Some Clarifications, for Friends.
Well today was a much better day than yesterday! As most of my friends and family know I have been in a lot of media circuits lately, that is really really awesome and I am SUPER glad that more intentional and sustainable ways to live are becoming ‘trendy’ that is not however why I started this project, it has nothing to do with that. I am a very very small part of the entire tiny house community, the notion of living smaller and more intentional lives with less financial strain is not new, or unique, this is merely my version of it! I started this because this is my life, I am an intentional person, I wanted to learn about construction, I want to try out different technologies, I want to inspire and teach others on some level I didn’t want to pay rent, I didn’t want to be a slave to a bank again, I want to be self reliant. Honestly when I started I don’t think I expected anyone but my family to ever visit my page and even that was a stretch. I posted diligently as I worked my tail off mostly as a challenge to myself. I have made so many friends through this process and have been so lucky to help ad a little part of my shape to the tiny house community which is really just some of the most amazing, thoughtful and genuine people I have had the pleasure of interacting with. I have no idea why but all of the sudden, 2 years after the start of my build I am done and just following through on the deal and posting about how it is to actually live in a tiny house (because that is critical to know too!) and it has gained popularity. That’s cool! Not at all why I did this though but very cool none the less, I’m so glad this idea appeals to others! There are several sensationalized articles about my story though which have been circulating that make it seem like this is a project born out of necessity, it’s not. This is a very calculated and intentional action on my part to better my career, to better my life and to just do something I thought was cool! I in no way require extra media attention but I am SO glad to be able to be an inspiration to some. All that being said, I almost shut the whole thing down yesterday!
People are cruel! Comment after comment attacking me as a person, attacking my values in life, my choices, false assumptions about my financials, my political affiliations, my child, my family, my dog. All things that are so deeply personal to me, and all very harshly criticized from people who know very little about me and have never ever met me. I know you have to have thick skin for this crap but I didn’t ask for it and I was not ready for it, I just wanna do my projects people! If it’s not your thing you don’t have to look! I’m not sure what happened to the saying ‘if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all’. Yesterday it brought me to tears, if you are one of the few reading this that does actually know me you KNOW how hard that is to do! Like I say, today is a much better day, I chose not to read any comments made on the posts about my project and my life. (Except one well written post (though based on the same false premises) which has had VERY VERY few negative comments (I read maybe 3-4 out of over 2000, yes, I read them all because they were so positive!), Viral Nova, I am impressed with how you write and with your audience because those people made me feel great and it is how you write about the content that starts the conversation off on a positive note! Thank you for your coverage even though the facts are slightly off.
Ok, so, I shook it off, I made some smart ass remarks to the most cruel of the commenters (though they were kept respectful because two wrongs don’t make a right and pretty quick I will have to teach a tiny human these things, and the best way to teach is by example!). So, for those of you who were cruel (I doubt any of them actually found their way to my site, usually they just judge from afar) mission accomplished, you hurt me. I hope it’s out of your system and you can go on living a little lighter now, I have nothing for you but kindness. I don’t stay down too long and what you may not know or even care to acknowledge is that I lead an amazing life in my own right, I have helped to make it that way (I promise, its not all dumb luck though there is PLENTY of that). I hope everyone is as lucky as me though sadly I know they aren’t. I hope I can be an inspiration of sorts for someone even through the hateful comments, I hope others don’t get down and stop their dreams because of mean people. Your life matters and it’s important to follow your guts! I am always here to ask questions, to give advice on things I have experience with when wanted, I want nothing but to help others. For the cruel people out there, you don’t win, this is still my project, my house and I am loving it as I sit here, debt free (like completely, it CAN happen, I just paid off my car this month! wewt!) in my tiny house, built with my own two hands, drinking my cocoa with my handsome (but poor poor abused, as some tend to think) Denny Dog curled up on top of me! He has a whole house, all be it a tiny one and he chooses to nap ON ME. And I love him for it! Life is good, some people are mean. I’m moving forward.
I should also note, because it is FAR more important I have received some of the kindest messages I have ever seen over the last few days, those are FAR more precious to me. I have not had time to respond to all yet because they are all coming at once and way faster than I can reply, rest assured, if you wrote me you WILL hear back from me. If you don’t in the nest 5 days, please nudge me again, I am trying my best not to overlook anyone! THANK YOU to all the kind people, so much! Like Mr. Rogers’ mom said, ‘look for the helpers’. There are a lot of helpers in the world, a lot of very nice people, you make the world a better place, or at least MY world better!
Some really great things that I have had the opportunity to take part in just because I decided to do this crazy little project and document it. These are things I NEVER even thought would remotely happen, those wild cards you keep on you bucket list that you don’t REALLY expect to come true 🙂
- I’ve been in a movie (TINY: A Story About Living Small).
