We Can't be All things to All People

I can't be all things to all people…

And I have to be okay with that. 

Since we began building our tiny house in 2009, I have been writing about our experience online. Once we moved in, I needed to alter my message a bit to be about living in a tiny house. In that time we have also been asked to speak at various events and to provide one on one consultation with others interested in making this big change for themselves. 

Of course, this kind of life in the semi-public eye means that not all of the inquiries or requests are kind or even civil. 

Recently I got an email from a reader who made the following statement:
"To me you all sound like a lot of idealists, who don't really consider this as a permanent home. I am looking to build or at least inhabit a permanent home!"

This isn't a question nor is it constructive. This reader is simply taking his frustration about what he perceives as the lack of support in the tiny house movement for individuals looking for a solution. 

And once again I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I can't be all things to all people. 

I can't be an expert on retirement in a tiny house. I am nearly 40 and I intend to live in this tiny house for as long as physically possible, but I have no idea what my life will look like when I am 60 or 70 or 80. 
I am also not a professional home builder or designer. I am an individual who built a house to have a shot at a different kind of life for myself. 

I can only hope that my story can serve as an example for others also interested in living their life more deliberately. But I cannot be an advocate or an expert on every possible aspect of tiny house living or building. 

I do have to say, though, that I'm not sure I take the label "idealist" as an insult. Oh, I know that not everything is perfect but I also want to live authentically and genuinely. I want to be in control of my own life and my own time. If someone wants to call that an "idealist" that is fine with me.


  1. I've had an RV to live in since 1997 after losing a house to black mold and could not afford to replace so know "my friends" see tires as not being permanent. I do have a cargo trailer that stores special things but I am used to strange, often hurtful comments, am always surprised at how people are surprised by my RV, cedar drawers, closets, more counter and cupboard space than house. We have had up to 18 people for a party and we lived 20 miles from a town so people really had to go out of way to come. The thing that is so special to me about your place is warmth of wood, please give yourself a pat on back for sharing your life, home, and inspiring others.

  2. Howdy! I have always loved to read your blog and your insite. While my living situation doesn't mirror yours nor I think it ever will, not once have I got the impression you were telling me my life is inferior and yours was superior. I thank you for every single word you typed and I always look forward to the next.

    I don't think "idealist" fits you at all. An idealist will look at life, and dream about why things are a certain way and continue on doing nothing but wine. You looked at your life, decided you wanted a change, and made it happen. That real. Much more so than any individual who would curse you for not making their shattered dreams a reality. You have nothing to explain or defend. You are a hero.

  3. Thanks I really needed this reminder...It has not been an easy holiday season more people seemed to be in the Grinch and grumpy mode and mood than in the holiday spirit. It hurts but, try not to let it get to you...I know easier said than done. Thanks for being an inspiration to those who hope to one day go tiny.

  4. Some people just have to be negative! I love your blog, you have a lovely writing style, and I really enjoy the insights in to your life, so thank you for sharing. I read blogs about many different things, and I have stuck with yours because it is so enjoyable! Happy new year :)

  5. well put n' a good post Laura! Happy New Year too!

  6. Don't take being called an idealist as an insult. Idealism is something for us all to aim for. Anti-idealists like to call themselves 'realists'. I think this term reeks of negativity. It states: don't expect too much from life, it'll always be a battle. The impression these 'realists' give off is that one ought not be creative or innovative or ambitious or challenge the status quo. To them we ought to just accept 'the system' for what it is and not ask too many questions.

    Continue to chase your 'ideal', Laura, and everybody else. Challenge things, be ambitious, be different. Be your authentic self.

  7. I think there is no such thing as a "permanent home" anyway. We all move many times during our lives, as our life situations change. And that's fine. A home on wheels is no more temporary than any of the others. In a way, we are still nomads like our distant ancestors. Have a wonderful new year Laura!


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