I recently discovered a woman named Rebecca Lerner, and her blog (http://firstways.com). While stumbling around her digital offerings, I came across a short film she created titled “Waste Not, Want Not”. The film is well done, and covers subjects from dumpster diving and community gardens, to wild foraging, highlighting some of the philosophy behind each. I eagerly watched the video while my imagination took me to 100 different places. Seeing ourselves living out on the countryside, taking afternoon walks to forage for our dinner, briefly tending to our expansive gardens, and creating a nourishing meal with our friends and family. I realized that this is one of the many reasons why “tiny” works for me.
This caused me to think, what are my reasons for living tiny? “How small will it be?”A co-worker recently asked me. She gasped as I told her that our house will measuring roughly 130 ft/sq. “But there will be a sleeping loft!” I added. She stretched her arms and legs out to the side and said “I would not be able to live somewhere I can touch both walls”. She continued, adding that she has spent much of her life desiring to get in a substantial space to call her own. It is very true that “tiny living” is not for everyone. I have decided to expound on some of my reasons (many are covered briefly in the “tiny manifesto” page).
For me, “tiny” is synonymous with “creative”. I have realized that one of the major reasons why “tiny” living is so enchanting to me is that it pushes me to make everything (even the smallest details) in to a creative exercise. Whether it’s conceiving an idea for a composting toilet, or figuring out how to re-use materials for our house, it pushes my brain to work in a way that is very different from the way I was pushed in school. Yes, school has equipped me with many tools that further my free-thought and creativity, but at it’s core it was about deadlines, proficiency in a knowledge-set, and rule following. In living tiny, it seems as though the only “rules” are those we self impose (and I am actively resisting setting up such boundaries for myself).
For me, “tiny” is synonymous with “beautifully sustainable”. A concept that continues to reveal itself as we work on simplifying our lives. I bask in the profundity of the idea that if we pair down our lifestyles, our possessions, and our excesses, that we emerge in a beautiful balance of simplicity and sustainability. It’s entirely gratifying to have gained back my time, and to invest it back into pursuits that help me continue to live a life rooted in my values. It’s exciting to me that by consuming less, and giving back with what I have, I can help to insure that the abundance will continue.
For me, “tiny” is synonymous with “my own”. Not something bank owned, to be taken away, or indebted to a credit agency. Not something that was quickly thrown together by someone who holds their profit margin as their first interest. Let me also clarify that “my own” means something that was co-created by a community that has a shared vision. Something that is owned by a collective consciousness that dates back several thousand years (before McMansions were the fad). In that way, I see “tiny living” as a way to become more in touch with myself, and to draw on the wisdom of indigenous people, who are so much better equipped to live “in harmony” with this earth. I will no doubt continue to ruminate on this idea as we design, create, and construct our tiny house.
We have much to learn, and we are open and ready for the task at hand.
Thanks for reading,