I've *got* to control my plant-hoarding urges.
That's honestly been the ONLY chafe of living in a camper so far. I'm a typical Taurus and am thus obsessed with surrounding myself with plants, and limiting myself to one Christmas Cactus, two Flowering Kalanchoe, and a half-alive Orchid has been embarrassingly challenging.
Outside of that? Living in a tiny house is great. Keeping everything clean is a cinch. Need to mop or sweep or even vacuum? No problem! It'll literally take five minutes. Even better than the ease of cleaning: We've paid the rig off in full, which means we don't have a monthly payment!
It's absolutely staggering how much money one can save without the blistering inconvenience of monthly rent or a mortgage.
And this is, honestly, a very big need right now. I'm still recovering financially from the insane and totally unpredicted financial destruction I experienced in 2019. I won't get into the details, but I'll over-share the way I always do and say this: In the span of 2015 to 2019, I've gone from living in a one million dollar house and owning multiple businesses, to losing my job and living exclusively off of unemployment.
Then, in 2020, rendered homeless by a house fire — only to find a new home, one that's infinitely cheaper and more authentic to my lifestyle. I've since reestablished myself as an editor, booked a slew of new and existing clients, and get the luxury of enjoying the freedom of self-employment.
Life's truly a bitch sometimes, but you know what? It's a wise ol' bitch. And if you listen carefully, that wise ol' bitch will teach you some profound lessons. For years, I've plugged my ears, trying to ignore these lessons by wishing them away, but I've come to accept them now. Even if they're totally devastating. Especially if they're totally devastating.
I've been doing my best recently to be more proactive about my mentality — stay positive, but authentically so. To view setbacks as a sign of my journey being corrected to follow the right path as opposed to feeling thwarted by being unable to continue walking the wrong way.
As much as I hate the saying, "Everything happens for a reason," it sure as hell seems to be true, the older I get. What do you think? Has this been true for you? In ways, I hate it — I hate feeling as though my trials and tribulations are just "lessons," and I'm ungrateful if I allow myself to be a crybaby over them as opposed to somehow being appreciative.
You know what, though? Damn if this hasn't been true, time and time again. If I hadn't have lost my job in 2019, I wouldn't have thought to work with new editing clients, expanding my business to a truly self-sustaining level. And if I hadn't had lost my job *three months* before I was due to move back to Arizona, I would've just gotten another traditional job, and foregone the chance to fulfill a dream I've had for years: working for myself.
I even think back to When Stars Burn Out — I wrote that book when I was miserable.
That story was my only escape from a life that I felt I hadn't signed up for, a life of being silenced and stifled and cracked-open like an egg. Do you ever sit down and honestly reflect on your past experiences, and acknowledge how far you've come? It's pretty wild.
My old life was a fog of expensive handbags, fast cars, and very public smiles. My old life was all about kissing on top of the Eiffel Tower, even when I had tears in my eyes. My old life was trying to buoy somebody who was sinking — die for them daily, because I genuinely loved them more than I loved myself. Telling myself my rock would withstand their water, only to wake up with one hell of a canyon carved into my chest.
My old life was also laughter, inside jokes, and responsibility. Big lessons, big setbacks, and even bigger letdowns. Traveling the world, but crying the whole time behind my Ray Bans. Living in a big house, but not having anything to fill it with. Loving so greatly, that I would've knifed my own heart to save him. I'll never, ever forget the way he used to look at me sidelong while driving way too fast — daring me to ask him to slow down, only for me to tell him to speed the fuck up.
That was the definition of my old life: a game of Truth or Dare, until one of us gave up.
And now here I am, living in a tiny house. I'm still piecing a few things into place, but overall, I've got more than I ever have: the gift of writing and editing full-time; enjoying an existence free of a mortgage and utilities; friends who show up for me; a die-hard family.
And to top it all off, I've found that fairytale kind of love.
The kind that picks up all my sharp-edges and puzzles them back together. The kind that bravely ventures into my darkness without a light. The kind that's stalwartly loyal, absolutely honest, and unwaveringly supportive.
I wouldn't be here if it weren't for everything that's come before. I wouldn't have written my first novel with the devotion I had if I weren't looking desperately for an escape. I wouldn't look at the few belongings I have with the gratitude I have now, if it weren't for the house-fire taking what I'd owned before and trashing it. I wouldn't love myself if it weren't for somebody I'd cherished to no end telling me, repeatedly, that I wasn't worthy of it.
I'm so grateful to be exactly where I am now. And I'm so grateful for everything that's built up to this moment. And I'm so grateful for the chance to build up to bigger, better things, as time rolls on and life keeps flaring brighter. <3