It took Ryan about two years to convince me to go tiny. When I first learned about the tiny house community I instantly fell in love with the concept and lifestyle but also instantly thought “I could never do that.” For one I love stuff! I love my ever growing book collection, I could never get rid of my grandmothers lot of vintage owls, and how could I say goodbye to my insane compilation of vintage tees I’ve spent my whole life accumulating?!?! Secondly, as much as I want to live a more sustainable lifestyle and lessen my carbon footprint could I really use a bucket as a toilet? Am I capable of removing said bucket and personally be responsible for my own bodily waste? And what about my dudes waste? Dude waste is the worst kind of waste. There’s no way I could be responsible for that even if we didn’t compost I still wouldn’t be into dealing with grey water and septic hook ups. Nope. Not happing. And lastly and way more importantly I need my space. I love Ryan and I think he’s the greatest but that doesn’t mean I want to share 200 sq ft or less with the man. I’m an extreme introvert. I actually love being by myself, Its how I recharge and relax. Those (dumb but important to me) three things stood in the way of me committing to the tiny house movement.
Ryan on the other hand is a minimalist. From the day I met him at 19 a freshmen in college he was into the bare minimum when it came to belongings. I remember how he always wore blank tees with no labels or logos and not because of fashion, just because thats what he liked (also he only had like 5 shirts). His room was just as simple as his closet. I think my craziest early revelation about Ryan was when we would go thrifting or shopping and he ended up making a purchase he would eventually get rid of something at his apartment, whether he gave it to a friend, donated it to goodwill or just threw it away. At the time I was like “okay OCD.” And then after talking to his parents I learned about Ryan as a child and how he was even a minimalist kid who liked to keep his room clean and simple, not a lot of things laying around because everything had a purpose and place. Young Ryan would even get on to his mom because of her clutter and amount of stuff. So yeah Ryan was born ready to go Tiny.
So what changed my mind you ask? Well, a little over a year ago we tried to buy a house in Atlanta and got pre approved and had the cash saved in the bank for the down payment. Ryan is a freelancing sound mixer and I at the time was leaving my job at Universal Studios to freelance full time as well. We also had a year old business that we started together. When it came down to closing on the house and actually getting financed we got declined by two different banks. We were horrified and confused. In our minds we thought we were good to go. We had successful careers with a lot of money in the bank, a growing business and good credit! Like what the heck we even got pre approved what did we do wrong?!?! The banker bro tells us that because we are freelancers every time a job ends it looks like we are unemployed. He suggested to try again in a year when our business is older or think about getting part time jobs with a substantial company so we look “more” employed. I can honestly say it was the worst rejection I have ever experienced. It left a bad taste in our mouths of the whole home buying process. Not to mention the amount of interest we would of paid in the long run. And I saw the academy award winner ‘The Big Short’ I know what the housing market is capable of. So naturally Ryan and I thought screw this and screw THE MAN lets go tiny.
And voilà I found myself all of a sudden certain that the Tiny lifestyle WAS for me. Now the pros out weighed the cons. All the “I could never” started to seem pretty doable. At the end of the day my all time favorite thing is traveling. I love being on the road, discovering new expirences and seeing things in real life that I’ve only seen in books. I never planned on living in the same place for a long time. I spent many years touring the U.S. with bands so Im no stranger to life on the road. Monotony will be the death of me (along with decaf but thats another story). Ryan and I already travel so much for work. We both work in television and share a sound company together. We have an 11 year old dog who’s obsessed with me (or vice versa) and goes everywhere with us. We usually run into issues with hotels accepting him and end up having to pay a dumb fee. When it came to renting we had issues with being accepted because of our dog Tilly’s size (70lbs). Now with our own Tiny house the possibilities are endless. Our little family of 3 gets to stay together, we won’t have to work crappy jobs just to pay bills (see ya later stupid soul sucking realty tv show). With financial freedom we can now work on projects and shows that we love whenever we want wherever we want. Instead of throwing away money on rent we plan to spend it on seeing all of North America and now can actually afford to frequent Europe more often! For us it was clear, doing all the things we’ve always wanted to do was worth getting rid of our awesome rental (that took us years to find and afford) and to say goodbye to stability and being content, you know the thing you work so hard to get but you still feel kinda blah after achieving. We can now make our dream life a reality.
My whole “stuff” argument seems so dumb to me now. Was I really going to allow my “stuff” get in the way of a better quality of life and mega adventure? My life leading up to going tiny I knew nothing else but flushing and not caring but now I am excited to compost and find it fascinating and totally natural. When it comes to having my own space and not being totally annoyed by Ryan, where theres a will theres a way. I can always take a soothing shower while listing to a Neil Gaimen audiobook, take Tilly on a walk at whatever new and exciting place we are parked, or just put headphones on and crank some Monster Rally while reading whatever new book I snuck on the tiny that he doesn’t know about. At the end of the day he’s an annoying man and Im a annoying brat but we are totally in love and respect each other and there is no one else we’d rather do this with.