While Dee Williams is downsizing from tiny to tinier, the new owner of her “Kozy Kabin” house is actually upsizing into 84 square feet. Dee’s nephew Jonathan is a recent college graduate and whitewater rafting guide who’s been comfortable living in a tent for months at a time during summer rafting expeditions and on a six month bicycle tour of South America. As Jonathan prepares to go from a tent to a tiny house, and from a college student to a (tiny) home owner, we asked him to share these reflections on what excites him and makes him nervous about the transition.
By Jonathan Williams
I didn’t realize how intimidated and, honestly, downright terrified I feel about owning and moving into a tiny house until Dee asked me to consider what most intimidates me about soon-to-be-tiny-home-ownership, and conversely, what I’m most looking forward to. So…Thanks, Dee. But it’s probably time I dealt with these emotions. Prior to this, I lived in a state of bliss. I certainly had some nerves, I had thus far buried them in the deepest recess of my consciousness, and comforted myself with the pragmatic, Midwestern assumption that, “Things will work out, as they always do.” That assumption may have led me to a false sense of security.
I’m a river rafting guide, so let me explain in rafting terms. Up until now, I’ve been floating in class one to two whitewater, which has the fear factor equivalent of sitting in your bathtub with the rubber ducky, listening to Michael Buble and sipping red wine. After being prompted to “introspectively think” about my fears, I now feel as if I were unwillingly thrust into class five to six whitewater, where the bubble bath has disappeared, my hair somehow caught fire, and I am about to plunge over Niagara Falls, all while pretending that everything is normal and okay.
I suppose when it comes down to it, I am okay, but everyone is entitled to a bit of panic, right? With my fight or flight response operating at full blast, I’ll start with what intimidates me about moving into Dee’s tiny house:
- I’ve never owned or lived in something so large and extraordinary that I could call my own.
- Where do I put it!? That seems like a question I should have a better answer to than, “I’ll play that one by ear as we get closer to move in date.”
- Will people think I’m some sort of posing hipster?
- How will a house made for the climate of the Pacific Northwest handle the dry temperature fluctuations of Colorado?
- Will the house survive the move?
- Will I survive the move?
- I have way more than five things I’m nervous about!
- If I get locked out and need to call a locksmith, will they report my home to city authorities and force a covert rapid relocation? Should I even risk locking my doors?
- Will tiny home-ownership prevent me from traveling, learning, having free time, having friends, having a girlfriend, et cetera?
- What if the neighbors don’t approve? What if the neighbors complain to the city? What if the neighbors are simply unpleasant people?
- How will this move define me as a person, will it change how I interact with the world, and can I make this space my home?
That felt like a lot, but hey, it feels good to get things into the open. Now here’s what I’m not so nervous about, and actually excited for:
- Listening to the rain fall on the tin roof, and having my first winter in the tiny home.
- Filling the space with the smells of my attempted renditions of pad thai and Indian food as I treat dinner guests to my favorite meals.
- Sharing my new home and way of life with other people, as they ask many of the questions I’ve asked, and living out the values I believe in, like living in eco-friendly housing and having a low environmental impact, promoting strong communities, and living healthy.
- Having my first “Blood, sweat and tears” moments in the house, and knowing its stories.
- Living in a home with such an awesome connection to my Aunt Dee, and making it into my own place, which I can someday proudly show off.
- Rigging up a sick speaker system operated via bluetooth to my phone and impressing people with how technologically adept I am.
- Liberating future Jonathan’s time, money, energy, creativity, ability to travel, and ability to be the person who routinely convinces their friends to take off way too much work to join me on adventures.
- Having a place that I can come back to at the end of the day no matter what life throws at me, a place that is as mobile as I am, and that’s flexible, capable, humble and simple all at the same time.
After letting the adrenaline subside and extinguishing my metaphorical fire-hair, I can’t imagine anything I would rather be doing with life right at this moment than taking the terrifying plunge into tiny-home-ownership. Luckily, 84 square feet is about as much home as I think I can manage right now, and it’s just the right dimensions to fill all of my needs. I feel incredibly lucky, and I have that crazy-excited feeling that makes life feel a little more full at the end of the day. Even if it scares the pants off of me a little, the gift Dee is giving me is something I will surely cherish, and will certainly never forget.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Learn more about Dee and Jonathan’s tiny house hand-me-down on the Tiny to Tinier homepage!