I flew over to WA on Friday night for a week and a bit, two whole weekends away from the build! It has been unreal seeing things unfold but working full time, trying to plan out the next steps for the house and then travelling home to build every weekend has also been a bit exhausting. I think more than anything it has been emotionally tiring – this whole thing is a total mix of extreme and intense feelings; often from excitement to anxiety within a few short heart beats. Don’t get me wrong; it’s overwhelmingly positive, but even then it is just that – overwhelming. There hasn’t been much down time for processing in the past few months.
Now I’m here for a work conference and took a weekend either side to see the sights – WA is the final frontier of Australian states for me – I can now officially say I’ve been to every state in Aus! Not sure it counts if you only see the smallest fraction of that state, but it’s a start. This weekend just gone was EXACTLY what I needed to recharge, and I definitely feel like the universe is on my side at the moment. When things fall so easily into place that’s usually a good sign that you are exactly where you’re meant to be.
I’m staying here with my friend Fi, who is a total treat. We met years ago in Tonga but never got to know each other until well after – such an incredible woman. I know this isn’t directly related to the tiny house, but actually it sort of is. Everything sort of is. Finding people who live intentionally and without fear, who strive to be their best selves and to be comfortable with that person is just one more unanticipated reward of delving into this tiny house world. Working out how to be one of them is an ongoing lesson that, for me, is embodied in this project.
Being connected with the right people is a huge part of the lesson. When I was living at home in the country surrounded by people who had never really left our hometown, had all settled down to buy a house, get married and have kids, there were moments where it crossed my mind that perhaps I should’ve been aiming for those things too. Around my 25th birthday I had a mini quarter life crisis (yes, the maths is correct) and a proper talking to myself. I had to ask: ‘Do you want to settle for these things now and compromise on everything else you want, or keep following the path you’re on and risk not getting what everyone else has?’ I think now I’d rephrase that question into something more along the lines of ‘risk ending up somewhere that not everyone does’, but in any case it’s less of a challenge for me now. I work with smart, independent, well accomplished women.I have the most adventurous, interesting and caring friends, and I have the luxury to choose where to go next in life and what that looks like. The absolute luxury of being able to take a risk and knowing I’ll be ok if it doesn’t turn out the way I plan. Hanging out with someone like Fi, who has travelled the world, invests time and energy in being content and intentional, who is knowledgeable and open and grateful and calm, helps reset the bench mark of what to aim for. Or rather, who to aim for. Less of having, more of being and doing. Always.
Total digression. See? This is what my brain doesn’t have time for when I’m busy fulfilling my apprentice duties. It’s nice to slow down and let my thoughts wander and regroup.
So this weekend Fi took me for a country weekend getaway in Boddington, about 100kms out of Perth. Basically, the WA equivalent of Gippsland, haha! Lots of sheep, rolling green hills (thanks to a very wet winter), just a few hundred extra Xanthorrhoea Preissii to admire. We stayed at Fi’s friend’s home made, DIY, country house – complete with a compost toilet, wood fire stove outdoor bath and a TINY RAILWAY CARRIAGE HOUSE out the back. The house was creative, cosy, minimal, and an absolute throw back to the shack that started it all for me back in 2014. There were even owner builder magazines in the corner and of course one had a tiny house feature article from a few years ago!
It was too strange to be coincidence and it reset some of the excitement of what’s coming for my house without the worry of figuring it all out just yet. We walked all weekend despite the very Victorian weather and bushwalking with a botanist (just one more of Fi’s many skills) is a surefire way to open anyone’s eyes and shut up a busy brain.
The whole weekend was just a perfect reminder that these aren’t new ideas and it’s not a new lifestyle. It’s a way to take a step back from the wild over-consumption and disconnection that is becoming more and more common. It’s not so scary when you remember that it’s mostly just common sense.
Treading gently, slowing down, being grateful, recognising that we’re only here for a moment. Sometimes we lose sight of these things without noticing, they blur into the background. Thankfully, it only takes a second to pause and remember.