“The only constant is change.”
I’m just over 4 months of being in the Eastern Sierra area. The last few weeks have felt like I’ve been really beginning to settle in – I’m comfortable at my job; finding the local businesses I need; and in general, changing the property (slowly but surely). So of course, when I feel like things are moving at a steady pace, the figure of chaos throws it’s shadow over my pathway.
In a span of 24 hours, 6 more dogs came to live at the house with us. All of them are fosters, only needing to be with us for a temporary amount of time. Even still, this brings the total up to 18 dogs in the house. Thankfully, all of the new ones are on the smaller size (4 chihuahuas, 1 boston terrier, and 1 wire hair terrier mix). 5 of them came together as an already established pack and have fit in with the routine as well as can be expected. Their constant need for human attention is a struggle, but otherwise, they are a joy! The one dog who came by himself is nervous but a good boy and gets more accustomed to the house with each passing hour.
I know I am crazy for accepting all of these dogs, especially all at once, but the sacrifice on my end to take them in was necessary. To help my friend, to help my family, to follow my dreams with what I want to do with my life. As well, now that I’ve hit the 15+ mark, this forces me to re-evaluate the current daily situation and make the necessary changes to better accommodate everyone, i.e. a bigger outdoor area, my room prepped as an indoor area, quick-speed planning for their own house on the property, etc. When our numbers were at 6 – 10, things felt out of control. Once I hit 11+, we started to get a better routine down. As the numbers grow, so do the changes and how much I learn.
House of Dog
As turbulent as this change seems, it is a positive one. Unfortunately, not all of the situations I’ve been faced with lately are as easy to adapt and maneuver with.
My roommate and I do not get along. Since moving here together, it has become more and more obvious that we have little tolerance for each other. It is a sad reality, but when you live with someone else, someone not family, and in an area neither of you know, with no outside resources to fall back on for reprieve, I think the feelings we’re experiencing are understandable.
When she moved in with us in April, before the move, we barely knew each other. But she needed a home and we needed a roommate. And before we all left, things were easy. Transportation was simpler for her (she does not have a vehicle), we both had our friends to rely on close by, and we were comfortable with where we were. We only had 2 months to really try and get to know each other and it didn’t happen to the extent it should have. There was so much pressure at the end of our stay there, that we all hurriedly agreed to make the decision to leap together into the unknown and now we deal with the consequences.
It is not because we are so dissimilar in beliefs, but in personal attributes. She is bubbly and chatty; we have said she would make a great Christmas elf. I have a more serious character, very straight to the point and deliberate. I am a lioness. Neither of us nor these personality traits are bad or wrong – they just don’t go well together when cohabiting the same space with little breathing room from each other.
There have been some issues between us where both of us could improve upon. When I ask things of her, I seem to be more demanding than inquisitive. In her mind, I’m not really asking but suggesting or directing her. Admittedly, I do not pay attention to my tone of voice in the comfort of my own home. When I speak, I do so without thinking of how she would feel about the way I am speaking to her. I could be more mindful of this for her sake.
But on the other end of it, I have qualms with her and how little she does to help maintain the cleanliness of the house. Her agreement to move here with us was based on the idea that she would live rent free after the first of the year, if she put in effort to help keep the house in good shape while Dad and I worked. And in my point of view (and Dad’s), she has not kept her side of the deal. The majority of the chores fall back on me to do before I go to work and on my day’s off. We’ve discussed both of these issues with each other in the past, and while effort is made within the first few days of talking to each other, it dwindles off for both of us as time wears on.
As of this point, I feel like we made a mistake in bringing her out here without really realizing who we all are in total honesty. Not because I don’t like her, because I do like her! I just don’t think she is a good fit for my household. We have a very specific lifestyle, one that I won’t give up for anyone. Should people want to be in my life in such a serious way, they need to be comfortable with adapting to what is required. It sounds harsh, but the people who know me best know this as the truth. I am hard to keep up with, plain and simple. Not everyone can just fit in with what I do. This is the case here.
What the future holds for her and I, and the living situation, is on shaky, uncertain grounds. I have not so much as asked her to move, but she knows that’s what I want. I don’t think she wants to, but I also think she knows that the changes she wants out of this situation isn’t going to happen in the way or in the time that she wants. And that leaves her with little options.
Uncertainty taints the future, but my own convictions stay strong and move steadily forward. I love my job, I love the dogs, I am moving in a forward motion with my own goals and desires and feeling good about where I, personally, am at. Just seems like everything else is whirling around me at top speed, making it difficult to focus.I have faith that if I stay grounded, everything will happen as it should.