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 the 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.