This I Believe

Emily - Sunnyside, New York
Entered on May 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: community, place

There’s something about Wilde

There’s something about Wilde, I think as I lie in the rectangle of gray couches and miscellaneous pillows called the sex-pit, my arms flopped akimbo and my legs hanging over the side like a little kid’s. The early evening summer light, dusty pale yellow, filters through the windows. Silhouetted trees loom outside, limbs arched and twisting, pale green leaves nearly translucent. I am at home – one of my homes. I’m originally from New York. Without having come here, I would never fallen in love with so many people.

I don’t mean fall in love in the mushy movie sense, but to become so familiar with your house mates that you come to view them as family. I don’t come home to a cold, blank-walled dorm like I did last year. I don’t have to enter a cafeteria where I feel like I’m in middle school again, awkwardly choosing where to sit. I come home to a place where people eat together at a big long table, and there’s a real kitchen just a few feet away. I come home to hugs. These folks aren’t afraid to be spontaneous, to tease or tickle each other.

Of course we get into arguments too, just like any family. We try to sort them out either interpersonally or at Council, a meeting we have every other week to discuss how the house is running. And I won’t lie that sometimes I wish I were back in my quiet dorm, able to study easily. The walls here are thin and noise travels, especially during a party. It gets messy sometimes (but hey, we’re college students). Yet I wouldn’t trade the lows for the highs I get. Despite a very supportive and caring upbringing, I feel like it’s been hard for me to find places where I feel like I fit in.

At Wilde we work together democratically and creatively to create an inclusive community and a safe, affordable, habitable space for students. It’s not perfect. We stumble often; but I’d rather be stumbling and fumbling with my Wilde family, rather than stalking down the street alone to some glamorous goal that blinds me bright with ambition. I’d rather take it slow, lying in the dark in a cuddle puddle after a party, talking. A multi-person amoeba of love and comfort. And challenge. We definitely challenge each other in political, cultural, gender-related, philosophical and economic ways. But in ironic ways too. I’ve never met people who sing so boldly in the shower. Now, when I’m walking down the street, I hum a lot more often than I used to, and I don’t care what other people think of it. There’s something about Wilde that can tug at your mind and root its way down into your heart, if you let it; and when you discover the unexpected seed of change that’s sprouted, you’ll smile softly to yourself, and you won’t regret anything. This I believe.