Like many people, I grew up in a very conventional family. Among what marked me in my education at home, at school, on TV, I particularly remember these ideas that you have to be the best, surpass yourself all the time, be strong, and count only on yourself. Of course, I didn’t learn only that, but I would say that these values are the ones that have given me the most difficulties in life. Since I wanted to live according to them, I did not listen to my personal needs.

Fortunately, one day, I moved in the ‘Pigeonnière’, which is now my home.

I’ve always been looking for intensity in my life. Always crazier and more extraordinary experiences. Always more, always stronger, always further. And today my adventure takes place at home. This is where I face my biggest challenges today: dealing with sensitivities very different from mine. It’s not easy every day. But I think, and it’s a shared feeling, that we are handling this in a very nice way. We are 6 people on average living here. We spend a lot of time together. Conflicts and disagreements happen. However, we manage to express our differences without trying to make the other feel guilty, demean them, or make them feel bad. The idea is to take care of each other.

While I have been used to nervousness, screaming and blaming in the past, now I discover and experience this possibility of engaging in dialogue, finding harmony between our different perspectives. It’s more about dealing with our different sensitivities, fears and expectations. And growing together! It certainly requires more time. But it’s so nice to see that we can all come together, and that the goal is not individual victory, but collective well-being.

This house teaches me to be a better human, in my opinion. I learn empathy, sharing, cooperation. We give each other so much love every day. We cuddle continuously. We share compliments so often. We comfort each other when things are not going well. We have crazy parties as often as possible (otherwise many of us fade). We eat together all the time. We tell each other about our day. We manage our financial difficulties together. We share so many things. We spend our days naked in the garden. We make lots of kisses. We are bored together. We laugh together.

Moreover, this house is a shelter for any lost and/or loving soul. People, friends, friends’ friends come here all the time. We built such a welcoming home. I don’t count the mattresses we have.

I have never been so confident of myself. Today, I feel like never before with myself. Being part of a caring group, which does its best to enrich itself with each of its members, brings so much. The well-being of the group depends on the well-being of each of its components. And vice versa.

Of course, sometimes I’m sick of it, but most of the time we love each other passionately, and we make it work. We now really see ourselves as family. Our chosen family. And at the same time, the Pigeonnière is my love story.

In any case, in terms of learning, it is one of the craziest experiences of my life: learning to live through cooperation, with love and kindness on daily basis. Part of a lifelong dream is now fulfilled, and I live it every day. I feel freed from a lot of weight. I feel freer. I feel so much love. And I am so grateful for this wonderful gift that life has given me!