SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS! Momentum is picking up as we head towards spring, and the attention to tiny details (thanks, Monday's Full Moon in Virgo) and solid planning is showing up more and more. I'm going to start using the hashtag #60daysofTinyHouse to motivate myself and post (fb, instagram, snapchat, whatever -- all under tinyhomemaker) each day to keep this ball rolling.
My golden/27th birthday is in April, and some major shifts have been happening for me. I wouldn't call it a quarter (+) life crises, but more like a quarter (+) life clarity. New priorities! Melding practicality and the dream of a vibrant life. It's exciting!
But first: the near-future!
MARCH+ APRIL: I want to have the framing plans + materials lists finished by my birthday! This includes comparing my inventory of what I have to what materials the plans call for, and seeing how far I am from that goal!
MAY: pack up the house and get my garage full of building materials ready for transportation!
JUNE 1st: Move into an amazing duplex with my girlfriend Janet, the puppy Chester, and our friend Zach. This place is amazing and the perfect place to build! My current home has super low electrical wires over the driveway, and unfortunately won't be safe to build a house under. Thankfully, we found an even better place! It has an attached two car garage (yayyy, room for lumber!) and a separate gravel pad (a shed used to live on) that is PERFECT for me to park the trailer on and build around. The duplex is ten minutes out in the country, sits on eight acres and is surrounded by trees while overlooking a valley. The master bedroom has a row of bay windows with a gorgeous view, and we have a nice upper-level deck we share with the neighbors as well as our own back patio with a fireplace. We might need to have a housewarming gathering and invite ya'll over :-)))
JUNE 2nd: BEGIN FRAMING IN THE SUBLFOOR! HOLY COW! <3 This summer and fall, the #1 goal is to get the exterior finished before it gets too cold to continue working. This means: subfloor, walls, windows, door, roof and all of the exterior finishes that go with them. Read more below!
Big future changes: the background
For those who live in Wisconsin and love me: get a little bit excited. I'll be sticking around ;-) Falling in love and planning life with Janet has changed the way I look at a lot of things. We talk about how someday in the future, we'd really like to foster adopt. We talk about the kind of life we want to have, and the way we want to adventure through it.
My early twenties were full of movement, restlessness, and thirst for adventure and raw poetry. Many things were more important to me than financial stability, and figuring out who I am was first and foremost. You know how they say that your brain is still developing until your 25? I don't know a lot about psychology and neuroscience, but I do know that 25 was a huge turning point for me. I've become incredibly comfortable with who I am, have learned how to create an environment that I enjoy and thrive in, and found myself maintaining fewer friendships that are ever deeper in support, inspiration, and adoration.
I still write poetry. But I'm also writing my future. The thought of Janet & I's someday kids makes me realize that I want to set up my life so that we can support them. Help them with college when the time comes (and make sure they don't end up with the ball-and-chain of enormous student debt, like I have).
I realized new priorities for my future: financial security and stability (making ~40k a year), health benefits, vacation time, normal work hours, non-physically intensive/less risk of over-use injury. I don't need to be passionate about my job, but I need to be able to excel at and it and leave work at work when I go home. It also can't go directly against my morals and must have a good job outlook.
My mindset has shifted away from thinking my WORK is MY VIBRANT LIFE, and that it needs to be my #1 passion. The way I make money isn't my #1 passion -- but it is vital to supporting my passions and my vibrant life!
Big future changes: WHAT ARE THEY?
When the tiny house is finished (~late 2017), Janet wants to go back to school and finish her degree. And so do I! I have 86 credits from Union College, where I studied Communications with a double emphases in Journalism and Public Relations. Since we both want to return to school, it makes sense to remain in a state where we get in-state tuition (be excited, Mom!). I still want to move away from Platteville, because I do need a new adventure. But instead of North Carolina, we'll be looking nearer to find a place to grow. Right now, I have a city-crush on La Crosse and want to explore it as an option! If we moved to La Crosse with the tiny house, I would major in Communication with an emphases in Professional and Organizational Communication with a minor in Business Administration. If we moved elsewhere, I'd still do something similar!
How: I would take 12 credits per semester, the minimum full-time requirements. As I'll have just finished the tiny house, I don't want to jump into a huge/all-consuming project again right away. I want to go to school as part-time as possible, leaving time for massaging part time and enjoying life in the tiny house (Baking bread! Working on my novels! Time to Breathe!).
Using the Degree: Becoming a Human Resource Specialist would fulfill all the things on my "list of requirements," and is what I'm shooting for! When the time came, however, I could also use that degree to market myself for Public Relations or Marketing Communications.
If we lived in the tiny house after I got a "big girl" job, I could funnel most of my income towards paying off my student loan debt and pay it off in around TWO YEARS! This is AMAZING :-D My student debt is this giant, looming entity that I forget can ever actually be completely eradicated. With the tiny house's help, it is totally do-able! <3 <3 <3
How does a new future plan affect the tiny house plan?
First of all, it re-iterates how important building this tiny house is for me! It will help Janet and I be financially ready to build our future, and someday buy land to care for and live on.
More relevant to right now: It changes what I'm able to do with the floor plan! I was creating a new updated and clear version of the floor plan last week (to run a last time by Janet + use as a reference while creating the framing plans). I've been using a free program called SweetHome3D, and when I pulled all the dimensions and put it on paper: something got lost in translation. Turns out, the program isn't quiiiite as specific as I'd thought. And inches matter. The old floor plan was impossible. Back to the beginning, DANG IT! I wasn't expecting this time set-back.
But this came on the heels of all my "big girl job/future" realizations. And turned out everything was unfolding just perfectly in time! While I plan to always stay a Licensed Massage Therapist, I no longer feel the pressing need to design the floor plan so that massage table (or thai mat) can be used in the space. Instead, I can create a space that feels good to the reality of me and Janet. We plan to live in it for years, and it needs to not just be live-able, but really customized to the kind of life we live! Not having to design around an open massage table really transformed what I was able to do!
Here is a sneak peak of the new floorplans that are being developed. This is definitely NOT the finished product! I'm hoping to get it done by the end of this weekend, and I'll definitely share when it is :-)
I believe you become a healthier person
-- mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually --
the moment you start living the way you believe you should,
whatever that may be." - Mark Boyle