Life after 200 square feet

Closing chapters and starting new ones can be hard. Sometimes it feels like you’re closing an entire book and starting a completely new story. Or perhaps it’s a pause in a path and starting down a new one – but knowing you’ll be coming back again someday…

As I predicted just a few months ago, home looks different for us once more. It means a little yard for fetch and fresh air, a garden tub to soak in, meals around a dining table that doesn’t have to be folded away at the end of the day. It looks like room for a loved one or two to come stay. It’s Lily skidding down the hallway and not having to worry about leaving her on her own when we have errands to run.

I think a lot of people think that living simply, slowly, and intentionally has to look a certain way. Especially when we live in a world of hashtags and categories and labels. They’re great connecting points, but they can also be sources of isolation if left unchecked. If living in an Airstream for 2 years taught me anything, it’s that life doesn’t always fit any definitions or aesthetics. We’re all so unique, why should it? Living spaces can simply mean the place you fall asleep at night, or the place you create and love, or whatever you need it to be.

Trusting the journey and being planted in where you are, no matter what it may look like, that’s where true joy and love radiates. Whether that means sleeping in a van or a vintage trailer or a 1200 square feet house, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve done that whole “the grass is greener when…” and it’s a never-ending cycle. I’ve had breakdowns in 200 square feet and 1200. Don’t be afraid to choose something different from where you are, but don’t expect it to solve all of life’s woes. One of my favorite quotes is a reminder that everything in life comes with its own shit sandwich – but it’s up to you to decide which of those sandwiches are worth eating. That answer looks different for everyone.

I always thought we’d own a house after living in the Airstream, but I’m happy to find myself here, in a rental home, for this next chapter. It’s our new safe place to recover and recharge and dream and create. It too is a whole new adventure. It’s not what we ever imagined (spoiler alert: neither was living in a 1972 Airstream just a short time ago) but it’s what we’ve chosen. What I’m truly grateful for is to have been given the ability to choose. As Mary Oliver says:

I did not give to anyone the responsibility for my life. It is mine. I made it. And I can do what I want to with it. Live it. Give it back, someday, without bitterness, to the wild and weedy dunes.