When I lived in the bothy on Iona, I woke up every morning to this stunning view. I could see the blue of the sea stretching out underneath the Dutchman’s cap and a small path that curved down a rocky slope that would lead me to the hostel. It was a profound pleasure to wake up in my own private retreat tucked away from the world. The bothy was very simple, with just a few pieces of furniture, but it was beautiful and cozy, and it had everything I needed.
If you told me 2 years ago that I would start construction of a tiny house this week, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. My sister has always been the tiny house advocate and I, the supportive sibling. Living in the bothy and other small unique spaces, however, changed my thinking. Traveling for 15 months with nothing but the clothes that could fit into a 55 liter backpack also changed my thinking. I started to look at things as weight. If I bought something, I would have to carry it. My things became literal weight and emotional weight. Every item I carried was known, useful and required. I can’t tell you how freeing this was. I began to imagine how I could continue this type of life back home. I mentally started to walk down the road towards minimalism, and I haven’t looked back.
Last Tuesday I delivered my trailer to the site where I will build my tiny house. I have hired a contractor to do the structural framing in the next few days and then hope to do most of the labor myself as I definitely have more time than money. My dad, who practiced architecture for 30 years, has designed an elegant and intricate floor plan and I am so grateful for his expertise. It has been a pleasure to design and dream together.
The last three weeks have been as busy as ever as I researched windows and siding and composting toilets and ALL THE THINGS. It is quite overwhelming because even though the total living space will be just under 200 square feet, I still have to make the same amount of decisions that any house builder would make. People ask me how long it will take. Having a 3 1/2 year remodel in my past, I plead the 5th. It will be finished when it is completed.
Even though I was my ex-husband’s girl Friday throughout the aforementioned remodel, I am still just an illustrator who feels a bit like I jumped into the deep end of the pool without my water wings. I am having to learn and make decisions about a bevy of things completely outside my comfort zone. I was feeling quite a bit of stress until I realized I could either live with anxiety for the next 6 months or decide that this project is an opportunity for wonder and delight.
So…I have decided. A tall girl and her tiny house. This is my next Great Adventure.