each of us. We arrived in this converted convent as eleven strangers and I couldn’t have anticipated how quickly these relationships would develop. The passage of time and humans’ ability to connect never fail to amaze me. It is wild to believe that five months have passed, and I’m sure that the second half will pass just as quickly.
In these next five months, I hope to root myself in the here and now. (Disclaimer: I’m not saying that I won’t plan at all as that is simply just not who I am). However, I do hope to be more grounded in the day to day. One of my housemates recently attended a reflection on the ordinary and this concept feels very relevant to my time at Amate. That may seem absurd as eleven young adults living together in a converted convent appears far from ordinary. I will concede that our living situation is unique; however, the day to day is pretty routine. We do our morning commutes, work a full day, return home for dinner, maybe go to the gym, and shortly thereafter go to bed and do it over again. Within this routine, there is so much beauty. I get the privilege to commute with Kevin and McG every morning. These commutes are filled with chatting both serious and silly, silence, encounters on the CTA, music, running into coworkers, and more. At work, common occurrences such as conversations with clients, eating at the beach, morning check-in with my coworkers, or texting with clients are often highlights of my day. Returning home to community dinner is one of my favorite parts of the day. Sharing a meal is commonplace, but I cherish this time together. As Megan wrote in her last post, that table has seen just about everything. Eating dinner is just another part of the routine but, in the mundane, there is laughing, tearing up, discussion, and storytelling. Then, there is the usual dilemma of how I should spend the rest of my evening. For some nights, this means alone time which brings rejuvenation. Sometimes it’s the simplicity of presence while we read in the same room. Other times it’s reality TV or New Girl or a movie. There is the groaning about needing to go to bed but not wanting to. Whether this time is spent alone, together, or a mixture of both, there is delight in the everyday activities.
There are also countless ordinary moments between all of this. There are twenty-second hugs, conversations about our days, singing as we do the dishes, jumping on the mini trampoline, gathering around someone’s phone to watch a Tik Tok, dancing in the kitchen, good night hugs (can you tell physical touch is one of my love languages?), shenanigans in the long hallways, making tea, and the stillness of the house when most people are in bed. There are likely countless day-to-day moments that I have yet to discover the beauty in. May these five months continue to reveal Love in the ordinary.