- I have been filmed for hours and will be on Extreme Homes on HGTV next month! (January 2014).
- I have been on a live network interview across the nation.
- I have met some of the most kick ass people I never knew existed! HERE
- I’ve gotten to be interviewed on the radio.
- I will be published in a book next spring, more on that as it develops.
- I get to be a speaker at the first ever Tiny House Conference in North Carolina next April (with MiniMiller)
- I built my own frickin house!
- I have been published in magazines.
- I was on the front page of the 4th most traffic website in the whole world!
- I have inspired strangers, they told me so! (could be my favorite of all)
So, even though some people are mean I am getting to do so many amazing things that I would have never got to do if I didn’t step out, take a risk and follow my gut to do what I wanted to do! Who knows what more is to come!
With all of that, some of the most common questions I have seen are answered here:
- Contrary to what a lot may think, I am not doing this to promote any business scheme, this has been my own personal project and hobby for the last two years, that is all. I did not start this blog to make money (though I have been doing ok there surprisingly!), I started this blog to document what I am doing and how the house is put together so that when I need to pound a hole in the wall I know where the wires are etc… and the own personal goal from my bucket list of keeping a blog, I just think they are neat. I have a very good job that I love a lot, doing very different kinds of architecture.
- I am not going to build any more tiny houses, I am not going to force them on anyone, this is my own personal project done for my own hands on experience. They are HARD, they take HUGE amounts of dedication and strength and hard damn work! One is enough!
- My dog is not abused, he is VERY spoiled if anything. Great Danes are very calm and docile dogs, a hyper dog would not do well in a tiny place in my opinion, I’ve owned a chihuahua, it would be much more cruel to make him live here, that little guy needed room, Denny, he is happy as a clam to nap on my lap all day, or in my bed (he is much better at the stairs now!)… and we do get out quite a bit.
- This is not the product of a divorce, that happened SEVERAL years prior and has zero bearing on any of this, I am not even sure how it got thrown into the mix… it’s very strange to me.
- I did go through a foreclosure, I could have paid the mortgage, the bank would not take my ex’s name off the loan, they forced the foreclosure saying that it was my only option. Still I tried to do right and sell the house, no beans, our systems is very topsee-turvey right now. I have been in the guts of the market crash, I have seen how mishandled and misappropriated bank loans are, I won a lawsuit with them because THEY mismanaged. They lost me as a customer, and I lost my house which turned out to be for the best, even though it was horrible for a lot of years (not an exaggeration at all, 2007-2012) of my life. Happy to talk further about this if there are opinions but do not judge me on it, I did more than most and everything to ‘make things right’. I do not ever want to be dependent on a bank again, especially for my home.
- The kid (the one I will be having in March :)) will be very well loved and adored by BOTH of her parents. I do not happen to believe in marriage, never really have, I believe in love and kindness, that is my driving force. Marriage in my experience is the ‘best way to ruin a relationship’ (I may be jaded 😉 ). That said, I LOVE that other people feel differently! To each their own. Her dad is not out of the picture though, like it was greatly assumed, he will be very involved in raising his daughter too and, like me can’t wait to meet her! He shares a lot of the same ideals that I do. She will be just fine and will have two parents who love her more than the world and a whole bunch of family, all in town, from both sides!
- She will sleep in a co-sleeper which I am building that will be located right next to my bed, I will be making a rail for the loft (though it’s more for Denny cause hes a klutz and rolls way too close to the edge of the bed for my comfort!)
- Babies do not NEED a high chair, a stroller, a crib, a playpen, a this or a that… babies need love, they need support, they need shelter, they need food and they need sleep. She will have everything she needs and more!
- This is not a retirement home. I have a three year plan for living here. You can see hints of my next big project starting to pop up on the right of the screen :). I intend to build a slightly bigger but still very small strawbale house on a foundation for my next home/office.
- The medical bills for the broken back and foot did cost slightly more than the house, it was not ‘worth it’ but accidents happen, I do not regret it. I was able to pay off all of my medical bills and if you add that into the cost of the house I am still sitting around $100.00/s.f. which is pretty close to the going rate. Without med bills my house is about half that, slightly less.
Please people, if there is one thing I have learned it is that I will never read the ‘news’ the same again, take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt. Be kind and respectful. Internet machos are hurtful, I have grown some thicker skin, I just hope others don’t get discouraged all together by people like the commenters I have got the joy of hearing from! Thank you to every single supporter, if you’ve contacted me you will hear back from me, give me a couple days to catch up! 🙂
And some pictures to end on, I hope everyone has a VERY merry Holiday season!