Jes Stevens currently lives in Washington D.C. and works at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
I recently went home for Easter and I had this striking realization that my time left in DC can be attributed to a few short months left. As I’ve grown accustomed to the fast pace life I have also found solace in community. A community that accepts my flaws and weird habits, a community that laughs with and even at me. And I know that is something that will be hard to recreate as I move on to the next chapter in my life. Intentional living has been everything and nothing that I imagined. I am blessed to have incredible housemates that have always appreciated the whole self that I daringly brought to DC.
On this trip home I thought a lot about the community I have formed in DC. And I thought a lot about the things that I would miss. I want to list them out because saying them out loud, or rather; writing them down will show how much simple living has impacted my life. These are all things I don’t think I could have ever anticipated missing. One: Composting. I know that my housing situation next year will unfortunately not allow me to compost. I have found this to be an extremely useful way to reduce waste, and it doesn’t gross me out like I though it would. Two: Not having a car. In St. Louis the public transportation system is bad. It only goes east and west, and only one stop south into St. Louis County. Not having a car in DC forces me to not only exercise but also explore the city and its beautiful neighborhoods by foot or bike. Three: Bike lanes. I’ve noticed on my trips home that they don’t have even ¼ of the bike lanes that DC has. Bike lanes encourage a large biking/commuter presence. These also make the roads much safer to bike on. 4. Community dinners. I eat dinner with three, sometimes four other people on a routine basis. I have really learned that talking over food and drink is one of the best ways to connect with others.
There is one thing that I know I will miss most, and it is the three incredible people I am blessed to call housemates. These past 8 months have created more memories, and moments for personal growth than I ever thought possible. And I know that it’s the memories I have that will impact the communities I join in the future.
In Their Own Words
We invite you to get to know Loretto Volunteers and the program here. Volunteers introduce themselves and reflect on their experiences.