After the little move up the hill into the big house, I went silent. That’s what happened. My fingers got dirty from sorting things out of boxes I packed 7 years ago. Not one dish broke, but some mice made a nest in the bowls. I uncovered a message I wrote seven years ago on the inside of one of those boxes. When I opened the cardboard flap and saw those capital letters, I cried. “SEE WE KNEW IT’D BE AWESOME.” It is awesome. We built a tiny house and a big house and they’re all ours.
I packed that box when I didn’t know it’d be awesome, but I wanted to believe it’d be awesome. I wrote that to convince myself, but I signed it -Mommy.
Those were dark and scary times, but they were also bright with faith, trust, and connection.
Looking back, I can see my own courage. I can see Karl and myself holding each other up, even though our words were harsh at times. I can see us believing we were doing something awesome even when we loaded the moving truck after we got the eviction from the purple house. I can see us pretending it was an exciting adventure for our kids. I can see that pretending makes it so, but it’s exhausting.
After we moved into the big house, I collapsed on the couch for a few days, and then I buried my hands in those boxes we stored in the shed. I uncovered some treasures and some things that went straight to the thrift store. (Why did we keep this!?) I spent most of my August and September moving things in and creating systems for how we live in this house, and I closed the curtains.
I mean not real curtains, we don’t need to hide from these trees, but I closed the view from the outside world–I silenced my online voice. As much as I enjoy sharing and interacting with you, my Tiny House Family community, I needed to go within, and I didn’t have any energy to share. I was confused about my new need for privacy. I didn’t expect it, but I went with it.
And suddenly I felt afraid. Who am I now? The tiny house was a big part of my identity. I wasn’t the only one. One night, Archer was sad. “I miss the tiny house.”
“But it’s right down the hill.”
“It’s different. Our stuff isn’t in there, you guys aren’t in there. Now we won’t be on TV anymore. We’re just a regular family.”
From the mouth of babes.
We are just a regular family who keeps doing regular things to reach extraordinary heights. That’s what I know now.
Last week a friend of mine said, “I see your tiny house experience as the birth canal. Things were dark and quiet, and you were compressed. Now you are out. What will you do?”
Maybe that’s it. It’s easy to be defined by the dark compression of 168 sq. ft., and quite another to define yourself.
What will I do? I will go with it, as I always have, and see where I’m led.
Many folks have asked for pictures of the big house. I will share more pictures in the coming weeks.