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Growing up as a homeschooler, I naturally learned to get along with those I was living with nearly 24/7 (namely, my family). Not that that went great all the time, but it also went very well overall. You settle into a comfortable rhythm after a while.

I have tried living on my own (more on that in later posts), but always come back to the fact that I need loving people around me. And with that comes the fact that I learn their nuances and they learn mine.

What are nuances? Habits. Traits. Patterns of living. And when you live with people, you come to know what these nuances are. Like: My brother’s snack food is NOT to be touched unless I ask permission first. My dad enjoys family movies, and it’s a treat when we watch them together. My brother does not like romance movies at all and one of the best ways to tease him is to casually ask him during ‘movie pick’ if he would like to watch ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ With my mom, it’s usually best I call her when I’m out late hanging out with friends so she doesn’t worry.

My family also knows my nuances. Mom knows I need chocolate when I’m not having a good day. Dad knows I love fruit, and both of us know he can be relied on to pick some up after work if we run out. My brother knows that if there’s a piece of paper under his windshield at work, he probably just got a ‘parking ticket’ from me. And all of us know that I tend to disappear into my room if I need some time to myself.

Though we don’t always get along, it’s a blessing to live with people who know me.

My roommate off at university was the same way. We had talked on myroommate.com before deciding to room together in the dorms, and in talking we decided that we’d be a good fit for each other. I was majoring in English, and she was majoring in art. And both of us enjoyed dabbling in the other’s mediums, so we could share our projects with each other. We were both outdoorsy and loved exploring the woods and trails behind our dorm, which we frequently did. And we were both introverted, which meant that we understood each other’s need for quiet time and that neither of us liked having tons of people over. We were also both Christians, and she was good with my rule of no guys in our room. One of my most blessed friendships is with her. She helped me survive a very difficult time off at college.

I got to know her, and she got to know me. We both loved dark chocolate and similar snacks, and kept our mini fridge and makeshift pantry well supplied with snacks we both loved. She understood that I didn’t like going to the dining commons for food, and that I didn’t enjoy socializing a lot, so if she wanted to socialize she went out with some of her other friends. She enjoyed my rambling tunes I fiddled, and both of us enjoyed similar CDs, so there was never a problem there. Most of all: We valued each other and understood each other’s nuances.

Nuances are a blessing, not a curse. Discover them, enjoy them, and work with them.