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  • Writer's pictureAmy Stevens

Teachings From a Hostel.

I've always thought I was better off on my own. Hidden away from others, only to come out while wearing a persona I had so carefully crafted, showing only this version of myself to the world. I wanted my own space, so perfectly organized as to externally validate the disorganization I felt internally. While living in community for just three short months these beliefs have been ripped open and shredded. I've learned that the only way for you to see and integrate all parts of yourself is to be reflected in the mirror of another. To be seen in this raw, suddenly unfiltered way has been deeply uncomfortable, but had made me extend love to the parts of myself I once hid away so deeply, afraid of being unworthy if anyone saw them.

I am learning about chaos and order, stability and instability. How one cannot exist without the other, and how together they create the beautiful dance of life. I am still in the process of finding stability in myself while living in an inherently unstable place. New people everyday, a constant stream of the human experiment, then in the blink of an eye they disappear. However, I've begun to find stability in these unstable bonds that form. A shared glass of wine with a hurting mother who dropped her only son off at college, a long distance cyclist who reminds me of my father. An older woman who I help run errands, a cup of coffee brought to me in the office by a traveler just passing by. A meal with ingredients pooled together from an array of guests and friends, an intimate moment of tears and vulnerability with coworkers. It is these moments - while fleeting - have given me stability. Stability in sharing the full spectrum and richness of this human experience with others who I'm learning are not separate from me, but are so deeply apart of me.

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