I've been putting off writing this post...avoiding it really. I haven't wanted to write it and put it out there because it would make it real.
When Jordan and I decided to live tiny, we put an initial (minimum) time limit on it of two years, for multiple reasons:
1. A Tiny House was my dream first and foremost and Jordan eagerly supported me in it, though was not quite so eager about living in it himself. :)
2. We figured that two years would be a good marker of an "investment" for us, i.e at two years we would have paid more had we continued renting our apartment vs. buying our house.
3. It seemed like a good chunk of time to give it a try before we reevaluated it. Who knows what might change in two years?, we thought. Maybe we'd end up moving and just tow this thing to another state. Maybe we'd have an "oops" baby and need to find something bigger ASAP! We were leaving all future options open.
4. Maybe come two years, we would love it so much it wouldn't need to be something we reevaluated because we would just want to continue living this way.
We moved Lil Blue onto this farm on April 11, 2015 which means our two year anniversary is right around the corner. And we've made the bittersweet decision to move on from tiny living and start our next adventure.
I cannot believe it has already been this long! Though parts of this adventure have seemed to go on forever. It was a long transition for us. There was a lot to learn and a lot to get used to. We had some "ew" moments (mostly as it related to mishaps with our composting toilet!), we had some tough moments (figuring out how to get water, dealing with mold and frozen pipes, toughing out living without AC, a stove, or a shower for the first sweltering season), but overall, it has been a wonderful, happy, incredible experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.
As much as we have loved every bit of this adventure (my unconditional, romanticizing love for it and Jordan's definitely conditional, more arduous attempt at keeping his waning affection) we have decided that we are probably better suited as "small" house dwellers rather than tiny. As we were contemplating what might be next for us (after Jordan was O.V.E.R. it and said "I HATE THE TINY HOUSE!" after some mundane issue popped up yet again), I turned to him and said, "well, we've lived my dream. Now it's time for yours." I asked him what his dream was and he responded with, "I want a big comfy couch I can spread out on, I want to shower in my own home, and I want a dog." "So...pretty much what other people just assume they'll have in a normal home and take for granted is what your dream is?" I laughed.
So that started the phase of talking about what we want in our next space and what our future might look like. We love The Tiny House Movement and what it stands for. We still want to pursue a life that has a small carbon footprint. We are dedicated to living in a sustainable, ecological way. We want to live simply, minimally, and put more priority on living life and enjoying experiences rather than consuming more and more material goods. But we know we can do all of those things--and some of them even better--if we had a little more space.
If we had more space, for example, we could can vegetables and make natural beauty products easier because we could store the materials and jars needed and have more room to do the work. I could sew reusable napkins and cloths and completely rid ourselves of a need for paper towels, if I had the space to work on a sewing machine. We have also found the importance of having space for me to be creative. Working on a project in the tiny house requires us to pull out our table and cut ourselves off from our front door...for as long as it takes for me to finish the project! Which if anyone knows me, I tend to start projects with much vigor and then fade on them and keep them sitting for a long time before finishing--so...not helpful in a teeny space.
One aspect of the movement that we liked is this idea of sharing with others what we all have. Not everyone on a block needs their own washer and dryer, a lawn mower, and a snow blower. Every twenty feet someone next to you has the same things being used the same amount (once a week typically, and maybe not year round for some things). We liked the idea of doing laundry at other people's houses, showering at the YMCA (and also at friend's and family's houses). One friend gave up a spare bedroom so I could turn it into an art studio! It's been amazing how people have been so open to sharing their space and belongings and how much fun it has been when it turns chores into social time. But it also takes a toll (on the two of us, emotionally) when we are the only ones living this way and feel we are at the mercy of others' generosity and don't have much to offer back in the way of a trade. When we are constantly getting help for the way we want to live but can only do that by using other people's things, that can weigh on us, as it would on anyone I'm sure. It's hard when you feel like you don't have as much to offer back.
Sometimes I think that if we lived in a warmer climate, and had water access where we could just hook a hose up to the house, I could live tiny forever. I never really thought we would get to the point of selling Lil Blue. I hoped we would be able to keep it and park it on a lake somewhere as a vacation get-away, or keep it to have as a guest house or rent on AirBnb for others to try out. I thought about turning it into my art studio or a business of some kind. But, in order for the next dream, we need to sell this one to use to finish paying off student loans and have a down payment on a house.
This is extremely bittersweet for me. I'm excited to decorate and nest in a new space, as I always am. I'm excited to see what lies ahead for us in the near future as so much is already changing this year. I am excited to have a little more comfort and a lot more space (even a 700 sq ft house will feel like a mansion in comparison!). But I am heartbroken at the thought of moving on from tiny living. I've poured myself into this house and into this dream. I am so grateful and lucky that I have been able to pursue it and live it! I have been able to create something beautiful for myself and for our lives. We have been enriched from living in the country on this beautiful farm, enjoying the quiet, the dazzling stars, and the animals. It has been both taxing and rejuvenating for us. And we have learned so so much. We will carry this experience with us throughout the rest of our lives and I think it will always have a happy place in our hearts when we look back on it.
So, thank you to everyone who has helped us and supported us in this journey. We are so grateful! We don't have an ad yet to sell the house--we really have no clue on how to go about selling a tiny house!--but feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know is interested.
Even though the tiny house part of this blog is coming to an end, I intend to keep blogging and even have a business idea coming up in the future. A Terracotta Life is all about growing beauty in a simple home. Every home! I'm in school to be an Interior Designer and I'm working at a job that is my first professional step down that path. I want to bring beauty and joy to anyone who can benefit. So, in our next small home, whatever that may be, I'll still be blogging about growing beauty in it.